Blog, Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovenia

Top Destinations to Visit in 2018

With just a couple more months left from 2017, it’s this exciting time of year again when we can start looking into the next year and plan for 2018’s travel adventures. I know you might feel a bit nostalgic that 2017 has gone too quickly, it certainly flew by for me, but what a better way to cheer yourself up than thinking about Where To Next? To help with all the thinking and planning, I asked 14 travel bloggers (myself included) to recommend their most favourite place to visit in 2018. Recommendations are ordered alphabetically so definitely go down the whole list 🙂

 

Berat, Albania – Kate at A Backpack Full of Dreams

 

Berat

”Berat is an incredible UNESCO protected town, tucked away in the middle of Albania. It sure beats the fast pace of the capital, if you’re looking to break up the trip between Tirana and  Sarande. The buses run this route daily, and drop you off at the main bus station, slightly out of town. You can catch a bus into the old town, or just get a taxi, they are both super cheap! The hostels in Berat are all beautiful, you’ll find yourself at home wherever you end up. It’ll leave you time to explore the citadel on the top of the city (which is still inhabited!) and walk the walking street with the locals at night.”

For more on Kate’s time in Berat and what to expect, check out her post.

 


Berchtesgaden, Germany – Melissa at Busking The World

 

Berchtesgaden National Park

” Berchtesgaden National Park is hidden away in the south of Germany, near the Austrian border. Last year we saw a picture of the place and knowing nothing about it, decided to go this year. It turned out to one of our favourite locations on the trip! We would definitely recommend this place if you’re into cool, alpine landscapes and beautiful scenery. On a sunny day, the water in the Königssee was some of the clearest and bluest we’ve ever seen. It is also the deepest lake in Germany. The sunsets and night sky here are amazing.

You can take a trip out on the lake for a day or half a day. The boats themselves are really unique and made from wood, run by electric. The most popular sight to see in the area is the baroque style pilgrimage church called St. Bartholomew. You can easily reach the church from the lakeshore in a boat trip. The church has a really unique design, but just the lake itself is worth a trip to see. High up above the lake is Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest to visit, if you are into World War II history.”

For more temptation from Kate’s Berchtesgaden National Park read Melissa’s post.

 


Bled, Slovenia – Marchela at The Global Eyes

 

Bled

Cuddled at the bottom of Slovenia’s Karawanks mountains, Bled is a tiny picturesque town that will wow you with its gorgeous 360 degree mountain views, stunning absolutely huge lake, not surprisingly called Bled, and beautiful island peacefully sitting in the middle of the lake, housing Bled’s oldest Gothic church. You could fall into the trap of thinking that Bled is too small to offer much but you’ll be surprised how much you can do with just a few days in Bled.

From venturing into the nature in Vintgar Gorge, to riding down Straža hill on a toboggan, swimming in the lake and indulging in the famous sweet delight, the Bled cake, you’ll quickly realise how special and active your stay in Bled can be. To make it even more tempting for you to visit, Bled is conveniently located just two hours away from Ljubjana and is super close to lake Boninj, Slovenia’s largest lake, and mount Triglav, the country’s highest mountain, both of which are excellent for hiking, picnic or just wandering around and admiring the nature.

There’s too much to miss if you don’t visit Bled at one point so do check out my post on all things Bled.

 


Cagliari , Sardinia – Geri at When Woman Travels

 

Cagliari

”My favourite place this year was the capital of Sardinia, Cagliari. It is a medium-sized city and great for exploration on foot. Cagliari has a Mediterranean atmosphere with a unique culture and very pleasant local people. I would even say that in Sardinia you will find the friendliest Italians.

Sardinia is the second largest Italian island but as it is situated in the middle between the European and African continents, it is a quite unique place. Influenced culturally by both and having a climate that is more African than European, Sardinia is a beautiful and warm place to visit all year round.

Cagliari, as a city, offers all the delights of an Italian destination – narrow streets where the life is bubbling and enticing smell of cooking mixes with the laundry hanging under on the terraces; artisanal ice cream shop offering dozens of flavours; coffee short and dark as is sometimes life. Cagliari is safe to travel solo, is cheaper than many Italian destinations and most of the time is sunny! There are many sites to visit too. It has four districts, each one of them with its distinctive features and points of interest. And if you want to see something REALY amazing, go to Cagliari for May 1st, for the festival of Sant’Efisio.”

