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Sketch’s Month by Month Travel List 2017

Planning your year of holidays and wondering where to go? Check out our month by month travel list for 2017 to get your travel inspiration for the year!

January – Mui Ne, Vietnam

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It’s the start of the year and you already need a break! If you are looking for a quick getaway, consider the idyllic town of Mui Ne, four hours south of Ho Chi Minh city. Home to a coastal fishing village, the beaches of Mui Ne were mostly uninhabited until recently. The area is also the location of one Vietnam’s most surreal landscapes – its sand dunes. You can walk around the area which will make you feel like you’re smack in the sahara or rent a jeep or quad bike for a short drive around.

End your holiday at the nearby beachside town of Phan Thiet where you will find some great resorts and beaches for relaxing.

February – Venice, Italy

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One word sums up why you should visit Venice in February – Carnevale! Carnevale or the Carnival of Venice is an annual festival celebrated a few weeks before the start of Lent and generally in February. It is the world’s best known baroque fancy-dress party and masked party-goers fill the streets in surreal re-invention of the traditional festival.

You will find many events throughout the period of Carnevale including many extravagant balls – nowhere else can you find so many opportunities to look like an extra from Phantom of the Opera! If the balls are too expensive, simply head to the streets – in costume and a mask of course! The main square at St Mark’s will be a fulcrum of activities and there will be a street party every other where you turn.

March – Sri Lanka

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March is considered one of the best months to visit Sri Lanka – especially if you plan to travel around the different regions. Fly into Colombo and spend some time at their heritage hotels before heading out to explore the country. Generally sunny and dry, you will find the Cultural Triangle and the beaches at the south and west coasts great for visiting. Several National Parks are also at their peak with higher chances of wildlife spotting and dolphins and whales sightings at the Southern and North-western coasts also occur in this month. After all this, head up to the Hill Country for relaxing in the slightly cooler weather.

April – Prague, Czech Republic

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Winters in Prague tend to be bitterly cold thanks to Eastern winds from Siberia. And so, consider a visit in late April where weather is still chilly but warming up. Spend some time in Prague’s Old Town, one of Europe’s most beautiful. There is much to explore and the city’s maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise for the aimless wanderer, always beckoning you to explore a little further.

If you have time to spare, head out for some day trips to the nearby Czech countryside. The Moravian fields in the rural region of southeastern Czech Republic make for lovely day drive, just 2 hours out of the city. Alternatively, head north instead to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park at the border of Germany and Czech (nowhere near Switzerland!) for some amazing day hikes.

May – Santorini, Greece

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Santorini features on most travel wish lists and for good reason – it’s gorgeous. Skip the peak season of June to September where the crowds can be unbearable and instead head over during shoulder seasons. We recommend early May for the best of both worlds – the sun will be out but it will not be too crowded yet (there will always be some crowd in Santorini, the question is just how much!). With the exception of swimming in the ocean, by May, you will be able to do most activities including sailing, winery visits and of course chilling out on the caldera to catch the famed sunsets.

June – Canada

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2017 is THE year to visit Canada. The country is celebrating it’s 150th anniversary and to mark this occasion, free admission is being granted to all Canadian national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas for the entire year. Lonely Planet has named Canada as their top destination to travel to in 2017.

From mountains and glaciers to lakes and forests, Canada’s natural beauty is almost unparalleled worldwide and is one of the main reasons to make a visit. If you plan to spend your time in the national parks, most activities only start in June so we recommend heading over in this month where weather is still cool but warm enough to spend outdoors. Fly into Vancouver for some of the country’s best national parks or Toronto to visit the majestic Niagara Falls. Whichever territory you decide to visit, it’s definitely a great year for O Canada.

July – Budapest, Hungary

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Summer is in full swing! While this season tends to be a peak travel period as Europeans flock for their summer holidays, Budapest remains one of the best value cities to visit in Europe. At all other times, Budapest is a vibrant city with a thriving nightlife. In July, the city truly comes alive with outdoor evening performances, festivals for pretty much everything from beer to street food, fabulous parties and to cap it all off – the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Spend your days visiting the cities sights and getting your fill of the rich history and cultural heritage and end partying in the streets with locals and enjoying summer as it should be – outdoors!

August – Kenya

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Kenya is home to one of the greatest safari destinations in the world – the Masai Mara National Reserve. Situated Southwest of Kenya, covering an area of 1 510 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains. The Masai Mara is widely regarded as a year-round safari destination as its wide, open plains and plentiful resident wildlife means there is virtually always something to see, no matter what time of year you go.

However, in late-July/early-August, one of nature’s biggest wildlife spectacles happens at the Masai Mara – the annual wildebeest migration. Seasonal rainfall triggers the mass movement of the mega herds of wildebeest in pursuit of the sweet, new grasses and the sight of the herds crossing the perilious Mara River will definitely be one of the most memorable safari experiences.

September – Peru

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Peru experiences two very distinct seasons, wet and dry and the high season for travel coincides with the driest months which are May through October. The tourist crowds are their highest in July and August, which is why we recommend the fringe month September just before the rainy season.

Most travelers come for a visit to the Incan archeological site of Machu Picchu – a 15th century Incan citadel, set high in the Andes Mountains. One of Earth’s greatest wonders, this Lost City of the Incans is a sight to behold, set amongst mountains and massive agricultural terraces. Getting here is no easy feat either and will involve trains, buses and walking. If you’re up for it, take the Inca Trail trek which traces the footsteps of the ancients Incas from the old capital of Cuzco to Machu Picchu. There is nothing quite like arriving after a 4 day hike and have the imposing view of the ancient citadel reveal itself gradually to you as you make your way through the mist.

October – Jiuzhaigou, China

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Located in the north of the Sichuan Province, 450km north of Chengdu is one of the most surreal places on earth – the Jiuzhai Valley National Park. Lying on the highest tableland in the world between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Jiuzhaigou Valley covers altitudes ranging from 2,000 meters to about 4,300 meters. It is home to some of the world’s most stunning and dreamlike scenery with dreamlike scenery, which combines crystal clear blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests and snow-covered mountains.

Accessible all year round with different seasons different scenaries, most agree that October is one of the best times – as long as you avoid the Chinese National Holiday!

November – Japan

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Most people think of the sakura season in April for travel to Japan but prices (and crowds) are usually at their highest then. As an alternative, consider autumn where the changing red leaves are perhaps even more beautiful. The fall foliage is also usually easier to catch than the sakura which only blooms for a few days. For autumn, leaves start to change from early to mid November, reaching its peak usually at the end of November thereby allowing you more flexibility in terms of travel time.

There are many places to catch the autumn colours – Kyoto, with its imperial gardens set admidst temples and shrines is one of the more popular cities but you will find opportunities everywhere from lakes around Mount Fuji to the castle grounds in Osaka.

December – Tromsø, Norway

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Ah, whose bucket list does not include a sighting of the Northern Lights? Nature’s spectacular light show is a once in a lifetime experience and the city of Tromsø, being one of the most northern cities is one of the best places to catch it.

Officially the season starts from September/ October, however, visiting in December will give you opportunities for other arctic activities. We recommend late December where you can start by visiting the Christmas markets in capital Oslo before flying north. By end December, snowfall would usually be thick enough for you to experience husky sledding and December is also the season for whale watching! Situated among islands, breathtaking fjord landscapes and dramatic mountain peaks, Tromsø is probably one of the best places for your arctic adventure and a fabulous trip to cap off the year.