Youth travel experts Contiki polled 5000 18-35 year olds on their top travel experiences to complete in 2017. These are the results.
1 – BATHE IN THE BLUE LAGOON IN ICELAND
With those landscapes and that awe inspiring natural light show, of course Iceland is number one on our list and specifically, the dreamy Blue Lagoon. Silica, Algae and Minerals are all active materials in the lagoon making it a killer natural skin regime, whilst the water temperature hovers around a balmy 37-40 degrees. And if you think the idea of bathing with 50 other people at one time is a bit gross, don’t – the water is self-cleansing, renewing itself every 40 hours.
2 – SEE THE GREAT PYRAMIDS OF GIZA
One of the most magnificent wonders on the planet, The Great Pyramids of Giza define bucket list goals. Built over 5000 years ago, the oldest and largest of the pyramids is the Great Pyramid, the only surviving structure of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Nestled on the west bank of the Nile and on the fringes of the expansive Sahara Desert, jump on board a camel and go capture yourself the ULTIMATE selfie…
3 – WALK THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Move over all other walls of the world, as you will NEVER beat the greatest (and longest) of them all – the Great Wall of China. Weighing in at a staggering 21,196 kilometres long and with over 2,300 years under its belt, the Great Wall is the world’s most awe inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture, built by multiple dynasties to protect different territorial borders. The phrase ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ springs to mind…
4 – CHILL OUT IN BYRON BAY
Golden expanses of sand, chilled back hippy vibes and hands down some of the best food in oz – THIS is Byron Bay. All those dreams you’ve been harbouring of running away and living the surf bum lifestyle? This is the place to do it. Spend your morning kayaking the mangroves and dolphin spotting, cycle on over to Tallows beach for secluded beach hangs, then end the day watching the sun set from the vantage point of the lighthouse. Travel goals? You betcha.
5 – LEARN HOW TO MAKE PIZZA IN ITALY
Pizza and Italy – two words that have been synonymous with each other since, well, forever. Get to grips with the country’s most famous export (soz pasta, you’re a close second) with a hands on cookery lesson, taught by the experts themselves – the locals. Learn to knead your dough just the right way, dollop on the perfect tomato sauce, and season with all the cheese and basil you can dream of. Margherita mamma mia!
6 – ROAD TRIP DOWN ROUTE 66 IN THE USA
Looking for a classic slice of Americana? Then it’s time to get your kicks on Route 66, America’s most iconic highway. Running 2,448 miles from Chicago to LA, Route 66 is the definition of true American Spirit. Having inspired countless authors, singers, creatives and travellers alike since its birth in 1926, today it’s the place to go to see vintage motels, old school diners, restored gas stations and little towns frozen in time.
7 – FLOAT ON A GONDOLA THROUGH THE CANALS OF VENICE
With 177 canals snaking and weaving through the floating city of Venice, undoubtedly the best way to get around is by gondola (complete with, fingers crossed, a singing gondolier). The existence of gondolas in Venice dates back as far as 1094, making the role of the gondolier one of the oldest in the world. Dressed traditionally in a straw hat and striped navy and white sweater, the gondolier profession is kept strictly in the family, passed down from father to son through the generations.
8 – KISS SOMEONE AT THE TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER
Who says life can’t be like the movies? Not us, and not you, judging by this high ranking position, proving that old school romance is still very much alive and kicking. The most famous monument in France, go grab yourself a movie moment by catching the lift to the very top of Gustave Eiffel’s iconic creation. If the incredible 360 panoramic view of Gay Paree doesn’t get you swooning, perhaps the sexy accent of that dark handsome stranger will. Queue that kiss…
9 – WATCH SEA TURTLES LAY THEIR EGGS IN COSTA RICA
One of the most ancient creatures of the ocean, sea turtles have existed for over 100 million years (yes, really), so it goes without saying that watching them lay the next generation is nothing short of a miracle. Watching them do this in gorgeous Tortugero in Costa Rica is the extra cherry on the cake. Working in partnership with The Sea Turtle Conservancy and Contiki Cares, this once-in-a-lifetime moment will see you becoming part of a vital movement to protect and preserve these incredible sea creatures for decades to come.
10 – PICNIC IN THE FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE
Baguettes? check. Cheese? check. Macaroons and more cheese? Check check. The ultimate picnic feast in the idyllic French countryside? Damn right. Hop, skip and jump your way through lavender fields and across lush green hills with this definitively French bucket list experience. Fill your basket to the brim with French tasties and bottles of cheap but delicious champagne and spend an afternoon eating, snoozing and lolling under the French sun. Mais oui!
Want to see what other experiences made the list? Head on over to the Contiki No Regrets Travel List to find out.
This article was originally published on six-two.