 


Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic – Jerrica at Jerr’s Journey To

 

Cesky Krumlov

”Cesky Krumlov is a tiny town sitting on the Vltava River in south Czechia.  You can walk from one end of this beautiful town to the other in less than 20 minutes, although I recommend spending at least a few days here to fully soak up the picturesque scenery.  Meander along the cobblestone streets, stop in at the cute little shops selling gingerbread, and dine at restaurants serving traditional Czech food and delicious hot mead.  The castle, which dates back to 1240 and sits atop a hill overlooking the riverside cafes, has expansive gardens to explore and a rotating, outdoor auditorium that offers shows in the summer.  If you are looking for a European getaway that gets you outside the big cities, Cesky Krumlov is the perfect place to relax and unwind. I fell in love with this special place within the first 10 minutes.”

Take a peek into Jerrica’s trip by reading her post.

 


Dingle Peninsula, Ireland – Ally at Tripcor Travel

 

”For its relatively small size, you could spend a month exploring Ireland and still not see it all.  The country is home to one hidden gem after another.  The West Coast is arguably home to the country’s most brilliant scenery with jaw-dropping cliffs and charming towns along the way.  You may have heard of the Ring of Kerry, the West’s most famous driving route; but its little sister, the Slea Head Drive, is still under-hyped and thus a worthy alternative. A half-day drive will take you around the Dingle Peninsula to see hidden beaches and rocky coastlines.  The route is based in the charming town of Dingle, where the pubs are still frequented by locals more than tourists and hotels are bargain prices.  It’s the perfect spot to kick back with a Guinness after a day full of exploring the country side.  With its fresh seafood, charming locals, and stunning views, what more could you ask for in a destination?”

 


El caminito del Rey, Spain – Natasha at Life In Miniature Pictures

 

”El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Pathway) is a walkway, pinned some 100 meters high, along the steep walls of a natorrw gorge in El Chorro, in the province of Málaga. The route is 7.7 km long, following the river from Ardales in the north to Álora in the south. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even spot some tiny frogs in the small caves en-route. Once known as the “world’s most dangerous walkway”, having fallen into disrepair, the walkway was closed for over a decade, and only re-opened in 2015.  So, despite being over 100 years old, it’s still quite a new experience for 2018 and can be enjoyed safely by anyone (aged 8+), whilst rocking a fashionable white helmet!

Although it may have lost some of its thrill factor, it’s still not an activity for those of a nervous disposition.  The one-meter wide path offers several spectacular glass floor sections and culminates with a hanging bridge suspended more than 100m off the Gaintanes gorge. Add to this the fact that the old Caminito has been left below; with the huge chunks of missing path and rusted poles, your mind certainly takes you back to the thrilling nature of the previous trail.”

 


Faroe Islands – Phoebe at Kaptain Kenny Travel

 

”In all my years of travel, I couldn’t have prepared for what the Faroe Islands presented to me this June. Imagine this: you are walking alone and there isn’t a car to be seen. Human contact is rare. However, contact with animals and scenery is higher than you’ve ever experienced in any other place. You’ll see loads of Atlantic sheep with their babies. You’ll watch all kinds of weird and wonderful birds – picture Faroese oyster-catchers, with their long, protruding orange beaks. Or the clownish Atlantic puffin, a bird I had only dreamed of seeing. I ended up walking through one of the largest colonies in the world on the Faroe island of Mykines.

Due to its remoteness and peacefulness, you will have plenty of time to think. The Faroe Islands will make you compare yourself, a small human being, to the grandiose size of its nature. You will witness untouched beauty, waterfalls as high as the sky and unfathomable shades of green. Yes, I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime and there’s surely beauty to be found everywhere. But there’s been no place just yet which compares to the Faroe Islands. It’s my hot tip for travel – get there before everyone else does.”

To read more on the magic  of the Faroe islands, don’t miss out on reading Phoebe’s post.

 


Lisbon, Portugal – Alice at Nomadic Inside

 

Lisbon

”Laundry put outside the windows to dry. Colourful facades and white pavements. Endless walks up the hill. Relaxed people strolling in the city centre. The waitress who spoke only Portuguese and didn’t accept my debit card because she wanted the ”real money”. Wild rocks and waves in the most Western point in Europe. A fairy-tale castle on top of a mountain. These are just a few memories of Lisbon and its surroundings that I’ll always carry with me. For a great part of my life I’ve loved to travel, but for some reason I’ve always ignored Portugal.

When I was living in Spain, I never thought of going there even if I was very close. Finally, this year, almost by chance, I visited Lisbon and spent a week there. It was the best trip of the year and I would recommend everyone to buy tickets straightaway and go! When I started talking about Lisbon in my blog, I realised that so many people, like me, when discovering this European capital often left impressed. Everyone seemed in love with Lisbon and I could very well understand why.”

Alica has dedicated 2 blogs to Lisbon and the nearby places which you can read here.

