Best places to travel in 2019
As our bucket lists continue to grow, the turning of the year is always an exciting time to start planning the next exciting thing in your calendar.
We asked our expert travel designers for advice on the best places to travel in 2019, and this is what they came up with.
From the laid-back island of Folegandros to creative Colombia to Sri Lanka’s sunny climes, this is our round up of the best places to travel in 2019.
Japan has been a perennial on springtime itineraries, and the beautiful cherry blossoms here make it easy to see why. However, an abundance of demand and a limited supply often means hotel rooms are booked up well in advance, leaving travellers disappointed. For guaranteed cherry blossom viewing, South Korea is a wonderful alternative and one of the best destinations to visit in 2019 to avoid Japan’s crowds. Although it’s hard to predict exactly when the trees will blossom, sakura (cherry blossom) season runs from late March to mid-April.
In eclectic capital Seoul, the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is an inspiring place to see azaleas, forsythia and other spring flowers in full bloom. During sakura season, over a thousand cherry trees blossom across the capital city. The Yeouiseo-ro Road is also closed off to vehicles, so residents and visitors can enjoy the flowering trees in all their glory. Elsewhere in the country, Busan hosts the annual Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival and Jeju Island is filled with King cherry trees.
Aside from cherry blossom, there’s also a multitude of other reasons why a trip to South Korea should be on anyone’s 2019 travel bucket list. Incredible festivals take place throughout the year, the country transforms into a winter wonderland from December to February and the coastline is particularly special from June to August. Overall, South Korea seamlessly marries East Asian charm with out of this world experiences – a must visit destination this year.
Often overlooked for its neighbours, colourful Colombia is Latin America’s best kept secret. This wonderfully unexplored country is home to some of the friendliest people on the planet, rugged landscapes and a burgeoning creative scene. Colombia is one of the best places to travel in 2019 if you’re looking to uncover a real and unspoiled side to South America.
Colombia is one of the most diverse countries on the planet, and there really is something for everyone here. As one of the most ecologically diverse countries on earth, it suits nature lovers and city dwellers alike. Foodies can delight in discovering the Coffee Triangle or satisfy their taste buds on a foodie tour in Bogota. In Cartagena, art lovers can discover the city’s street art and galleries or join a captivating art tour to meet some of the town’s best artists. For adventurous types, San Gil and Chichamoche offer opportunities for paragliding, bushwalking and mountain biking amongst others.
For honeymooners and sun seekers, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a go-to destination but it can quickly become crowded during peak season. Puglia provides a welcome respite, offering the same sunny climes as the Amalfi Coast but without the hordes of tourists. This beautiful slice of Italian coastline is perfect for those in search of authenticity, incredible food and fascinating history. With the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south, Puglia also has golden sand, pebbly enclaves and hidden coves.
Puglia is coming into its own in 2019, with the Masseria Torre Maizza Hotel recently bought by the Rocco Forte group. Currently under refurbishment and reopening in May 2019, this beautiful boutique hotel promises traditional Italian charm in an idyllic setting. Whilst in Puglia, travellers can learn how to make burrata with a local cheese artisan, cycle through the enchanting Itria Valley, tour a family run olive oil estate or meet ceramic artisans in the workshops of Grottaglie.
As a small island nation, Sri Lanka is often thought of as the second best option to visiting India. In 2019, this is sure to change – with incredible wildlife, unspoiled coastline and verdant countryside, Sri Lanka has it all. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean,’ Sri Lanka’s varied landscape caters to intrepid explorers, nature lovers, families and laid-back travellers.
Wildlife lovers can go on safari to spot the Asian leopard in Yala National Park or witness the annual Minneriya Elephant Gathering. For those seeking relaxation, the southern province of Tangalle has plenty of unspoilt coastline and a temperate climate outside of monsoon season. Inland, the expansive tea plantations transport visitors back in time to a bygone era. Sri Lanka is an incredible country filled with startling beauty and genuine warmth; it’s the perfect place to seek out some adventure in 2019.
Kaleidoscopic icebergs, shimmering lagoons and impressive glaciers; these are just some of the things that make Greenland feel as if it is another world entirely. Gaining popularity as an alternative destination to Iceland, Greenland is home to astounding peaks, ethereal landscapes and even the elusive aurora borealis. Watching majestic whales glide through the majestic ocean from the comfort of your bed or hearing the thunderous rumble of calving glaciers are reason enough to put Greenland on your 2019 travel list.
Any seasoned traveller will be familiar with Santorini’s whitewashed houses and picturesque beaches. Firmly on the map as a summer holiday destination, it can often become overrun with tourists. However, the serene island of Folegandros is a wonderfully untouched alternative. This slice of Greek heaven is home to the same infamous whitewashed houses, spectacular sunsets and picturesque scenery without the hustle and bustle of Santorini. The pace of life in Folegandros is traditionally laid back. Enjoying a sumptuous meal and evening glass of wine in the charming village of Chora is a lovely way to indulge in Folegandros’ relative peace.
While sailing the picture-perfect Greek islands, there’s no better way to explore the Cyclades’ turquoise waters than from the luxury of a private yacht hosted by an experienced captain and hostess. On the island of Folegandros, travellers can discover adventure or culture depending on their tastes. Picturesque trails and scuba diving amongst coral reefs offer on-land and underwater exploration, while the Monastery of Virgin Mary provides a glimpse into the island’s cultural heritage.
Morocco is an intoxicating fusion of vibrant medinas, breathtaking mountains and awe-inspiring deserts; it should be on everyone’s travel lists. 2019 is an exciting year for Morocco’s northernmost city Tangier, as a new TGV line will open, connecting this city to Casablanca in just two hours.
This creative city has long since been a favourite of artists, attracting painters such as Delacroix and Matisse, as well as Beat writers Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Today, Tangier retains its bohemian heart – a multicultural melange of Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities make this city a truly fascinating place to spend time in. There are few better ways to spend 2019 than getting an in-depth look at Moroccan culture and history and getting under the skin of what life is like in “The Door of Africa.”
Discover our favourite 2019 destinations
Feeling inspired? Our expert travel designers are always on hand to help you plan a trip to one of 2019's best destinations.