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The best 20 places to go in 2024

by Staff

What lies in store for travellers in 2024? To start with, it could be the biggest year for globetrotting to date. According to the UN’s World Tourism organisation, there were some 700 million international tourist arrivals between January and July last year – not quite pre-pandemic numbers, but close enough. 

Some nationalities have already demonstrated their appetite for more: the numbers of international travellers departing from Italy, Germany and the United States were all up more than 10 per cent compared with 2019, the pre-Covid benchmark. And the British were the most determined of all – in 2022, there was growth of 16 per cent from 2019. 

With 2024 set to be a big one, overtourism will no doubt hit the headlines once again, so now more than ever it makes sense to take your time and seek out inspiration for your ideal holiday destination. 

That’s why we’ve asked our experts to come up with their ideas for the best places to visit in 2024. Use our curated list as a starting point to stave off the bleak, daunting darkness of January and begin the process of investigation that makes a trip feel possible. 

If you’re angling for a momentous event, head to Normandy to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, or follow in the footsteps of King Charles by exploring Australia. For something more unusual, Mauritius’s “other island”, Rodrigues, is an intriguing suggestion. 

Or perhaps this is the year to finally go on that once-in-a-lifetime safari. Several new camps have opened in Botswana, meaning that there has never been a better time to experience the miraculous Okavango Delta floods. 

Back on home turf, Stirling – “the most Scottish town on Earth” – is celebrating its 900th year. Craggy, poetic, overlooked Exmoor also comes highly recommended. Read on for our top destinations to visit in 2024.

Sophie Dickinson


Bad Ischl and the Salzkammergut

Austria

How to do it




Bad Ischl and the Salzkammergut, Austria, is the 2024 Capital of Culture


Credit: iStockphoto

In 2024, the EU is flexing its definition of ‘Capital of Culture’. Since the scheme started in 1985 the title has been bestowed on various cities; this year, it’s been awarded to a wider rural region. 

The Bad Ischl and the Salzkammergut Capital of Culture comprises 23 communities in Austria’s historic salt-mining heartland, a place where lakes glisten, mountains rise, forests flourish and Habsburg emperors once liked to hang out. Franz Joseph holidayed here, and it was in Bad Ischl’s Kaiservilla, in July 1914, that he declared war on Serbia, precipitating the First World War.

That was then. Now, 110 years on, the spa town of Bad Ischl – the designation’s headliner – plus a cluster of idyllic alpine villages will showcase the region’s heritage. As rural areas across the continent struggle to compete with the lure of cities, the Salzkammergut points to its creative side. 

More than 180 events are planned, exploring crafts and culture, traditional and contemporary art, the history of travel, diversity and sustainability; there’s a European Theatre Festival, a Big Green Project, the Great Space Walk and Salzkammerqueer. Meanwhile, a ‘7000 Years of Salt’ app puts millennia of mining into context, floating platforms on Traunsee Lake challenge perspectives, and the Regional Express offers an acoustic-visual immersion by train.

Buy a KulturCard (£42) for discounts of up to 50 per cent at museums, concerts and exhibitions.

Exodus Adventure Travels offers a six-day self-guided Cycling the Lakes and Rivers of the Salzkammergut trip from £1,079pp, including B&B accommodation and bike hire; excludes flights. Hubertushof is a historic four-star in Bad Ischl, right by the Kaiservilla, with B&B doubles from £153.

Sarah Baxter is a travel writer and author who was born in Norfolk (highpoint: 105m) with a contrary love of the mountains 

“A savage place! as holy and enchanted/As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted.” So penned Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Kubla Khan. His imagination was fired by wild expanses close to home: Exmoor’s heather-purpled hillsides, wooded combes and craggy coastline.

Almost more extraordinary than these ode-inspiring landscapes is the fact that this 267-square-mile National Park, marking its 70th birthday in 2024, is so peaceful, receiving fewer than one-10th of the visitors who throng the Lakes. Yet Exmoor is epic. It encompasses England’s most remote shoreline and highest sea cliffs, soaring to 318m Great Hangman. 

Centuries of history unfurl, from Neolithic stones to Dunster’s medieval castle and Jacobean Yarn Market. Magnificent red deer have browsed these hills for millennia, alongside Exmoor ponies – today they’re scarcer than wild tigers. As Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, it also offers stellar stargazing, championed during October’s Dark Skies Festival.




Exmoor marks its 70th birthday in 2024


Credit: Alamy

As for its big birthday, the National Park is celebrating by making Exmoor lovelier still. Rather than fireworks and fiestas (though expect some in October), the focus is on nurturing nature: recovering rare temperate rainforest, restoring viewpoints, and planting Kings Wood near Simonsbath.

