As the year is rushing to an end, most journey websites contrive registers of peak destinations to explore in the 12 months to arrive, and here is ours. 2012 has seen the proclamation of the New 7 Wonders of environment (which sparked our utmost interest), and 2014 will convey a wave of crowd-inducing sport undertakings to some popular locations on the international tourist map (which sparked the red alert). What’s in between is 365 days to relish the attractiveness of the planet (before it’s too late) and a sequence of fabulous cultural events arranged for 2013. Don’t waste time. Stay concept and Travel safe!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is decisively not a allowance destination, but if you’ve been toying with the concept to visit, do it now, before the town gets completely out of your economic come to for a couple of years to arrive after 2013. Big-time events such as the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 fundamentally mean two things for a traveler – the town is under fast transformation to unfold some of the best services to tourists, but one time the goal is carried out and crowds start to inundate the Estádio do Maracanã, the prices will proceed up with supersonic speed, too. Conclusions? Stick a pair of hard-wearing sandals in your rucksack and roam the high grounds of Rio before the expenses strike the ceiling, but just in time to enjoy the new development.
Every time is a good time to drop by Amsterdam as the city never lets go of its invigorating blend of artistic air, laid-back spirit and spicy envelope. But 2013, with a prospect of numerouscoinciding anniversaries, is the best time possible for a cultural buff to spend a couple of days hanging around the Canal Ring, which, by the way, celebrates its 400th birthday next year. For the 160th time the Amsterdamians will sing happy birthday to Vincent van Gogh and enjoy the 40th year of his brilliant museum’s operation. The famed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestracelebrates its 125th anniversary and the Rijksmuseum (with Rembrandt, Vermeer and Durer on stock!) re-opens after a 10-year refurbishment. And that’s only part of the agenda that’s bound to be overflowing with open-air celebratory events. And partying in Amsterdam can hardly be rivaled…
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Following its newly gained status as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Indonesia’s Komodo National Park has seen a substantial upsurge in tourist numbers, with 40,000 adventurers visiting the secluded spot lost between two oceans only in the first quarter of this year. Despite great efforts to retain the pristine, intact character of the place, tourism and inconsiderate human practices will most certainly affect its shape at some point. This is to say you should hurry up before the indigenous Komodo dragons resort to cannibalism or get poached to extinction. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as a number of smaller ones, for a total area of 1,817 sq. km, so there’s surely a lot to be done around. Just to give you a hint – Komodo is said to be one of the most exhilarating dive spots in Indonesia.
If you’re looking for a splendid hiking experience, bucolic charm, dramatic landscapes and bargain ski packages, Slovakia – with its High Tatras – is the place to go. But 2013 is a special time to visit as the nation blows 20 candles two decades after the separation from its Czech neighbor. This means that beer will flow like a river and the whole country will be engrosses in a year-long anniversary party with myriad cultural events on the agenda. Meanwhile, in the lower lands, the city of Kosice shares with Marseille the honors of 2013 European Capital of Culture, with an artistic concoction of events to spill onto the city’s most atmospheric locations, such as the Košice Castle or the freshly restored amphitheater. Happy birthday, Slovakia!
The scene in the latest Bond flick when Daniel Craig whizzes on top of the Grand Bazaar on a motorcycle has stuck in our minds so much that Istanbul has instantly jumped on our travel bucket list for 2013. The souq is the most famous and one of the largest covered markets in the world, with a labyrinth of 61 streets and over 3,000 shops, so you’re in for an ultimate shopping experience here. If you’re a die-hard fan of 007’s adventures, splash out on a night in Çırağan Palace Kempinski, a brilliant five-star hotel that provided setting for a photocall and press conference held to mark the filming of Skyfall. If not, take in the splendor of the Bosphorus, tour the city’s hip restaurants, bars and galleries, stand in awe in front of its mosques, have a whiff of a narghile in Tophane or a sip of Turkish coffee at a sidewalk café.
When it comes to trekking and outdoor activities, Nepal has for years occupied the rankings of top destinations for travel, but it’s high time to pass the baton, for instance to South Korea. Without bragging, the country spreading on the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula has gradually developed into a splendid recreation spot, brimming with opportunities for hiking, fishing, sailing, scuba-diving, horse-riding, golfing, and a lot more – all back dropped by amazing historical and cultural heritage.
Although South Korea is not entirely new on the tourist radar, only few people realize that places such as Songnisan and Seoraksan National Parks are a craggy paradise for rock climbers and some serious trekking enthusiasts, and Jeju Island, which has been proclaimed one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, is a little piece of hiking heaven for those less adventurous, but still eager to hit an otherworldly trail. Make sure you don’t wait until 2014, when the XVII Asiad held in Incheon attracts hordes of sport fans and tourists from all over Asia.
Petra is a stunning example of how Nature and Man can cooperate to produce a wonder beyond description. The vast, rose-red city, carved into the sheer rock face more than 2000 years ago and turned into an important trade hub on the silk route is by far one of the most stunning remnants of the bygone era and an unforgettable sight to behold – pinkish in the daylight and scintillating with golden spots of fire at night as thousands of candles are showing you way to the Treasury. The site faces numerous threats, including collapse of structures, erosion, flooding, improper restoration and unsustainable tourism, and although efforts are made by Petra National Trust, UNESCO and ICOMOS to promote the conservation and preservation of the Petra site, the deterioration process is unlikely to be completely halted, so time is most certainly not on your side.
Yukon is one of those few places today still unaffected by tourism and settlement, that’s for sure, but its solitary charm as well as its glacial wealth are gradually beginning to melt. Climate change and a growing interest in the territory’s mineral deposits are slowly biting into the heart and soul of this impossibly beautiful Canadian jewel, so if you have an unfulfilled plan to hike the ice-clad stretches of Yukon, you’d better not hesitate too long. The North Klondike Valley and the Bullion Plateau are good places to start.
Every travel ranking of this sort is bound to have at least one honeymoon getaway, and so it does this time, too. Except that it’s not the all-time favorite Philippines, but the Seychelles, spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. Although the island country is not really undiscovered, it still offers pristine charm and an intimate sense of privacy, complete with high standards and a varied accommodation offer for all budgets. From cute little B&Bs and small hotels to the mind blowing private island resorts likeFregate Island Private – the Seychelles make for a dream newlyweds’ vacation spot. It is here, on North Island, that Prince William and his lovely wife spent their honeymoon, so if you want to start off your happy union royal style, don’t wait until everybody comes up with the same idea.
Hugged by the sparkling Mediterranean waters and the gentle hills of the Massif de l’Etoile, the ancient sea port of Marseille is soon about to offer tourists a lot more than natural beauty and historical air. The city has won the race to become the European Capital of Culture in 2013 and judging by its geographic positioning on a cultural crossroads, we may expect a vivid display of the Euromediterranean artistic heritage. On January 12, the inauguration ceremonies will have the coast come alive with sound and light, and for the months to come, the whole Provence region will brim with new galleries, street entertainment, breathtaking circus performances, exhibitions,
Anything caught your attention? Let us know what you’re planning for 2013 and stay tuned for more travel inspirations!