After recuperating after the hectic holiday season and having begun getting back into shape, it’s now time to follow your current fancies and dream about your next vacation discoveries for 2018. To inspire you, here is my list of top destinations, inspired by a wealth of suggestion from travel bloggers as well as from Lonely Planet, Frommer’s and Conde Nast Traveler.
1. South Africa
When we think about an animal safari, South Africa is the first place that comes to mind. A destination varied with beaches the length of Gardens route with renowned vineyards, Blyde Canyon’s two walking trails and big five in private reserve, not to mention the Cape’s cosmopolitan atmosphere. In addition to these numerous attractions, this year also marks 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth. A program of various events will pay homage to the legendary president.
Santiago is known for being one of the most connected capitals. Even more accessible thanks to non-stop flights from London and Melbourne, Chile is easy to explore via auto-touring (self-driven) or through domestic flights from north to south.
When to go? Ideal almost all year long depending on the region, preferably in spring and autumn.
What to wear? Luisa Dress.
I had the chance to go back to China in August of 2017, to the magnificent city of Xian, especially to finally discover the authentic region of Yunnan, home to many ethnic minorities. The world’s most populated country has a lot to offer and you can still wander off the beaten path. Since 2016, China boasts the largest railway network in the world, The Forbidden City in Beijing was renovated, as well as the Shanghai Tower which now has the highest panoramic terrace in the world.
4. South Korea
One of my favourite Asian cities, the futuristic capital of Seoul plays between the outrageousness of its skyscrapers and bustling night life and the mysterious atmosphere of Buddhist temples and the royal palaces. South Korea, a joyful compendium of Asian modernity, thought big for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Travellers will get to the games via a new high-speed rail line.
Known for its sparkling turquoise waters and its luxurious seaside resorts, the idyllic Mauritius is a paradise for water sports lovers. Now, numerous flights serve the “Jewel of the Indian Ocean”. The island’s glorious past will be honoured in 2018 as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence.
I will have the opportunity to discover a part of Louisiana this year, specifically the city of New Orleans (commonly referred to as NOLA). Whether it’s for its numerous festivities: Mardi Gras in February, Jazz Festival in April, Tales of the Cocktail in July, etc., to eat and drink well and experience Cajun culture, you’ll never get bored. In 2018, we’ll celebrate the city’s 300th birthday and everything that goes with it. Moreover, its gardens and sculptures and its wealth of galleries will liven your days.
When to go? January to May.
What to wear? Melina Dress.
New Zealand, which I discovered in 2017, is one my favourite destinations and I plan to revisit in a few months. The Great Outdoors Paradise offers, among others, a pleasant network of hiking paths (9 Great Walks) and invites you to discover a natural wilderness whose beauty is the only one of its kind in the world. The Paparoa Track and the Pike 29 Memorial Track will take shape, commemorating the death of 29 miners in 2010. They offer wonderful trails along the Southern Island’s wild western coast.
As in previous years, Portugal is still favoured. A series of interesting museums have flourished, microbreweries are popular and the great Portuguese chefs are creating a culinary buzz. With its affordable prices and natural wonders, Portugal is all the more appealing. In 2016, over 300 beaches acquired the much sought-after Blue Flag status and 2 new biosphere reserves were created. I’ll have to go back!
Other hot destinations in 2018:
- Antarctic cruise
- Farniente in Bermuda
- Kayaking Scandinavia’s fjords
- Cultural discoveries in Georgia
- Auto-touring on the island of Malta
- Resourcing in Israel (new direct flights from Montréal to Tel Aviv as of May 2018)
- Exceptional train journey in Japan (new direct flights from Montréal to Tokyo as of June 2018)
Travel consultant, college instructor in Tourism Techniques, lecturer, author and travel writer, Ariane Arpin-Delorme is passionate about everything she does. She founded theParfums d’Asie travel agency a few years ago, as well as Esprit d’Aventure in 2013, where she continues to work as a made-to-measure travel advisor. Having travelled in 55 countries, she has amassed a variety of experiences in the tourism industry and has undertaken numerous international cooperation projects. Her driving force: meeting people, climbing the world’s highest peaks and taking off to cruise in a sailboat…