Also in 2024, Exmoor’s enviable hiking network will be augmented by the King Charles III England Coast Path, partly following the most striking legs of the South West Coast Path. Other waymarked trails include the Coleridge Way, snaking 51 miles across the moor and through Lorna Doone country to Lynmouth, in turn revealing Exmoor’s most bucolic, romantic and remote faces. No septuagenarian ever looked more alluring.

On Foot Holidays has a six-night Coastal Exmoor self-guided walking trip featuring sections of coast path and Coleridge Way. From £965pp, including B&B accommodation, some meals, luggage transfers, route directions and maps. 

Paul Bloomfield fell for Exmoor while rambling and rockpooling during childhood holidays



Thailand


Thailand’s luxury hotels are set to feature in the new series of The White Lotus


Credit: Four Seasons, Koh Samui

Thailand’s tourism numbers have not quite recovered post-pandemic – but 2024 is likely to change that, as hit television show The White Lotus heads to the Land of Smiles for its third season. Casting is rumoured to be underway and, more suspiciously, the Four Seasons Koh Samui is closed throughout the January to March high season. 

While it seems highly likely that the Emmy-winning show will stick to the Four Seasons formula of previous seasons, the show’s producer Mike White has also been spotted by the pool of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and on the beach at Amanpuri in Phuket




The Four Seasons, Koh Samui, is one of many stunning places to stay

If role-playing as Tanya McQuoid doesn’t float your super-yacht, there are plenty more reasons to visit Thailand’s eclectic shores. The Jim Thompson Museum in Bangkok has had a major upgrade, adding new storytelling rooms, interactive installations and a restaurant. Meanwhile,. two major luxury hotels – Aman Nai Lert and Six Senses The Forestias – are opening in spring and summer, respectively. 

There are also plenty of new ways to get around, from the opening of Bang Sue Grand Station (South-East Asia’s largest train station), to a new Bangkok Airways route linking Lampang and Mae Hong Son. This year will also see the country’s first network of amphibious aircraft take off – offering the kind of leather-lined luxury previously only available to characters in The White Lotus. 

Scott Dunn has a 10-night Thailand itinerary from £6,100pp, B&B, including three nights at The Peninsula Bangkok, seven nights at the Four Seasons Koh Samui, flights and private transfers. 

Lee Cobaj is a Hong Kong-based travel writer who previously lived in Phuket and returns on an almost monthly basis to sate her cravings for Thai food and back-popping massages



Okavango Delta, Botswana


Botswana offers the ultimate southern African safari

Take it from me. If you haven’t been to Botswana, you haven’t yet experienced the ultimate southern African safari. This is the year to change that – after all, it isn’t going to get any cheaper and the camps are better than ever. 

Head south from May, when the Okavango River, swollen by rainfall in the Angolan highlands, starts its slow seep into the shallow tectonic trough in the Kalahari desert, fingers of water spreading into a great alluvial fan to create a fragile wonderland best seen from the air (the only way to get around).  That this happens in Botswana’s dry winter, making wildlife easier to spot, is an annual occurrence of incredible serendipity.

It is impossible to predict how high water levels will be, or even the exact course of what is rather dramatically called the “flooding”. If you’re travelling as early as May, north is where waters reach first – recently opened Duke’s East, Sitatunga and North Island are all highly recommended.




The Okavango River is bursting with wildlife

Meanwhile, Atzaro Okavango, the latest from African Bush Camps, opens in the southern-eastern corner in March and Natural Selection’s Tawana Camp, enjoying a prized location on the Gomoti river in the Moremi Game Reserve, opens in May. 

For a more rustic, immersive camping experience, Wild Expedition’s Karangoma (also opening in May), is located in the north-eastern corner and accessible only by helicopter. Guests wanting to overnight in Maun finally have a boutique option: Grays Eden Sanctuary will open in April. 

Audley Travel can arrange a tailor-made trip with options to stay at each of the new camps. A nine-night itinerary including Tawana, Khwai and Victoria Falls costs from £13,800pp including flights, transfers, accommodation and excursions. 

Pippa de Bruyn is a travel writer who has authored several guide books on southern and East Africa. The Okavango Delta is her favourite safari destination



Paris, France


The Olympic Games will take up residency the Palace of Versailles in 2024


Credit: Shutterstock

As the city gears up to host the Olympic Games in 2024, all eyes are on the French capital – although not always for the right reasons. Bin strikes and bed bugs are not so appealing, it’s true, but the City of Lights has plenty up its sleeve to delight visitors in its Olympic year. 

For a start, it is upcycling its existing assets, using its top landmarks as key venues: the cleaned-up Seine River will host the opening ceremony, the beach volleyball event will take place under the Eiffel Tower, fencing and taekwondo will be held under the glass dome of the Grand Palais and equestrian events will be held at the Palace of Versailles. 

