Dare to dream with our top 10 travel choices for the year ahead and beyond…
1 Bali, Indonesia
A holiday which combines the turquoise waters which line Bali’s coast with the deep greens and teeming wildlife of its inland vegetation. With the island lying only a few degrees south of the equator, if you worship the sun you will lap up the rays. The long, hot and sunny days show the Indonesian island at its very best – highlighting the vibrant colours which surround you. It can get a little humid at times, but rarely uncomfortably so. From sunrise – when the locals rise to bless the new day or cast their nets for their daily fishing – to sunset – when they retreat to their homes and the tourists come out to play – you will feel a long way from the often inclement conditions of the British Isles.
2 Kenya, Africa
A chance to go on safari and spot Africa’s Big Five is a big dream for many adventurers and wildlife lovers. Hear lions roaring, enjoy a close-up view of an elephant, spot a spotty leopard, marvel at the sight of rhino – but do beware of the African buffalo with his curved horns – they tend to form in large groups!
3 The Seychelles, East Africa
With 115 islands, and a rare tortoise, boasts a wealth of beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, and an ‘eternal summer’ climate.
Brimming with majestic peaks, snowy valleys, idyllic villages and world-renowned ski resorts, Switzerland has it all for a truly memorable winter holiday. Skiers can enjoy whizzing round some of the best resorts in the Alps – High Altitude ski areas, outstanding ski runs, and well-prepared pistes await, whether you are experienced or a complete beginner.
For the non-skier, the winter landscape is superb, too, and the year-round, fully operational transport system allows you to enjoy every part, even when the snow is deep. As you enjoy winter walks along the shores of a frozen lake, or on paths through a forest of spruce trees laden with snow, there is a picture postcard scene around every corner.
5 The Maldives, South Asia
These islands are known for their natural environment, including the blue ocean, white beaches, and clean air. Due to their extraordinary underwater scenery and clean water, the Maldives is ranked among the best recreational diving destinations of the world, with over 60 local dive sites across the islands.
You can get the most out of Australia by combining the icons of Sydney, the fiery red sands of the outback, and the spectacular colours of the Great Barrier Reef. And don’t miss one of Australia’s most famous natural icons, Uluru, and explore the rugged surroundings while learning more about Aboriginal culture. Watch the sunset over this striking backdrop with a glass of Champagne before dining under the star-studded outback sky.
7 The Italian Lakes
These shimmering lakes have become synonymous with romantic holidays thanks to their picturesque, fairy-tale setting. Set in the foothills of the Alps, the picture-postcard scenery blends deep blue waters with dramatic, snow-capped mountain backdrops.
From the likes of Lake Garda and Lake Como – which have become well known thanks to the rich and famous who like to holiday there (George Clooney, for one) – to sleepier localities such as Lake Maggiore, these glistening settings offer holidays to suit tastes across the spectrum.
8 The Netherlands
The waterways of the Netherlands (aka Holland) make for popular European river cruising and are so easy to navigate. These cruises offer delightful short breaks, so grab the opportunity when you can to visit iconic locations such as the Keukenhof Gardens at Lisse – known as ‘the Garden of Europe’ or the museums of Amsterdam. And at Amsterdam Centraal Station you can pick up a bike, Segway, tram or canal tour and set about exploring one of the flattest of lands with ease!
9 The Caribbean
Explore the amazing, restorative tropical islands of The Caribbean at your own pace, and benefit from the atmosphere, culture and some of the best seafood in the world.
Barbados – an isle for holidaying in style, with its vibrant capital Bridgetown, a natural harbour, inviting seas and great cocktails.
St Lucia – an isle with stunning sights, such as the famous twin tapered mountains the Pitons, dense forests and waterfalls.
Grenada – with its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, this land of sugar and spice also offers you a quieter pace of life.
The islands beckon – how can you resist?
10 Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Journey from hectic cities to floating villages, cruise serene Ha Long Bay and visit UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat (below) for a flavour of life on the South East Asia trail.