5 Exciting Countries That Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

LIFESTYLE  |  January 07, 2017
  • 1. Iceland
    1 / 5 1. Iceland

    A Nordic island nation, Iceland is best known for its dramatic other worldly landscape, active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields and glaciers. Its capital, Reykjavik, is alive with thrumming restaurants, galleries and cafés and is also the perfect gateway to, of course, view the Northern Lights.

    What to experience: Sip on champagne, as you soak in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa surrounded by lava fields, about 40km south west of Reykjavik.

    Photo: Suranga Weeratunga / www.123rf.com

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  • 2. Japan
    2 / 5 2. Japan

    A destination that, for the first time in recent years, is topping all the must-visit lists, Japan is a country with dense cities, mountainous landscapes, and a rich culinary tradition. And while many visitors tend to head to Tokyo, the cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido, are fast becoming destinations in their own rights.

    What to experience: Sleep on a traditional tatami bed, and soak in an outdoor hot spring bath – or an onsen – in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.

    Photo: ymgerman / www.123rf.com

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  • 3. Croatia
    3 / 5 3. Croatia

    A country that offers the best combination of spectacular natural beauty, a dazzling coastline, interesting architecture, exquisite wines and delicious seafood. The country isn’t just about its white sandy beaches; further inland, Zagreb is grabbing attention, not least for its culture, arts, music and gastronomy.

    What to experience: Grab a cup of coffee atop Mount Srd-, while taking in spectacular views of the old city of Dubrovnik, one of the most iconic views in Eastern Europe.

    Photo: Andrey Omelyanchuk / www.123rf.com

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  • 4. Cuba
    4 / 5 4. Cuba

    Timeworn and dilapidated, Cuba is economically poor, but culturally rich. A country where the clocks have stopped for decades, head there now, before it is swiftly transferred into the 21st century. And with superb diving and fishing, Cuba offers the diversity few Caribbean islands can rival.

    What to experience: Take a walk at sunset along Malecón, Havana’s shabby 8km -long sea drive, and a quintessentially Cuban thoroughfare.

    Photo: Konstantin Aksenov / www.123rf.com

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  • 5. Taiwan
    5 / 5 5. Taiwan

    With delicious food, in a lush mountainous landscape, Taiwan has remained largely undiscovered and underrated, making it one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. And while a visit to Taipei is a definite must, Kaohsiung, the country’s largest port and second city, is a modern urban landscape dotted with airy cafes, bicycle lanes and cultural venues.

    What to experience: Meander around Taipei’s Tonghua Night Market, a lively spot that has a little bit of everything for everyone. Make sure you sample the rice-wine sweet dumplings in ice.

    Photo: outcast85 / www.123rf.com

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