Some of the most established museums are getting in on the act, too. At the Petit Palais there’s the dazzling Modern Paris (open until April 14), where visitors can peruse works from Picasso, Chagall and Tamara de Lempicka, as well as flapper fashion, diamonds from Cartier and even a Type B plane from 1911. At the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Fashion and Sports exhibition (open until April 7) tells the history of sports clothing via a spellbinding selection of outfits. 

Paris is also setting the culinary agenda once again thanks to a young generation of chefs, including culinary superstar Mory Sacko. His newest opening at Lafayette’s serves up exquisite dishes that blend flavours from Europe, Africa and the American South, all set in the former private mansion – an encapsulation of the old-meets-new culture of Paris today.

Eurostar runs 14 London to Paris services per day. Direct flights are operated by EasyJet and Air France from a range of UK regional airports.

Hannah Meltzer is a British journalist living in Paris. She writes about culture and travel and is Paris destination expert for The Telegraph

Skiing is the national sport in Norway. It wasn’t until the patchy 2022/23 winter season in the Alps, though – when the cost of living crisis simultaneously bit into our ski holiday budgets – that eyes turned to Scandinavia, properly, for the first time. 

With a long, snow-sure season (October to May), picture-perfect wooded slopes and a strong culture of coffee and cake, it’s a wonder that British skiers haven’t flocked north before. 

Now, though, ski tour operators are reporting a massive uptick in bookings. Crystal Ski Holidays cites a 442 per cent annual increase after launching a new charter flight to Oslo – and it’s a trend that’s only set to increase once word spreads.

You don’t need to be an all-action adventurer to make the most of this country’s skiing. In the south and east, there are more than 300 mountain peaks that reach over 2,000m, and more than 170 snow-sure, family-friendly resorts. Try places like Trysil, Hemsedal, Gausta and Geilo.




Expert skiers can descend above shimmering fjords in Norway


Credit: Alamy

While there’s not the same level of luxury accommodation here as in France or Switzerland, everything in this country is quality – from food to childcare – which adds huge value. It’s ideal territory for beginners and intermediates. Adventurous, expert skiers should head further north to summit a mountain that soars above a deep, shimmering fjord.

The ski areas are smaller than elsewhere in Europe, but with the Northern Lights, ski-in/ski-out accommodation and dog sledding for aprés-ski, you’ll have forgotten about the very British craze for miles of pistes by the first morning.

Iglu Ski offers seven nights’ full board at the four-star Gudbrandsgard Hotel, Kvitfjell, from £740pp, including flights and transfers.

Abigail Butcher is a travel and ski writer who has visited Norway many times for ski touring, cross-country and alpine skiing as well as adventure racing  



Kea, Greece


Kea is one of the largest of the Cyclades

If an island can be said to hide in plain sight, then Kea (or Tzia, as it’s also known) does it better than most. It’s one of the largest of the Cyclades, just an hour from the mainland by ferry, but almost completely undiscovered by anyone but holidaying Athenians, who flock to their second homes on weekends and holidays.  

Saved by its location – the only ferry connection is from Lavrion, on the other side of Cape Sounion to Piraeus – there are no sprawling resorts or villa complexes. Instead there are small hotels and apartments dotted among the peaceful settlements of Korissia (the port) and Ioulida – the island’s main town.  

This is an island of farmers and fishermen; where the shimmering sea rolls into sandy bays and pebbly beaches, disturbed by nothing more than a quiet taverna and a handful of thatched parasols.




There are no sprawling resorts or villa complexes on Kea


Credit: Milan Gonda

Come to hike the 40 kilometres of trails that wind through lush ravines and almond groves, dive beneath the cerulean waters to explore extraordinary shipwrecks and take an hour to pay homage to the Lion of Kea, an 8m-long sculpture dating back to the sixth century.

As the sun begins to dip, discover the traditional tavernas of Vourkari, where baskets of calamari and shrimp are washed down with crisp white wine, made in the island’s vineyards.  This year, for the first time, Sunvil Holidays is offering holidays to Kea – go now, before the secret gets out.

Sunvil offers a week at the Anemousa Studios, close to Oztias beach, from £909 including flights and ferry tickets. 

Annabelle Thorpe is a travel writer and novelist who first visited Kea 15 years ago and has been keeping quiet about it ever since – until now



Stirling, Scotland


Stirling was once the country’s capital

“Stirling, like a huge brooch, clasps Highlands and Lowlands together,” wrote author Alexander McCall Smith. At 900 years old, Stirling was once the country’s capital and April 2024 will usher in a year-long celebration of its foundation as a royal burgh by King David I in 1124. If you are wondering where the most Scottish place on earth is, Stirling is the answer. 

