It seems that it was just yesterday that we were celebrating New Year 2016 in Dubai and now it’s almost time to toast to the happy 2017… This year just flew by and I can’t believe all the things we did and all the places we visited this year. I was a bit hesitant whether I would do a 2016 year review post, but here it is – a short overview of some of the most memorable travel experiences from 2016. With one purpose, and one purpose only – I hope it will inspire you to travel more!
Best of travel 2016
Most fun for the kids – winter toboggan in Switzerland
I don’t even know what the kids liked more about our winter break 2016 – skiing or winter toboggan. Anyhow, toboggan is one of the reasons why we are going back to the same place again next year. I have to admit that I enjoyed it just as much! For those of you who are wondering where this is, you can read our post about skiing in Engelberg and our stay at Berghotel Trübsee.
The most unforgettable experience – Boiling River, Yellowstone NP
On our way to Yellowstone National Park we met a family from Montana who had just visited the park. They told us about this incredible experience – swimming in a warm, geyser-fed mountain river and we just had to try it. Bathing in the warm jacuzzi-like mountain river is definitely one of the most memorable experiences of 2016! Here you can read more about this and other fun things to do in Yellowstone with kids.
Best hotel – Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park
They say you just have to stay at the Old Faithful Inn if you visit Yellowstone. We booked our trip a year in advance and there was just one night available at this hotel end July – beginning of August, so we booked it and then planned the rest of the trip around it. Was it worth it? Absolutely! So much history, incredible architecture and an amazing location in Yellowstone National Park. Here you can find more tips for Yellowstone accommodation.
The hottest experience – Arches NP, USA
We expected it to be hot in Utah in July, but we were definitely not ready for the temperatures of well above 40°C (105°F). Despite of the heat, we managed to see and do a lot. Arches National Park exceeded all our expectations. You can read more about the Delicate Arch trail – the most beautiful hike we did in Arches National Park.
The coldest experience – Mount Titlis, Switzerland
Spending a couple of hours on top of a 3,238 m (10,600 ft) mountain in winter is about as much cold as one can handle. We were lucky to visit on a beautiful sunny day and could enjoy these amazing views over the Swiss Alps. You can read more about our visit to Mount Titlis in Engelberg Switzerland.
The wettest experience – Giethoorn, the Netherlands
Who in his right mind would go on a little boat in the pouring rain… We got soaking wet in Giethoorn; so wet that it literally took us hours to dry. Still can’t believe that nobody caught a cold.
The most beautiful hike – Oeschinensee Switzerland
If you do just one hike in Switzerland, make it this one. It’s not for nothing that a mountain lake gets into the UNESCO World Heritage List! Read our post about hiking at Oeschinensee with kids.
The steepest stairs – Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone National Park
Going down the 328 steps was easy, but the 150 meter climb on the way back had left us all breathless.
Best sunrise – Maroon Bells Colorado
It was well worth it getting up early to see the Maroon Bells at their best. No wonder it’s the most photographed mountain landscape in the U.S.
Best sunset – Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah, USA
We were a bit late for the sunset and couldn’t get to the Dead Horse Point in time, so we stopped here, took out our picnic and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful sunsets of the year.
Strangest place – De Ruien in Antwerp, Belgium
The underground canals and sewers in Antwerp Belgium is definitely one of the strangest places we visited. It was nice to experience something so ancient and different. You can read about our off the beaten path day in Antwerp with kids in our previous post.
The most beautiful forest – Hallerbos in Belgium
Blue as far as an eye can see. Walking in the Hallerbos forest was like walking in a fairytale book!
Best off the beaten path discovery – Quartiere Coppedè in Rome, Italy
One of the unexpected discoveries was the Quartiere Coppede in Rome. I loved getting a bit off the beaten path in Rome and discovering parts of the eternal city that most tourists never see.
The most beautiful road – scenic drive at Arches National Park in Utah U.S.
We drove so many miles again this year. It was difficult to choose just one favourite road, but here it is – the incredibly scenic road through Arches National Park in Utah. Here you can find more inspiration from our American summer road trip itinerary.
Best day trip – Kinderdijk in the Netherlands
We made many day trips in Belgium and the Netherlands this year. A day visiting the UNESCO heritage site with windmills of Kinderdijk was one of my favourites.
Best night trip – Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is incredibly popular and touristic all year round. But go there in the evening and you have the whole town to yourself. We loved walking around this fairytale-like town and admiring the beautifully lit buildings.
Best wildlife encounter – the bison of Yellowstone
We never expected to see thousands of bison in Yellowstone. They were all around us in Lamar Valley. Make sure to watch the whole video for a taste of the experience!
The most surreal place – the geyser basins of Yellowstone
No pictures or videos can prepare you for the reality of Yellowstone. The most unbelievable landscapes and colours we had ever seen!
The most impressive fireworks – Dubai
And with these beautiful fireworks I want to wish you all the best for 2017! And remember – once a year visit a place you have never been to before!
The look ahead – where to in 2017
As always, we are hoping to discover many more new places next year. Where to in 2017? Right now we are planning to visit Switzerland, Portugal, London and Norway, but as it often goes we’ll probably end up doing all this and so much more. So stay tuned for more information on these and many more destinations worldwide. And please share any tips you might have for us – we’re always looking for some great ideas!
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