Best of the World 2013

KYIV, Ukraine, December 5, 2012

Southern Ukrainian peninsula Crimea opens the list of the new year's 20 must-see places, picked by the National Geographic Traveler editors. "The Crimean Peninsula, with its voluptuously curved Black Sea coast of sparkling cliffs, is paradise - with Riviera-grade vistas but without Riviera prices," describes the south Ukrainian gem the popular tourist magazine.

The list can be found here

National Geographic informs that Crimea has 300 days of sun a year, boasts numerous health resorts, as well as a bit of Soviet past heritage in a form of, say, "once secret nuclear-blast-proof Soviet submarine base in Balaklava, a piece of Cold War history, now a museum", the "concrete block architecture", and even the "unsmiling babushkas". The famous Livadia Palace in Yalta is also located on the peninsula. The site became the scene for the 1945 conference that reconfigured postwar Europe, reminds the author.Source

Another Crimean attraction is wine. "I could kneel in front of this wine," the magazine quotes recent visitor Cathy Newman. At Crimean vineyards "you may have the pleasure of tasting a Riesling with the scent of alpine meadows, port the color of rubies, and a nectar called "Seventh Heaven," teases National Geographic. Travel tips from the travel resource also include recommendations as to when to go, where to stay, how to get around, where to dine, and even what to read before you go.

Crimea is the center of seaside vacations in the country. Locals, as well as numerous tourists from the neighboring countries visit the Black and Azov Sea beaches of the peninsula. In May through October, the place is alive with many musical festivals, jazz events in particular. At the beginning of autumn Crimean Yalta hosts the high-profile Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting. It attracts many state officials and international political figures and economic experts, e.g. the Nobel Peace Prize winner and the President of Israel Shimon Peres. More

Other sites that made it to 2013 best include Grenada, Marseille, Memphis, Missouri River Banks, Ravenna, Thessaloniki, and Uganda. Burmese land of Bagan, Norway's gateway to the Arctic - Bodo, an island in Nova Scotia Cape Breton, Great Bear Rainforest, Hudson Valley, Jarash, Malawi, Quito, Indonesian island Raja Ampat, St. Augustine, Uganda, and Chilean port Valparaiso complement the top 20.