A flurry of travel guides, bloggers, influencers and newspapers have already given their take on the top ten destinations of 2020. To some extent we all follow the latest trends as have been decreed by our glowing screens. Yet when it comes to travelling our differences come rushing to the surface. For instance the idea of a seaside retreat may bore you stiff. In turn, some feel strolling to the beach bar is as active as it should get while on holiday.
We’ve tailored our version of the top ten destinations of 2020 for a range of personalities. We’re complex creatures afterall.
Italy or France are the go-to for romantic escapes, but you already knew that didn’t you? Why play it safe when you can astound your partner with the dazzling Northern Lights, breathtaking fjords, and the cosy confines of a secluded wood cabin nestled in a winter wonderland. Combine all this with its array of dreamy backdrops and you’re onto a winner.
Norway’s natural beauty is breathtaking all year-round. However, it’s the winter months that transform it into a dreamy escape. The Nordic country boasts over 125 ski resorts that weave through the stunning landscape. So start with a day on the slopes before heading back to the chalet to admire the clear starry skies. Don’t forget to arm yourself with a piping hot glass of gløgg (Norwegian mulled wine), to provide an excuse for those blubbering romantic confessions that may come spilling out.
For culture vultures
Brimming with fascinating museums and cultural events, the capital of Portugal is a perfect retreat for lovers of the arts. A mere jaunt around its quaint streets peppered with gothic grit, tell a thousand stories of Portugal’s yesteryear glories.Grand buildings stand side by side with some of the most pioneering galleries in Europe – Lisbon masterfully blends the old world and the new. Main hotspots include Hangar, Underdogs Gallery, and the Museu Coleção Berardo.
After visiting its arty delights tuck into its vibrant culinary scene. This fascinating country is famed for its fresh seafood, hearty stews and grilled meats. During the day find refuge in one of its many charming squares to indulge in a pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tart).
For history buffs
Wrap yourself in over 2,000 years of Roman history on your next escape from the office. With streets once trodden by the Romans and tales of the ancients carved into its marble walls, Rome is a living breathing museum. Start the day by visiting the Pantheon, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, and of course, the emblematic Colosseum.
Later, stroll across town to the Piazza Venezia. This spectacular square is adorned with stunning views over the ancient roman ruins including Trajan’s Market, the Temple of Concord and the Arch of Septimius Severus. Bring the day to a close with a Roman dinner in the heart of the historic centre to do as the Romans do.
Declared as the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy in 2017, the foody reputation of Huelva has skyrocketed. Sewn to the side of Portugal, this Andalusian delight boasts a eclectic mix of classic and avant garde cooking. Look no further than the Michelin-starred Ancanthum, for an exquisite example of the town’s mantra. Thanks to its title, an array of food fairs and culinary events take place here throughout the year.
What makes this small city so special is the outstanding local produce of fruits, vegetables, and outstanding seafood used in the signature dishes of this region. Jamón ibérico (Spanish cured ham), coquinas de Huelva al ajillo (mini garlic clams) and Salmorejo (a deliciously refreshing cold tomato soup.) are but a few of the foodie highlights.
For animal lovers
Famed for its outstanding biodiversity, Madagascar is literally one-of-a-kind. Its landscapes flow from lush forest to desolate plains dotted with baobab trees. The diverse African island is a natural paradise of lemurs, chameleons, and numerous pods of whales. For a more detailed account of the Great Red Island, have a peek at our post of the top things to do in Madagascar.
For breathtaking nature
Barely 15 years ago the mention of Iceland as a holiday would have received bemused glances – how times change. The popularity boom of the land of fire and ice is no mystery. Its dramatic coastlines, sky blue lagoons, steaming geysers, and roaring volcanoes swathed in Viking legend, establish its unmissable status amongst nature lovers. Due to its abundance of natural delights you won’t be short of ideas when visiting. Don’t believe me? Check our rundown of the best Iceland has to offer in winter.
Ah, The Maldives. Where crystal clear seas gently lap pristine white sands dotted by lazy palm trees. Yes, this has been a hotspot for years. However, due to rising sea levels this doesn’t mean it will even exist in the near future. The sheer beauty of the islands, coupled with the laid-back mantra of the locals, make this the number one destination for anyone looking to unwind. Let’s hope it’s here to stay.
For thrill seekers
Bob Harper put it best when he said: “I gotta admit, God really outdid himself down here.” Home of the Southern Alps, luscious moors and a striking coastline, we think Bob hit the nail on the head. New Zealand’s varied expanses are perfect for a multitude of activities: snowboarding, white water rafting, mountain biking, diving, paragliding, surfing, kayaking – the list is endless.
Scraping the heavens at over 2,430m above sea level, this incredible marvel of the Incas features on many a bucket list. Set to a dramatic backdrop of the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu is arguably the greatest achievement of the Inca civilization. The site spans over 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys. La Ciudadela (the Citadel), built in the fifteenth century, was densely populated up until the Inca Empire fell to the Spanish. Trek through the forest, to discover the breathtaking spectacle for yourself.
What makes this a fantastic choice for adventurers is the wealth of activities available on the Inca Trail. Try your hand at zip wiring through the lush valleys, battle the torrents while white water rafting, or have a go at llama riding (if you dare).
For the quirky
Ok, for the quirky could be taken the wrong way. By no means do we mean to offend this fascinating country. But, honestly speaking, how much do you think you would know about Armenia if it wasn’t for the Kardashians? This landlocked country is perfect for those yearning a taste of the unknown.
Alongside its complex, sombre history are cities rich in culture and helpful locals visibly delighted to see you in their country. The medieval monasteries sprinkled throughout the vast plains, scarred by dramatic mountains are the main attraction. However, the surprisingly gorgeous city of Yerevan follows close behind. This captivating commercial hub seems to have flourished into a trendy mecca for locals without the need of international attention.
It’s clear to see that Armenia cements itself as the top conversation starter on our list. So, wander off the beaten track with a trip to Armenia.