The city was the backdrop to the coronations of James V, Mary Queen of Scots and James VI, which helped define the nation and shape histories, while Bannockburn, the home of the tartan industry, is all about Robert the Bruce. 

If you prefer to gaze at the hillsides, head to the majestic National Wallace Monument on Abbey Craig, or the medieval Stirling Castle, waiting for you in the sun-faded Highland light. 

There are thrilling new ways to discover the city and its surroundings, too. The terrific Treehouses at Lanrick – five sustainable cabins west of the city – has added a sauna in a woodland populated by deer. Not far away, the new Treehouses at Leckie is an ode to wildness. From these, you can visit the new cookery school in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park by ex-Ready Steady Cook alumni Nick Nairn. It’s all understated, of course, but what a place for wonderment.

Rabbie’s offers tours to Stirling from £50pp; departs Edinburgh. The Treehouses at Lanrick start at £260 per night. The Treehouses at Leckie cost from £290 per night. A half day at the Nick Nairn Cookery School costs from £89pp. 

Mike MacEacheran is an Edinburgh-based travel writer who visits Stirling regularly. On his last trip, he ended up dressed in chainmail, going into battle against the army of King Edward II (albeit virtually).



Montana


Montana is home to the Rocky Mountains, parts of Yellowstone and all of Glacier National Park

Ah, Montana – the place where billionaires go to “rough it” in their limited-edition Wrangler Jeans. It’s not difficult to see the appeal – home to the Rocky Mountains, parts of Yellowstone and all of Glacier National Park, it offers a crazy mix of ruggedly beautiful wide-open prairie, vast cattle ranches, turquoise lakes, jagged mountains and plunging canyons. 

It’s also one of the largest but least populated states in the US, so it appeals to those hoping for a bit of peace (like the 13,000 Californians who decamped there during the pandemic). It seems owning a piece of the wild American West is the ultimate status symbol, with Montana long attracting the likes of David Letterman and Michael Keaton.

Who is currently a member of the super-exclusive Yellowstone Club (Bill Gates, Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, for example) is always an interesting gauge of the ongoing popularity of the state, which seems to be on the up. The club is a private residential enclave, ski and golf resort just west of Big Sky, in Madison County, which costs $400,000 (£315,804) to join and $40,000 (£31,580) per year thereafter.




Lone Mountain Ranch is a 25-cabin guest ranch


Credit: Heidi A Long

If you’re intrigued to see what all the fuss is about but a membership of Yellowstone isn’t quite on budget, consider a stay at the Lone Mountain Ranch, a homestead since 1915. It was taken over by boutique hotel company Auric Road nine years ago and is now a fabulously rustic-chic 25-cabin guest ranch. Or hang on until 2025 and check into One&Only Moonlight Basin, the international hotel group’s first US property (plus ski lodge and spa) – in Big Sky.

Stays at Lone Mountain Ranch start at £440 per night. Fly from London to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport with FinnAir or Virgin Atlantic from £630. 

Francesca Syz is the consultant travel editor on Telegraph Luxury and has a love for wild, craggy places. She grew up spending summers in a genuinely rustic cabin in the Adirondacks with her American dad. Justin Timberlake was definitely not a neighbour.



Lanzarote


Lanzarote is drawing travellers away from the coast towards its serene, volcanic interior


Credit: CesarLanzarote

Over the last few years, Spain’s sun-soaked Canary Islands have emerged as a place for stylish, activity-packed getaways. And Lanzarote – a pioneer in low-impact Spanish tourism, thanks to the early efforts of the local 20th-century artist and environmentalist César Manrique – is leading the way, drawing design-loving travellers away from the coast towards its serene, volcanic interior. 

Now, visitors have a crop of fabulously creative design hotels to choose from. They feel worlds apart from the Canaries’ fly-and-flop, winter-sun resorts. Most are set in heritage buildings away from coastal tourism hubs, meaning you get to explore delightful villages such as palm-dotted Haría (where Manrique once lived) or the former capital Teguise, where local artists are busy setting up new galleries and showrooms. 

The latest arrival is César Lanzarote, a solar-powered, 20-room beauty hidden away in La Asomada village offering a lagoon-style pool and modern cuisine. Then there is the heavenly Casa de las Flores, where artwork by owner-designer Gigi de Vidal fills five rooms in a reborn 18th-century mansion. Or head to Lanzarote’s wild northern valleys to stay in an elegantly-renovated 1840s casa emblemática at La Casa de los Naranjos.

One of the island’s original luxury beach properties has been given a fresh makeover, too; Costa Teguise’s Salinas hotel is now the adults-only Paradisus Salinas Lanzarote. And on the sunny southern coast, the four-star Barceló Playa Blanca has just landed, meaning visitors are spoiled for choice. 

