2016 was the year I began ticking places off the bucket list. From exploring the secluded beaches of the Algarve Coast, to dancing the night away along the romantic streets of Havana, I managed to cover quite some ground even while on an 8-month stay-cation in Florida. With a lot to look forward to in the New Year, here are some of my highlights from 2016, and the places I plan to visit in 2017.
I think it’s safe to say Spain stole the show...
I kicked the New Year off with my best friend as we explored the sexy streets of Havana and the Cuban countryside. Initially we thought 5 days would be enough to see the entire island, and boy were we wrong! Even though we barely scratched the surface, we did get a little taste of what this amazing country has to offer solely through wandering around Havana and staying at homestays each night. The warmth of the people and the untouched sights are among the many things that left us in awe. (CUBA)
One of the most laid-back (and semi-deserted) islands I’ve ever been to, Anguilla is the place to be for a proper getaway filled with sun, sand and solitude. If relaxation is your holiday goal, you can't get any better than this! It even makes for a great day trip or 'escape' from its neighbours, St. Barth’s & St. Maarten. (ANGUILLA)
Beside Berlin, this is probably the only other landlocked city in Europe I will continue to revisit. The mellow vibe and inviting atmosphere of Sevilla makes up for it's lack of ocean, and that’s saying a lot coming from me! With an abundance of delicious tapas, sexy rooftops and flamenco shows, this Andalusian capital will be sure to impress even the pickiest of travelers. (SEVILLA)
Menorca was hands down my favourite place I went to in all of 2016. The island is a goldmine for picture perfect beaches and coastal hiking where you can explore the many 'calas' at your leisure (if you even care to leave the first beach you set your eyes on). I spent a solid 4 days hiking, swimming and exploring the island by vespa, however, I could have easily stayed here for the entire summer. (MENORCA)
The Algarve Coast, Portugal
I would say you could spend about 2 months exploring the Algarve and manage not to see the same beach twice. The coast is filled with some breathtaking gems, and if you're lucky or traveling during off season, you may even be the only person on the sand. (PORTUGAL)
Gran Canaria, Spain
With almost 100+ different beaches on the island, Gran Canaria has something for everyone. Encompassing a vibe similar to the Pacific coast of Central America, even if you aren't a beach person, the crystal clear rock pools and laid-back Afro-Spanish culture will be sure to captivate your interest during your stay on this unique island. (GRAN CANARIA)
Going on a road trip and surfing the coast of Morocco has been on my bucket list for ages, and while I didn’t necessarily fulfill that dream yet, spending almost a week in the small surf town of Taghazout gave me a great intro to the lively surf culture of Morocco. If you're in or around Marrakech and have a few days to spare, catching the first bus to Agadir then down to Taghazout is a must and will be a nice break from the chaos of the major Moroccan cities.
If you’re looking for a place that is summer in a nutshell, then this is the island for you! With some of the most beautiful beaches and sunsets in the Mediterranean, the warm sparkling shores of Ibiza will steal your heart and keep you coming back for more. (IBIZA)
As promised, here are the 17 countries I plan to visit in 2017. Looking forward to sharing my adventure with you!
2. Sri Lanka
12. Bosnia and Herzegovina