5 Must See Destinations for 2018
We take a look at five worldwide destinations that offer the discerning traveller that something special this year.
British Columbia, Canada
Canada is not the first name that springs to mind when you think of going somewhere amazing, but this huge country has something for everyone. Go the whole hog and fly to the west coast to one of the top-rated cities in the world to live, Vancouver. The city is famous for its hospitality, artisanal shopping and food, old and new architecture and access to all the outdoor activities you can think of from whale watching to hiking and mountain biking, to surfing and skiing.
After you’ve had your fill of the city there’s plenty more to see as British Columbia is just over 11 times the size of Ireland with hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of wilderness to explore. There are 10 massive mountain ranges that run from the Canadian Rockies in the east to the Pacific coast. During the summer, there are crystal clear lakes to go swimming in to cool off from the 30C plus heat, while in winter, there is some of the best powdered snow for skiing and snowboarding.
Check Out: Victoria The province’s capital city on Vancouver Island is a mixture of old world charm and chic modern. Take a boat trip to visit pods of Orcas, cycle the largest network of bike paths in Canada, or just simply relax in one of it’s world renowned flower gardens.
Check Out: Whistler Blackcomb Is a year-round resort that is consistently voted number 1 in North America. The mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb are connected by a spectacular peak to peak gondola. As well as skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and golfing there are plenty of festivals and events to enjoy.
Agua Amarga, Spain
Ok, so it is sun, sea and Spain, but it comes without the mass tourism. Agua Amarga is situated on the south-eastern tip of Spain in the Cabo de Gata-Nijar national park in the driest and warmest province in Spain, Almeria. With over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, this is where the spaghetti westerns were filmed. The small former fishing village has 200 residents and currently there are only 3 hotels available to book on Tripadvisor. Some restaurants won’t start serving dinner till 10pm and you’ll definitely need some basic Spanish. Great for groups, couples and families with small kids but teenagers will get bored.
Check Out: Cabo de Gata-Nijar It’s one of the last relatively unspoilt parts of the Mediterranean. Its arid landscape is dotted with half-moon bays, ruined castles and hiking trails. There’s a very good chance that you’ll end up on your own on one of the many pristine beaches along the coast.
Check Out: Fort Bravo Texas Hollywood, Tabernas The film set was built for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Sergio Leone in the 1960s and has been used hundreds of times since. There are twice-daily wild west shoot-out shows which the kids will adore.
What’s not to love about Costa Rica? It stands as a beacon of peace and tranquillity among it’s politically troubled Central American neighbours. It abolished its army in 1948 following a civil war and is one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to protecting its environment through legislation. Costa Rica ran its electricity grid on just renewable energy sources for 300 consecutive days in 2017. Costa Ricans also live longer, healthier lives than people on the rest of the globe. They call it pura vida (pure life) and you’ll hear it said all over the country.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Costa Rica has an over abundance of wildlife with half-a-million species making their home there. Its an El Dorado for the adventure junkie with mist covered volcanoes, white water rafting, jungle trails, Mayan ruins and excellent surf. The Caribbean flavoured cuisine is pretty special too.
Check Out: Viento Fresco A series of 5 waterfalls that include the 75m Arco Iris (Rainbow Falls) which has a refreshing pool for swimming in. There are 1.3km of trails to explore and if you get there early, you may have the falls to yourself.
Check Out: Parc Nacional Volcán Arenal The hiking trails around the volcano allow for some stunning vistas which can also be explored on horseback, mountain bike or quad bike. Visit some of the hot springs to sooth those aching limbs.
If being on trend is your thing, then this small island is for you. It’s the #1 trending destination according to an algorithm that measured TripAdvisor users ratings and feedback. But forget about code and algorithms, Ishigaki island is a tropical paradise with stunning beaches and clear blue waters for diving and exploring.
Ishigaki is the main island of the Yaeyama islands. Closer to Taiwan than it is to the Japanese mainland it is a tranquil polar opposite to the hustle and bustle of Japan’s big cities. It’s also famous for its beef which rivals the more internationally well-known Kobe beef in the hearts and minds of Japan.
Check Out: Kondoi Beach Pretty much any beach on Ishigaki is a mini paradise, but Kondoi is a sand bar that stretches to nearly a mile out into the ocean with shallow warm waters lapping against pristine white sand.
Not many would think of Zambia as a destination but Zambia is now one of the must-see destinations. The reasons for this are clear and concise. It has one of the world’s great natural wonders in the Victoria Falls. While they are not the highest or widest falls in the world, they are the largest sheet of falling water on the planet and are twice the size of the Niagra falls.
The second biggest migration of wildebeest in Africa takes place in Zambia which - if you’re lucky enough to book the right safari camp – you can watch from the comfort of your luxury en suite cabin. The country’s wilderness is virtually untouched and foot safaris are managed by some of Africa’s most experienced guides.
Check Out: The Wildebeest Migration Try viewing this from a microlight for the most awesome of experiences.
Check Out: Victoria Falls Awe inspiring, jaw dropping and breathtaking. Described by the Kololo tribe in the 1800s as Mosi-oa-Tunya which translates as: The Smoke that Thunders. With more than five hundred million cubic meters of water going over the edge per minute, it’s easy to understand why they called it that.