New year, new season of travel! The year 2017 is officially underway, and it’s finally time to start ironing out your travel plans. We’ll tell you which adventures have made it onto our bucket list for the coming year. 

A ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway

9288 kilometers of adventure, seven time zones and the monotonous clatter of the carriages on the track as a permanent cushion of white noise: if you decide to set out on a journey on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, you can expect everything but luxury: the longest stretch of railway in the world extends from Moscow to Vladivostok and is what you’d call a “once in a lifetime” experience, although the ride from one end of Russia to the other isn’t exactly comfortable – in particular if you select the cheaper third-class cabin. But in spite of that, there’s nothing quite like the sense of adventure of watching Russia’s scenic landscape roll past. Each stop of the train in a new station brings a sense of relief, allowing you to stretch your legs a bit after hours on the train and stock up on provisions. By the way, you won’t have to worry about the confusion of crossing seven time zones. The trains and stations keep to Moscow time.

Foto: flickr/Typehistorian
Photo: iStock/Typehistorian

A hike through the Torres del Paine National Park

If you’ve found yourself immersed in Patagonia’s natural splendor, then in all likelihood you’ve made your way to the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Endless alternating expanses of rugged mountains, valleys and glaciers deliver a continuous stream of “wow” moments. If you want to get the most out of your visit, we recommend a multi-day hike, the best way to get a true sense of the magic of Patagonia. One of the most popular hikes is the so-called “W.” And the moment the world-famous mountain, the so-called “Torres,” appears right before your nose, all of the effort of getting there will be forgotten.

Foto: iStock/MBPROJEKT_Maciej_Bledowski
Photo: iStock/MBPROJEKT_Maciej_Bledowski

A desert tour through the dunes of Morocco

There’s no question that Marrakech, with its bustling city center, has an undeniable fascination unparalleled by any other city in the world. But if you’re on the hunt for true adventure, you’ll find it almost 600 kilometers away in the Sahara. Spending a night under the wide open starry sky of the desert is enough to make the heart of just about any adventurer beat faster. At Merzouga, you’ll ride on camelback against the backdrop of the setting sun. And when the setting sun paints the gigantic sand dunes a powerful red-orange hue, you’ll want to soak every moment in, and keep it forever – the view is just that surreal. Of course, the floor of your tent may not be the most comfortable sleeping spot you’ve ever had, but it’s one you won’t forget for as long as you live.

Foto: flickr/David Rosen
Photo: flickr/David Rosen, “Sarah sand dune sunset”, CC BY 2.0 license

A road trip through Cuba

It’s no secret that Cuba is right at the top of the list of hottest travel destinations for 2017. But what even many seasoned travelers might not have on their radar is: one of the most magnificent ways to explore this island in the Caribbean is by rental car. You’ll enjoy boundless freedom, stopping whenever the spirit moves you. The best places to stay are the so-called “Casas Particulares,” private homes which give you an authentic glimpse into the everyday life of the Cuban people. Anyone yearning for a taste of the past, complete with Cuban cigars and mazelike cities should absolutely pay a visit to this Caribbean isle.

Foto: flickr/Brunomsbarreto
Photo: iStock/Brunomsbarreto

A long-distance hike across the Alps

With every step and each meter of altitude, your spirit will feel freer and your sense of freedom greater. Crossing the spectacular mountain peaks of the Alps on foot is a dream for many travelers. But crossing the Alps is no walk in the park. Conditions and weather have to be absolutely perfect. But the feeling of conquering these rugged mountains on your own two feet is priceless. One of the most popular, and also shortest, routes is the one leading from Oberstdorf (Germany) to Meran (Italy). The route will take you 8 days to complete, and you’ll enjoy countless breathtaking views of the fascinating mountain chain, like the one from the Pitztaler Jöchl, at a height of around 3,000 meters.

Foto: iStock/fschuetz
Photo: iStock/fschuetz

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