The best places to travel in 2022
The most intriguing destinations to visit
We welcome 2022 with hopes for new experiences to enjoy – having now solidly lived through a long pandemic, a new year means setting new goals; albeit, more conscientiously than in the past. We’ve learned as a culture what it means to slow down, and to live, work, and travel more responsibly. As vaccine programs advance, 2022 may be the year to let loose your most idealistic travel plans. With this in mind, we’ve gathered the best places to travel – a list of some incredible, lesser-known locations to visit.
A tiny port island in the Bay of Naples, Procida is one of Italy’s secret gems: with fewer visiting tourists than neighbouring islands like Capri and Ischia. The Talented Mr Ripley was filmed there. It’s little wonder why: with glorious weather, pastel-coloured buildings, beaches, and winding narrow alleyways full of small restaurants and wine bars, Procida is a creative and ideal place to explore on foot.
For an arctic wilderness trip like no other, you can’t miss Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago located between Norway and the North Pole. Things to do are determined by the seasons: hiking, kayaking, and glacier cruises in summer, and dog sledding and polar bear watching in winter. The world’s most northerly town offers unspoiled Arctic nature to take in, from snow-capped peaks and glaciers to icebergs: an eerie and magical place.
A road trip around Albania might prove to be one of the most rewarding trips in existence. Think crystal-clear beaches, hikable snow-capped mountain ranges, fortress towns, and beautiful countryside: Albania’s mix of adventure, culture, heritage, and breathtaking scenery make it a majestic destination to visit – provided you are dedicated to helping preserve their natural spaces, of course.
Córdoba is a representation of the most culturally sophisticated aspects of Spain, with its captivating Islamic architecture (the Mezquita is reason enough to visit). Here, religion and history collide, with countless beautiful courtyards to read and relax in. Oh, and, it happens to be one of the warmest cities in Europe, so perfect for a winter getaway.
Margate, Kent, UK
Margate is like a quintessential Martin Parr photograph: striped sun chairs, candy-coloured ice cream, and battered cod set against sweeping beaches. It’s been hard to miss this English seaside town’s growing appeal fuelled by artisan diners, a thriving art scene (it’s home to the Turner Contemporary Gallery and was where Tracy Emin grew up), and vintage shopping.
Dubbed the country’s cultural capital, Fes is primarily known for El Bali, its walled Medina with medieval Marinid architecture, vibrant souks, and an old-world atmosphere, and decorated with elaborate cedar carvings and ornate tile work.
This year, skip Tokyo and Kyoto for Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, for its delectable cuisine with the freshest produce and its breathtaking scenery. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll never want to leave. There is no shortage of snow in the winter and numerous activities to match it. But Hokkaido is also blissful in the summer, with a mild climate and colourful vegetation that you thought only existed in fairy tales.
Auckland, New Zealand
For an alternative city escape filled with friendly locals and loads to do, New Zealand’s most populous city (also known as Tāmaki Makaurau) is a buzzing hub of food, music, arts, and culture. From sailing and whale safaris to museums, scenic city walks and wineries, Auckland provides an exciting mix of natural wonders and urban escapades.
Little-known Palau, an archipelago consisting of over 500 islands, is part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Palau is respected internationally for its sustainable marine conservation: think perfect, unspoiled beaches with some of the world's best diving and snorkelling, all conducted in a manner that respects and preserves the islands’ pristine environment.
Georgia’s capital is called Hotlanta for a reason: It’s plain fun. A cavalcade of culture, cuisine, and Southern hospitality, it’s not just bustling with energy (thanks to its lively bar scene and effervescent locals, among other things), but also uniquely charismatic and lush (think ample green spaces). Visit in spring to see Atlanta in full bloom.
Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Measuring almost a whopping 10,000 kilometres in size, this verdant and special nature reserve is located in the Amazon region in Napo, in the north of Ecuador. As it is primarily rainforest, you will need to book a stay at one of the lodges or aboard the river cruises. If lucky, you will be able to witness monkeys, toucans, giant river otters, and dolphins in their natural habitat while on a guided walk.
Oman, one of the more humble and beautiful Gulf States, has an ancient heritage and a strong cultural identity. Beyond its massive dunes and multi-coloured sands, this otherworldly desert region has so much to see, including a marketplace (or souk) to rival Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, only more relaxed.
The humid capital city of Paraguay presents a relaxed and authentic South American experience for visitors. With its mix of original colonial and beaux-arts buildings and up-and-coming cosmopolitan feel, the city’s cultural scene is ablaze with museums, bars, theatres, and galleries. Enjoy some traditional Paraguayan cuisine or spend time in the serene botanical gardens; create your own thrilling mix of charming and modern experiences.
These places are travel-friendly for now, at least. However, do keep in mind that entry rules for countries can change at short notice, so always check local government regulations before making any travel plans.
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