Favourite Places

Many people have asked me over the years about my favourite travel destinations.  I’ve been thinking about it recently since I wrapped up the last of my travels, and I’ve been able to whip up the following list.  They’re sorted alphabetically by country, and include places like Melbourne, Zurich and San Francisco that I’ve lived in and loved (as opposed to places I’ve travel through).  I’ve revised it since I first wrote the post in 2007, but I’ll come back, update and re-post it every now and then as I discover new places that get my juices flowing:

  • Argentina
    • Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Continental Ice Cap, Patagonia, Argentina
    • El Chalten, Argentina
    • Iguazu Falls, Argentina (also Brasil)
    • Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
  • Australia
    • Blue Mountains (New South Wales), Australia
    • Great Barrier Reef (Queensland), Australia
    • Great Ocean Road (Victoria), Australia
    • McLaren Vale Wineries (South Australia), Australia
    • Melbourne (Victoria), Australia
    • Mount Feathertop/High Country (Victoria), Australia
    • Mount Warning National Park (New South Wales), Australia
    • Perth (Western Australia), Australia
    • Port Douglas/Cairns (Queensland), Australia
    • South-West Corner (Western Australia), Australia
    • Sydney (New South Wales), Australia
    • Wilson’s Promontery (Victoria), Australia
  • Austria
    • Salzburg, Austria
    • Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria
    • Werfen Ice Caves, Austria
    • Wien (Vienna), Austria
  • Bahamas
    • Eleuthera Island, Bahamas
  • Belgium
    • Bruges, Belgium
    • Ypres, Belgium
  • Belize
    • Caye Caulker, Belize
  • Bolivia
    • Copacobana, Bolivia
    • La Isla de la Luna, Lago Titicaca, Bolivia
    • Potosi & Silver Mines, Bolivia
    • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Bosnia & Hercegovina
    • Mostar, Bosnia & Hercegovina
  • Brasil
    • Rio de Janiero, Brasil
    • Iguazu Falls, Brasil (also Argentina)
  • Bulgaria
    • Rila Monastery, Bulgaria
  • Canada
    • Banff, British Columbia, Canada
    • Jasper, British Columbia, Canada
    • Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
    • Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
  • Chile
    • Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
  • China
    • Beijing, China
    • Gansu Province, China
    • Great Wall (Badaling), China
    • Hong Kong, China
    • Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China
    • Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan Province, China
    • Xiahe (Labrang Tibetan Buddhist Monastery), Tibet, China
    • Xinjiang Province (Western China), China
  • Colombia
    • Cartagena, Colombia
    • Tayrona National Park, Colombia
  • Croatia
    • Dubrovnik, Croatia
    • Hvar Island, Croatia
    • Korçula Island, Croatia
  • Cuba
    • Havana, Cuba
    • Pinar del Rio, Cuba
  • Czech Republic
    • Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
    • Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
    • Praha (Prague), Czech Republic
  • Denmark
    • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Ecuador
    • Banos, Ecuador
    • Quito, Ecuador
    • Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador
  • France
    • The Alps, France
    • Annecy, France
    • Arles, Provence, France
    • Avignon, Provence, France
    • Bordeaux, France
    • Chamonix, France
    • Cognac, France
    • Domme, Dordogne, France
    • Dordogne, France
    • Le Mont St Michel, France
    • Medoc, France
    • Monpazier, Dordogne, France
    • Paris, France
    • Rocamadour, Limousin, France
    • St Emilion, France
    • Strasbourg, France
  • Germany
    • Berlin, Germany
    • Heidelberg, Germany
    • Cochem, Mosel Valley, Germany
    • Lindau, Bodensee (Lake Konstanz), Germany
    • Munich, Bayern (Bavaria), Germany
    • Rhine River, Germany
    • Würzburg, Bayern (Bavaria), Germany
  • Ghana
    • Cape Coast, Ghana
    • Mole National Park, Ghana
  • Guatemala
    • Antigua, Guatemala
    • Tikal, Guatemala
    • Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala
  • Honduras
    • Copan, Honduras
    • Utila Island, Honduras
  • Hungary
    • Budapest, Hungary
    • Pecs, Hungary
  • Iceland
    • Jökulsarlon, Iceland
  • India
    • Jodhpur, India
    • Jaisalmer, India
    • Kerala, India
    • Leh, Kashmir, India
  • Indonesia
    • Bali, Indonesia
  • Iran
    • Esfahan, Iran
    • Ruins of Persepolis, Iran
    • Yazd, Iran
  • Ireland
    • Aran Islands, Ireland
    • Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
    • Galway, Ireland
  • Italy
    • Aeolian Islands, Sicily, Italy
    • Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
    • Amalfi Coast (Positano & Island of Capri), Italy
    • Cefalu, Sicily, Italy
    • Cinque Terre, Italy
    • Lago Maggiore, Italy
    • Roma (Rome), Italy
    • San Gimignano, Toscana (Tuscany), Italy
    • Siena, Toscana (Tuscany), Italy
    • Venezia (Venice), Italy
  • Kyrgyzstan
    • Ala-Kol Lake, Kyrgyzstan
    • Altyn Arashan & Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan
    • Song-Kol Lake, Kyrgyzstan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Maldives
    • Kuredu Island, Maldives
  • Malta
    • Comino, Malta
    • Mdina, Rabat, Malta
    • Valletta, Malta
    • Victoria, Gozo, Malta
  • Mexico
    • Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
    • Monte Alban Ruins, Oaxaca, Mexico
    • Oaxaca, Mexico
    • Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico
