The start of a new year is a time when many of us think about our travel plans and where we’d like to go in the months ahead. Dreaming of glimmering golden sands or pristine snow-capped mountains can bring joy, even on the most miserable, gray January day. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, here’s a guide to the top travel destinations for 2023.
There’s nothing better than soaking up the rays with a cool breeze, swaying palms and turquoise water for company when you’re craving some downtime. Escape the daily grind and recharge your batteries with a beach vacation. When it comes to choosing a location for your break, there’s a veritable treasure trove of spots to explore. From the palm-lined white-sand beaches of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to the secluded coves and blue-green waters of European hotspots, such as the Balearics, Greece and Turkey, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
The islands of the Indian Ocean, including the Seychelles, the Maldives and Mauritius are synonymous with luxury while the beach resorts that line the coastline of Turkey offer incredible value for money. Greece is ideal for those looking to combine sunbathing with sightseeing while the Caribbean is the place to be for laid-back shoreline adventures with a healthy dose of fun. For cultural breaks that include opportunities to bask in the sun and swim in the sea, why not consider Thailand or Malaysia?
If you’re looking for the perfect beach vacation destination, it’s wise to consider travel time, budget and your dream itinerary. You may prefer to go short-haul if you’re only planning to go away for a week, or you might be looking for a bargain break. You may long to unplug and chill out for 10 days, or you might want to organize an itinerary with an array of excursions or active pursuits included, for example. Tailor your search to suit your preferences and requirements.
There are some truly magical islands and archipelagos to discover on planet Earth. If you love the idea of hopping from one island to another or spending time at sea taking in spectacular panoramic views, why not book a cruise or look for destinations that offer the chance to go on boat trips, charter a yacht or stay on different islands? Take a look at sites like Your Boat Holidayto get inspiration for yacht charters and check out popular itineraries online. Destinations that are ideal for sailing and jumping from one island to the next include Australia, Croatia, the Caribbean and the Greek Islands.
The jewel in the crown of Australia’s East Coast is the Whitsunday Islands. Nestled off the coast of Queensland, this archipelago comprises over 70 islands, which are surrounded by vivid turquoise waters. Sailing trips take you around the islands, stopping regularly for snorkeling and exploring beaches, coves and verdant forests. The most popular islands include the aptly-named Daydream Island, Hayman Island, Hamilton Island and Whitsunday Island, which is home to one of the world’s most awe-inspiring beaches. Whitehaven Beach is famous for its iridescent white sand.
If you’re traveling to Europe, you could book a cruise to explore the Greek Islandsor the stunning seaside towns and resorts of the Mediterranean countries of Italy, Malta, Spain, Portugal and France. Highlights include Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera, Monte Carlo and the Balearic Islands. Island hopping is a real treat if you’re exploring the beautiful, fascinating country of Greece. You can book a cruise or use local ferry services to move from one place to the next. Popular locations include Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, Samos, Paros and Corfu. The tiny, multi-colored island of Sami is a must for those looking to relax, unwind and discover Greek culture, food and hospitality.
Croatia has emerged as a popular spot for travelers in recent years but it remains relatively quiet. The ancient cities of Dubrovnik and Split provide an idyllic base for leisurely sightseeing and day trips to national parks and beautiful islands. From Split, you can jump on a boat to stroll around the exclusive island of Hvar or try your hand at watersports on the island of Brac. Nearby Korcula is famed for its lush forests, golden beaches and medieval architecture, including squares, churches and palaces. From Dubrovnik, you can book a tour of the Elaphiti Islands or catch a 10-minute ferry to the small but perfectly-formed island of Lokrum. Lokrum is a tiny slice of paradise, which is characterized by bright blue-green waters, secluded beaches, vivid green trees and its impressive population of peacocks.
If playing around in the snow or curling up by a roaring fire in a cozy cabin overlooking the mountains is more your scene, there are some mesmerizing destinations to visit in 2023. For those who want to embrace action and adventure, Canada, New Zealand, Austria and Switzerland top the list. Here, you can ski, snowboard, hike and enjoy breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, frozen lakes and snow-capped trees. Iceland is a fantastic choice for those looking for a winter vacation with a difference. Known for its dramatic landscapes, Iceland offers an array of activities, including glacier and volcano hiking, horse riding on black sand beaches, sea kayaking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, caving and snowmobiling. If you visit during the dark winter months, you may also be fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights, a unique, unforgettable light show that fills the night sky.
For a winter trip that is all about escaping it all and embracing the quiet life, why not visit Finnish Lapland? Lapland is known for child-friendly Santa trips, but it also provides an incredible base for a chilled-out vacation. If you visit outside of the months of November and December, you’ll find a tranquil, unspoiled winter wonderland reminiscent of a movie scene or a page from a novel. Book a glass igloo to see the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed or snuggle up in a cozy log cabin or a chic chalet complete with its own sauna. Activities on offer include dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and visiting reindeer farms.
If you like the idea of trying winter sports and outdoor activities while exploring sights and attractions, the cities of Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, and Norwegian gem, Tromso, offer the best of both worlds.
City breaksare a fabulous choice for travelers who enjoy culture and the buzz of urban life, but they can also provide opportunities to hit the beach, indulge an interest in food and drink or explore the great outdoors. Most seasoned travelers are aware of the perennial high-fliers in lists of must-visit city break destinations, including Rome, Barcelona, London, New York, Vancouver, Venice, Paris, Boston and Dubai. If you’re looking for somewhere that’s less well-known, it’s worth considering cities that don’t always grace the covers of guidebooks. This year, why not visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, the Italian city of Naples, the UK cities of Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester, or Hungary’s capital, Budapest?
Ljubljana is a charming, historic city famed for its meandering streets and colored buildings. One of the best things about staying here is that it’s within easy reach of Lake Bled, a magical, ethereal lake, which has a central island occupied by a medieval church that is often shrouded in mist or covered in snow.
Naples is usually a stop-off for tourists visiting Sorrento and the colorful towns that adorn the Amalfi Coast, but the city itself has plenty to offer. This is the home of traditional Italian pizza and it’s also a historic urban gem, which boasts winding, labyrinth-like streets and ancient ruins and churches. From Naples, it’s easy to discover the beauty of the coast via train or car. Day trips include Pompeii and Vesuvius, the islands of Capri and Ischia and tours of Positano, Ravello and Sorrento.
When you think of a UK city break, London automatically comes to mind, but the Northern cities of Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester are well worth a visit. Northern England is known for its wild, rugged beauty and warm hospitality. Think cozy, traditional pubs, national parks and quaint towns and villages a stone’s throw from cool, modern cities.
For an inexpensive city break that offers culture, shopping and the opportunity to meander at leisure, Budapest is an excellent choice. This is a city that has something for everyone. From sophisticated dinner cruises along the River Danube and stunning churches and cathedrals to quirky ruin bars and medieval castles, you can plan a diverse itinerary.
A new year provides new opportunities to travel and broaden your horizons. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, there’s an incredible range of destinations to choose from. From exotic, far-flung beaches and tropical islands to bustling, vibrant cities and snow-covered wonderlands, hopefully, this guide has got you thinking. Before you make a decision, think about how far you want to travel, what you want to see and do and whether you want sunshine and blue skies or crisp, cold days to take in the views or indulge your inner adventurer.