North Wales named one of the world's best regions by Lonely Planet

North Wales is the only UK region in the publisher’s annual Best in Travel list, thanks to new adventure attractions such zip wires and an inland surfing lake

North Wales has been named among the top places in the world to visit in 2017 according to Lonely Planet’s annual Best in Travel list.

Placed fourth on the list of regions to visit, north Wales is the only UK destination to be featured in the rankings, which are compiled by a panel of the travel publisher’s writers and experts.

North Wales was praised for its host of new adventure attractions, such as Surf Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley, an inland surfing lake described as “the most headline-stealing example of the region’s reinvention”.

Other attractions that drew Lonely Planet’s attention are Zip World which has attractions at three locations in north Wales, including the world’s fastest and Europe’s longest zip line, the first four-person zip line, and Bounce Below, a network of giant trampolines rigged together in the caverns beneath Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Bounce Below, a network of giant trampolines, walkways and slides suspended in the caverns of the 176-year old disused Llechwedd slate mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Bounce Below, a network of giant trampolines, walkways and slides suspended in the caverns of the 176-year old disused Llechwedd slate mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

North Wales is ranked ahead of regions including South Australia, Perak in Malaysia and Aysen, Chile.

Topping the list is Choquequirao, Peru, which is expected to see the opening of a new cable car next year and is home to a spectacular Inca settlement, which Lonely Planet describes as like “exploring Machu Picchu before the hordes and mass commerce.”

In second place is Taranaki, New Zealand, a rarely visited destination which has natural assets that have “long been envied”, along with an emerging cultural scene thanks to the opening of the Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth’s “answer to the Guggenheim”, as well as hosting the Womad world music festival.

The Azores archipelago, a mid-Atlantic outpost of Portugal, came third in the rankings, praised by Lonely Planet for its blend of “amazing nature and super-cool Iberian culture”.

Other categories in the list include the top 10 countries, which this year was topped by Canada, and the top cities, with Bordeaux in first place.

Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2017

Top 10 regions

Inca ruins of Choquequirao, Peru.
Inca ruins of Choquequirao, Peru. Photograph: Rafal Cichawa/Getty Images/iStockphoto
  1. Choquequirao, Peru
  2. Taranaki, New Zealand
  3. The Azores, Portugal
  4. North Wales, UK
  5. South Australia
  6. Aysén, Chile
  7. The Tuamotus, French Polynesia
  8. Coastal Georgia, USA
  9. Perak, Malaysia
  10. The Skellig Ring, Ireland

Top 10 countries

Vancouver’s downtown skyline.
Vancouver’s downtown skyline.
Photograph: George Rose/Getty Images
  1. Canada
  2. Colombia
  3. Finland
  4. Dominica
  5. Nepal
  6. Bermuda
  7. Mongolia
  8. Oman
  9. Myanmar
  10. Ethiopia

Top 10 cities

Bordeaux’s new wine museum, La Cite du Vin.
Bordeaux’s new wine museum, La Cite du Vin. Photograph: ANAKA
  1. Bordeaux, France
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Los Angeles, USA
  4. Mérida, Mexico
  5. Ohrid, Macedonia
  6. Pistoia, Italy
  7. Seoul, South Korea
  8. Lisbon, Portugal
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Portland, Oregon, USA


Will Coldwell

The GuardianTramp

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