Travel Blog

Lonely Planet’s Best Destinations for 2018

It’s that time of the year again – when Lonely Planet release their coveted ‘Top Destinations’ list! If you’re anything like us it’s a great starting point to help you plan your travel wish list for the year ahead and the 2018 list is definitely filled with incredible destinations.

We took a look at the ‘Top 10 Countries to visit in 2018’ according to Lonely Planet and below are some of our own reasons why we love travelling to these countries and a few of our travel tips to help you through.

CHILE

The Andes, Chile (Image: Pixaby)

There’s a reason why Chile tops the list of places to visit in 2018! Desert, lakes, glaciers, volcanoes, and mountains promise you no shortage of breathtaking scenery in this South American country. Visit the famous Easter Island and see the spectacular moal statues, explore the bustling capital city of Santiago, hike past the magnificent glaciers of Patagonia or discover the salt flats and hot springs in the desert town of San Pedro de Atacama.

Our tip: Make sure you travel out to Easter Island, this remote volcanic island will take your breath away with the nearly 900 monumental moal statues.

SOUTH KOREA

Haeinsa Temple, South Korea. (Image by our team member Monica)

History, natural beauty and culture are just some of the words we would use to describe South Korea. Spend your afternoons wandering the palaces and city gates in the secret side to the contemporary city of Seoul, visit the beautiful Seoraksan National park within the mountainous east coast or visit the incredible Haeinsa Temple to learn about Buddhist life. You’ll be in awe of how much there is to discover in South Korea.

Our tip: Head along to a cooking class or cultural centre and learn to prepare the Korean classics like Kimchi and Bibimbap.

PORTUGAL

Lisbon, Portugal. (Image: Pixaby)

This delightful country nestled on the coast of Europe is slowly becoming one of the more popular destinations in Europe. We tend to agree with its new found fame, a gorgeous coastline lined with picturesque beaches, volcanic islands and mountainous terrain to hike through, delicious local food and wine to sample along the way and historical castles and architecture to cast your eyes over. Portugal really does offer a little bit of everything!

Our tip: Indulge in a Portuguese Tart (or four) and visit some of the great port cellars in Porto!

DJIBOUTI

Ras Bir Beach, Djibouti. (Image:Pixaby)

You’d be forgiven for not having heard of this country before. Situated on the Horn of Africa (near Ethiopia) Djibouti is a mostly French and Arabic speaking country. It is made up of volcanic formations, dry shrublands and the magnificent Gulf of Aden beaches. Travellers can enjoy kitesurfing and scuba diving among the coral reefs, as well as enjoy the cultural sites  in the port of Djibouti.

Our tip: Go swimming with Whale Sharks, one of the most incredible creatures in the ocean, it’s an experience you will never forget!

NEW ZEALAND

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. (Image: Pixaby)

Famous for its incredible landscapes and diverse range of activities New Zealand is a must do for all adventure junkies (and those travellers who prefer to go at a slower pace too). For the adventure seekers – visit in winter and spend your days hitting the famous ski slopes or head over in summer and take on the Kawarau Bridge Bungy jump or go white water rafting in Taihape. For those looking for a more slower paced adventure, you can hike the breathtaking Abel Tasman National Park and admire the sandy beaches, granite cliffs and forests along the way

Our tip: Visit the incredible Waitomo Caves, situated in the small village of Waitomo on New Zealand’s North island and be in awe as you cruise through the caves and see the thousands of glow worms light up the caves along the way.

PLUS the Air New Zealand Dreamliner now flies direct out of Adelaide three times a week, making it a very accessible holiday destination for all South Aussies.

MALTA

A port in Malta. (Image: Pixaby)

Malta is an archipelago situated in the Mediterranean in Europe, consisting of 21 individual islands. Somewhat quieter than its Mediterranean neighbours Greece and Italy, Malta has the charm of a small port town. Ancient temples and medieval fortresses and a warm mediterranean climate almost all year round. Soak in the sun, bask in the warm sea and relax in this unique European destination.

Our tip: Take the whole family! Malta is a great destination for adults and kids alike and we promise no one will be bored along the way. Check out this 8 day Malta and Gozo family holiday.

GEORGIA

Tbilisi, Georgia

This fascinating country is at the intersection of Europe and Asia. A mix of historical old towns and incredible skyscrapers! There is so much history to discover, along with exceptional local food and wine. The country’s capital Tbilisi is filled with narrow streets, colourful houses and new modernised architecture. A destination with a long tradition, a strong culture and religious ties there are plenty of historical churches, World Heritage Sites and palaces to explore along the way.

Our tip: Georgia is a great destination to do as part of a group tour. A local guide can give you the knowledge and information for you to make the most of your time here.

MAURITIUS

Mauritius

This East African country is commonly known as a dream destination for honeymooners, and rightly so; the crystal blue waters, pristine white sandy beaches and luxury resorts provide the perfect backdrop for newlyweds or a couple wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Now you may picture laying on the beach all day in the sun – but there are plenty of activities for those looking for a more active holiday! Diving, kayaking, seakarting and golf just to name a few. Mauritius is also home to some beautiful wildlife and some world-class restaurants.

Our tip: The weather in Winter in Mauritius can be unpredictable, so we suggest visiting in their Summer (November to May).

CHINA

The Great Wall of China

Where do we start? Wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, culture buffs and food connoisseurs will be captivated by the diverse experiences this breathtaking country has to offer. Cruise along the  majestic Yangtze River, discover the iconic Sichuan Province, conquer the incredible Great Wall of China and explore the historical city of Guangzhou. China will not disappoint.

Our tip: If you have time, visit the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base located just 10km away from downtown Chengdu. The centre has been created to imitate the pandas’ natural habitat giving the pandas the best possible environment for breeding and rearing their young.

SOUTH AFRICA

Safari in South Africa. (Image by our team member Bronny)

This country is a definite inclusion on any must visit list! The charm of the local people, the beauty of the coast of Cape Town and the absolute thrill of spotting wildlife on a safari – South Africa will simply amaze you.  Enjoy a safari through Kruger National Park, see African penguins on Boulders beach, go shark cage diving off the coast of Cape Town, visit the famous and breathtaking wine region or enjoy the bustling city life in Johannesburg, there’s so much to do in this fascinating part of the world.

Our tip: Take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy a safari from a different angle as you soar over Pilanesberg National Park.

Contact us if you’d like to know more about any of these countries (or any other destination) in 2018!

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