Top Holiday Destinations 2020
Friday, 1 Jan 2021
Travellers are moving away from the typical holiday destinations for years and opting for lesser-known holiday retreats. Over-tourism is said to be one of the key reasons for this and because travellers are becoming more concerned with the environmental impact of their holidays, eco-friendly holiday destinations are increasing in popularity. Check out our pick of top holiday destinations in 2020.
If there is anywhere that has been leading the way in eco-travel, it is Costa Rica! The country is already miles ahead with their sustainability efforts as local businesses compete to be the best eco-friendly alternative for tourists. This means endless opportunities to enjoy a sustainable holiday amongst Costa Rica’s mesmerizing landscape and wildlife. For the ultimate Costa-Rican experience, you could stay at an eco-lodge in the rainforest, and also make the most out of not having any WIFI by doing a digital detox. If you are an adventure-lover, then look no further than Costa Rica! From zip-lining through a rainforest, to visiting one or more of the country’s 28 national parks where you can partake in hiking, river-rafting, scuba diving, tubing and many more outdoor activities. After your adventures you can enjoy some down time on the beach, as the country is home to over 800 miles of coastline on the Caribbean and Pacific. Then treat yourself to a pamper experience at one of the many naturally sourced spas in Costa Rica. You could also head into the Costa-Rican capital San José, where you will find plenty of trendy bars and restaurants, tasty street-food and craft breweries – all bringing a hipster and bohemian feel to the city. Also, don’t miss out on sampling the finest and highly sought-after Costa Rican coffee beans.
Morocco was listed on Lonely Planet’s list of the best countries in the world to visit in 2020. Rabat, Morocco’s capital, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site – French imperial palaces from the 1900s are scattered throughout the city, as well as Islamic structures for 800 years earlier. If you are a history buff, then you will fall in love with Rabat. The city is home to archaeological wonders like The Royal Palace, the 12th century Hassan Tower, the Chellah cemetery built by the Phoenicians, and much more! Also, narrow and maze-like streets bring a European feel to the city. A must-do experience in Rabat is checking out its medina as a key part of Moroccan culture. A medina is a part of Moroccan cities typically lined with very narrow streets and stalls selling paintings, hand-made jewellery, rugs, and lots of antiques – bringing an artistic and bohemian feel to the city. Rabat’s medina is less chaotic and relatively haggle-free compared to medinas in the likes of Marrakech and Fez. Many prefer Rabat to Marrakech and Fez because it is not as overcrowded with tourists. From the pretty blue and white hues of the buildings in Rabat to the captivating architectural sites, make sure to have your camera at the ready as the sites are perfect for your Instagram feed!
Slovenia has been named as one of the hottest and up-and-coming European destinations by Forbes. In 2018 Slovenian tourism was reported to be above the European average and in 2019, it saw even further growth, as statistics by the Slovenian tourist board reported 6.2 million tourist arrivals, a 5% increase from 2018. Slovenia has been hugely successful in sustainable tourism, ranking in the latest top 100 sustainable destinations by the leading travel and trade show, ITB Berlin. The country has a certification programme called The Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism, which encourages destinations and service providers to assess and improve their sustainability efforts. 60% of the country is covered in forests, and high-peaking mountains, vast national parks and crystal-clear lakes provide the perfect terrain for exploring. You could try your hand at climbing Triglav as the highest mountain in Slovenia, hike the Juliana trial to explore the Julian alps, or visit Soča Valley to do activities like rafting, kayaking and canyoning in the most beautiful Slovenian river! Slovenia is home to some of the most stunning sights, including its several hundred gothic and baroque castles. Visit Ljubljana Castle in the summer and you can watch a movie outdoors in the courtyard, underneath the stars. Head to Bled Castle for panoramic views of the crystal blue waters of Lake Bled, as the castle is perched on top of a cliff overlooking the lake. Slovenia is also home to more than 10,000 caves, providing mesmerizing history! The most visited one is Postojna Cave, which is so vast that it is the only cave with tram tours. Slovenia is also famous for its fine dining, with many of the world’s best chefs. Chef Ana Roš from Slovenia featured on the Netflix Chef’s Table, and her restaurant has been ranked on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Jordan is home to one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, Petra – an ancient city that has been around since as early as 312 BC and a bucket list destination for many people. The Big 7 Travel released a list of the world’s top 50 bucket list destinations for 2019/2020 after surveying 1.5 million people and Petra was one of the top destinations on the list! Al Khazna or otherwise known as The Treasury, the iconic façade that stands 40 meters high, carved from sandstone mountains and dating back to 1st century BC is the main tourist attraction in Petra. Some other highlights include the Royal Tombs, the Roman ruins, and climbing to the top of the High Place of Sacrifice for panoramic views out across Jordan. When exploring Jordan, you don’t want to miss out on seeing the six Crusader castles for an experience that will take you further back in time. You can also get a glimpse into the modern and fashionable part of Jordan and head to Jabal al-Weibdeh. Although it is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Amman, the area is known for its bohemian and hipster vibes. There is a thriving artistic scene and many quaint cafes, bars, bookshops and galleries.
Jordan has a wide range of accommodation choice, each offering unique experiences. Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp offers you the opportunity to spend the night in the dessert in one of their doomed bubble tents, which are perfect for stargazing! Or you could stay in an eco-lodge in Jordan’s largest nature reserve, the Dana Biosphere Reserve, nestled beneath rocky hills and running entirely on solar power. You could try a homestay and experience the kindness and hospitality of Jordanian people, immersing yourself into the local life, learning traditional recipes from the Jordanian cuisine and connecting with a Jordanian family! For a luxurious experience, why not stay at one of the many resorts located on the shores of the famous dead sea, with spas that incorporate the healing properties of the seas salty and mineral-rich waters into their treatments.
Cape Town, South Africa
Forbes listed 20 of the best places to visit in 2020 with Cape Town listed as third as well as the highest-ranking African destination. Tourism hits its peak between January and March as many head to Cape Town to enjoy some winter sun! Cape Town’s beauty is endless – from its mountainous landscape with plenty of clifftop views to the turquoise waters of the city’s coastline lined with picture-perfect beaches. The country as a whole is picture-perfect, which is why it earned a top spot on the Big 7s 2020 list of the 50 most Instagrammable places in the world. One of the most photographed places in Cape Town is Bo-Kaap – a neighbourhood situated on the fringe of the city centre that dates back to the 1760s and is famous for its brightly multi-coloured houses, which make for a trendy Instagram shot. For the best view of the city, taking a ride on a cable car to the top of Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain is a must! If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could hike to the summit. Some other highlights in Cape Town include visiting Kirstenbosch, a huge botanical garden at the foot of Table Mountain, spotting some wild African penguins at Boulders Beach and visiting Robben Island Prison museum as the prison where Nelson Mandela served most of his prison sentence. Also, as the culinary capital of South Africa, you can do plenty of fine dining in Cape Town.
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