First of all, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year! With all the madness that’s going on in the world right now, I hope that you’ll take the time to appreciate just how beautiful our world is, spend more time with your loved ones (and let them know over and over again how much they mean to you), and that you’ll experience lots of joy, contentment and inspiration in your career and personal lives in 2017! 2016 was another great year of travel for me. I visited 14 countries across four continents, including some of my favourites such as Italy, Spain, Austria, South Africa and Brazil, and one country that I visited for the first time: Croatia. To wrap it up, these were my 16 favourite travel experiences in 2016:
A lovely surprise in Austria
I’d not heard of this wine region before but the South Styrian Wine Road truly surprised me. The rolling landscape, quaint villages, gorgeous wines and food characterise this region south of Vienna, Austria.
Read more about the South Styrian Wine Road.
A spectacular flight in Cape Town
Undoubtedly one of my travel highlights of 2016 was a spectacular helicopter tour over Cape Town, South Africa! If you’re visiting Cape Town, add this experience to your to-do list!
Read more about the helicopter tour of Cape Town.
A fun road trip with my family
Each year, I plan at least one trip to visit my family and friends in Malaysia. In 2016, I went on a road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang with my Mum, sister, my partner and my best friend. Visiting George Town (the capital of Penang and a UNESCO World Heritage town) was a real treat. The amazing food, street art and great company made this an unforgettable road trip!
Read more about things to do in Penang.
A ‘royal’ road trip
Another awesome road trip I went on in 2016 was along the Estrada Real or ‘Royal Road’ in Brazil. The Estrada Real road was used to transport diamonds and gold from the mines of Minas Gerais to the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Paraty during Brazil’s Gold Rush days in the 19th century. I joined Claudia and Mauricio, two Brazilian blogger friends of mine, on a wondrous trip from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro, and passed stunning UNESCO World Heritage towns like Ouro Preto, Mariana and Tiradentes.
One trip I’ll never tire of
I’ve done this road trip probably close to ten times but I’ll never tire of the breathtaking scenery in the Cape Peninsula, south of Cape Town. It’s easily one of the most spectacular routes in the world.
Read more about driving the Cape Peninsula.
The most luxurious accommodation
A gigantic, super luxurious villa on a paradise island! That’s what I got to experience at the Four Seasons Mauritius! This was the most luxurious accommodation I stayed at in 2016!
Read more about my stay at the Four Seasons Mauritius.
The best value-for-money meal
Spain is, in my book, a top foodie destination but what really blew me away during my trip to Castilla-La Mancha was how affordable fine-dining is. One Michelin-starred restaurant I had lunch at had menus starting from €27.50 (which includes wine and mineral water!).
Read more about reasons to visit Castilla-La Mancha.
The best wine experience
One of my most memorable trips of 2016 was to the northern Italian region of Lombardy. While I was there, I visited a winery which produces the stunning Moscato di Scanzo wine. Just thinking about this experience makes me drool!
Read about my experience with the Moscato di Scanzo meditation wine.
My favourite sunset photo
This sunset was a great end to a lovely day at the beach in Zandvoort, Holland. The Dutch sunsets are absolutely spectacular! 🙂
It’s always a treat to visit Rio de Janeiro. It was my fifth time and this time around, I discovered some cool (new) street art and was introduced to the city’s wild beaches.
A wonderful cruise through the heart of Europe
I spent a week on a Danube River cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg with Viking Cruises. We passed some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and towns such as Budapest, Vienna, Passau and Regensburg, all the while enjoying a luxurious cabin and top-notch service on board.
A new country – number 86!
It was my first time in Croatia and I decided to head straight for the Dalmatian coast. I started off with a few days in Dubrovnik before taking the ferry to the Korcûla and Hvar islands. I absolutely loved this trip and I shall return to see more of this beautiful country!
One other thing I’ll never tire of
I make it a point to see them every year and they never fail to amaze… the tulip fields in Holland! It’s always a highlight for me in the spring months.
Read about my drive around the tulip fields.
A tour I dreaded…
A visit to a historic castle included a cooking course (sounds good!) and a medieval costumed tour of the castle (not so good!). I dreaded the idea but this tour of the Malpaga Castle in Lombardy, Italy, turned out to be one of the most delightful tours I did in 2016!
Read about my tour of the Malpaga Castle.
My favourite photo in 2016
This was a tough one but I’ve chosen… *drumroll*… this photo I took during a stroll around the Mercado Central (Central Market) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Just loved those colourful tin cups!
Read about my visit to Belo Horizonte.
My favourite beach trip
Not a hard one to pick. It was my second time in Mauritius and it reaffirmed my idea that this island in the Indian Ocean is simply paradise! Watch the video below and you’ll see why. 🙂 I can’t wait to return!
Read about my trip to Mauritius.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite travel experiences in 2016. I look forward to more amazing travel experiences in 2017 and I hope that you’ll continue to follow my journeys around the world. Travel safe and remember… go explore. experience. and be inspired.