Whether it got off to a bang or merely trundled into life, 2017 is well under way. Now that we find ourselves on the other side of winter, it’s time to throw a wrench into the works. With the trouble and strife that 2016 served up, 2017 is ours for the taking. There is no better time than the present to grab the moment by the horns and saddle ourselves up for an adventurous ride. Mixed metaphors aside, 2017 is a phenomenal time in which to travel a little off the beaten path and see the world anew. With so much change brewing out there, it’s time to give the world a look as it is now.
Forget Rome and Venice this year; Matera is the best place in which to find a serving of that Italian slice of life. Tucked down in the “boot” of Italy, the city of Matera is one of the most spectacular places in the country, despite having suffered some of the most testing financial hardships. Over the last couple of years, however, it has well and truly bounced back. Now the place is coming into its own as a top travel destination. You can expect to get up close and personal with national art treasures, exciting exhibitions, and sizzling street art in Matera, thanks to an explosion in the cultural scene. Unique hotel rooms are also surprisingly cheap, giving you the chance to stay in a historical landmark at a fraction of the price of other Italian cities.
If you’re prepared to brave the northern winds, however, Denmark might well be on your radar. While the city of Copenhagen has been making its mark on the travel scene for some years, it is the country’s second largest city that is making a buzz in 2017. Aarhus offers up a scene that is heavily ensconced in both the arts and culinary flair, giving you a chance to really whet your appetite. 2017 is also a big year for the city, thanks to a packed agenda of free cultural events and festivals. Throughout the year, you can expect to hear live music, experience unique public art installations, and attend a huge outdoor performance of a Viking saga.
South America has a whole lot going for it this year, and while you might choose to journey to any of its buzzing nations, Chile is one of the best for travel in 2017. While heading to the urban hubs is a surefire way to experience metropolitan life in the country, Chile is best known for its stunning landscapes and wilderness. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of In Patagonia, one of the most important travel books in the 20th century. As a result, the Torres del Paine National Park is a fantastic place on which to set your sights. Exploring elsewhere in the Patagonia region will also see you right, giving you the chance to experience a part of the world that has become seminal in the travel scene.
On the other side of the world, Seoul is fast becoming one of the most exciting cities in the world. Thanks to its skyscrapers, booming coffee scene, and tasty street food trucks, the city is giving other Asian travel spots a serious run for their money. With contemporary garden projects underway, the city is set to become even more picturesque this year, running ahead in the Asian travel game. The Seoul Skygarden, set to open in August 2017, has been likened to New York’s Highline, transforming an industrial part of the city that was previously overlooked. Seoul is one to watch in the coming months.
New Zealand, on the other hand, can offer you an incredible sanctuary. While any of the country’s larger cities are worth exploring, Queenstown should be high up on your travel list, particularly if you’re an adrenaline junkie. Home to some of the most terrifying bungee jump areas in the world, the city is practically pulsating with energy, which might just convince you to push yourself to the limit. This year, the city is opening its doors to a new thrill seeker activity, which has remained relatively hush-hush up to this point. Named simply the Nevis Thriller, the attraction has remained a closely guarded secret, with thrill seekers set to discover what lies in store for them in the coming months.