The Dutch are in shape; Their rates of physical activity are among the highest in the world. It is estimated that in the Netherlands there are about 20,000 kilometers of bike lane; Its flat (and green) landscapes facilitate this healthy practice. Couple that with the deep respect that its inhabitants show for their environment, and for the environment. Its capital, Amsterdam, is reputed to be one of the best in the world for cycling. An open, liberal city, with its Red Quarter and its ‘coffee shops’.
Canada is the first American country in 2016 ranking of the happiest on the planet. It is open and up to date. Just look at the headlines of your tourism website: Toronto is a shopping paradise, Montreal is ideal for ‘foodies’ and Vancouver has the best views to make the perfect photo. It is considered the third most gay-friendly nation in the world, after Spain and Germany. It features magnificent waterfalls, vineyards and wineries.
New Zealand radiates with the same happiness as the end of ‘Lord of the Rings’, when evil is eradicated from Middle-earth. The film saga showed the world the natural wonders of the home of its director, Peter Jackson. The North Island, wider and shorter, with warmer weather, lakes, hot springs, volcanic landscapes, with the imposing Ruapehu in its center, beaches, vineyards and the sophisticated city of Wellington. The South Island, longer and narrower, has some of the best places in the world to see whales.
Postal towns and cities like Christchurch and Dunedin, young and laid back under their Victorian façade; Or Queenstown, considered the world capital of extreme sports. In the photo, hikers in Milford Sound, on the South Island.
Australians define themselves as a happy people. They have objective reasons to be: security, a strong educational system, a good reconciliation of work and personal life. But, in addition, they can boast of a big city like Sydney, with its magnificent restaurants, its best beaches, the Blue Mountains or events like the Mardi Gras or New Year’s fireworks. Or the stylish, cultural, cuisine and sports-filled Melbourne. Vineyards, deserts, the Tasmanian island-state or the Great Barrier Reef complete the picture.
There is a ‘Millennium’ route in the capital itself, Stockholm. And another by Wallander’s Eskimo, Henning Mankell’s detective, “as diverse as a blanket made of scraps: fertile lands, forests and lakes plagued by castles, mansions and museums, as well as magnificent gardens,” according to his website Tourism . There is much more, of course. The Swedish Lapland, the leafy forests and farmlands of Småland, the Dalarma region, as authentically Swedish as ABBA and Ikea together.