As we wave goodbye to 2017 and get ready to welcome in a new year, why not start planning your next holiday? While we’ll be keeping the Taste Travel section up to date throughout the year, if you’re seeking some immediate inspiration, our favourite destinations of 2017 may be just what you need.
For me personally, the beautiful mountainous region of Valais in Switzerland was my travel high point of 2017. The crystal blue lakes and clear air on the alps was the perfect way to relax.
Valais is just one of 26 cantons or regions in Switzerland. Small and mighty, the region has a varied mix of cultures, languages and activities. Whether you find yourself drawn to the majestic Alps and the crystal clear lakes, the rich variety of wines grown in the mountainous vineyards or the traditional Swiss cuisine, there’s very little you can’t do here.
San Francisco is known both for its spectacular sights and for its rich and varied food scene. With food from all the different cultures residing in the city to the locally produced seafood and the trendy meals sweeping the earth, there’s a dish to suit all palates. Whether you’re enjoying a luxurious meal or fries at AT&T park, rich flavour combinations and local produce are present throughout.
Luxembourg, a country with less than 1 million people living in it, is a central hub in the European Union. Despite what you might think, there is a lot more to this small and mighty country than meets the eye. From food and historic attractions to the kind and welcoming nature of the city’s residents, this European destination is a gem, one that is often overlooked when compared to other cities.
You simply can’t mention Marrakech without sparking a conversation about food. The flavours, smells and colours of this bustling ancient city need to be seen (and tasted) to be believed. North African meets Mediterranean, fresh local produce, centuries old traditional methods of cooking and the warmth of the local people wanting to share their culture all combine to make Marrakech the perfect foodie city break.
Just like its famous flamenco dancers, Seville is full of history, charm and passion. From the winding, narrow streets leading to Plaza de España and the gothic masterpiece that is the city’s cathedral, Seville isn’t just a city that impresses you, it draws you in and demands that you appreciate every part of it. From Roman ruins to magnificent Moorish monuments, the Andalusian capital takes visitors on a journey through the past, culminating in passionate flamenco dances and indulgent evenings filled with tapas and wine.
Few European cities can rival the sheer grandeur of Budapest, the beautifully bridged Hungarian capital located on the banks of the Danube river, the second-longest in Europe. From the architectural splendour of flat-lying Pest, including the famed parliament building, to Buda’s Old Town across the striking Chain Bridge, to the incomparable Fisherman’s Bastion viewpoint, Budapest is full of historical beauty.
Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second most populous city and Europe’s largest port. Viewed by some as Amsterdam’s poor cousin (they’re wrong!), two facets of the city stand out. The first and most obvious is a unique approach to architecture and the second is that over 170 different nationalities live here, which means it has a food flavour and atmosphere that is as singular as it is widespread and vibrant.
Beautiful sights and incredible culinary experiences are not in short supply along Croatia’s sun-drenched Dalmatian Coast, but the island of Hvar offers the most impressive mix of historic architecture, natural beauty, great restaurants and delightful wines. Most visitors will go to Hvar town for its cobbled streets and Venetian plazas, as well as its beaches and bars.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.