Where will the world take you in 2020? One of the places on this list if you’ve got any taste. From once-in-a-lifetime trips to refreshing weekend breaks, we’ve compiled a list of the hottest places to visit this year – with tips on where to stay, what to see and some suggestions on what to do. Start blocking out the calendar because 2020 is set to be a fantastic year for travel.
Not the state, the country. On the shores of the Black Sea and sharing a land border with Turkey sits the most exciting up-and-coming tourist destination in the Caucasus. Its position at the intersection between Europe and Asia as well as a rich Former Soviet history make for a fascinating culture to explore with stunning landscapes and quaint gothic cities. Warm local hospitality awaits visitors, as does a famed wine culture that dates back centuries.
In Georgia you feast. Make the most of a delicious national cuisine and the boozy family-style banqueting. Try wine made with UNESCO-protected techniques and stay in one of the many winery hotels in the country’s historic wine region. Explore the maze-like streets of Tbilisi’s old town and sit and contrast it with the capital’s new thriving cultural centre. Book a few nights at the Hilton, Batumi. The thriving second city is a seaside party hub.
European Cities of Culture are always worth a visit when it’s their time to shine and no doubt Galway will make the most of the prestigious moniker in 2020. Famed for its esteemed foodie culture as much as its picturesque countryside surroundings, Galway is certainly the more bohemian and artsy sibling to countrymates Cork and Dublin. Street theatre, delightfully weathered old pubs and a chocolate factory (Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory) set in rolling countryside all await.
Food-wise you’ll want to eat something associated with JP McMahon, the man who put Galway on the Michelin Star map. McMahon’s unbridled ambition is clear from his vision for the region, championing the produce of Western Ireland and leading foraging and local produce tours that’ve even attracted the likes of El Bulli and Noma. Go for the gastronomic delights and absorb the culture while you’re there.
Two words: Skeleton Coast. Dramatic, almost-Martian landscapes with Mad Max-worthy sand dunes meeting the ferocious Atlantic Ocean. That’s one of the major pulls for this up-and-coming tourist destination, but of course there are others. Stunning national parks, home to the most expansive conservation areas in Africa, with little-known canyons that rival the monumental and more widely-known grand American equivalents.
A more sustainable approach to tourism is at the forefront of tours and national park stays. Luxurious but eco-conscious safari lodges are popping up with the Omaanda and Shipwreck Lodges providing unique and decadent accommodation in some of the most isolated regions on earth. Try and soak in the capital city too, Windhoek will surprise you with its vast selection of quality restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
Morocco has always been a regular feature of travel guides for some time, rivalling Spain and Greece for package holidays in sunny surroundings, but there’s a lot more to the country than sunbeds and pool complexes. Every major city is a cultural melting pot and each offers a surprisingly different tempo, with the frenetic Casablanca and Marrakesh in stark contrast to sleepy, bohemian Essaouira with its hippies and surfers.
Explore the Atlas Mountains, venture into the Sahara, go in search of Argan Oil in the only place on earth it’s produced. Capital Rabat is at the top of a lot of lists this year, with a new Ritz Carlton catering to luxury needs. The city has a distinct European vibe to it thanks to relaxed pale shade architecture and plenty of green space. This year’s first Biennial has highlighted the country’s artistic potential.
One of the smallest, most overlooked countries in South America should be on your 2020 bucket list. A spectacular riverside location makes the capital, Montevideo, a must visit on any tour of the region and beautiful Buenos Aires is only a ferry away. Chic beach resorts and slow but delightful coastal towns litter the country’s sea-facing perimeter. The country’s obsession with beef means no visit is complete without a steak or two, washed down with impressive local wines.
Colonia Del Sacramento, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a delightful cobbled town with a buzzing array of bars and restaurants, whilst plenty of eccentric artisans and artists have studios in the craggy mountainside surrounding the town. A strong beach culture is ideal for surfers and water sports fanatics whilst an inherent cowboy culture makes Uruguay the perfect place for horse riders.