Not sure where to go in 2019? It’s a big world, with lots to explore and more ways to experience it. To help you decide, and in no particular order, here are Goway Travel’s top 11 (it helps to go one step further while Globetrotting) destinations for 2019.
The Pyramids may get the lion’s (Sphinx’s?) share of attention in Egypt. That’s because they’re right on the outskirts of Cairo. To see the country’s greatest treasure trove, you’ll want to travel to the Upper Nile to Luxor. Here, you’ll find the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the Colossi of Memnon. In fact, Luxor may be the world’s greatest open-air museum. It’s a stunning place to admire the glories of Egypt’s past, and the delights of its contemporary culture as well.
There’s no other country in the world like Morocco. Undeniably North African, with a healthy splash of the Middle East, and just a hint of Europe, this is a destination to stir all the senses. There’s perhaps no better place to do so than in Marrakech. By far Morocco’s most accessible city, Marrakech is a great introduction to the country. It’s also a good “taster” city break after a longer Spain or Portugal trip. Once you’ve tasted Morocco, you’ll want to return for the full experience.
The Greek Islands
We love Europe, and we love the world’s idyllic islands. As a little girl in a popular meme once said, “Can’t we have both?” It might be a few days added onto a longer Europe trip, or an in-depth cruise exploring the Greek Islands in all their diversity, but it’s hard to go back once you’ve fallen for the Greek Islands. Whether it’s Santorini, Kos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, or one of the lesser known neighbours, the islands of Greece bring together a cultural and historic feast in a peerlessly beautiful setting.
Boracay is a Philippines cliché, with good reason. White sand beaches separate this hilly, culture-rich landscape from crystal blue waters, and the island boasts some of the country’s best restaurants, nightlife, and cultural offerings as well. In 2018, the government took the drastic step of closing Boracay to visitors for six months, giving the island a chance to refresh and reclaim its natural beauty. In 2019, Boracay is back, looking its old self again with a renewed commitment to preserving all that makes it special.
Easter Island, Chile
If you love a good mystery, 2019 is a great year to uncover the mysteries of Easter Island, aka Rapa Nui. Who created the famous moai figures? Why do they all face inland? Why are there no trees on the island, and what happened to the indigenous inhabitants? Warm waters and white sand beaches don’t hurt Easter Island’s appeal either (you’ll want somewhere peaceful to think over all those questions), and it’s easily reached from Chile.
The last great frontier on Earth, Antarctica is easier to reach than most people think. More cruise itineraries than ever open up the world’s sole uninhabitable continent, giving adventure seekers and wildlife lovers the chance to see its frozen beauty up close. In Argentina, cast off from Ushuaia, the “bottom of the world,” for a cruise that might include the Falkland Islands, or embark on the ultimate Antarctic voyage across the Ross Sea.
Few island destinations offer the seclusion and indulgence of the Maldives. This beautiful string of atolls dots the Indian Ocean, offering an escape steeped in luxury with experiences you’ll be talking about for years to come. Go swimming alongside gentle whale sharks, enjoy fine dining underwater, snorkel or dive pristine reefs, and enjoy the cuisine and culture of South Asia’s island paradise. It’s an ideal honeymoon destination too.
Kyoto may be a tried and true destination, but it’s also a stunningly beautiful one that preserves the ancient Japan of popular imagination. Gaze out over the spring blooms or autumn leaves from Kiyomizu-dera. Catch your first glimpse of Kinkaku-ji’s golden walls. Peer through Arashiyama’s atmospheric Bamboo Grove, or hiking through the endless torii gates of Fushimi Inari. Kyoto is a city that imprints itself on the senses, and might just be the most ‘Instagrammable’ city in the world. Lose yourself in space-age Kyoto Station when it’s time to return to modernity.
At first glance, it can seem like Australia’s east coast is lined with beautiful white beaches from top to bottom. Then, you catch a glimpse of Whitehaven, a perfect white strip of sand separating the year-round temperate waters of the Whitsundays from virtually untouched Whitsunday Island. It’s just one of 74 pristine islands here. Enjoy hands down Australia’s best sailing, with access to the Great Barrier Reef as well in this very special part of Queensland’s coast.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai is sometimes overshadowed by its high profile neighbour, Chiang Mai. But that’s good news for anyone who makes the trip to this city in Thailand near the Myanmar border. Explore the White Temple, the Black House, the Blue Temple, the Monkey Temple (watch out, they’re cheeky), graze your way through tasty snacks at the night market, or take a tree top canopy walk above Mae Fah Luang Garden. Chiang Rai offers a laid-back take on Northern Thailand that’s worth the trip.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
A unique city where Britain and Ireland come together, there’s a story around every corner in Belfast in Northern Ireland. Not all of them are nice, but all of them are fascinating, from the tragic fate of the Titanic, to the years of the Troubles that haunt the city to this day. Belfast is also a city of myths and folklore, both ancient, such as the Giant’s Causeway, and quite recent, as the city’s booming film industry brings George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones series to life.