Top 7 places to visit in 2012
2012’s top travel picks
New Year’s resolutions to travel and see the world have never been more appropriate, with 2012 promising to be a year packed full of exciting places and events to visit. Some people even believe our number is up at the end of this year, so we’d best make the most of it while we still can. Even if you don’t buy into that, why not seize the day in the coming year and see what the rest of the world has to offer? Here are seven places to visit in 2012 that are sure to make your year a special one.
London, England – The Olympics
This summer London hosts The Olympics, the pinnacle of world sporting competition. A multitude of brand new stadiums and arenas have been built for the Games, which promise to be a fantastic event for competitors and spectators alike. London is an exciting, bustling capital city all year round - add to that the city’s inevitable Olympic fever and this could make for the trip of a lifetime. Why not plan an extended visit and arrive slightly earlier? The Queen marks 60 years on the throne this June with nationwide Diamond Jubilee celebrations which are sure to be a sight to see.
Western Samoa & American Samoa – Live a day twice
Have you ever enjoyed a birthday or anniversary so much that you wanted to do it all over again? Well now you can! After years of struggling with being a full day behind their main trading partners Australia and New Zealand, Western Samoa took the radical step of completely missing out December 30th 2011, bringing them 13 hours ahead of GMT. However, American Samoa, less than 100 miles away, have stayed in the previous time zone. This means from 2012 onwards you can party hard on Western Samoa, then hop on over to American Samoa and let the good times roll some more for some double birthday madness. Don’t worry, this won’t age you two years, although you may feel like it by the time the two days are over.
Cairns, Australia – Total solar eclipse
A total solar eclipse is a fairly rare event, only happening every 18 months, and often in remote or hard to reach areas of the world, so you’ll be glad to hear that this year’s eclipse in November is best viewed from the beautiful coastal city of Cairns in sunny Australia. The sight of the moon completely blocking out the sun has been described by those lucky enough to witness it as a moving and life changing experience, so it should be well worth the trip. Add to this the majestic beauty of the nearby Great Barrier Reef, and Cairns becomes the place to visit in 2012 to truly witness the wonders of nature.
Yucatán, Mexico – Chichen Itza
Mystery surrounds the beliefs and customs of the doom bringing ancient Maya civilisation, who allegedly predicted that the world will end on December 21st 2012. So why not take the chance to learn more about them? Although they are long gone, their wonderful structures and cities still remain, one of the most impressive of which is Chichen Itza. El Castillo, the huge pyramid temple at the centre of Chinchen Itza, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and when you have been there in person you will see why.
Poland & Ukraine – UEFA Euro 2012
Europe’s biggest international football competition is being held by dual hosts Poland and Ukraine in 2012, attracting some of the world’s greatest players with millions of loyal fans coming out to watch them. This competition is sure to offer up football of the highest quality, and will also give you the chance to travel to two of Europe’s less visited yet wonderful countries. Although they will be in high demand, try to nab a ticket to the semi-final at the Donbas Arena in Donetsk which will take your breath away, with its unique architecture and lighting causing it to glow brightly in the night.
California & Florida, USA – One more Disney day
2012 is a leap year, which means you get a whole extra day to use for travel and adventure. Disney are celebrating this day in style, with their California and Florida parks open for a full 24 hours of magical family fun. Most people who visit a Disney park feel that there is so much to do that they can’t fit it all into their time there, so now is your chance to experience everything the parks have to offer. Whether you are young or old, with so many rides, stage shows, parades and restaurants on offer, spending 2012’s extra day with Disney is sure to be a fantastic experience.
Yeosu, South Korea – Expo 2012
The 2012 Expo in Yeosu, based around the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast”, will show off some unbelievably cutting edge technology related to the world’s oceans, such as renewable energy sources and complex artificial islands. What’s more, over eight million people are expected to attend the Expo over the three months it’s running, meaning it is likely to be one of the most visited events of 2012. Great atmosphere, saving our planet, and a fascinating country and culture to soak up, what’s not to love?