Itinerary inspiration for days.
10 Incredible Places to Travel to in 2022
Itinerary inspiration for days.
To say many of us are champing at the proverbial bit for an international holiday would be something of an understatement in 2022.
After a number of years that hit, ahem, ‘pause’ on all overseas vacation plans, travelling abroad is back in (almost) full force, which begs just one question: Where should we go?
So, to help you drop a pin on the map and set your plans in motion, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most underrated destinations to kick off your itinerary this year.
From beautiful beaches to buzzing bazaars, happening capitals to hidden treasures, keep reading for the best places to add to your 2022 travel list.
1. Procida, Italy
Nestled in the Gulf of Naples, the island of Procida is one of Italy’s true hidden gems, often bypassed in favour of the neighbouring Amalfi Coast. Serving a kaleidoscopic vista of sorbet-hued houses, the postcard-perfect island is about one hour’s ferry ride from the more crowded Capri or Naples. It promises everything you would expect from an Italian seaside sojourn: quiet cove beaches, cosy family-run restaurants, and pretty pastel streets primed for meandering. Procida also took home the title of Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022, and a €1 million grant from the Italian government to support 44 creative projects involving 240 artists and eight regenerated cultural spaces.
Taking up just five square kilometres, the island is easy to traverse by foot over the course of a day trip, but its true beauty comes to life after the day’s visiting boats have left and the sun begins its glorious descent over water. While the peak summer season attracts the most visitors, the autumn months of September and October are also considered excellent for warm weather without the overwhelming heat and crowds.
2. Begur, Spain
Situated in the beautiful Costa Brava, Spain, the seaside town of Begur is about 90 minutes drive from the buzzing Barcelona. Defined by the pretty whitewashed homes cascading along the undulating hillside and down to the coves, it’s perfect for a sun-seeker in need of the three Rs: rest, relaxation and really good food. A great place for solo travellers, groups of friends and family alike, the village boasts a myriad of unspoiled beaches, lively bars and restaurants serving incredible Catalan cuisine, and local vineyards offering tasting sessions.
It’s also close to a number of other hotspots on the Costa Brava, making it an excellent base for day trips out to the more expensive towns, such as Palafrugell. While the summer months do get busy, Begur still offers comfortably warm weather from September to November if you’re looking to avoid the seasonal hordes.
3. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Voted by readers as the ‘World’s Best City’ title for 2021 in Travel + Leisure’s annual awards — which it also won in 2017 and 2018 — Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende is the kind of city that captures your heart and never lets go. Approximately three hours by car from Mexico City, the charming historic town is brimming with quaint, colonial architecture, vibrant markets and artisans, impressive wine culture, and an exciting gastronomic scene. With art exhibitions and performances dominating the nightlife alongside traditional and fusion restaurants, it’s the perfect retreat for foodies and art lovers alike.
While it makes for a great holiday destination all year round thanks to its steady climate, the weather is ideal in November, offering comfortable temperatures and less rainfall.
4. The Islands of Malta
Located between Sicily and Tunisia, 2022 is prime time for a trip to Malta. The largest of three major islands that make up the Maltese archipelago, the 4,000-year-old country offers all the glorious trappings expected of a European summer and then some. From the honeyed light glazing its limestone villages to its beckoning blue lagoons and baroque cathedrals, there’s no shortage of beauty in the historically rich country. Due to its location, Malta also offers sun all throughout the year, remaining especially particularly pleasant until October.
5. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Lovingly nicknamed ‘The Blue Pearl’, Chefchaouen — or Chaouen, as the locals call it — in Morocco’s northwest is a sight to behold. Located in the Rif Mountains and awash in a palette of turquoise, teal and cerulean, the architecture of the medina, which is the word for the old part of the town, showcases a blend of Moroccan and Andalusian influence. The ultimate destination for those who revel in simply wandering, its labyrinth of narrow blue streets are lined with boutiques selling artisanal crafts, spices and rugs, with even more to be found in the souk. Try to go during their autumn months, when the crowds have dispersed and the summer’s soaring heat has cooled down.
6. Lofoten Islands, Norway
If you crave adventure, snowy escapes and a chance to see the Northern Lights: Norway’s Lofoten Islands deserve a spot on your bucket list. From the towering mountains to the incredible fjords, the islands’ otherworldly landscape transforms into an icy wonderland come wintertime. The season in which you travel will entirely dictate what kind of activities you can enjoy while there, with rock climbing, hiking, fishing, skiing, Arctic surfing (during both winter and summer) and horseback riding (which you can even do under the Northern Lights) all doable depending on the time of year and your comfort levels. By and large, the best time to visit is any month outside of the peak winter in December and January, when the sun doesn't rise at all.
7. The Maldives
Although it easily ranks amongst the most Instagrammable places in the world, the camera truly does no justice to the unbelievable beauty of the Maldives. Composed of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, it is an indulgent haven for those seeking true seclusion to recharge and rejuvenate. The key? Choosing the right resort for your needs. With some catering more to couples and honeymooners and others to families and bigger groups, make sure to take the time to investigate — and yes, the all-inclusive package is worth it (trust us, when you never have to pull your card out, that’s when you feel you are truly on vacation). Our recommendation? The luxurious Soneva Jani is ideal for all types of travellers, offering personalised holiday experiences with something for everyone.
8. Tallinn, Estonia
Reflecting a history of European, Scandinavian and Russian reigns, the Estonian capital of Tallinn is an oft-overlooked yet thoroughly deserving vacation destination. With its colourful streetscape seemingly plucked from a fairytale, Tallinn's Old Town is abundant with gothic architecture, charming cafés and cobblestone courtyards. At the heart of the Old Town lies the Town Hall Square, which hosts its Pinterest-pretty Christmas markets, and is said to be where the world's first public Christmas tree was displayed, back in 1441. It’s also the location of Raeapteek, one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, which still embodies an old apothecary aesthetic — a definite pitstop to see the mediaeval concoctions on display, from snakeskin potion to powdered unicorn horn.
If you’re heading to Tallinn, consider the post-peak season in September, when the days are still warm and long. Alternatively, Christmas is also a great window for a visit, with the snow and festive decorations exuding pure storybook magic.
9. Kyoto, Japan
Only two-and-a-half hours from Tokyo by train, Kyoto is a must-visit for anybody thinking of going to Japan, and with the country reopening to tourists in stages — first with guided group tours — it’s an opportune time to start planning for a late 2022 holiday. As the nation's original capital, Kyoto encapsulates the heart of Japanese culture, boasting over 1,000 Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, as well as traditional tea houses and tranquil gardens aplenty.
If you are seeking true cultural immersion, head to the entertainment district of Gion sans itinerary and simply allow yourself to wander along, sighting geisha (or geiko, as they are known in Kyoto) before treating your weary legs to the sanctuary of a historical ochaya (tea house) overlooking the picturesque Shirakawa Canal for a traditionally made matcha and a moment of pure serenity.
10. Udaipur, India
Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur is one of India’s most romantic locales, brimming with ancient architecture and bustling bazaars. Quieter than its more renowned Rajasthani sister, Jaipur, there are seven idyllic lakes surrounding the almost pearlescent city of Udaipur. The peaceful waters are resplendent with majestic Rajput-era palaces, many of which have been converted into hotels with museums to both showcase and preserve the city’s rich history. Best visited after June when the sweltering heat of summer has settled, September through to February is widely regarded as the ideal time to make a trip. One last tip? Be sure to add a boat ride along Lake Pichola at sunset to the itinerary — you won’t regret it.
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