Top Countries to Visit in 2017

There are a number of must visit countries in 2017 and for me, it was really hard to choose just a handful. The deciding factors came down to affordability, diversity in culture and scenery, and novelty (at least for me). So without further ado, here are my picks.

Must Visit Countries in 2017

United Kingdom

Tower of London Day. must visit countries
Tower of London Day

I’ve always had a soft spot for the United Kingdom (UK) and thanks to the results of the Brexit vote last year, it also became a more affordable place to visit. Comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the UK has plenty to offer a novice or experienced traveler. For starters, there’s London, a sprawling metropolis with some of the greatest museums and infamous attractions. Step into Westminster Abbey, one of the largest in the world, where monarchs going back to Edward the Confessor were crowned or get a glimpse of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, the 11th century castle built by William the Conqueror. Further north, you have the cities of York and Edinburgh, both deemed UNESCO World Heritage sites whose architecture will transport you back some 500 years or so.

Trinity College Cambridge. must visit countries
Trinity College Cambridge

If you’re a fan of history, you’ll have plenty of places to explore, from the famous university towns of Oxford and Cambridge to the maritime city of Liverpool where the greatest musical quartet hailed from. In the southwest, places like Bath and Brighton will provide you with completely different views of English history and further north into Scotland, you’ll get the opportunity to walk the grounds poets such as Robert Burns and warriors like Richard III once stood. You can also pay a visit to one of the many castles and palaces that held important roles in English history. As one of the countries in the old world, whose empire once occupied a quarter of the world, it’s easy to understand why the UK will always be a fascinating country to visit for history buffs.

must visit countries in 2017
Larrybane Quarry via Flickr by Jerry Dohnal, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It’s not just ancient castles and big cities in the UK. England has plenty of natural scenic beauty too. There’s the Lake District, the often-overlooked portion of the country, tucked away on the northwest corner of England. Then there’s the picturesque Cotswolds. Located in the heart of England, it features some of the most charming small towns in the country. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then you’re likely familiar with places such as Larrybane Quarry, Ballintoy Harbour, Downhill Beach, Cushendun Caves, Portstewart Strand and The Dark Hedges.

Culture, history and scenic beauty; the UK has it all. And with the favorable exchange rates this year, it wasn’t really hard to justify why it’s one of my picks for must visit countries in 2017.

Chile

For most people who travel from the United States, it’s easy to forget about South America. Often overshadowed by the continent across the Atlantic, the neighboring countries down south have just as much, if not more, to offer the curious and adventurous traveler. One of those must visit countries is Chile, where it’s possible for you to explore a vibrant city like Santiago, watch a spectacular sunset in the world’s driest desert and hike the snowy peaks of the Patagonian mountains all in one trip.

Torres del Paine. must visit countries
Torres del Paine via Flickr by Julian-G. Albert, CC BY 2.0

For most travelers, the sense of adventure is what motivates their desire to visit Chile. There’s plenty of hiking, from the vast and barren landscape of the Atacama Desert to the country’s stunning national park, Torres del Paine, located at its southern tip. Depending on preference, visitors can explore the wind-carved dunes and salt flats at Atacama. If glacial lakes and towering peaks are more your idea of beauty then take a gander at the infamous hike (either by foot or with horses and gauchos) to Las Torre/The Towers. The views are guaranteed to take your breath away. The same can be said with the walk to the French Valley and the ferry ride to Glacier Grey.

Easter Island. must visit countries
Easter Island Monoliths via Flickr by Mayumi Ishikawa, CC BY SA 2.0

Another main attraction for visitors to Chile is the remote and volcanic Easter Island. A territory claimed by the Chileans, it is famous for the giant head monoliths built by Polynesians several centuries ago. It is one of the most isolated islands on Earth, but also one of the most dramatically beautiful island.

Have you been to the UK or Chile? Where did you stay during your travels? What did you eat? Share your travel stories and tips as to why these two deserve spots on must visit countries in 2017.

Top Countries to Visit in 2017 – Part II

About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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