The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

With Christmas, nearly upon us, there’s never been a better time to start thinking about your summer holidays next year. Because let’s be real - you’re going to need something to look forward to as you drag yourself to work on the 2nd of January. And, as an added bonus the earlier you book, the more you’ll benefit from cheaper prices and less stress.

With Christmas, nearly upon us, there’s never been a better time to start thinking about your summer holidays next year. Because let’s be real - you’re going to need something to look forward to as you drag yourself to work on the 2nd of January. And, as an added bonus the earlier you book, the more you’ll benefit from cheaper prices and less stress.

Right so, that’s sorted - you’re heading on your holliers next summer, but where to? With thousands of destinations across the globe, it can be difficult to pick just one, particularly if you have a limited budget. But fret not, here’s a list of some of the best travel destinations for 2017 to give you some inspiration....

1. Santorini

You know those stock images of lanterns rising at sunset against a backdrop of azure sky meeting sea? That’s Santorini, and the photos don’t even begin to do justice. You genuinely can’t get much more idyllic than a remote Greek island in the height of summer... There’s plenty to do from volcano hikes to boat trips (or lazing about in infinity pools and on beautiful beaches for the less active amongst us). If you crave pure and utter relaxation in a holiday, you’ll find it in Santorini.

2. Iceland

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

Looking for something completely different? Iceland is the place to go and thankfully it’s just a short plane ride from Dublin. Whether you visit during the summer or in the depths of winter there’s a multitude of things to do, and both times of year have different perks. You can choose to travel there in the summer months and benefit from their 20 hours of daylight by going paragliding or hiking glaciers in the midnight sun. Alternatively, you can pop up in the colder months and chase the Northern Lights while snowmobiling - either way it’ll be one to remember. Just make sure you fly to Reykjavik, rent a car and drive around the whole island before you head home!

3. Sri Lanka

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

How do you even begin to explain the sheer beauty of Sri Lanka? An island perched just south of India in the Indian Ocean; its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and sun-soaked plains to highlands, waterfalls and sandy beaches, and just about everything else in between! Sri Lanka is famed for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, and the city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's ancient capital, has ruins dating back more than 2,000 years. While you could spend your whole Sri Lankan holiday exploring the ancient ruins of the past, there’s also plenty more things to do such like chilling in beach bars, enjoying some water sports or doing some retail therapy.

4. Morocco

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

Hit up Marrakech for a few days of hectic activity staying in a riad right in the middle of all the action, then change the pace by heading to the desert for a few days before travelling by camel to Essaouira. You can fit in as much city, sea and sand as you wish in under a week! Plus, with Ryanair now flying direct to Marrakech there has never been a better time to pay Morocco a visit.

5. Cuba

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

A Caribbean island steeped in history that comes with white sandy beaches and all the rum cocktails you could ever hope for. The capital, Havana, is lined with extremely Instagram-worthy pastel houses, classic cars and 16th-century Spanish-colonial architecture. One of the stand out things about Cuba is how pleasant and welcoming all the locals are - they’re only delighted to see you. So, if you’re looking for some sun, culture and salsa - put Cuba on your list!

6. Yosemite National Park, California

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

Yosemite truly has to be seen to be believed... Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s filled with giant, ancient sequoia trees and iconic vistas of waterfalls like Bridalveil Fall and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. You need a solid 3 days to truly take in all the sights of this stunning location, so bookend your trip with a few days in San Francisco on either side to make the most of the trip. Then you can rent a car, pop a tent in the boot and explore Yosemite to your heart’s content.

7. Bali

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

If you fancy going to paradise, Bali is pretty much as close as you’ll get to it. The flights there may be a bit pricey, but once you’re there some of the most luxurious hotels are extremely inexpensive. You can opt for resort life with all-inclusive meals and drinks, or pay-as-you-go and rent beach huts along the less inhabited beaches for as little as €11 a night. The only downside is you’ll never want to put on another pair of shoes ever again after living on the glorious Balinese beaches for a few days. But that’s not so bad now, is it?

8. San José del Cabo, Mexico

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

If you fancy paying Mexico a visit but don’t want to hit up the tourist traps of Belize and Cancun - San José del Cabo, located on the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, is the place to go. Known for its long sandy beaches, ancient colonial architecture and art galleries, a trip to San Jose del Cabo lets you have a side of culture with your sunbathing. The San José missionary church, rebuilt in 1940, located in the heart of the historic district is well worth the trip, as is the San José Estuary where you can see rare species like hummingbirds and ibises. Oh, and did we mention that the food is out of this world? Get thee to San José...

9. Bolivia

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

South America is certainly a bucket-list trip, but in terms of taking in as much of it as you can, Bolivia is a good destination for a two-week trip (once you get over the jetlag!). Bolivia has an insanely varied terrain spanning Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest. No trip is complete without visiting, its administrative capital, La Paz, which at 3,500m sits on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau with Mount Illimani in the background. Nearby is Lake Titicaca, the continent’s largest lake, straddling the border with Peru. And no trip would be complete without a three-day tour of Salar de Uyuni, amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia, they’re the world’s largest salt flat and make for an otherworldly experience both during the day and at night-time.

10. Georgia

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2017

You could be forgiven for thinking that we’re talking about a state in the US, but this Georgia is quite a lot closer to home. Georgia is a former Soviet republic located right at the intersection of Europe and Asia, and is home to the breath-taking Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. Make sure to visit Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating back to the 12th century. Georgia is also one of the world’s oldest wine regions, so it’d be rude not to enjoy some wine tasting activities at Kakheti while exploring the ancient caves.

So, with all these amazing places to choose from in 2017, we want to make your next decision easier, when it comes to travel insurance check out the key benefits of Zurich Insurance, Ireland’s leading travel insurer.

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