Dream destinations in spades.
10 Incredible Places to Travel to in 2023
Dream destinations in spades.
With 2022 ushering in a long-awaited return to international travel, it’s hardly surprising that many of us are already turning our minds to where we’ll be jetting off to come 2023.
So, if you’ve been pondering your next holiday and find yourself in need of some itinerary ideas, consider yourself in luck — because we’ve done the research and rounded up some dream destinations for you.
From quaint coastal locales to idyllic islands, ancient wonders to cultural capitals, keep reading for our round-up of 10 must-visit places to inspire your 2023 travel list.
1. Menton, France
Struggling to choose between France or Italy? Consider Menton your perfect ‘middle’ ground, situated on the French-Italian border and just half an hour’s drive from Nice. Often overlooked in favour of its glitzy neighbour Monaco, it’s a postcard-worthy town that exudes old Mediterranean charm. Known as the ‘Pearl of France’, Menton’s allure lies in its labyrinth of pastel streets primed for wandering, the wafting scent of citrus trees, towering palms that sway in the breeze and dreamy beach vistas as far as the eye can see. Foodies will especially enjoy the town’s penchant for Italian flavours with a Provençal flair. Not to be missed? The lemonade. Thanks to its unique microclimate serving over 316 days of sunshine a year, Menton is famous for growing beautiful lemon trees, which you will find all over the town, softly filling the streets with their fragrant hum.
2. Ponza, Italy
If you’ve ‘done’ the Amalfi Coast and need a little la dolce vita sans the crowds, consider the island of Ponza the hidden gem you’ve been looking for. Off the coast of Italy’s Lazio region and reachable from Rome in a little over three hours, Ponza offers everything you could want in an Italian summer escape: aquamarine waters that hug sweeping cliffs sprinkled with colourful facades, rustic streets that wind and charm, beaches and natural seawater pools for serene, wave-free swims, and delicious, locally sourced food and wine. Cars are scarce on the island — save for a few quaint old-world iterations that simply add to its photogenic charm — with Ponza best explored on foot. Moreover, the majority of holidaymakers on Ponza are Italian, so it’s perfetto if you want to immerse yourself in the culture and summer like the locals do.
3. Petra, Jordan
One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, a visit to Petra is a must in this life – so why not make it one in 2023? Like taking a wondrous step back in time, the archaeological marvel is often referred to as the Lost City, comprising a myriad of temples and ruins that echo over 10,000 years of human settlement. A mere two-and-a-half hours drive from the Jordanian capital Amman, Petra is ideal for both day and overnight trips, offering countless trails, caves and sites to explore and hike – along with its most recognisable landmark, a rock-cut temple known as The Treasury (pictured on slide five in the carousel). Camping is not allowed in Petra itself, but there are a number of accommodation options in the neighbouring town of Wadi Musa that range from five-star luxury hotels to charming boutique resorts. Lastly, if you have time, be sure to make a visit to Little Petra: a smaller yet equally beautiful version of its more immense counterpart, which can usually be arranged with your hotel or guide.
4. The Seychelles
If seclusion, natural beauty and stunning beaches are among the things that spark your joy, the Seychelles deserves a spot on your 2023 itinerary. Composed of 115 islands off the eastern coast of Africa (about 1,600 km from Kenya), the remoteness of the oceanic country is part of its allure, along with its lush, green jungles and incredible, white sand beaches dotted with immense granite boulders. Like the Maldives, the Seychelles predominantly caters to the luxury traveller — George and Amal Clooney honeymooned here, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton — and there are plenty of resorts to choose from. When planning your trip, bear in mind that the rainy season runs from December to February, with the best times to visit falling between April and May, as well as October and November.
5. Banff, Canada
While the town of Banff in Canada’s Rockies is best known as a snow sports wonderland, it’s actually the ultimate year-round getaway for nature and outdoor enthusiasts across the board. Characterised by its awe-inspiring mountains and vast, lake-flecked landscape – hello, ice-skating in winter — Banff is a bit like the ‘Queenstown of Canada’ when it comes to its ‘great outdoors’ appeal. Think: hiking, biking and water sports during spring and summer, with skiing and snowboarding — to name just a couple of the snow-centric activities on offer — and luscious dips in the hot springs come the colder months.
6. Kimolos, Greece
Oozing all the charm of a traditional Kikladhes island without the crowds and commerciality of some of its more renowned counterparts, Kimolos is well-worth a sojourn on any trip to Greece. About one kilometre from the northeastern tip of the more popular Milos, it is a tiny island with around 1,000 inhabitants and the perfect place to visit if you are looking to slow down and simply ‘be’. Ideal as a solo traveller or with a few loved ones, spend your time enjoying the Greek coffee, meandering down the old white-washed streets, tasting the fresh seafood and interacting with the locals before heading to one of its many sun-drenched beaches, book in hand. Lather, rinse, repeat. Bliss.
7. New Orleans, USA
With the motto “Laissez les bon temps rouler” — translation: let the good times roll — it’s not hard to see why New Orleans ranked amongst Travel + Leisure’s best American cities in 2022, as voted by the magazine’s readers. The birthplace of jazz music and a true melting pot, you can feel New Orleans’ fusion of influences reverberating throughout the city, from the architecture of its historic French Quarter to the flavourful creole and cajun cuisine in its many hip eateries and quirky cafes. Especially ideal if you’re craving a cultural or nightlife-oriented getaway, many plan visits to revel in the city’s famous Mardi Gras season, which typically falls during February. However, if you aren’t one for partying and crowds, head over during the northern hemisphere’s spring and winter to avoid the high humidity and hurricane threats of the other seasons.
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
With an atmosphere that’s romantic and frenetic in equal measure, the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi is a dream destination for foodies and history buffs alike. From the colourful architecture of the Old Quarter reflecting a rich melange of Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences, to the countless food carts hawking local street food specialties, there’s no shortage of sights, scents and scrumptious meals to compete for your attention. While there’s plenty to sink your teeth into (literally), don’t leave without trying the traditional coconut egg coffee — there’s nothing quite like it.
9. The Cotswolds, England
While most venture off to England in favour of the buzzing London, its countryside towns are nothing to be sneezed at — especially when they lie in locales as storybook-worthy as the Cotswolds. Located in central-southwest England about two hours drive from the capital, the region spans five different counties, each defined by their ‘chocolate box’ cottages in honey-hued limestone, rolling hills and mediaeval villages brimming with quaint boutiques, historical pubs, archaeological sites and more. It’s not ‘all rustic, all the way’, however, as there is still luxury to be found, with many manors and castles converted into boutique hotels and spas offering modern comfort with old-world charm.
10. Cairo, Egypt
An ancient city and modern metropolis all in one, Cairo is one of the greatest destinations of them all, especially for lovers of culture and history. And while a trip to the Egyptian capital puts you in prime position for visiting the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza (an overnight stay in Giza is recommended to revel in its majesty), the city offers plenty unto itself, from grand 19th boulevards, a flourishing art and music scene, bustling bazaars and a breathtaking view of the Nile, to name but a mere few.
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