Where will you go this year? We’ve selected ten destinations from all corners of the world- from the holy shrines of Bhaktapur and Nashik, the intoxicating blue waters of Koutouloufari, to the fortified cities of Albarracín and Aït Benhaddou- each unique place will bedazzle and fascinate you. Here are your ultimate bucket list destinations!
The Bucket List
1. Aït Benhaddou, Morocco*- This fortified city awes visitors for its secret labyrinths and clustering clay towers perched high along the Atlas mountain range. There are only a handful of families that inhabit this 17th century UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. Koutouloufari, Greece- Located along the sunny coasts of Crete, Koutouloufari gives visitors a quiet retreat on the hillsides of Mount Harakas. It’s just a hop and skip away from the busy Port of Heronissos where visitors can find shops, cafes, bars, water sports, and wander along the dreamy beaches.
3. Bhaktapur, Nepal*– Former capital city of Nepal, Bhaktapur amazes newcomers for its untouched shrines of gods and old bazars that date back to the 8th century. Discover the Golden gate, Nepal’s most cherished treasure, where it guards a palace filled with 55 exquisite wooden windows, tortuous stairwells, and ornate golden accents.
4. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina*– Famous for its remodelled 16th century Ottoman bridge, Mostar stands proudly as an UNESCO World Heritage. The city’s picturesque views and emerald green Neretva River can intrigue anyone who has an appreciation for beauty.
5. Pingyao, China*– Is a well-preserved ancient city showing a dignified architectural and urban example of the Han People since the 14th century. With nearly 4,000 existing shops, traditional dwellings, and 2,000 existing painted sculptures made from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this city reveals Pingyao’s once economic prosperity. The past makes it a perfect destination for history enthusiasts.
6. Nashik, Maharashtra, India- A pilgrimage for Hindus, Nashik holds some of the most stunning holy temples on Earth. Nashik bedazzles the wanderer who seeks enlightenment. As an epicentre of commerce and trade, Ptolemy- a famous Greek philosopher- made a note in 150 BC stating Nashik as one of the largest ancient market places.
7. Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal- Portugal’s one and only National Park inspires visitors to take in this country’s natural beauty. Walk along narrow shepherd trails and the ancient footpaths of Roman roads; it’s a perfect retreat for the eco-tourist.
8. Sucre, Bolivia*– Known as the city with four names- Sucre, La Plata, Charcas, or Ciudad Blanca, this unique wonder has an enticing wealth of historical architecture deserving its destination as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
9. Albarracín, Spain– Fascinating visitors with its fortified enclosure, this former Moorish capital has a well-kept Islamic and medieval influence. Explore samples of post-Palaeolithic art reigning from 6000B.C.E and 1000 C.E. Additional sites include an 18 kilometre-long Roman aqueduct that went from Albarracín to Cella.
10. Manitou Springs, Colorado, USA– It’s the gateway to Colorado’s most visited park and holds a most captivating geological wonder, the Garden of the Gods. This beloved red rock valley has meaningful historical roots to the Native American Ute, Comanche, Apache, Kiowa, Shoshone, Cheyenne, Pawnee and Lakota tribes.
*UNESCO World Heritage Site