With a weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore islands, Donegal is a land that feels undiscovered. Last summer, scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII were filmed on the Inishowen Peninsula. But this area of Ireland is also expecting 2017 to be a big year; there’s an array of reasons to visit, from surfing beaches in Magheraroarty and Ballyhiernan Bay to Horn Head — a driving, walking or cycling loop that squeezes the 1,600-mile Wild Atlantic Way into a 4.5-mile nutshell.
British Airways launches flights to Chile’s sophisticated capital in January and it’s a hive of activity for 2017, with hotels opening in heritage buildings (such as the new Hotel Magnolia in El Centro) and the reopening of one of the city’s magnificent palaces, Palacio Cousiño — closed since it was damaged by the 2010 earthquake.
Done Copenhagen? Seen Stockholm? It’s Helsinki’s time for travel love. The world’s second-most northerly capital does both freezing, fairytale winters and bright, leafy summers — so visitors can choose between two very different trips. Are you a cosy cafe and steamy sauna kind of person, or do you prefer bright nights, waterside vibes and midsummer parties? Whenever you arrive, expect to find cutting-edge design, a lava-hot Nordic food scene (start your day with breakfast in the renovated Old Market Hall), surprising Art Nouveau architecture and good coffee as standard.
Cruises have been dipping into Greenland for a few years now, but the world’s largest island is beginning to feel established rather than experimental as more and more companies include it on 2017 itineraries. Covered in vast glaciers and largely uninhabited, Greenland is carving a niche as an adventure destination. But the likes of dog-sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing are complemented by boat tours around towering icebergs, Inuit cultural experiences and some of the best spots in the world to watch the Northern Lights.
British Airways launched direct flights to Lima last summer, where a burgeoning food and culture scene means it’s now a standalone city break. Rafael Osterling (of Miraflores’ Rafael fame) opened El Mercado recently — a simple farm-to-table restaurant rooted in Peruvian cuisine — and darling of the jet-set Jaime Pesaque will open Mayta in 2017. The capital’s hotel scene is blossoming: new openings include Casa Republica in Pacific-edged Barranco, opening in February and the Atemporal ‘hotelito’ in Miraflores. In May, Belmond’s Andean Explorer train will ply its route from Cusco to Arequipa and the ‘second Machu Picchu’, pre-Incan fortress Kuelap, will get more accessible with the imminent opening of a cable-car. LATAM’s new flights from Lima to Jaén, meanwhile, are opening up the north of the country.
Aarhus is having a 12-month stint in the spotlight as European Capital of Culture 2017. There’ll be performances by the Royal Danish Theatre; performances at the Musikhuset concert hall that include ballet, opera and musical theatre interpretations of three of Oscar-winning Danish director Susanne Bier’s movies; and paintings and installations spanning The Garden — a three-mile visual trail that will curve through the centre and along the coast, examining man’s relationship with nature. There’s also Urban Mediaspace Aarhus, a grand revitalisation of the waterside; Godsbanen, a former railway warehouse reborn as bars and eateries; and Substans, one of three Michelin-starred restaurants in the city.
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