With the line-up of “places to go next” growing by the minute, deciding on your next trip can be a challenge.
Bannikin Asia has created this 2018 travel hit list. Follow it closely, and your social media feed will be the next go-to spot for travel inspirations.
Here are the top 10 travel experiences for 2018:
1. Travel the Archipelago of the Azores
This small island group off the coast of Portugal is the next must-see destination of 2018. Due to its well-preserved and wide range of biodiversity, the Azores has become the “it” spot for whale- and dolphin-watching, scuba diving and geotourism. It is hailed as the ultimate holiday destination for nature and adventure lovers. Swim with dolphins, abseil in nature or explore the island on a jeep safari. Visit www.futurismo.pt/en for details.
2. Sail on an Arctic safari
If you thought safaris only existed in Africa, well, a whole other spectrum exists at the ends of the earth. Discover the natural wilderness of the Arctic circle aboard the Ocean Endeavour, and keep your eyes peeled for polar bears, whales, caribou and walrus among glaciers and icy seas.
Discover Greenland, which is home to the Jakobshavn Icefjord, a Unesco World Heritage Site and a source of the majority of the massive icebergs in the North Atlantic.
3. Cycle through the Deserts of Petra
One of the ultimate things for any seasoned active traveller is exploring a new place by bike. Make that the Kingdom of Jordan, and this will be a trip for the history books. Cycle to the city of Mt Nebo and many desert roads where the landscape is vast and spectacular.
As an added perk, spend the night under the stars with the Bedouin people, in Wadi Rum. For details, visit www.exodustravels.com
4. Explore the Coast of Scotland by yacht
Get aboard the Eda Frandsen, a classic and beautifully converted 70-year-old Gaff Cutter, and take in the spectacular views of coastal Scotland. From the remote peninsula of Knoydart, to the Isles of Skye and Rum with their dramatic rocky ridges, every inch of the landscape is stunning.
With a backdrop of the islands’ fascinating history and culture, and an experienced skipper on-board, this maritime adventure makes for a life-changing encounter of the deepest kind.
5. Discover the hidden valleys of Dolpa
Nepal has seen a revival in the last few years, with new and lesser-known treks becoming increasingly popular. For example, a trek through the hidden valleys of Dolpa features the icy turquoise waters of Phoksundo Lake, yak caravans crossing high Himalayan passes, and some of the highest settlements on earth like the Dho-Tarap valley.
These valleys were not opened until 1989, so a trek through there is one for the bucket list.
6. Hike the ring of Kerry Mountains
No doubt, the best way to see the beauty of Ireland is by foot. Kerry’s scenery and soaring mountains make the perfect backdrop for an exhilarating hiking trip. Through this off-the-beaten track, climb two of Ireland’s highest peaks and hike through spectacular landscapes such as Killarney National Park, the wildest sections of the Kerry Way and the rugged Dingle Peninsula.
Make sure your fitness levels are up to speed for this journey.
7. Explore the rhino conservation site of Lewa
Lewa has one of the most beautiful landscapes in Kenya. Besides being famed for its variety of wild animals, and luxury award-winning lodges such as Arijuju, it’s also home to a successful rhino conservation site.
Every guest that visits the site contributes to this conservation with a fee that is included in their nightly accommodation rate. Guests can also see the conservation in action by participating in behind-the-scenes activities, such as going out with dog teams that track poachers, or even joining a rhino-notching expedition where a rhino gets tagged so the team can keep track of him. Talk about travelling for a good cause! For more information, visit www.lewa.org/visit-lewa/visit-lewa/
8. Circumnavigate the island of Cuba
Discover the entire soulful island of Cuba aboard the comfort of a cruise liner. A pit stop beckons at the legendary city of Havana, birthplace of salsa music and mojitos. Don’t forget to stop for a picture with a vintage Cadillac on the street.
Also explore the city of Cinfuegos, which is the architectural jewel of Cuba, and home to some of the best food the island has to offer.
9. Stay a week in an Amazonian jungle lodge
The Tambopata Research Center in Peru is the most remote jungle lodge in the Amazon. Human sightings nearby are so rare that it is much more common to see monkeys, macaws and the odd jaguar! The centre’s remote location makes it excellent for explorations of Amazonian nature and wildlife.
All of its rooms have authentic Ese-Eja decor which has been crafted by artists from the local community of Infierno, and feature an open verandah to maximise the experience with the rainforest.
Did we tell you it takes eight hours to get there by boat? Then again all the best places are the hardest to get to.
10. Travel the Atacama region in Chile
Desert chasers and history buffs should take a journey through the Atacama, a landscape of sand dunes, dried river basins and rich red rock formations. A must-do is a hike through this formidable terrain before feasting your eyes on a spectacular sunset in Moon Valley.
Then manifest your inner Indiana Jones and explore the archaeological site of Yerbas Buenas. It is home to ancient petroglyphs which date back 10,000 years.