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21 Destinations To Visit Twice Before You Die

Because some places demand more than one visit…

1. 1. Victoria Falls, Zambia

Allan Grey / Via Flickr

It’s got to come at the top of the list: the ‘Smoke That Thunders’ beats Niagara hands down. Come here in the rainy season (December to March) and you’ll be soaked to the bone by the spray. Return in the dry season (April to October) for a better view of the sheer drop below.

Charles Haynes / Via Flickr

3. 2. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Angela / Via Flickr

The blue hues of the Mendenhall Glacier are incredible, but aren’t best seen when covered in fresh powder. Head here during early May for longer days, light and photo ops, or come back in September to view the black bears nearby. They’ll be visiting Steep Creek to feed on salmon.

Kristopher Volkman / Via Flickr

5. 3. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Shadowgate / Via Flickr

Located in a lava field, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is possibly its most visited attraction. With its healing waters reaching a blissful 37–39 °C, it’s one to check out at any time of year. That said, summer offers plenty of sunshine; while winter’s rather a more brooding, steamy affair…

Ted Drake / Via Flickr

7. 4. Lapland, Finland

Tarja Mitrovic / Via Flickr

Home of Santa (or Joulupukki), Lapland’s the quintessential Christmas destination. Go dog sledding or stay in an igloo; but remember it’ll be dark. In summer, the Midnight Sun means endless light and more cloudberries: yes, cloudberries! The weird little fruits appear in July.

Aivar Ruukel / Via Flickr

9. 5. Arctic Tundra, Greenland

Drew Avery / Via Flickr

There are more reasons to go to Greenland twice than to see cute and cuddly Arctic foxes. But come during the summer, and the Arctic foxes are cute and cuddly, and in winter – well, you get the idea. Different colours because of the tundra; cute and cuddly they remain. Win–win.

Emma / Via Flickr

11. 6. Edinburgh, Scotland

friedwater / Via Flickr

Come to Edinburgh during August and you’ll experience the (somewhat spurious) warmth of a Scottish summer, all wrapped up with the city’s world-famous festivals. Hop back in winter, however, and you’ll experience German Christmas markets, and a cracking NYE street party.

Colour Of Your Smile / Via Flickr

13. 7. Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan

ptrktn / Via Flickr

Though beautiful at pretty much any time of the year, head to Hitachi during spring to see incredible carpets of “baby blue-eyes” flowers (or nemophilia). Come back in autumn, and the very same hillsides will be covered with hundreds of fiery kochia plants and cosmos flowers.

ajari / Via Flickr

15. 8. Mathura and Vrindavan, India

JOAQUIN MURILLO / Via Flickr

Come for the Festival of Colours, or Holi, in the area where the festival has its origins. On March 17, there’s a week-long coloured-powder party! Come back in August, and you can join in on Janmashtami – it marks the day of Krishna’s birthday, in the town where he was born.

David Gil / Via Flickr

17. 9. Mutianyu, Great Wall of China

Francisco Diez / Via Flickr

One of the most popular places to visit the Great Wall, come here in autumn to coincide with the Red Leaf Festival (pretty self explanatory) in Beijing, just 70km away. Travel in May instead, and you’ll be better prepared for the Great Wall International Marathon. Phew.

Robert Nyman / Via Flickr

19. 10. Michoacan, Mexico

Carlos Adampol Galindo / Via Flickr

In October, you’ll find millions of monarch butterflies in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacan, having made their way for the winter from Canada. Come back in April for Mexico’s biggest Semana Santa celebrations, at their best in Uruapan and Patzcuaro.

dzilam / Via Flickr

21. 11. Stetind Mountain, Norway

Frode Jenssen / Via Flickr

Make your way to the spectacular Stetind Mountain in summer, and you’ll experience the Midnight Sun. Come back again in winter, and you’ll be dazzled by the Northern Lights.

Frode Jenssen / Via Flickr

23. 12. New York, United States

Gane Kumaraswamy / Via Flickr

Central Park’s on many a tourist’s bucket list, but you have to hit up NYC more than once to do it justice. You could go in spring, summer, autumn or winter, and the seasons will offer their own charms. But let’s be honest: Miracle on 34th Street has sort of swayed us towards snow.

Ralph Hockens / Via Flickr

25. 13. Olkhon Island, Russia

Délirante bestiole / Via Flickr

The largest of Lake Baikal’s islands, Olkhon’s as special in summer as it is during winter. Its northern coast is known to be a fantastic spot for swimming in the sunshine, but come back in winter, and you may find that the lake’s warm, blue waters have completely frosted over. Chilly.

Marco Fieber / Via Flickr

27. 14. Sapporo, Japan

iris / Via Flickr

In May, cherry blossom (or sakura) season takes place in Sapporo, and one of the best places to see them is in the city’s Odori Park. Come back here in winter, however, and you’ll be able to check out the incredible ice and snow sculptures at the renowned Sapporo Snow Festival.

m3lty / Via Flickr

29. 15. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

stefan m / Via Flickr

Known as some of the world’s most beautiful spots for swimming, Plitvice Lakes are nothing short of wonderful in the summer; but they are crowded. Travel in winter instead, and there’ll be virtually no other holidaymakers (bar the people that have read this post, of course…).

Donald Judge / Via Flickr

31. 16. Porthcurno, England

COMΛS / Via Flickr

Surf’s up: Cornwall’s one of the world’s best spots for hitting the waves, and has some of Britain’s finest beaches. Porthcurno, for example, has won countless awards, but take note – those sandcastles you grafted this morning won’t be there this afternoon. The sand’s engulfed every six hours.

Andrew / Via Flickr

33. 17. Yosemite National Park, United States

Dawn Ellner / Via Flickr

In spring, the Yosemite Falls kick in as the snow melts, with the crashing torrents flowing down the mountainsides right through until August. But by winter, they’ve accumulated frost along the way, turning the park into an almost deserted winter wonderland.

Justin Ennis / Via Flickr

35. 18. Valencia, Spain

Joe Calhoun / Via Flickr

Valencia’s the daddy of frenzied festivals. In March, a celebration commemorating Saint Joseph takes place, with all the city’s neighbourhoods creating fallas – or cartoon-like monuments – before burning them. And in August? It’s ‘La Tomatina’ time, of course.

flydime / Via Wikimedia

37. 19. Stockholm, Sweden

Jon Åslund / Via Flickr

In summer, hop a ferry ride around the Stockholm Archipelago, sampling titbits of smörgåsbord from your own Swedish summerhouse. In winter, watch the sunset at around 3 o’clock, ice skate on its frozen lakes, and tuck into freshly baked Swedish apple cake.

bc_harry / Via Panoramio

39. 20. Zermatt, Austria

Martin Abegglen / Via Flickr

It might be the winter sports capital of the world, but Zermatt has plenty to offer up to its summer visitors. By ski, snowboard, toboggan or snowshoe, you’ll not quickly forget the Matterhorn scenery; but hiking, climbing and paragliding in summer? It offers a whole new perspective.

Philip Larson / Via Flickr

41. 21. Stonehenge, England

Ann Wuyts / Via Flickr

Finally, Stonehenge: two solstices; two seasons. One generally has more, erm, druids and stuff.

Chris Funderburg / Via Flickr

Want to discover more places to see twice before you die? Check out HomeAway’s new microsite and receive personalised travel recommendations.

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