We’ve rounded up the places that are coming into their own next year
These are the best holiday destinations for 2020 – but of course, the choices are endless. For more inspiration take a look at the best places to go on holiday for every month of the year.
“A dynamic country capitalizing on its cultural clout”
Momentum is starting to gather in fascinating Lebanon, and its crumbling crusader castles and intricate mosaic-paved streets, which have become tourist-free in recent years, are ushering in culture-curious travelers once more.
Add to that fine-sand beaches, a sprawling network of mountains and expansive, lung-cleansing cedar forests, and it’s not hard to see why Lebanon’s on the up.
“Eco-retreats are putting an idyllic isthmus back on the map”
From coffee farms
and cloud forests to ruined Spanish forts and footprint-free islands, Panama
has the goods, just not the visitor numbers, but that looks set to change with
the opening of the much-buzzed-about Islas Secas eco-retreat in December 2019,
giving access to 14 rugged little islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui on Panama’s
sun-drenched Pacific coast.
While perhaps the most luxurious, Islas Secas isn’t the only environmentally friendly spot in the area. Last summer, the Cayuga Collection opened a 14-room hideaway in 161 hectares of protected jungle on Isla Palenque, to the north of Islas Secas, and next year Marriott International will launch a property on Pearl Island – a slightly more developed part of Panama – as part of its Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand. There’s eco-gold to be found on these shores
3. Houston , United States
Houston is the perfect city for a friend’s getaway, a couples’ retreat, or a family vacation. With direct flights from cities across the United States and Canada, you can easily fly in to experience a sports game, wander through Houston’s Museum District, lounge by a pool at one of the many luxury hotels, and spend your evenings enjoying incredible meals. Houston has developed into a hot spot for dining in the United States and is now well known for extraordinary cuisine.
If you want a relaxed but outdoor urban experience, rent a bike and peddle your way through the miles of paved trails in the parks or on the downtown streets. Rent a kayak and paddle along Buffalo Bayou in Buffalo Bayou Park.
In less than an hour, you can be on the nearby beaches at Galveston, and along the way, you can make a stop at Space Center Houston.
Pakistan has been ranked as the best international holiday destination, according to Conde Nast Traveler, a luxury lifestyle travel magazine.
The country comes out on top owing to its ancient valleys, relaxed visa restrictions, as well as, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit this year.
“This remarkable country is finally getting the focus it deserves. Because this is a place of exquisite landscapes, where green spaces are overlooked by towering mountains. In fact, Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965 feet than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travelers and intrepid hikers,” the website outlines.
The New York based magazine goes on to praise the serene Shandur Pass, which is home to the world’s highest polo field.
Visitors can also meet the Kalash people of the Hindu Kush, famed for their cowrie-shell headdresses and brighter-than-bright embroidery.
While in Lahore, the sight of 100,000 worshippers crammed into the sandstone 17th-century Badshahi Mosque is also one of the must-see sights with its Mughal-era architectural masterpieces stand resplendent on bustling street corners.
“Having operated tours in Pakistan since the late 1990s, I’ve had a ringside seat to its troubled tourism industry, but finally it seems to be improving,” says Jonny Bealby, founder and CEO of adventure-tour operator Wild Frontiers.
“A focus on security measures, which saw the British FCO lift its advice against travel to large parts of the north, and the election of Imran Khan, who has vowed to increase international tourist numbers, has already had an impact,” he says.
— Uzbekistan, long unknown to most Westerners, is already shaping the travel scene for 2020. This culturally rich and historically compelling country, along with the rest of central Asia, has been named the No. 1 travel region for the new year by travel website “Lonely Planet” due to its easy access and new visa-free travel ability. The Economist highlighted the country as well, naming it the most improved nation in 2019 due to significant government reforms that have accelerated over the past year. All of that, plus its untouched history and remarkable food, are making Uzbekistan an increasingly popular destination.