Be a travel pro: Where those in the know are going In 2018

2018 is gearing up to be an exciting time to explore the world, but it’s a perennial challenge to decide where to go when there are so many destinations just waiting to be discovered. In anticipation of this year’s must-see places, we asked award-winning photographer Mattias Klum, as well as some of Europe’s top food and fashion Instagram influencers where they’re planning to visit next.

Mattias selected 3 locations for the adventurous at heart, and our European influencers shared their most lust-worthy foodie and fashion spots for next year. Check out where these travel pros are going in 2018 and join them in some of the most awe-inspiring destinations around the globe.

Adventure

1. Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Las Alpujarras, Spain

A woman hikes in the forest in Las Alpujarras, Spain
A woman hikes in the forest in Las Alpujarras, Spain

Why: Andalusia’s historic Las Alpujarras region rests on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, known for its natural beauty and unique microclimate. Between November and April, winter enthusiasts flock to the region for its prime skiing conditions – 66 miles of skiable terrain, more than 115 runs, and almost always guaranteed sunshine. During the warmer months, Las Alpujarras makes for ideal hiking terrain. Begin your trail at one of the 40-plus picturesque villages such as Órgiva and Trevélez to explore waterfalls and lookout points. If you’re up for the challenge, attempt the Mulhacén, the highest mountain in mainland Spain.

When: Head to Las Alpujarras between June and September for the warmest temperatures and plenty of summer fiestas to celebrate.

2. An island paradise: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Swimming above the reefs in Indonesia
Swimming above the reefs in Indonesia

Why: Southeast Asia’s most beautiful archipelago consists of hundreds of jungle-covered islands just waiting to be explored. Often considered one of the most remote areas of the world, Raja Ampat sits along the equator and is acclaimed for its weather, beaches, and coral reefs. If you want to make things interesting, head underwater where you can see thousands of colourful tropical fish from easily accessible diving and snorkelling sites.

When: Visit Raja Ampat from October to December for the best combination of great weather and minimal crowds.

3. Luxury at its finest in Vamizi Island, Mozambique

Vamizi Island from above
Vamizi Island from above

Why: Off the coast of northern Mozambique in the Quirimbas Archipelago lies Vamizi, a serene coral island blessed with miles of endless coastline and wild, untouched nature. Indulge in the good life on Vamizi – relax on powder-soft beaches and dive into crystal blue waters to admire the island’s native wildlife. Prismatic coral reefs, a protected turtle population, and a plethora of species of reef fish make Vamizi a top destination for swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving in the Indian Ocean.

When: Go to Vamizi Island sometime in June, July, or August if you’re looking for cooler temperatures and little to no rain.

Food

4. Stay for the Food in Sopot, Poland

Strolling along the Sopot Pier
Strolling along the Sopot Pier

Why: Anyone who’s experienced Sopot’s world-class hotels, trendy nightlife, and international cuisine will agree that it deserves its title as the ‘Polish Riviera’. Along Monte Cassino Street, you’ll find a selection of modern restaurants serving up flavours from all over the world in addition to traditional Polish specialties such as ‘kielbasa’ (Polish sausages), ‘bigos’ (a hunter’s stew with meat, cabbage, and sauerkraut), and ‘smalec’ (friend lard served with homemade bread). Sopot’s pier, the longest in Europe, is a great place to rent a bike and ride around before going for a swim, lounging in the sun, or even trying your hand at parasailing.  

When: Summer and the ‘golden autumn’ that follows are the best times to enjoy Sopot’s warm temperatures and exciting city life.

5. Discover France’s culinary paradise La Rochelle

La Rochelle’s scenic harbour
La Rochelle’s scenic harbour

Why: Situated along France’s western coast, La Rochelle is one of the largest harbour cities in the country with plenty of access to water activities. Try your hand at windsurfing along the city beach or deep sea fishing in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean’s frigid waters. Cruise the waters on a yacht or hire a sailboat for a scenic entrance to the city centre near Vieux Port, where bustling bars and restaurants turn local ingredients into a kind of art. In particular, independent seafood restaurants around the local market serve up some of the freshest fish and crustaceans that the area is famous for.

When: Travel to La Rochelle in September or October when it is still relatively warm but there are fewer crowds to deal with.

6. Tempt Your Tastebuds in Nova Scotia, Canada

A reflection of Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in a pond
A reflection of Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in a pond

Why: One of Canada’s eastern Maritime provinces, Nova Scotia’s scenic cliffs offer unmatched views over the Atlantic Ocean, making it a much sought-after location for outdoor activities like rafting and whale watching. Its capital city Halifax has vibrant film, music, and theatre scenes, as well as a growing craft beer industry. Traditionally, Nova Scotia has always had a strong connection to both sea and land. Experience award-winning vineyards and wineries, seasonal produce, and catch-of-the-day seafood.

When: Take a trip to Nova Scotia anytime from May to October for the best weather and to see several celebrations taking place throughout the province.  

Fashion

7. Shop Til You Drop in Hamburg, Germany

Walking through the streets of Hamburg
Walking through the streets of Hamburg

Why: Some say it’s the next Berlin, but Hamburg’s distinct local culture and youthful vibe make it a trendy port city worth discovering on its own. Hamburg’s booming fashion scene is a hub for emerging creatives and well-established luxury brands, which you can easily find around Jungfernstieg and Neuer Wall. More than just a shopper’s paradise, the city’s massive Kunsthalle is a hot-spot for art lovers while the Millerntor-Stadion is a haven for St. Pauli fans and football fanatics from all over the world.  

When: See the city at its best during the summer months for the most hours of sun and the annual Hamburg DOM fair.

8. Where all the Stars Go: Puglia, Italy

Tourists wander around the small streets of Alberobello
Tourists wander around the small streets of Alberobello

Why: Secret piazzas tucked away between winding alleyways, stunning beaches, and year-round warm weather – it’s no wonder Puglia is where the latest designers, actresses, and stylists go on holiday. Retail therapy is an art in Puglia’s buzzing capital Bari, which boasts the latest shopping centres and designer boutiques. Further south, the maze-like white city of Ostuni is perched high on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea and Lecce, the Florence of the South, captivates with its Baroque architecture and friendly atmosphere.

When: Although Southern Italy is typically a summer destination, go during the winter for a completely different perspective (while still being warm).  

9. Get Lost in Morocco’s Lively Marrakech

Visiting an old temple in Marrakech
Visiting an old temple in Marrakech

Why: Deliciously sweet mint tea mingles with fragrant perfumes and scented spices – Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Marrakech’s modern fashion scene entices fashion enthusiasts from all over the world with its minimalist yet ornate style, trademark colours, patterns, and embroidery. Stay at a local riad (a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden) ranging from the simple to the luxurious, bathe in a traditional hammam, or check out the Djemaa el-Fna city square, which is packed with fortune tellers, dancers, and musicians.

When: Plan a holiday to Marrakech between March and May for cooler temperatures and fewer tourists.

Note: These rates are based on the most recent data pulled from KAYAK.co.uk, the cheapest prices are always displayed first, regardless of specific dates mentioned. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy, are per night and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available

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