There are 365 days in 2019, with endless opportunities to fill them with wanderlust-inducing destinations. Offering myriad adventures, memories and experiences, our top ten countries for 2019 have been cherry-picked to satisfy your burning travel desires.
Sri Lanka is really having its moment and it’s no surprise. Few countries of its size offer such diversity in the way that Sri Lanka can. Emerging as Lonely Planet’s top destination for travel next year, 2019 is the time to visit to get that feeling like you’ve stumbled across a secret other people haven’t yet found.
Historic coastal towns, tropical beaches, stunning scenery and sensational food are just some of the things you can expect from a holiday to Sri Lanka. It will push you out of your comfort zone at times but to get a slice of the magic that the island offers? It’s all worth it.
The Middle East has seen a rise in tourist interest over the last few years and countries like Jordan are becoming more attractive to travellers, for very good reason. Sitting at number 6 on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2019, it seems Jordan really is delighting visitors from all over the world.
Between desert landscapes, bustling towns and UNESCO world heritage sites, Jordan continues to amaze visitors. The ancient Nabataean city of Petra is undoubtedly the most popular but the soaring Roman columns of Jerash are equally as mesmerising.
Topping last year’s must-see lists, Colombia is still enjoying the limelight. Recovering from a colourful history, Colombians will go out their way to welcome you to a relatively new country on the tourist map. That, combined with an aromatic coffee culture, delicious cuisine, mountains and verdant jungles, means Colombia is a serious contender.
Colonial Cartagena is a riot of culture, cuisines and colours and will not disappoint, neither will the graffiti-adorned cosmopolitan capital of Bogota. Throw in the ethereal wax palm trees of Cocora Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains and you have rich pickings to enjoy on your travels.
Vast deserts and rugged coastlines are what you can expect from a trip to Namibia. Growing in popularity, Namibia still feels a little off the beaten track, even after it was rumoured Prince Harry and Meghan Markle honeymooned there earlier this year.
Endless wildlife and sweeping sand dunes are a plenty in Namibia; it’s difficult to see what this country doesn’t have.
Ethiopia is for an entirely different experience. Delicious and unusual food and intriguing local traditions make up some of Ethiopia’s culture. The capital of contrasts, Addis Ababa, offers a glimpse of that as well as an impressive national museum and one of the largest open-air markets in the region.
Further afield, the Simian Mountains call as do the ruins of ancient civilisations. Not to mention the famous Lalibela, where monolithic rock-cut churches can be found under the ground. Oh and volcanoes, geysers and cracked earth that make up the landscape of the hottest place on Earth.
Where to even begin with India? Where one uniquely individual state ends, another one begins with yet more delights for the senses. India can be an assault to begin with but once you become somewhat accustomed to the sounds, smells and sights it offers, you’ll want to delve further into the endless pool of culture, history, religion and society.
Rajasthan, although almost entirely desert, is India at its most vibrant. Tiger safaris, centuries-old palaces and towering forts, entirely-painted towns and camel festivals, Rajasthan really knows a thing or two about luring the traveller in. No wonder it’s known as the jewel in India’s crown
Why did we choose Costa Rica? The list is endless. Incredible and impressive biodiversity, adventure experiences for thrill-seekers, sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, the ‘pura vida’ lifestyle, the beaches, forests and mountains and everything in between. Need we go on?
Costa Rica is the place to go to refocus, recharge and relax – yet still with the right amount of adventure thrown in for good measure.
Did you know Georgia is the birthplace of wine? Travel is thirsty work so there’s one reason to visit straight away. Georgia is one of Eurasia’s finest countries and one which has been away from the spotlight for a long time, however people are waking up to the diversity it offers.
With churches and fortresses scattered amidst the stunning scenery, and locals so welcoming you’d think you were one of the family, Georgia is the complete package.
Iceland is one of those places where you can’t help but gaze in wonder at the landscape around you, it being so full of natural beauty. Cool capital Reykjavik is just the tip of the iceberg; unpronounceable names add to the mystery of the atmospheric shows of nature so commonly found.
Yes, the number of tourists topped 2 million in 2017 but with a country of such vast landscapes, you won’t even know there’s anyone else around. And with numbers like that, it shows just how popular Iceland is – and for good reason.
There’s nowhere else quite like Vietnam. Both exotic and fascinating, the long thin strip of land bordering the South China Sea is well-known for its Buddhist pagodas, bustling cities, beaches and historical landmarks.
Vietnam is also making a grab for the title of tastiest food, serving up some of the most sought after dishes (we’re thinking of the legendary Banh Mih sandwich found at almost any street vendors stand). Food is at the heart of Vietnamese culture and it’s one of the most popular cuisines in the world – exactly the reason why it has to be high on our bucket lists.