A new year is upon us and with it comes a mind-boggling array of places to holiday – meaning it can be difficult to decide exactly where on Earth to go! From Castro’s colourful Cuba and the glittering skyline of Hong Kong, to Malaga’s sultry Spanish flavour and the Faroe Islands’ rural charm, our guide is designed to send you packing on the perfect holiday.
Of course, what inspires one person might not interest another. But to get those travel plans off to a flying start, we’ve researched some of the most exciting, must-see parts of the world in the hope of finding something to suit all tastes.
So read our Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2015 guide – it could be your passport to the trip of a lifetime!
1. The Faroe Islands
Located halfway between Iceland and Norway, these 18 islands are usually under the tourist radar. Described as “authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so” by National Geographic Traveller – they are one of Europe’s most remote places. But on March 20th this year the islands will be thrown under the spotlight when they become the best place to watch a spectacular total solar eclipse, the likes of which will not be seen in Europe again until 2026.
2. Vienna, Austria
Often touted as Europe’s cultural capital, Austria has more than its fair share of museums, theatres, operas, exhibitions and concert halls. The majority are located within the Ringstrasse, the historic city centre that is one of the biggest car-free zones in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot. Packed with imperial history, delicious fine wines and a head-spinning array of eateries, Vienna tastes as good as it looks.
Home of the renowned Buena Vista Social Club, classic Cuba is the most exciting and least commercialised island of the Caribbean – and the last stronghold of communism. Economically poor, but culturally rich, its decades of isolation have made it a unique destination that boasts friendly people, palm-fringed beaches, vintage cars, UNESCO World Heritage sites, colonial architecture and of course, plenty of flavoursome food and drink. It’s best to see it now before it starts changing…
4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Although many have probably never heard of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city has been ranked 6th in the list of hottest destinations in the world to visit in 2015 by travel gurus Lonely Planet. Said to have one of Europe’s “most beautiful old towns”, there are breathtaking ruins that include a Roman theatre (pictured) in the centre of a shopping precinct and plenty of old-world buildings that have been lovingly refurbished into museums, restaurants, bohemian cafes and hotels.
5. Toronto, Canada
The cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada – Toronto is the country’s most populous city and makes for a great adventure. You can visit its distinct and characterful neighbourhoods such as Chinatown or Corso Italia, or take a trip to the cultural hotbed that is the Distillery Historic District – crammed with artists’ studios, galleries, restaurants and pubs. And if you’re feeling particularly brave, why not take a trip up the CN Tower for a walk around the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free walk?
One of Europe’s best kept secrets, this French Mediterranean island can be found just off the west coast of Italy. Boasting 600 miles of unspoilt and uncrowded coastline, Corsica is devoid of the mass tourism that is rife on other Mediterranean resorts. Highlights include visiting the fortress town of Bonifacio – a citadel perched precariously on a cliff top that boasts narrow cobbled streets or taking in the views at Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Serra.
Singapore is an island city and is frequently referred to as the safest and cleanest place in the world. It is also the 5th most visited city on the planet and not surprisingly has a wealth of attractions to lure in tourists. These include the world’s only Formula One night-time race, Universal Studios Singapore, the impressive Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer – a giant Ferris wheel.
Officially South America’s smallest Spanish speaking country, Uruguay offers colonial old towns, picturesque beaches, a year-round temperate climate and some of South America’s friendliest people. The capital Montevideo has a thriving hub of art deco buildings, a stunning beachfront promenade, a bustling business and shopping district and the world’s longest carnival celebration. Elsewhere, you may be charmed by a town that deliberately has no electricity called Cabo Polonio, or Punta del Este, which boasts some sizzling nightlife.
9. Malaga, Spain
The capital of the Costa del Sol is often overlooked in favour of other nearby resorts such as Marbella. But Malaga is blessed with scores of museums and a historical centre filled with streets and alleyways linking a myriad of historical monuments. Other attractions include the unique cathedral (look closely at the image above and you’ll see it’s missing one of its towers), the bustling Muelle Uno port, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Alcazaba and of course, the legendary tapas bars where Malaga outshines the rest of the coast.
10. Hong Kong
This impressive cosmopolitan city of skyscrapers is renowned for being a shopper’s paradise. But you’ll also find an exciting fusion of cultures, as British and Chinese traditions meet in this modern metropolis. Many claim Hong Kong is the culinary capital of Asia, so if you are a food fan, prepare to sample some mouth-watering international dishes. And while you’re there, why not have a drink amidst the clouds at the world’s highest bar – Ozone?