People’s Choice – Top 10 Countries To Visit In 2016

Selected destinations have just competed for the prestigious title of people’s choice of top 10 countries to visit in 2016. What follows is a countdown of the top ten countries to visit in 2016. The annual “best of” collection also compiles top cities — Kotor, Montenegro got the no.1 spot this year — and regions, which was topped by Transylvania, Romania. All of the 2016 must-dos, including more than a dozen additional destination lists, are published in the newest edition of the bestselling paperback Best in Travel guide from Lonely Planet.

  1. Australia – At this moment, on all fronts, Australia is simply—as the kids say—crushing it. Its food culture is as inventive and influential as any today, with marquee chefs beating paths here (g’day, René Redzepi!). The country’s style quotient is on a similar trajectory—just ask Sydney tastemakers like Sibella Court, Maurice Terzini, Justin Hemmes, and Megan Morton. And there will always be its natural beauts—The Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, the wine lands of Victoria—while Tasmania and Perth call us to explore the country’s farther reaches.
  1. Fiji – The tropical archipelago in the South Pacific surmounted a decade of political unease to emerge as one of the top countries to visit in 2016. The Lonely Planet team extols Fiji for activities like diving (it’s the “soft coral capital of the world”) the new fad flyboarding (a jet-propelled hover board you can ride over the water) and fire-walking— the last as a spectator, of course.
  1. Spain – You could drive two hours in any direction from Madrid and come upon an enchanting medieval village—and while we love Toledo and Salamanca, we’re headed next to Pedraza, north of the capital city, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. Here, you’ll find fortresses and buildings dating back to the 1500s, centuries-old cobblestone streets that are awash in candlelight during summer nights, and epic roast lamb lunches that have made the town famous.
  1. Sri Lanka – If you’re lost, this is where you can find yourself. Fill a backpack and take the island’s “charmingly decrepit” railway to wherever. Buy fritters and curry dishes from train hawkers, look out onto seemingly endless fields of tea, and hop off to see sites like the Golden Temple of Dambulla and the famous markets of Pettah.
  1. Thailand – Whether you choose to eat your way through Bangkok, island hop around Phuket, or board the glamorous Eastern & Oriental Express, Thailand will seduce you with its vibrant culture, exotic cuisine, and Utopian resorts. Recently there’s been a rise in holistic health and wellness resorts, where you can detox and refuel with yoga and Ayurvedic spa treatments.
  1. Belgium – Brussels, the capital of 500 million Europeans, is waiting to share its treasures and talents with you and to tell you its story. It has an ability to adapt to its visitors: no matter when you come, there’s always something happening here; no matter how long you stay, there are several different ways to experience Brussels, each with some brilliant surprises in store.
  1. Greece – In the midst of a financial disaster, a spate of new museums, hip hotels and shops, and pop-ups are spurring a cultural renaissance in the capital city. For travelers, the turquoise waters and salt air of Mykonos will always be a draw.
  1. Cuba – Travellers have been saying “now is the time to visit” Cuba for years, but with the re-establishment of US–Cuban relations last year, the statement holds more weight than ever today. The resulting increase in tourism, investment and consumer culture is set to cause radical changes on the island.
  1. France – The country that gave us cabaret, Champagne, and hundreds of cheese varietals is one of the most romantic places on earth. In the springtime — an excellent season for a trip to France.
  1. Italy – Who can resist the call of pasta and beautiful people? Italy is all about leisure — sip wine for hours in Venice’s Piazza San Marco, make friends with a hammock on a villa in Tuscany, or find a spot on the cliffs of Riomaggiore with a good book.
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