Top travel destinations for 2018

Where are you travelling in 2018? These are some of the top choices for the year to come.

As Europe’s Capital for Culture 2018, Valletta, and by default Malta as a whole, has made it onto many top destination lists for 2018; lists that have been curated by the likes of Lonely Planet, The Business Insider and Travel and Leisure. These are some of the other countries that have made it onto a number of top destination lists. Where are you travelling to next year?

South Korea

Pyeongchang takes centre stage this February as it becomes host to the Winter Olympics
Pyeongchang takes centre stage this February as it becomes host to the Winter Olympics

South Korea is an Asian playground where pop culture, modernity and tradition blend. In its capital, Seoul, you can expect to come across high tech subways and skyscrapers rubbing shoulders with ancient Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets while people walk the streets in fashionable outfits or traditional hanbok.

Pyeongchang takes centre stage this winter as it becomes host to the Winter Olympics from 9 to 25 February with a new high speed rail line that whisk travellers across the country for the big event in just 70 minutes against a backdrop of the Taebaek Mountains.

Aeolian Islands, Italy

Salina, unlike the rest of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, remains largely unspoiled
Salina, unlike the rest of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, remains largely unspoiled

Long popular with the Maltese seeking a boating holiday in the summer, these precious islands to the north of Sicily are slowly reaching international fame, placing them on many of 2018’s top destination lists. Shaped by their explosive geology, these seven alluring sisters woo visitors with sublime seascapes, volcanic slopes, black-sand beaches, and some of Europe’s best coastal walks and dives. Salina island is perhaps the most alluring. Not yet a celebrity like her sisters Stromboli, where Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce, and Stefano Gabbana have homes, and Panarea, littered with luxury yachts through the summer, Salina has remained blissfully unspoiled. Her steep mountains blanketed in blossoming trees and wildflowers, small villages speckled with olive and lemon groves, fig trees, and miles of terraced Malvasia vineyards make for the perfect holiday but get there quick before the tourists start moving in.

Uzbekistan

Once considered the centre of the world, the trading country of Uzbekistan on the Silk Road, connected Europe to Asia
Once considered the centre of the world, the trading country of Uzbekistan on the Silk Road, connected Europe to Asia

Once at the centre of the world, no traveller could get from Europe to Asia without stopping at the Silk Road trading city. The death of the authoritarian president Islam Karimov last year has given the country new hopes at a flourishing tourism market. For now the Muslim-majority nation remains a traveller’s paradise, affordable and safe, yet still with very few tourists. The capital, Tashkent, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1966, but rebuilding started the very next day after the quake. The result is a mish-mash of restored 12th century mosques and classic Russian architecture, Brutalist buildings and statues of workers. Uzbekistan is the place to find yourself a bargain. You can pick up handmade ceramics, needlework, silk cloth and miniaturist paintings for just a few dollars in most madrassas, which have largely been transformed into bazaars.

Alaska, USA

Increased flights from European cities mean that Alaska has become a lot more accessible
Increased flights from European cities mean that Alaska has become a lot more accessible

Alaska should be your destination of choice if you burn with the fire of an outdoor spirit. With 20 hours of day light in the summer you can explore the snowy mountains, spot grizzly bears or follow the path of the Klondike gold rush. Increased flights from North America and Europe, as well as increased capacity of cruise ships mean Alaska just got a lot more accessible. Huge national parks and even bigger glaciers offer plenty to explore at the very tip of the world. Go whale watching, catch the arouara lights of simply take in some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

Tunis, Tunisia

Built on the former capital of the Carthaginian empire, Tunis sports a long and varied cultural history that can still be seen in every facet of the city’s architecture
Built on the former capital of the Carthaginian empire, Tunis sports a long and varied cultural history that can still be seen in every facet of the city’s architecture

Despite being so close to Malta, and so accessible, this is not a destination that Maltese travellers seek. However it has enough charm to make it onto many of 2018’s lists and perhaps we should pay more attention. Built on the former capital of the Carthaginian empire, Tunis sports a long and varied cultural history that can still be seen in every facet of the city’s architecture, food, and culture. Spend the afternoon exploring the ancient ruins in the Carthage city of Bysra or wander around the ancient Roman baths of Antonious, the largest baths outside of Rome.

Archipelago Sea, Finland

Finland has over 25,000 miles of shoreline and innumerable islands that are worth exploring
Finland has over 25,000 miles of shoreline and innumerable islands that are worth exploring

When tourists think Finland, they naturally gravitate towards Helsinki in the summer or Lapland in the winter. But Finland has 25,000 miles of shoreline with innumerable islands, all of which are worth exploring if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path kind of holiday. The archipelago has a subarctic glamour, with eerie, sunlit summer nights and dark winter days, its rocky, tree-lined islands dotted with storybook wooden cottages. Hike, bike, or drive the islands; or hole up on one all your own.

Japan

Three quarters of the countries landmass is covered in mountains making Japan an ideal destination for avid skiers
Three quarters of the countries landmass is covered in mountains making Japan an ideal destination for avid skiers

Visitors to Japan have increased threefold over the last few years and are predicted to continue to rise and for pretty good reason. Though on the other side of the planet, and a little difficult to get to, travellers will find Japan as thrilling as their journey to get there is long. Tradition runs alongside modern life with shrines and temples all over the country. The scenery is stunning with steaming hot springs and national parks.

Travel to Tokyo for a taste of modern city life and the world’s most frenzied fish market, while the Kii Peninsula, including Kyoto and Osaka offer some of Japan’s most lauded attractions, just without the crowds. Three quarters of the countries landmass is covered in mountains making Japan an ideal destination for avid skiers.

 

 

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