Where to Travel in 2019

Where to Travel in 2019

we’re wary of earmarking destinations as “hot” or “not”
and the word “emerging” makes us shudder, we’ve drawn up a list of
places that we’d like to visit in 2019 and think you would too.
From the more familiar like Malta
to those ripe for exploration such as Madagascar, this the ultimate
holiday hit list.



Often overlooked in favour of
Costa Rica
, beautiful
boasts dense jungle – where wild cats including jaguars
and ocelots prowl among Mayan ruins – to the west and a Caribbean
shoreline circled by the Belize Barrier Reef to the east. Needless
to say, the diving is exceptional.


Following the World Nomad Games in 2018, news of this Silk Road
country’s fabled beauty – snow-capped mountains and rolling summer
pastures inhabited by yurt-dwelling shepherds with eagles swooping
overhead – is fast seeping beyond the realm of in-the-know
travellers. With thousands of kilometres of treks, plenty of
homestays and the thrill of a real adventure, this is one to book


Stretching nearly 4,300km from top to toe, unsurprisingly
is a land of extremes, boasting diverse landscapes and abundant
wildlife. Beyond the capital, vibrant cities such as
offer colourful cliff-side houses and quirky charm,
while the Atacama Desert is for salt plains and stargazing.


Mountains, lakes, salt flats and volcanoes provide the backdrop
for ancient cultures (including nine World Heritage listed sites),
temples, castles and monasteries in a country with the
second-fastest growing economy in Africa (after Ghana).
With thriving cities and a youthful population, this is one for
intrepid holidaymakers who like to be ahead of the curve.


Arabic conservatism meets a relatively liberal air in the
Jordanian capital of
, which has become increasingly buzzy in recent years
attracting both foodies and a fashion crowd, while a visit to
ancient Petra
is one of those travel experiences that will stay with you forever.
The only coastal city in
, Aqaba is a triple threat for sea, sun and sand; head to
nearby Wadi Rum for desert camps and Bedouin culture.


We travelled to Madagascar for our recent Pioneer
and discovered a beautifully raw island-nation that has
yet to be sullied by tourism. With waters akin to the
, endless white coastlines – absent of hotel chains –
and return flights from the UK from £350, it’s one of our favourite
places right now.

São Tomé and Príncipe

In the last 500 years, these minute
Atlantic islands
have been: one of the main centres for the
organised slave trade; the largest producers of cocoa in the world
under Portuguese colonisers; and world leaders in sugarcane
production. Today? They are among Africa’s most stable and
democratic spots, as well as one of the continent’s best-kept


Golden-hued Valletta was named Capital of Culture 2018, but
we’ve had an eye on this Mediterranean island-nation for several
years now. Successfully throwing off its reputation as a slightly
grotty package holiday spot for the blue-haired brigade, head here
for boutique hotels, aquamarine waters and good food – at a
fraction of the price of your usual summer getaway.


We cycled through the pretty Saxon villages that dot the

countryside for our Slow
and discovered a fairy-tale land of restored aristocratic
manor houses and wildflower-filled pastures, only improved by
top-notch organic cuisine and superb local wine.

Cities and Regions



might a favourite for sprawling souks and mosques, but
Turkey’s third-largest city, Izmir,
is an experience that is slightly more feasible to take on for a
weekend break. Bordered by the Aegean Sea, a vibrant beachside
promenade and lively nightlife contrast to the Ancient Greek
monuments scattered around this storied city.



A UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture for
2019, this strange city in southern Italy is famous for its sassi –
ancient dwellings carved into calcified ravine rock, thought to be
among the first human settlements in Italy. The habitations are
becoming a tourist attraction, with boutique hotels being built in
caverns. Combine with a trip to Puglia
(an hour away) for Italian summer dreams come true.



may have been the name on everyone’s lips last year
thanks to Soho
opening, but this year we’ve got our sites set on
Chennai. Formerly known as Madras, this port city is the food
capital of Tamil Nadu, where South Indian artistic and religious
traditions are layered with contemporary cosmopolitan cool.

Novi Sad


It might be Serbia’s “second” city, but this culture hotspot
wears its badge with pride – and rightly so, considering its lively
music, film, theatre and art scenes. The country’s “New Garden” has
also got a makeover which has seen the Petrovaradin Citadel’s Lower
Town redone, while Chinatown has blossomed into an edgy and
eclectic enclave.



makes for an affordable weekend break that many overlook
in favour of Prague or Budapest.
A young, creative population has given rise to eclectic art and
nightlife scenes that spring up in a cityscape of 19th-century and

Soviet architecture

The Azores


Nature is very much in charge in this dramatic archipelago of
nine volcanic islets adrift in the Atlantic about 1500km off the
coast of Lisbon.
Hiking, whale-watching, crystalline lagoons and ancient vineyards
await – Flores, Faial and Pico are our favourite islands.


Pennsylvania, US

Once most famous for sports teams and a distinctive accent, Andy
Warhol’s hometown is making waves thanks to a industrious young
population who are continuing his legacy via a cutting-edge art
scene. Joined by interesting restaurants and a thriving tech stage,
despite developments this American city stays true to itself,
making for a local – and genuine – experience.



This mountainous area of Thessaly is bookended by the Aegean and
the Pagasetic, offering hiking trails, untouched lagoons and
secluded beaches. Venture inland from the seaside towns for
whitewashed houses clinging to the emerald-green flanks of Pelion
Mountain and lush pine forests enclosing waterfalls. A direct
flight to Volos launched in 2018, meaning
won’t be under-the-radar for long.



Western Australians
have known that their capital is a little-discovered gem for years.
Already worth a stop-over for endless beaches (there are 19 in easy
reach) and a relaxed atmosphere, in recent years
has developed a buzzing art, culture and festival scene,
complemented by a roster of innovative restaurants and quirky bars
that seem to double in number with every visit.

This image is on holiday

The Turkish Riviera


We told you last summer and we’ll tell you again; it’s all about

. The country may have gone off the boil somewhat in
recent years due to security threats, but licked by both Aegean and
Mediterranean waters (the southern riviera is known as the
“Turquoise Coast”) it’s winning our European summer vote this year.
Boutique hotels are being joined by five-star resorts, and even
is going boujis.



The “hip” set are moving ever further eastwards in pursuit of
“the new Berlin” and
Tallinn is coming out trumps for the accolade. The capital of
Estonia is the country’s cultural hub, blending medieval history of
burnt sienna-coloured rooftops, intricate gothic churches and
winding cobblestone streets with a contemporary edge in the form of
skyscrapers and warehouses just waiting to be turning into pop-up
rave caves.



Twenty miles from Barcelona,
this former fishing village is all winding streets and vanilla
beaches coupled with a cosmopolitan air (in part thanks to an
effervescent gay scene) that has earned it the moniker the
of Spain”. Popular among wealthy Catalans, it’s not all
glitz and glam, however; artists and writers follow in the
footsteps of Picasso, flocking here for inspiration and giving the
city a distinctly bohemian edge.

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20 Hot Travel Destinations for 2020