World traveller picks Dominica among 12 countries everyone should visit

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dominicaBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday September 30, 2015 – Norwegian adventurer Gunnar Garfors had visited all 198 countries in the world by the time he turned 37.

So when people asked him which country was his favourite, he had a hard time picking just one, according to journalist Sarah Schmalbruch.

Writing in Business Insider, Schmalbruch noted that there are nevertheless 12 countries that Garfors thinks everyone should visit at some point in their lives.

Securing a place for the Caribbean on this list is the tiny (290 square miles) “Nature Island” of Dominica, currently recovering from the battering it was dealt by Tropical Storm Erika in late August.

The recipient of the 2013 Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Island award – Caribbean, Dominica has also been named one of the world’s top 10 dive destinations, and is widely regarded as a hiker’s paradise with 300 miles of scenic trails to suit hikers of every skill level.

Here’s what Garfors had to say about Dominica which he visited in 2013:

“One of the least-known islands of the Caribbean so deserves to be seen by more people. Of course, that would take away some of the charm of the volcanoes, Boiling Lake, the hidden beaches, and the rain forest. Never mind I said anything. The two small airports can anyhow only take down propeller aircraft.”

Dominica was in company with countries around the globe boasting everything from historic castles and floating markets to glaciers and “activities you didn’t know existed”.

Here are the remaining 11 countries that Garfors thinks everyone should visit:

Romania
“Transylvania, best known for its castles, mountains, and, of course, Dracula, will stun you. Not to forget the parties in the capital, Bucharest. And Romanians even know how to make great beer.”

Madagascar
“There is no doubt about the French having ‘visited.’ The gourmet options in Antananarivo are world-class, until it comes to the bill. You will think they have forgotten most of what you ordered.

“The coastline, the lemurs, and the baobab trees will gobsmack you.”

Iceland
“You know that big island in the middle of the Atlantic? It’s been battered and beaten by winds and waves for a million years, and it is still there!

“Just bring your swimming gear, and sit in 40-degrees hot natural springs while your hair will freeze and get covered by snow. Unreal.”

Vietnam
“The definition of friendliness can be found here. Just remember not to let the hustle, bustle, and traffic stress you.

“Sit down, order a drink, relax, and watch. And do not forget to check out the Mekong Delta and its floating markets.”

Kyrgyzstan
“Stunning nature, colourful markets, and very friendly people, unless they think you are an American pilot who is likely to run away with one of their beautiful girls. Bring a cup for world-class vodka.”

Kiribati
“Paradise, like it used to be. There isn’t much luxury, but the fantastic seafood and the hospitality you are likely to experience by locals make up for it by far.

“Just do venture outside the ‘civilization.’ And set aside some time, there are rarely more than two to three planes arriving here a week.”

New Zealand
“Enjoy white, black, and golden beaches, any kind of water sports, and activities you didn’t know existed.”

Nicaragua
“This is a very diverse country between Costa Rica and Honduras. You’ll find legendary surf spots, incredible diving opportunities, and stunning nature.

“Just don’t order a Cuba Libre here. The bartender might eventually mix you a Nica Libre, though.”

Sierra Leone
“This paradise is on virtually no one’s bucket list, but it should be if you are willing to challenge your comfort zone a tad. Expect amazing beaches, idyllic villages, and smiling people. Don’t expect infrastructure.”

Norway
“OK, OK, OK, call me biased, but if you haven’t seen the West Coast or Northern Norway, you don’t know what stunning scenery is.

“The wild mountains, the twisting fjords, the unimaginable waterfalls, the magnificent glaciers, the tiny villages, and the midnight sun will leave you speechless. Yeah, even you from Texas. And did I remember to mention the Northern Lights? Go, or regret forever.”

Uruguay
“You know that country in between Argentina and Brazil? The second smallest country in South America is still rather undiscovered, although I have no idea why. The memo about the calm and relaxed yet very exciting people must have gotten lost in the mail.”

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