Best of travel 2016

Best of 2016: Our Favourites from Another Amazing Year of Travels

In FAVOURITE PHOTOS, Inspiration, TRAVEL TIPS by Jurga20 Comments

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.

Winter toboggan in Switzerland

 

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!

Swimming in the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park

 

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.

Old Faithful Inn and Geyser in Yellowstone National Park

 

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.

Hiking at Arches National Park with kids

 

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.

View from 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.

Giethoorn in the Netherlands

 

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.

Oeschinensee Lake in Switzerland

 

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.

Uncle Tom's Trail Yellowstone Canyon

 

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.

Maroon Bells Colorado USA

 

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.

Sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park Utah USA

 

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.

De Ruien underground canals in Antwerp Belgium

 

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!

Hallerbos forest in Belgium

 

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.

Quartiere Coppede in Rome

 

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.

Scenic road in Arches National Park Utah

 

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.

Visiting Kinderdijk windmills in the Netehrlands with kids

 

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.

Bruges - the fairytale-like town in Belgium

 

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!

Grand Prismatic Spring Yellowstone National Park

 

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!

New Year fireworks in Dubai

 

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!

If you found some travel inspiration in this post, please share it and pin this image!

Travel inspiration - the best of our year of traveling 2016

You May Also Like
Best of 2016: Our Favourites from Another Amazing Year of Travels was last modified: December 31st, 2016 by Jurga

Like what you've read? There is more...

Comments

  1. As usual your photographs are absolutely stunning but more to the point it was great to read a write up of all the wonderful places you’ve visited – definitely inspiration to get out there and travel!

    1. Author

      Thank you Alex. You’re always so supportive! And your blog inspired us to travel to Portugal soon, so it goes both ways!

    1. Author

      Yellowstone was definitely one of the highlights this year, Birthe. It was also the destination we built our whole U.S. trip around. If you love nature, you’ll love Yellowstone for sure.

  2. Wow it looks like you had an amazing year with your family. I am definitely adding a few of those to my ever growing bucketlist. Great pictures too.

  3. Wow, you’ve had a great year of travel, Jurga. Now I really want to go to Yellowstone…and Giethoorn – It’s so pretty. I love all your photos too. Here’s to a great year of travel with the family in 2017.

    1. Author

      You made me laugh, Sara. Yellowstone I can understand, but Giethoorn… 🙂 It’s a nice little village for sure, but I wouldn’t travel to the Netherlands just for that. It was pouring when we visited and it was freezing cold, and they call it summer… Give me South Africa any time 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Priti. I seem to recall that you have some incredible hikes in New Zealand as well. Still remember the Tongariro hike, I thought I’d never make it back. It was so challenging, but also incredibly beautiful! Have you done it?

  4. I loved loved reading all of these! I have added new bucket list places for sure! I especially enjoy the strange one… how unique! You have seen some great things this year! May 2017 be even better!

    1. Author

      Thanks a lot, Arianne. We were indeed very fortunate to have all those amazing experiences last year. I’m planning many more amazing trips for 2017! 😉

Leave a Comment