Top Places to Visit in 2018

January 8, 2018

Travelling is fun right? Of course it is!!.....and that is why you are here!  So, I am guessing that you may have done some destinations closer to home and looking to venture out that little bit further?  Great! You have come to the right place! Here are 5 destinations which will be hot on anyone's bucket list for 2018!

 

5) Alaska

We have had a lot of enquiries for Alaska this year, and for good reason. You may think that it's too remote to venture or that there isn't a lot to see and do there but that couldn't be further from the truth. If you are after a culture-rich wilderness experience full of excursions and wildlife, then this destination is for you. Much of Alaska's Arctic region is home to the Inupiat Eskimos and the Far North is filled with natural wonder and spectacular mountain ranges.

 

There are many Wildlife Refuges, National Preserves, Parks and Monuments to discover. As far as activities are concerned, the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge is home to many bird species, stretches 16 miles and is full of alder-bog forest. This area allows for great camping, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing...and how about some ice skating over Potter Marsh in the winter! This is to name but a few activities, but there is much more to see and do over Alaska's other regions.

 

If it is bears that you are after, then Alaska really is the place to be. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can watch them fishing trout. The highest concentration of Alaskan Grizzly's is by Katmai or Lake Clark National Park so be sure to check those out!  Some itineraries offer great self-drive options, and you can even travel by rail if you would like to just sit back and observe or you can cruise with expeditions to see even more remote areas. The choice is really up to you!

 

 

4) SOUTH AFRICA

 

We get asked about South Africa a lot and one of the most common questions is "is it safe?"  Well, yes and no, but you could say the same about London, Paris, Munich.... I lived in SA for 4 years and never saw any trouble. There is a beauty to the country that is unspoken and it should be shouted from the roof tops. The landscapes really can take your breath away and pictures just don't do it justice. It has to be seen with your own eyes to be believed.

 

The top places to visit are obviously the wine lands close to Cape Town, Kruger, Garden Route, etc. but there are many things to South Africa that you may not know. It is a haven for whale watching, sharks and penguins. If you are visiting Cape Town then Boulders Beach goes hand in hand, you can also see seals on Seal Island nearby and on clear days the view on top of Table Mountain is quite exquisite. If you are staying in Hermanus, from coastal restaurants and cafes you can even see whales if you are lucky!  

 

South Africa also has the "Blue Train". This luxurious beast covers 994 miles between Cape Town and Pretoria in 27 hours. It's rich history of how it came to be is very interesting to those who travel these rails. From it's beginnings in the 1920s, through serving the military in WWI, to its reincarnation to serve the upper-class in 1946 with lavish blue and cream shades that gave rise to this magnificent mode of transportation that it is today.

 

Most travellers visit South Africa for the safari aspect and it is seldom that it will disappoint you. The Big 5 are present in most reserves and there are many ways that they can be viewed.... within reason! From jeeps, to quad bikes and even horse back you can really be at one with nature with an experienced guide with you every step of the way. I could go on forever about this amazing place!

 

 

3) COSTA RICA

Natalie has just come back from Costa Rica and she said it was probably the best trip she has ever had. There are many reasons to visit Costa Rica and here are a few. Costa Rican's although being very healthy, are a very happy people too! However, this may be down to the fact that they have extremely good coffee!

 

If you ever wanted to watch turtles hatch, then you may wish to visit the beaches in the Pacific Coast as it is one of the best places to see amazing nature at its finest. In addition to turtles, Costa Rica has wildlife in abundance, volcanoes, phenomenal beaches, many species of birds, including humming birds (who isn’t fascinated by them, right!?) and everyone’s favourite - sloths!

 

The rain forests in Costa Rica are so full in abundance that it is home to two thirds of all living plant and animal species on earth. There are many walking trails for hiking, kayaking and exploring and you won’t be disappointed in what you will find. In addition to its 200 pristine beaches that kiss both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines you will find beautifully crafted boutique hotels deep in lush forests with mountain views!

 

If this is enough to peak your interest, then come and talk to us about exploring the vast natural world that is Costa Rica.

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2) Argentina

A stunning country and not shouted about enough. Steeped in history, Argentina has great stories to tell, through its European cultural mannerisms to architecture and more. After being colonised by mainly Spanish and Italians, it has left a nation which is truly distinct from its surrounding neighbours.

 

It has its fair share of unrivalled wilderness; glorious glaciers, mountain ranges and unkempt landscapes which you won’t find anywhere else. At the point where Paraguay meets Brazil and Argentina, lies probably the greatest natural waterfall of them all; Iguazu Falls. From a distance over the frothy misty fog created by 450,000 gallons of crashing water, you can hear the dull thunder of these magnificent falls. There are some stunning hotels in this region and one even with rooms that have waterfall views! There are also some more rustic options deep in wildlife reserves which offer a different approach. They are more private and secluded and are perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

 

A holiday here will not be your usual vacation and far from what you were probably expecting. It’s full of exhilarating surprises and will definitely leave you with long lasting memories that you will be telling for a lifetime.

 

Speak to Tricia if you are interested in Argentina.  She has not long ago returned and can point you in the right direction for a stunning holiday.

 

1) Japan

Where to start? Japan is a very hot destination at the moment. Why? Well for starters it’s off the charts when it comes to culture and experiences. Being arguably the most technological advanced country in the world, Japan boasts the Bullet Trains which are a fantastic way to travel and should be a part of any itinerary. This amazing country has a reputation of being very clean and tidy and at every turn you will be surprised at just how efficient they can be.

 

Japan fundamentally has many reasons why it should be at the top of your list. If it is culture that has inspired you to visit, then be sure to visit one of the major classical theatres or the many ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Many sites in Japan are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and for good reason, so make sure you visit as many of them as possible! There’s 17 of them to find!

 

One of the most famous reasons to visit Japan is the Cherry Blossom event. Spring is peak season and must be booked as early as possible. This is also the time where there are many festivals taking place so there is a lot to see and do.

 

If you are looking to be a tad more adventurous how about taking a challenging hike up Mount Fiji and Mount Yarigatake; exploring beautiful scenery and staying in a traditional Japanese Inn. Sound more your style? Nothing is impossible!

 

Additionally, if you are more into sport then maybe the Grand Prix later in the year takes your fancy or, looking ahead even further than that, the Rugby World Cup in 2019? Pays to be early in these cases!

 

For any destination you are interested in do not hesitate to ask us! You can call us on 01438 716200 or make an appointment through our Travel By Appointment service and we would be happy to assist you in finding your dream destination. We will very much look forward to hearing from you!