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Allianz Travel Insurance reveals the must-see global destinations for 2017

Looking for fun vacation inspiration for the year ahead? To help travellers compile their 2017 bucket list, Allianz Travel Insurance has released new data that reveals the must-see international destinations for 2017 and unique travel tips for those heading overseas.

The exclusive new data compiled from Allianz Travel Insurance customer policies, shows a solid increase in the number of Aussie travellers heading to these international hotspots from 2015 to 2016, including:

  • Argentina (287 per cent increase)
  • Iceland (265 per cent increase)
  • South Africa (204 per cent increase)
  • Sri Lanka (200 per cent increase)
  • Switzerland (168 per cent increase)

Allianz Travel Insurance General Manager of Direct and Retail, Brendon Dyer said), “In 2016 we noticed a huge spike in the number of Australian travellers heading to trending locations including Argentina, Iceland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Switzerland, so we have tipped these to be the must-see destinations for 2017. They offer visitors a range of unique cultural and travel experiences, from the weird and wonderful delicacies eaten in Iceland (cod tongues anyone?) to Switzerland’s annual cow festival – and it’s great to see Aussies exploring all corners of the world.

“While it’s exciting to head to new countries, we remind travellers to research their travel destinations before heading away. Though it’s bustling with activity, Argentina is renowned for petty crime and travellers should be aware that rabies is common amongst wild animals in Sri Lanka. To find out what vaccinations are required, be sure to visit your GP two to three months before heading away. We also recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance before embarking on your trip.”

Must-see destinations for 2017 – things to see, do and eat:

Argentina

Argentina is filled to the brim with interesting history, culture, unique local cuisine and impressive landscapes.

  • Road trip through the valley of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow mountain valley with astonishing views of multi-coloured, wind-shaped rock formations. The valley also includes a cave cathedral with great acoustics where local musicians play.
  • Visit Argentina’s Lake District – stunning ice-blue lakes surrounded by lush mountain terrain. The local town has wooden chalets where travellers can stay, relax and unwind.
  • Iguazu Falls is one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World and should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Iguazu Falls is the largest waterfall system in the world with over 270 falls in the area. Visitors can walk on trails and take advantage of various lookout points or access the river and falls via boat.

Iceland

Maybe it’s Iceland’s strong belief in the existence of elves, or it could be the country’s vast array of scenic glory, nonetheless Iceland has fast become a go-to travel destination for Aussies.

  • From mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, glacier tours, river rafting and elf-hunting (yes, you read that correctly), there are endless outdoor activities to suit anyone.
  • For nature lovers, Iceland is home to breath-taking landscapes and spectacular natural features. Our must-see attractions include:
  • The Blue Lagoon A unique swimming pool where the geothermal energy heats the water to an average temperature of 37-39 °C.
  • The Northern Lights – It is best to visit the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis during mid-winter when the weather is clear.
  • Golden Circle A round-trip of amazing natural features that include Geysers (magma heated water), waterfalls and volcanic craters.
  • Silfa Fissure – Considered one of the top diving experiences in the world, travellers heading here can swim between the North American and Eurasian continental plates in some of the clearest waters on Earth.
  • Intrigued by the elf-hunting? Visit the Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavik to learn about the history of elves and go on a tour to visit well-known elven locations.

South Africa

South Africa is touted as one of the culture capitals of the world. The country’s vast and diverse landscape makes it the perfect location for thrill seekers, nature lovers and general travel enthusiasts.

  • South Africa’s terrain offers travellers the chance to experience activities such as mountain climbing and shark cage-diving.
  • For an unforgettable experience visit the Palace of the Lost City. It is the world’s largest themed resort hotel, inspired by the myth of a lost African Kingdom. The stunning hotel is surrounded by lush botanical gardens and is a sight to behold.
  • Venture up the South African coastline to the Cape of Good Hope. The coastline has claimed up to 3,000 vessels over the centuries and is commonly referred to as the ‘graveyard of ships.’ Home to lost and forgotten ships from all over the globe, it’s a chilling and unique travel experience.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, the island of smiling faces, is an exotic destination full of culture, unique cuisine and natural wonders.

  • Hoppers are a popular street food, described as a thin bowl-shaped pancake filled with various toppings. Fresh crab curries and coconut sambal are also local delicious delights.
  • Yala National Park, located in the south, has the highest concentration of leopards in Asia. The park offers luxury safari camps and travellers can enjoy an up close and personal experience with the leopards.
  • The Minneriya National Park experiences a yearly herd of up to 300 elephants known as ‘the gathering’, one of the largest elephant get-togethers known to exist on earth.

Switzerland

Known for its green countryside, soaring alps and amazing ski locations, Switzerland is a diverse and intriguing cultural hub.

  • From Zurich to Lausanne, travellers will venture through green hills, snow-capped mountains and stunning lakes.
  • Travellers looking for a unique cultural experience should visit Switzerland in autumn as this is when the annual cow festival takes place. Cows are adorned with flower headdresses and large jangling cow bells and are paraded through the streets of nearby villages.
  • Switzerland is the hub of delectable, quality cheese. Travellers should try Swiss fondue – a warm gooey cheese dish that can be enjoyed with warm bread, pickles, fruits and vegetables.

With holiday planning underway don’t forget to invest in comprehensive travel insurance before embarking on a trip. It is also advised that travellers take a copy or two of their insurance policy details and ensure emergency contact numbers are accessible throughout the trip – just in case you need it!