César Lanzarote has doubles from £620 for two nights; Casa de las Flores offers doubles from £171; La Casa de los Naranjos has doubles from £180, all including breakfast. EasyJet flights to Lanzarote start at £55 return from various UK airports. 

Isabella Noble is a Barcelona- and Málaga-based travel journalist who spends time in Lanzarote every year, always finding a moment for a swim at the island’s magical Punta Mujeres sea pools. 



Rodrigues, Mauritius


Rodrigues is ringed by a bewitching turquoise lagoon


Credit: iStockphoto

Rodrigues is often portrayed as “how Mauritius used to be decades ago”. A 90-minute flight east, it is only 11 miles by five and ringed by a bewitching, and much larger, turquoise lagoon. This ensures a bountiful supply of fresh fish and octopus at reasonable prices. A plate of perfectly grilled tuna at Le Marlin Bleu in the capital, Port Mathurin, costs £9. And it’s not just the seafood that’s affordable, a car for the day starts at £27. 

The Indian Ocean island is extremely safe and has good hiking, particularly on the east coast (where, incidentally, the best beaches are). A growing commitment to sustainability has seen plastic bags banned while the island’s two stellar sights – the Grande Montagne Nature Reserve and François Leguat Reserve – are committed to rewilding. An hour’s boat ride west, Île aux Cocos is a sanctuary for some 45,000 seabirds, principally noddies and terns.

Change is coming, of course, making now the time to go. Last month, the first cruise ships in over a decade called in and the runway is being extended to accommodate aircraft larger than the Air Mauritius ATR 72s that currently shuttles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. A 71-room designer resort, PLAY Mourouk, recently opened, offering top-class kitesurfing. Its smaller sister property, Tekoma Boutik Hotel, has a more relaxed vibe. 

Seven nights at PLAY Mourouk with Travel Counsellors costs from £2,387pp half board including international flights and transfers; departs March 2 .

Nigel Tisdall first visited Rodrigues for Telegraph Travel in 2000, savouring a remote island “startlingly free of mass tourism”. Returning in November, he found a modern airport and better roads but the island remains a place for peace, warmth and solitude.

The Duke of Wellington rubbed his hands with glee when Napoleon was finally toppled and sent scuttling to St Helena. But the real victors of Waterloo would shine more than 150 years later beneath the dizzying disco lights of Brighton’s Dome, of all places. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s glittering Eurovision win, enshrining the fab foursome a place in karaoke hitlists forever more.

Celebrations will be in full flow at the Eurovision song contest in Malmö next May, although there’s a chance to re-enact the band’s greatest hits throughout the year at ABBA The Museum in Swedish capital Stockholm. Squeeze into Frida’s sequinned flares in a virtual dressing-up exhibit and blast through the Mamma Mia! soundtrack in a replica recording studio. A temporary exhibition will also launch next year, although details are as tightly sealed as one of Bjorn’s flesh-hugging velvet jumpsuits.




There are 30,000 islands to choose from in the Stockholm Archipelago


Credit: henrik trygg/henrik trygg

If an artillery of ABBA hits sounds like sonic warfare, head to the peaceful boulder-strewn forest-fringed islands of the Stockholm Archipelago. There are an indecision-inducing 30,000 to choose from, spread across 650 square miles. Navigating the myriad waterways, kayak routes and walking trails will become much easier next year when the new Stockholm Archipelago Trail launches in November. Broken down into sections with route plans, ferry timetables, cultural and foodie highlights accessible via a digital platform, the 270km-long trail will cross 19 islands.

It paves (or rather rubbles) the way for a new national park encompassing the Bullero nature and bird preserve, due to be declared in 2025. In the meantime, nature is on almost every doorstep – especially those belonging to the 10 eco cabins of Landet (landetstay.com), a new high design, self-catering countryside retreat an hour outside of Stockholm. Best of all is the price: from £270 for a couple, it’s an even bigger knock out than that French emperor’s magnificent defeat.

The Natural Adventure offers a seven day self-guided Stockholm Archipelago Walking Holiday from £840pp, including B&B accommodation, transport and luggage transfers; excludes flights.

Sarah Marshall is a travel writer and Scandi fanatic too young to remember ABBA’s victory but old enough to appreciate a vintage hit. 



Tokyo, Japan


Tokyo is Japan’s ever-changing heartbeat

Japan, land of the rising tourism numbers, is back. The longtime appeal of the iconic volcanic archipelago – where inbound tourist levels are now higher than before the pandemic – perhaps needs little introduction.