    • San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
    • Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Monaco (Principality of Monaco)
    • Monaco Ville, Principality of Monaco
    • Monte Carlo, Principality of Monaco
  • Morocco
    • Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco
    • Dades Valley, Morocco
    • Essaouira, Morocco
    • Marrakech, Morocco
    • Merzouga, Morocco
  • Nepal
    • Dingboche, Sagarmartha (Khumbu/Everest Region), Nepal
    • Gokyo Ri, Sagarmartha (Khumbu/Everest Region), Nepal
    • Kala Pattar, Sagarmartha (Khumbu/Everest Region), Nepal
    • Kathmandu, Nepal
    • Namche Bazaar, Sagarmartha (Khumbu/Everest Region), Nepal
    • Tyangboche, Sagarmartha (Khumbu/Everest Region), Nepal
  • Netherlands
    • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • Utrecht, Netherlands
  • New Zealand
    • Mount Taranaki, New Zealand
    • Wellington, New Zealand
  • New Caledonia
    • Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines), New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
    • Lago de Apoyo, Nicaragua
    • Ometepe (Lago de Nicaragua), Nicaragua
  • Norway
    • Å, Lofoten Islands, Norway
    • Bergen, Norway
    • Lofoten Islands, Norway
    • Naeroyfjord, Norway
    • Oslo, Norway
    • Stamsund, Lofoten Islands, Norway
    • Tromsø, Norway
    • Trondheim, Norway
  • Panama
    • Bocas del Toro, Panama
    • Isla Bastimentos, Panama
  • Peru
    • Cordillera Blanca, Peru
    • Cusco, Peru
    • Ausangate/Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru
    • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Poland
    • Krakow, Poland
  • Puerto Rico
    • El Yunque National Park, Puerto Rico
    • Isla de Culebra, Puerto Rico
    • Luquillo, Puerto Rico
    • Rincón, Puerto Rico
  • Samoa
    • Lalomanu Beach, Upolu Island, Samoa
  • Slovakia
    • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Slovenia
    • Lake Bled, Slovenia
    • Ljubljana, Slovenia
    • Piran, Slovenia
  • South Korea
    • Seoul
  • Spain
    • Avila, Spain
    • Barcelona, Spain
    • Cordoba, Spain
    • Madrid, Spain
    • Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca, Spain
    • Pamplona (Fiesta de San Fermin), Spain
    • San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain
    • San Sebastián, Spain
    • Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    • Segovia, Spain
    • Sevilla, Spain
    • Toledo, Spain
  • Sweden
    • Stockholm, Sweden
    • Uppsala, Sweden
  • Switzerland
    • Bern, Switzerland
    • Bluemlisalpsee (Kandersteg), Berner Oberland, Switzerland
    • Grindelwald, Berner Oberland, Switzerland
    • Engelberg, Zentralschweiz, Switzerland
    • Lausanne (Lac Leman), Switzerland
    • Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland
    • Luzern, Zentralschweiz, Switzerland
    • Morcote, Ticino, Switzerland
    • Muerren & Gimmelwald, Berner Oberland, Switzerland
    • Saas-Fee, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland
    • Vierwaldstaettersee (Lake Luzern), Switzerland
    • Walensee, Switzerland
    • Zermatt, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland
  • Thailand
    • Bangkok, Thailand
    • Kanchanaburi, Thailand
    • Koh Phangan, Thailand
    • Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Turkey
    • Aegean Coast, Turkey
    • Bergama & Pergamon Ruins, Turkey
    • Ephesus Ruins, Turkey
    • Gallipoli, Turkey
    • Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
    • Istanbul, Turkey
    • Lake Van, Turkey
    • Nemrut Dagi, Turkey
    • Ölüdeniz Beach, Turkey
  • Turks & Caicos
    • West Caicos, Turks & Caicos
  • United Kingdom
    • Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • London, England, United Kingdom
    • Scottish Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • Surrey, England, United Kingdom
    • Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
  • United States of America
    • Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, USA
    • Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
    • Lake Tahoe, California, USA
    • Maui, Hawaii, USA
    • Napa, Sonoma & Russian River Valley Wine Country, California, USA
    • New York City, New York, USA
    • Newport, Rhode Island, USA
    • Russian River, California, USA
    • San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
    • Santa Barbara, California, USA
    • Washington D.C., USA
    • Yosemite National Park, California, USA
    • Zion National Park, Utah, USA
  • Uruguay
    • Punta del Este, Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
    • Puerto Colombia (Choroni), Venezuela
    • Coro, Venezuela
  • Vietnam
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam
    • Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Hoi An, Vietnam

While I’m at it, here is a short list of top travel destinations by country:

  • Argentina
  • Australia (of course!)
  • Bolivia
  • China (including Tibet)
  • Colombia 
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland (of course!)
  • Turkey

The list isn’t only based on how much there is for the tourist to see and do there, but also on the personality of the people (warmth, friendliness, openness, curiosity, character etc.), its value-for-money (they’re generally budget destinations…), and how easy it is to get off the beaten track and away from the major tourist haunts (hey, some of the countries don’t see a lot of tourist traffic anyway!).

Those countries that made it to the shortlist but not the final include: Brasil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Morocco, Peru, Thailand, USA, Vietnam.