Six best destinations for nature lovers in 2017

TAKE a break from the daily grind and reconnect with nature with a trip to one of these six must-visit countries from Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel" 2017 selection.

Canada

> Visit the natural wonders of Alberta

The province of Alberta, in the west of Canada, is home to natural sites of stunning beauty and with breathtaking views. Banff is the oldest of the country's National Parks, with a superb landscape. Visitors can take pictures of scenic glaciers or dip a toe in emerald green waters, all set against a backdrop of dense pine forests. Don't miss the enchanting turquoise waters of Lake Louise.

Colombia

> In search of the Lost City

Colombia is making headlines at the moment after the country's President was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Travellers keen to explore the county can head to the Lost City, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, in a trek starting out from Santa Marta. The jungled mountains were once home to the Tayrona civilisation, who inhabited the now ruined city of Teyuna before the Spanish conquest.

Finland

> Enjoy the Northern Lights

In Lapland, in northern Finland, the igloos and hotel rooms are specially designed for taking in the stunning spectacle of the Aurora Borealis. More adventurous travellers can try a trip in a husky sled or skiing.

Dominica

> A dip in the hot springs

Visitors have plenty of reasons to visit this Caribbean island, nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique, and not just for its diving. Travellers shouldn't miss the island's hot springs and natural mud baths. Dominica is notably home to the second biggest hot lake in the world, called Boiling Lake. It should only be admired from afar, however, as water temperatures can reach 180°F!

Nepal

> Trekking in the Himalayas

After being struck by a devastating earthquake last year, Nepal is slowly rebuilding from the tragedy. Its place in the Lonely Planet "Best in Travel" selection confirms that, in spite of recent events, the country is still a dream destination for tourists, particularly trekkers. Routes taking in Annapurna, the Mount Everest base camp and the surrounding valleys are a must.

Bermuda

> Explore underwater shipwrecks

Many ships and airplanes have disappeared in the region of the famous Bermuda Triangle under mysterious circumstances, or so legend has it. This makes the archipelago a popular destination for divers keen to explore sunken wreckages. More than 300 relics from the past are hidden under the waters surrounding the island. It's little wonder Bermuda was once known as the "Isle of Devils." — AFP Relaxnews