There are the timeless elements of Japan’s enduring attractions – the cherry blossoms, futuristic skyscrapers, ancient temples, and its status as nirvana for all things food – and then there are the new reasons to visit. Tokyo remains its ever-changing heartbeat: the capital recently witnessed the opening of Azabudai Hills, a major city-in-a-city development more than 30 years in the making.

The complex – home to Japan’s new tallest skyscraper – has over 150 new shops and restaurants in addition to homes and offices. It is here in March that Aman’s new sister hotel brand, Janu, will make its debut. 




Aman’s new sister hotel brand, Janu, will debut in Tokyo

Nearby in Azabudai Hills, art collective teamLab will open its new Borderless museum in February, while Pace Gallery plans its first Tokyo outpost in the same complex. Weary travellers could do worse than the newly-opened Hotel Toranomon Hills, which sits inside a freshly-unveiled twisted glass skyscraper.

If you want to go further afield, Kyoto – the ancient capital – is also awash with news. Six Senses Kyoto is expected to make its Japan debut in the ancient capital in March while other new openings include Hilton Kyoto and Banyan Tree. 

Tying it all together? The nation’s bullet train network is celebrating its 60th birthday following its 1964 Tokyo Olympics debut. Despite its age, it’s showing no signs of slowing down: a new section of bullet train track, between Kanazawa and Tsuruga stations, will open in March.

InsideJapan has a new 14-night Majestic Japan group tour costing from £7,300pp travelling by train from Tokyo to Kyoto including some experiences, all accommodation, transport, and some meals; excludes flights. 

Danielle Demetriou is a British writer who swapped London buses for Japan’s cherry blossoms and sushi-on-tap in 2007. She lives in a wooden house in the old kimono textile district of Kyoto.



Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland


Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way celebrates its 10th anniversary in February


Credit: Alamy

As marketing masterstrokes go, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way was inspired. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in February, it has swiftly attained bucket-list road trip status. 

This 1,500-mile route skirts the ragged extremities of Ireland, twisting, turning and wiggling its way in either direction from Malin Head on County Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula to the charming seaside town of Kinsale in County Cork.

As for the scenery? It’s got it all: lonely windswept beaches, hauntingly empty landscapes, roiling waves for surfers, mist-snagged mountains, heritage sites, music filled pubs and buzzing cities like Galway and Cork. 

The classic West Cork village of Ballydehob will soon welcome one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s newest places for a pit stop. Native is both a guesthouse and ambitious rewilding project; a clutch of cabins are expected to follow later in the year. 

Ladyville House is another hotly-anticipated opening for 2024, located on County Wexford’s Hook Peninsula. The grand mansion, formerly known as Loftus Hall and reputedly one of Ireland’s most haunted houses, has been transformed into a luxurious seaside retreat. 

Londonderry, Ireland West Knock, Shannon, Kerry and Cork airports are the closest to the Wild Atlantic Way. These are served by a number of airlines from the UK including Aer Lingus, Ryanair and British Airways

Inntravel is launching a new Ireland programme in 2024 and has a self-guided seven-night Wild Connemara & Galway walking holiday from £1,465 pp including B&B, some dinners, luggage transportation, transfers and maps; excludes flights. 

Aoife O’Riordain is a travel writer, who can often be found roaming the mountains and beaches of County Kerry.  



Mexican coast


There are 7,000 miles to explore on the Mexican coast

Mexico has almost 7,000 miles of coast – this excessive length is due partly to the great finger of beaches formed by the Baja California Peninsula. Frankly, wherever you look there’s sea and sand, and perma-sunshine to make them desirable all year round. But which coast is best for the coming year? 

The Nayarit Riviera to the north is certainly a challenger. It already impresses when it comes to hotels and 2024 sees the opening of new Rosewood, Ritz Carlton, Auberge and Four Seasons properties. 

Baja offers several different kinds of holiday: the ultimate Mexican fly-drive from the border to the beach havens of Los Cabos; sport fishing, white-sand coves and placid waters on the Sea of Cortez; whale-watching on the other shore, and wine-tasting in the Valle de Guadalupe. 




Holbox Island is popular for a boutique beach break

The deluxe 50-suite Chablé Sea of Cortez, pushed back by the pandemic, will finally open next year; nearby La Paz is a dreamy seaside city. Cool Mexicans used to go to Acapulco; now they go to Puerto Escondido, a mellow town that has a certain boho chic while remaining free of mega-resorts.

If cuisine and culture appeal, try Puerto Vallarta, the hub of the central Pacific coast region; Rick Stein gushed about it on his Mexican food show and there’s a hectic cultural calendar.  

Finally, there’s always Yucatán, which is so much more than the Chichén Itzá. Holbox Island is firmly on the boutique beach break radar. 

A solar eclipse passes over Mexico in April; it may augur momentous change, but I can’t see this colourful, charismatic country losing its status as the most visited country in Latin America.

