2016 Hottest Destinations – Every year the travel experts choose the hottest destinations and this year is no different. My two favorites this year are Georgia & Iceland.
This weekend my team and I attended the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the Big Apple. From seminars to workshops and vendors displaying information on everything from the 2016 hottest destinations to the 2016 trendiest travel products and the latest and the greatest in travel trends. So after spending 3 long days I came up with my own list and here are a few of my favorite things:
Travel to Georgia
Georgia, but not the state of, in the United States. I am referring to the little country of Georgia which is located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. To the west you will find the black sea and to the north, northeast, Russia. Head south and you will find Turkey and Armenia. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. If you have heard of Georgia you will find media coverage showing war and poverty. The war has ended and in its path it has left behind a very rich and difficult history, original cities with breathtaking landscapes, a forgotten place, an undiscovered secret, and surely not a place that travel journalists have written about, that is, until now.
For lovers of wine, like myself, Georgia invented wine – the word derives from the Georgian word “gvino”. Visit Georgia and take a journey into kindness and humanity. The people are warm, the food delicious and unique, the nightlife is vibrant and you will find yourself fascinated by the Georgian dance. Georgia boasts the most stunning landscape in all of Europe. With the Caucasian Mountains as its backdrop, the highest mountains in Europe, you will also find deep forests, and mysterious caves. Discover Georgia – it’s a hidden jewel.
If you love to ski Georgia is filled with treks and ski-runs delivering spectacular views. Tbilisi, the historic capital is crammed with ancient churches and fortresses combining the qualities of many countries in one. A trip to Georgia is a mix of the East and West, coupled with eclectic beaches and splashes of modernity. This destination is probably not on your bucket list but why not be the first in your circle to discover Georgia.
Travel to Iceland
Iceland has been called the world’s most breathtaking place in the world and it is no wonder. Forget the beaches and head to largely uninhabited Iceland where it has been rumored that trolls and fairies can be found in the painted hills. It’s magical.
According to the travel pros, more and more people are seeking extreme and isolated lands and Iceland is their top choice for 2016. Think of glaciers, volcanoes and mind blowing scenery filled with natural wonder and it’s no wonder that Iceland tops the list. In May 2015, Iceland’s second largest glacier and one of Europe’s largest glaciers, Langjokull, opened to the public. Now visitors can travel through a 500m tunnel right in the center of it all.
Looking for sensory stimulus than look no further than the Northern Lights, the aurora borealis with its bright dancing lights is more visible here since it is located just two degrees south of the Arctic Circle. During the summer season the sun never sets which is a great benefit to nature enthusiasts.
If you are in search of polar bears, seals, icebergs, and whales than you have come to the right place. Lions and tigers and bears, not so much. Despise traffic? In this neck of the woods the mode of transport is a dogsled, snowmobile and skis. Looking for heaven on earth? Iceland has a stairway that goes up the valley making it seem like they are leading the way to heaven. If you are looking for heaven on earth you might just find it in Iceland.
With more and more flights from the US travelers are finding it easier to get there. Hilton Hotels lifestyle brand Canopy will open in Reykjavik which is one of the world’s cleanest and greenest capital cities in the world.
Foodies looks no further. It is the home of a vibrant culinary scene, which is attracting gourmet aficionados to its many Michelin starred restaurants. U.S. hotel companies are also starting to see opportunities in Iceland, with Hilton introducing its new lifestyle brand Canopy in Reykjavik slated to open in mid-2016. The philosophy behind this new brand of hotel is a great neighborhood feel and Canopy is the streetlamp that will illuminate your location. To find out more about Canopy, read this great article from Conde Nast Traveler.
To quote Owen Gaddis from an article in Forbes Life, “Traveling to Iceland is like being transported to a parallel world where every waking moment is filled with adventure, incredible landscapes, folklore and understated pleasures. It will make you believe in the magical again.”
The focus today is not so much on acquiring things rather it is on the experience.
I invite you to join me on an experience of a lifetime!