Planning the next holidays? Would it be a place you’ve been (and loved) before, or a brand new destination?
Here are our picks from the world’s top 10 countries you should visit.
If you are looking for a slightly beaten off-path holiday, consider Jordan. One of the Middle East’s safest countries, Jordan is home to the unbelievably lost city of Petra. Head to the lowest point on earth and float in the Dead Sea, then experience the heavy Wadi Rum desert landscape – skydive over the canyons of the desert or stay in a Bedouin camp.
If you are planning for your next vacation, then head straight over to Vietnam. The nation has something for everyone, from the Marble Mountains in Danang to the azure waters of Nha Trag, from the backwaters of the Mekong Delta to the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Due to its colonial architecture, exquisite cuisine and café culture, don’t miss going to Ho Chi Minh City.
Indonesia is another nation with several islands to explore. If you only have time to explore one island, then let it be Bali. Explore Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre, or go on a sunrise trek to Mount Agung (the island’s highest point) or Mount Batur, an active volcano set in a huge crater. You could also go to the beaches, watching dolphins at Lovina.
Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has long been on the list of the world’s top 10 countries to visit. So if you’ve yet to visit this East-meets-West gem, let this be the year you’re doing it! Istanbul itself has plenty to keep you occupied – the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and a Bosphorus cruise. Make sure you visit Cappadocia ‘s quirky cave dwellings, and try ballooning hot air over its surreal landscape.
Forget about Switzerland and visit its less tourist (and lovelier) neighbor – Austria. Medieval architecture of Vienna, cobbled streets and quaint cafes make it a charming town. Visit Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace, and take a city bike tour where the classic film Sound of Music was filmed. Make a day trip to the Krimml Falls (the highest in Europe), or to Hallstatt, the oldest still-inhabited village, while you’re in Salzburg.
The Philippines is an archipelago of some 7,000 islands, and a pleasant destination. You’ll find beautiful beaches, stunning views and warm hospitality. Go island hopping and discover hidden beaches, snorkel amongst colourful corals and try some adventure sports. Or head to the rice terraces of Banaue and immerse yourself in the slow, pastoral life.
7. South Africa
Offering a large variety of choices, South Africa is another destination that should be on your bucket list. Cape Town has regularly made it to the list of best cities to visit. Kruger National Park rivals Kenya’s Masai Mara in its wildlife safaris. Don’t miss a visit to Table Mountain or dessert at Kalahari. And South Africa’s wine industry is good enough to give France and Italy a run for their money!
Despite its fiscal troubles, Greece is still one of the top 10 countries to visit. Historical Athens and Delphi with their legendary ruins are a must-visit, as are the gorgeous islands of Santorini and Corfu. Or get away from the crowds by visiting some lesser-known islands, such as Cythera and Kastelorizo. And indulge in the sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine as you contemplate the perfect sunset over the Aegean.
Sunny Spain is a great location for a mid-season holiday in Europe. The cities of Barcelona and Madrid are of course must-dos. Don’t miss visiting the Alhambra fortress in Granda, Andalusia. Take a Flamenco class or learn to cook authentic Spanish cuisine. If possible, coincide your visit with one of Spain’s many festivals – La Tomatina, Tenerife Carnival or the famous Encierro or running of the bulls.
The land Down Under has so much diversity that you can find everything from beaches to mountains, theme parks to ski resorts and vineyards to wildlife. Visit the iconic Opera House in Sydney, go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef and check out Kangaroo Island’s rugged beauty. You will truly be spoilt for choice in Australia!