 


Montenegro – Katie and Michael at Budget Bucketlisters

 

Montenegro

”Montenegro is growing in popularity and for good reason! Completely surrounded by mountains, the city of Kotor boasts breathtaking views and offers a wide variety of activities including hiking, shopping, sailing, dining, and of course, sightseeing. Just a short drive up into Durmitor National Park you will find mountain biking, hiking or snow skiing depending on which season you visit. Other popular cities include Perast, an adorable seaside town, Budva, with its beautiful beach, and Herceg Novi, with access to the Blue Cave. Montenegro rivals Croatia with its fortress, stunning panoramic views, and cheaper prices. You will find however, that while most people speak English, Montenegro as a whole, is less touristy than Croatia, which we loved. The food scene is also worth mentioning! Walking the streets lined with pomegranate and mandarin trees, you will wonder why you didn’t visit Montenegro sooner!”

For more on why you should add Montenegro to your bucket list, read Katie and Michael’s post.

 


Prague, Czech Republic – Tania at Abi’s Insights

 

Prague

”I fell in love with Prague because it’s such an enchanting city with so much beauty, it’s rich with history and there is lots to see and do! Almost everything is discoverable by foot (which is my ideal way to explore a new place) and there are many beautiful landmarks and attractions. It has so much to offer with a great range of options for dining out and nightlife. Not only did I love experiencing Czech food and beer for the first time, I loved the range of multicultural cuisines on offer!”

For a very comprehensive guide on Prague, read Tania’s post here.

 


Reykjavik, Iceland – Emma at This Teacher Travels

 

Iceland

”Reykjavik will always be one of my favourite cities. Despite it having a higher price tag than some of its European counterparts, the experience of spending a few days in this wonderful city is priceless. Spend a few days wandering around Reykjavik’s colourful streets, stopping to grab a cake or even one of the city’s famous hot dogs if you’re a little hungry. Climb to the top of Hallgrískirkja (or take the elevator!) for unrivalled views of the city. Walk along the seafront and take in the views of the Sun Voyager, especially during sunset. If you’re lucky, catch a performance at the beautiful Harpa – if not, just have your breath taken away as you admire its beautiful architecture.

From Reykjavik, you can also do some interesting road trips … The Golden circle can be done in a day and no trip is complete without a trip to a hot spring, the Blue Lagoon being the most famous. With a little more time, there are plenty of longer trips to take. Iceland in general is just a fantastic place to, made ever more welcoming by its unbelievably friendly people. If you haven’t already, put Reykjavik flights on your Christmas wishlist… you won’t regret it!”

To plan your Iceland adventure, read Emma’s post here.

 


Sighisoara, Romania – Oana and Cristian at Around The Compass

 

Sighisoara

”Sighișoara is a medieval citadel in the Transylvanian region of Romania built by the Saxons in the 12th century. The city itself is not big. The old town is situated in the hilltop citadel, encircled by fortified walls and the remaining 9 towers, and is mainly pedestrianised, with ice cream coloured houses which are full of history, medieval cafes and other amazing places to see. Nowadays when nothing is threatening the citadel, the towers serve different purposes, from a museum to housing the local radio station and the home of the cemetery caretaker. The most impressive one is the Clock tower which has become the symbol of Sighișoara and can be seen from almost every corner of the citadel. You can visit the tower for a 360 view over the city. On each level as you climb to the top, there are different bits of the town’s history making up the History Musem of Sighișoara. Other things to see in Sighisoara: Dracula’s birthplace (Vlad Dracul), the Church on the Hill and the covered Stairway. Or you can relax with a coffee in a medieval café. The best way to discover this small fortified city is to stroll around its streets. A more in-depth Sighisoara travel guide is also available.”

 


Sofia, Bulgaria – Maria at Travelling Buzz

 

Sofia

”Sofia is one of the rising new destinations on the European map. And not without a reason. The Bulgarian capital is everything you need for a nice weekend getaway – vibrant atmosphere, good food and plenty of things to do. Most of hte popular sites are located in walking distance from each other so a day or two for sightseeing are enough. Use the other time just to wander around the streets, meet locals, eat delicious meals and just feel the city. There are also plenty of opportunities for day trips from Sofia. You can do to Plovdiv – a charming town just an hour and a half away from the capital, or to Rile Monastery, Seven Rile Lakes, Bansko or others. Also, a big plus for Sofia is the Vitosha mountain. Going on top, in Kopitoto area, for a great sunset view is one of my favourite things to do.”

To make sure you don’t miss out on the traditional tasty foods, see Maria’s post here.

 


Looking at this tempting list, it’s guaranteed that 2018 will be a year of adventure and exciting travel.

WHERE WILL YOU GO? 

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