If flying and flopping isn’t really your thing, National Geographic’s travel list has a fun twist this year: experiences.
And that’s not the only surprise – as one European country ranks above hotspots further afield.
For years, Menorca has very much existed in the shadow of its higher-end Balearic sisters: Ibiza and Mallorca. But it looks like it may be finally having its time in the spotlight.
Kenya scooped first place on the list overall, with the travel network hailing horse safari as a travel experience to be on your bucket list.
It says: ‘Although horse safaris originated in Kenya in the 1970s, they’re a perfect fit for today’s growing number of travellers looking for more engaging, sustainable wildlife encounters.’
Running an Olympic marathon in Paris came second (although, certainly not everyone’s cup of tea) – as for the first time members of the public will be able to run their own marathon when the country hosts the 2024 games.
Nat Geo explains: ‘The Marathon for All will allow 20,024 qualifying lottery winners on the 26.2-mile route that links Paris and Versailles, a loop beginning at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and passing through nine arrondissements before finishing at Les Invalides on the banks of the Seine.’
Next up in third place is skiing at one of the UNESCO sites in Georgia. But Nat Geo stresses the best time to experience this is between December to April.
The surprise on the list, however, is Menorca (coming in 13th place), but National Geographic explains why it’s well worth your time this year – mainly for its rich history.
It says: ‘Spain’s Balearic Islands are best known for the jet-set beach destinations of Ibiza and Mallorca. But quiet, less developed Menorca has a unique mother lode: the archipelago’s greatest repository of ancient architecture.’
With an area of just 270 square miles, Menorca has a total of 1,574 inventoried archaeological sites – from well-preserved village centers that existed long before the Roman Empire to tombs dating back to 1600 B.C.
Impressively, Menorca also beats exploring the tea trails in Sri Lanka, gallery-hopping in São Paulo and whitewater rafting on West Virginia’s New River.
See the full list below…
National Geographic’s top 2024 list:
- Go on horseback safari in Kenya
- Run an Olympic marathon in Paris
- Ski tour UNESCO sites in Georgia
- Bear watch in Katmai National Park
- Hear legendary live music in Kyoto
- Cruise an epic river in Colombia
- Road trip Route 66 in New Mexico
- Explore ancient art in Algeria
- Dive with sharks in Western Australia
- Hike a volcano in Panama
- Catch the eclipse at Niagara Falls
- Trek a glacier in Chile
- Step back in time on Menorca
- Ride classic rails in Scotland
- Find authentic flavor in Thailand
- Wander tea trails in Sri Lanka
- Gallery hop in São Paulo
- Raft the rapids in West Virginia
- Go antiquing in Hudson Valley
- Sleep on the water in British Columbia