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Menorca beats Thailand and Brazil on National Geographic’s 2024 list

by Staff
Menorca was 13th in the rankings (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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.

On Nat Geo’s 2024 list, Menorca beats the likes of Thailand and Brazil, coming in at number 13. 

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.’

Two female horseback riders on horseback ride at sunset overlooking Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in North Kenya, Africa
Horseback safari in Kenya was named the top experience of the year (Picture: Getty)

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.’

people running paris marathon france
Riverside running views (Picture: Getty)

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.’

Naveta des Tudons. Menorca
Naveta des Tudons in Menorca (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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:

  1. Go on horseback safari in Kenya
  2. Run an Olympic marathon in Paris
  3. Ski tour UNESCO sites in Georgia
  4. Bear watch in Katmai National Park
  5. Hear legendary live music in Kyoto
  6. Cruise an epic river in Colombia
  7. Road trip Route 66 in New Mexico
  8. Explore ancient art in Algeria
  9. Dive with sharks in Western Australia
  10. Hike a volcano in Panama
  11. Catch the eclipse at Niagara Falls
  12. Trek a glacier in Chile
  13. Step back in time on Menorca
  14. Ride classic rails in Scotland
  15. Find authentic flavor in Thailand 
  16. Wander tea trails in Sri Lanka
  17. Gallery hop in São Paulo
  18. Raft the rapids in West Virginia
  19. Go antiquing in Hudson Valley
  20. Sleep on the water in British Columbia

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