Audley has a 13-day Historic Mexico and Beach tour, taking in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cuernavaca and Guadalajara from £5,450pp, including accommodation, guided activities, transfers and international flights.

Chris Moss is a travel and culture writer who has visited Mexico at least dozen times, and still has 5,000 miles of beach to go.

If your name is Alfredo Romeo (no, not Alfa: Alfredo), you are an Italian property magnate with a huge personal art collection, have one hotel already (Romeo Naples) and want more, it’s pretty much a given that you open the next one in Rome.

Romeo Roma opens early 2024 and, if my hoteldar is in working order, it’s going to be quite something. Certainly, Signor Romeo couldn’t have picked a better moment to launch a thrilling new hotel in the Eternal City: since the relaxation of planning regulations, Italy’s capital has recently witnessed a slew of exciting openings (Six Senses, Bulgari, Ambasciatori Palace, Edition, Palazzo Ripetta) that’s rapidly putting it on an equal footing with London and Paris. Then there’s the major renovation around nearby Piazza Augusto Imperatore, encompassing new restaurants, gardens and sweeping pedestrianised areas. 

One of the last projects from the late world-renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, Romeo Roma occupies a 16th-century palazzo just steps from Piazza del Popolo and blends the prestige of history with avant-garde contemporary architecture. 




The Six Senses Rome strengthens the city’s luxurious appeal


Credit: Six Senses

As well as an international art collection, guests will find an open-air 22,000 square foot courtyard with indoor and outdoor pools, a rooftop lounge and bar and a wellness centre by Sisley Paris. As for the food, the gourmet restaurant Il Ristorante is by Signor Romeo’s friend Alain Ducasse, one of only two chefs in the world to hold more than 20 Michelin stars. 

It’s never a bad time to go to Rome, but 2024 seems like a particularly bellissimo momento.

Various airlines­ including Wizz Air, Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and Vueling fly from UK airports to Rome, from £34 return. One night at Romeo Roma costs an eye watering £1,700 per night. 

Fiona Duncan is a hotel critic whose favourite hotels in the world are Italian ones: they are often family-owned; they don’t lose sight of tradition and they are, best of all, in Italy.



Australia


Sydney is one of Australia’s showstoppers

Anywhere that takes over 20 hours to get to must be worth the travel. King Charles will be making the journey to Australia in 2024 and there are many reasons you should too. With just over 25 million people in an area 32 times bigger than Britain, Australia is the world’s smallest continent and its biggest island. 

This year is set to be a big one for The Kimberley, renowned as one of the world’s last truly wild places, as it sees an influx of new cruise lines. Seabourn and Ponant are both introducing ships to the region, while the Scenic Eclipse will become the first with two helicopters onboard – perfect for sightseeing. 




Yiribana Gallery is a must-visit in New South Wales


Credit: Zan Wimberley

Over in the northeastern corner of New South Wales, the first stretch of the 82-mile Northern Rivers Rail Trail opened in 2023, with more of the route between Casino and Murwillumbah to launch in the coming years. A further 24 miles of walking trails are slated to open in the region this year in the form of the Gidjuum Gulganyi Walk in Gondwana Rainforests.

Back in the cities, Sydney is known for its show-stopping good looks. Its eastern beaches are famed for good reason, but the city holds its own too — try Le Foote for drinks and dinner, and the newly refurbished InterContinental Sydney to rest your head. The harbour city also has a brand new addition to its art scene, with the grand opening of Sydney Modern

Melbourne, less sun-kissed, more late-night, is peppered with small bars, laneways festooned with street art and plenty of galleries. The neo-gothic Reine and La Rue, with its oyster bar and cathedral dining room, is the restaurant du jour, and the towering Ritz Carlton is a luxe new addition to the city’s already excellent hotel stable. 

Trailfinders’s Discover Australia package includes a Sydney Harbour cruise, a Melbourne foodie walk, and a full day snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. From £4,047 pp, excluding flights. 

Ariela Bard is a travel, arts and culture writer who spends very little time at the beach. 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Canada



Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada


Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s most easterly province

“One could stand on the cod; they were so thick in the water,” exclaimed Italian explorer John Cabot when he sailed the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in the 15th-century.

There’s far more to Canada’s most easterly province than fish – delicious as it is. It was once its own country and still operates on its own time zone, some 30 minutes ahead of Atlantic Standard Time. It is also the spot where Norseman Leif Erikson landed and became the first European to discover North America – some 500 years before Christopher Columbus. You can visit his 1,000-year-old Viking settlement on the northernmost tip at Unesco-listed L’Anse aux Meadows. 

