Where to go next? I hope my list of most beautiful places I visited in the past year will inspire to travel to some or all of these! For me it was a year full of travel, every month I visited someplace new or seen, and in some months even more than one city or even country! Here is my list, and I promise that next year will be even more grand! You can also see the lists from previous years:
15.Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
I visited Copenhagen in the beginning of winter and I was hoping to get into Christmas mood. Denmark is a wonderful city to explore Christmas markets, hot chocolate and cute little streets! More on Copenhagen here.
14.Bumbu hill viewpoint, Latvia
Where to visit if you are in Riga that wouldn’t be far yet isn’t in the middle of the city? Bumbu hill viewpoint was a discovery for me, snowy, cold winter sunrises are the best time to visit! More on it here.
13.Kalana Port, Hiiumaa Island, Estonia
Sometimes the most beautiful places we discover by accident. I wasn’t purposefully planning to come to Kalana, but when I drove by almost at sunset, this place blew me away. No wonder people say it is like in books by Astrid Lindgren! Stony beaches, waves and wind, and the quiet village is the top spot to be in, irrespective of the season! Read more on Kalana and Hiiumaa here.
I did most of my sightseeing in Salzburg early, early in the morning as I was really pressed for time! This is the city of the Sound of Music, Mirabell castle, Leopoldskron, cable car and charming, little streets, and it is worth to visit not just in winter! Salzburg made my top 15 also last year!
Every Latvian will tell you that you have to visit Sigulda in autumn for the foliage, and I agree! This year I had a unique opportunity to be there for the very beginning of the foliage season on a special guided tour done by the mayor of the city! Read more about it here.
10.Vilsandi National Park, Saaremaa Island, Estonia
I learned about Vilsandi National Park from the employee of the tourism center on Saaremaa. This park is famous for it’s 5 km hiking trail that goes through water! It is only accessible when the tide is low and temperatures are warm. But at other times there is still plenty to do – seal watching and also fox watching, what we did accidentally when we were here! It almost seemed like fox knew who humans are, as she was coming right at as!
9.Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The former olympic town Jahorina was a pleasant surprise for my fellow travellers who ski, as the snow is excellent and prices are cheap! Bosnia left me curiously excited about the country, as it has rich Christian and Muslim heritage, in the crossroads of cultures. Read more about it here!
8.Endla Nature Reserve, Estonia
Estonia definitely was one of the most visited countries for me this year, as I went there eight times! One of the most memorable journeys was the south and north of the country, an epic 5 day roadtrip, and I could not have imagined there are so many stunning places there! I visited Narva, Kreenholm manufacture, saw highest Estonian waterfall, secret Soviet nuclear town, shale mine, most famous monastery, largest lake Peipsi and plenty of animals! One of the highlights was the Endla nature reserve bog where after a day of rain suddenly sky cleared up and we saw stunning views! If you have not yet been on a roadtrip in Estonia, you just must come! This blog post will help you plan the perfect itinerary!
It was the city of contrasts for me – second largest administrative building in the world is here, but also lawn grass that nearly reaches your armpits! Beautiful old town, affordable prices and amazing thermal spa, the largest in Europe! Usually, I am not a fan of saunas, but the ones here were truly special, with music and essential oils, Bavarian one smelling like pine trees, Provence sauna like lavender and so on!
The heart of the World Forum and also one of the most well known Swiss ski resorts, Davos, surprised me with stunning mountain views, even though I am not a skier, I enjoyed my visit a lot! If anything, this place inspired me to seriously consider learning to ski.
5.Veroli (Rome & towns around it), Italy
One of the highlights of this year was the chance to visit a true Italian wedding! I spent a couple days in Rome before it, visiting the Eternal city for the third time.
Then it was time to go to Veroli, a charming town at the top of the mountain, where my friend is from. Driving with her friends in a large jeep, conversing about clothing with her aunt from Calabria (neither of whom speak any English, and my Italian is limited to about two words), and endless food was something to remember! We also saw Abbey of Casamari (singers from Gregorian should learn from them!), famous Tivoli and Villa d’Este, Fiuggi, Campocatino ski resort in the summer and so much more!
4.Amalfi Coast and Capri, Italy
On the same trip we also went to the opposite side of Italy to Amalfi. Positano, Sorrento, Salerno, Ravello, the locations where the world’s most famous travel bloggers and celebrities come.
Houses on the cliff walls, narrow roads, driving like Italians do and adventures with car rental. We also did a day trip to famous Capri island, which came highly recommended by all my Italian friends.
3.Sakura season in Paris, France
“You have never been to France? Seriously?” people would ask me. Yes, up until this year I had never been, and finally I visited and at the best time possible, in spring! Everything was blooming, I saw so much of the city if light, as much as one can cram in a week! I have a detailed guide about the city, if you are planning a trip!
2.Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK
One of the most unusual places I have ever been, Isle of Skye, blew me away. The views were something to die for, I think we stopped on every crossing, at every pole and every corner, whether allowing or not! Check out our video as well as blog post about this stunning European pearl!
1.South Korea -Seoul, Busan, Jeju, DMZ
At last, the most beautiful, special, extraordinary and unique place I visited this year! The first place definitely belongs to Korea! I never imagines for this country to leave such a lasting impression on me. I can’t even pin one specific place as being the best. Was it the hanbok experience in Seoul or meerkats? Temples of Busan? The palpable tension at the Demilitarized zone? Volcanic past of Jeju? I want to come back as soon as I can, as this is a place I could imagine myself living in. Organized, beautiful and something from the future. Springs and autumns are supposedly excellent, and now I want to visit it in every season!