Top 10 Travel Destinations
National Geographic magazine recently released a top ten list of the best travel spots in the world. The list was based on aesthetic appeal, cultural integrity, environmental conditions, condition of historic structures and tourism management. Here is the list they chose, along with some general information about each and why you might want to consider the area for your next travel vacation.
1) Norwegian Fjords: One of the great wonders of the world, the tall peaks of Norway plunge down into watery canals that are one of the trademarks of Norway. There is no other scenery like it on earth, and combined with the Old World rustic appeal of the country there is no better destination. Tourists can explore the region themselves and plan their own trip, which can include every single activity you could imagine, from fishing to hiking, sailing to sight-seeing. You could also take advantage of one of the many travel agencies both local and international who offer planned trips to this region, which includes cruise options as well as land based opportunities.
2) Cape Breton Island, Canada: Cape Breton Island is in Eastern Canada, just off the coast of Nova Scotia. The island offers a unique blend of Gaelic, French, and English cultures. The area is famous for its folk music and cheap, fresh seafood. Explore the Island yourself or go through an established travel agency!
3) South Island, New Zealand: The South Island of New Zealand offers highly diversified opportunities for the traditional and eco-tourist alike. The Island encompasses a wide range of ecosystems, from ocean to mountains and everything in between. The landscape offers incredible diversity in vacation opportunities, including kayaking, surfing, caving, and other recreational activities. The Island is separated from the rest of New Zealand by the spectacular Southern Alps, and the isolation has allowed the culture to evolve in relative isolation, bringing a unique blend into the modern day with the right touch of polite hospitality.
4) Torres del Paine, Chile: Another unique blend of mountain and coast, the Torres Del Paine offers a huge amount of diversity to the traveler. The area includes several National Parks, and tourists can have once in a lifetime experiences, watching the annual migration of the humpback whale in the oceans bordering the area. The area is devoted to tourism, and there are several developed services that specialize in accommodating foreigners with maximum convenience and comfort.
5) Tasmania, Australia: The island of Tasmania offers a breathtaking experience, because of its biodiversity. Tasmania offers every type of tourist attraction possible, and its ecological niche is even more specialized than the Australian mainland. If you are on extended travel vacation, the province is only a short ferry ride away from the rest of the country.
6) Rocky Mountain parks, Canada: There are four National Parks in a row in the Rocky Mountain range of Canada, running through the two provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Combined, these parks offer some of the best adventure and recreational sport travel opportunities in the world, along with unique scenery and incredible biodiversity. Banff and Jasper are perhaps the most famous parks, with Banff being a mere hour drive from the city of Calgary. Yoho and Revelstoke also offer great opportunities for skiers and hikers.
7) Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom: The perfect combination of cultural appeal and natural beauty. The towering mountains offer all the recreational choices of young fold ranges. For the sightseer, there are various opportunities. Natural attractions include the Corrieshaloch Gorge and the fabled Loch Ness, many castles and ancient cairns. The area offers opportunities all time of the year, from spring alpine blooms to fall foliage.
8) Kruger National Park, South Africa: Surprisingly, this park located along the border with Mozambique is the only African safari destination in the top ten. This could be due to its historical origins as one of the first protected areas in Africa. Kruger encompasses two ecosystems, dry savanna in the north and open grassland in the south. There is a huge variety of wildlife in the area, including all the African (rhino, elephant, leopard, lion, and Cape Buffalo), antelope, giraffe, wild dogs, and many other species. The Park is also located in one of the most politically stable regions of Africa, unaffected by the high crime that embroils the rest of the country.
9) Kyoto historic district, Japan: If you have watched “Memories of a Geisha” you could imagine the appeal of this area, ninth on the list. Ancient Buddhist temples, wooden townhouses, and geisha houses bound in a modern day reflection of ancient Japanese glory. The area is abundant with detailed Japanese architecture, from gardens to bridges, nobility houses and public work buildings.
10) Quebec City historic city center, Canada: Quebec City is the French cultural heart of Canada. It is the only city in North America that has preserved its colonial ramparts and also incorporates all of the old trappings of fortresses, such as bastions and towers. The area is also considered to be a World Heritage Centre.