Happily, travellers will have to do far less paddling to reach it, with WestJet set to launch new direct flights three times a week from London Gatwick to St John’s in May. 

Visit in the summer to see 10,000-year-old ice giants waltz down from western Greenland – something that happens with such regularity that the coast is nicknamed Iceberg Alley. 

At Tablelands and Gros Morne National Park, visitors can walk on the Earth’s mantle. The latter just celebrated its 50th anniversary and is a staggering jostle of jagged cliffs knifing into deep blue fjords.  

Plus, you’ll have a hoot wrapping your tongue around local specialities such as colcannon, brewis, toutons, doughboys and figgy duff, not to mention mastering the hotch-potch accent, which is such a bewildering mix of English, Irish and French it’s nicknamed “Newfinese”.  

Audley Travel offer a 15-day self-drive trip to Newfoundland from £3,985pp including flights, rental car, room-only accommodation and excursions to L’Anse aux Meadows, Gros Morne and St John’s. 

Emma Thomson is a regular Telegraph Travel contributor who has visited Newfoundland and Labrador, where she met Vikings and ate salted cod by the plateful.



Vigo, Spain


Samil beach is on of Vigo’s many secret spots


Credit: Alamy

On the Atlantic coast, in the northwestern corner of Spain, Vigo is the biggest city in Galicia. While the regional capital, Santiago de Compostela, obviously has many charms, in Vigo you get a sense of  everyday life. And what a life the inhabitants have. 

Vigo is in the Rías Baixas region, where Albariño wine is produced from grapes grown on hillside pergolas overlooking the ocean and the fish is exported all over the world – but not before the best of the catch ends up in the local bars and restaurants. 

In the sloping lanes of the old town, you can devour platters of oysters, mussels and octopus from the Ría de Vigo, one of the fjord-like estuaries that form the crinkly coastline. The food is so good, though, that it is worth going fancy, particularly as even Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Maruja Limón or Silabario, have reasonably-priced set menus – from €80 (£68) and just €32 (£27) respectively. After several years with no direct flights, a new Ryanair route from London Stansted means you can get there cheaply in 2024 as well. 

Samil beach, in the south of the city, is a glorious stretch of golden sand flanked by seafood restaurants. In the summer, take the boat over to the idyllic Cíes Islands to lie on the white sand and paddle in the jade water. 

Go shopping along Príncipe Street then dip into the MARCO contemporary art museum to get an idea of the dynamic cultural scene in the city. As the sun goes down, it is well worth the climb up to O Castro park for spectacular panoramic views. 

Ryanair flies from Stansted to Vigo three times a week; from £30 return. The Gran Hotel Negari, overlooking the bay, is a fun place to stay with a rooftop pool. Doubles from £91, room only. 

Annie Bennett is the Telegraph’s Spain expert and visits Galicia as often as possible for seafood extravaganzas.  



Normandy, France


Normandy will host events for the 80th anniversary of D-Day


Credit: Eddie Mulholland

It’s not just Paris luring you to France, there are many key anniversaries happening in the country next year. Celebrations are in order for 150 years of Impressionism, and it’s 70 years since the death of Matisse. Then there are the festivals saluting Chopin (Paris, June), wine (Bordeaux, end of June) and much else besides.

But the most vital commemorations will mark events without which none of the above would be happening. On June 6, it will be 80 years since the good guys – 156,000 of them – clambered ashore to tackle tyranny. Such is the importance of the Normandy landings that D-Day is celebrated every year, but the 80th anniversary will make a much greater splash along the beaches, and beyond, throughout the month of June.

Look out for parades of tanks and armoured cars, military reconstructions, music and dancing, giant picnics, fly-pasts, parachute drops: all the fun of the 1940s without anyone getting blown up. Not least there will be a firework display simultaneously on all five landing beaches on June 1.

In quieter moments, you might visit notable sites – but be choosy. If you’ve time for only one museum, head for the Mémorial de Caen, the best Second World War historical centre anywhere. Otherwise, the Musée du Débarquement at Arromanches has recently been rebuilt and reopened. Almost as new is the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer – which, from next spring, will be distinguished by 1,475 art installation silhouettes – symbolising the number of fatalities under British command on June 6 1944. 

Nearby, the Ranville Commonwealth war cemetery is less visited than cemeteries at Bayeux or Colleville but hosts the grave of 19-year-old paratrooper Emile Corteil from Watford. He was buried with his patrol dog, Glen. The inscription on his gravestone reads: “Had you known our boy, you would have loved him too.” 

Leger Holidays offer a five-day coach trip for the 80th anniversary for £899pp. A four-day D-Day trip at other times during the year costs from £439pp. 

Anthony Peregrine moved from Lancashire to Languedoc in southern France to get out of the rain. Years later, he’s still there.

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