“From almost every continent, ten countries attract attention and inspire travelers.”
The list Best in Travel 2018 of Lonely Planet, largest publisher of world travel guides, chose ten must-see countries to visit this year. All destinations fulfill a number of criteria such as event celebrations, which can generate news for travelers, or places that are unfairly not so prominent, according to the publisher. Based on these categories that are analyzed by travel experts, the list has selected ten countries, ten cities and ten regions for travelers on call to be inspired. And to begin the year, EFETur replies some tips on the ten countries chosen by Lonely Planet. Check out:
The Chilean capital, Santiago; the romantic, bohemian and coastal Valparaiso; the vineyards of the Casablanca Valley; the Patagonia or the Atacama desert are some of the urban and natural beauties of the Latin country, which has several reasons to head this classification. In addition, this year, Chile celebrates 200 years of its independence and can offer interesting regional feasts to experience.
Among the tips highlighted by Best in Travel 2018 are an itinerary through the Andean country with some different experiences, such as making the five-day W route through Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia; visit Easter Island to see the striking moai statues; or use the “San Pedro do Atacama oasis as a base” to visit volcanoes, flamingos lakes and other places in the “driest polar desert in the world”.
High mountains, 2,400 kilometers of coastline or urban centers, such as Seoul and Busan, coexist with the traditional culture of South Korea, “a wonder almost unknown,” according to Lonely Planet, which in addition to a two-week travel itinerary proposes a series of visits and activities in the country that will host the 2018 Winter Games.
For example, “strolling through a hanok “, a traditional Korean village with a long history located between the Gyeongbokgung palaces, Changdokkgung and the royal shrine of Jongmyo, to sample regional cuisine such as bibimbap, seafood tarts, accompanied with white wine from makgeollí rice
The Best Travel Guide 2018 ranked Portugal as a country that “fled the shadow of its neighbor, Spain, and focuses the spotlight as a dynamic center of art, culture, and gastronomy.” Other highlights are accessibility to natural treasures, secular traditions, and avant-garde passion.
The itinerary proposed by the guide begins in Oporto, goes through Lisbon and stops in Évora, before arriving in the Algarve and ending the tour in the historic citadel of Sagres.
According to Lonely Planet, it is essential to visit the Douro Valley wineries, “the oldest wine region in the world”, as well as a stroll through the forests and castles of Sintra.
This small country of fewer than one million inhabitants in northeastern Africa, on the one hand, overlooks the ocean and, on the other hand, has a border with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The most striking attraction is nature, because “it is in the process of cracking because of the three divergent tectonic plates.” Hence the landscapes of its deserts, releasing steam and luster that the large crystals of salt provide on the shores of its deep lakes.
The incredible seabed, such as Ghoubbet Bay, dive among the whale sharks. One of the proposed routes indicates start by the capital, travel to the extraterrestrial landscape of Lake Abbé and then go to the crystalline shores of Lake Assal, and then go to the bay of Ghoubbet to end with a passage through the massif of Goda.
In 2018, the Pike29 Memorial Track is inaugurated, a new Great Walk, the first to join this network of routes, the Great Walks, which for decades took travelers “to some of the most extraordinary wilderness on the planet.”
Its proximity to the Pacific Ring of Fire makes New Zealand a more than special destination. “It’s a fast place where you can live the best adventures at your own pace,” as Best in Travel 2018 mentions. Enjoy the urban environment of Auckland; the bubbling neighborhood of sultry Rotorua; Nelson; Wellington; driving on Route 6 and crossing the Aorakil National Park Mount Cook to end in Queenstown is the itinerary proposed by Lonely Planet. Among the essential experiences is the new Great Walk, as well as canoe trip along the river route along the Whanganui River, or see “the sunset over Lake Waikaremoana”.
The Maltese capital, Valletta, is set to begin in 2018, where it will reign as the European Capital of Culture. A reason to add Malta to the special destinations for 2018. The archipelago is a treasure chest, a product of a long history accompanied by the Mediterranean Sea and the sun of its privileged climate. A one-week trip to Malta, should be, according to the Best in Travel 2018, with a few days in Valletta; a visit to Hypogeum (underground structure of about 5,000 years); Boat trip to the Blue Grotto; a time to beach in Golden Bay, for example, and visit in the cities of Mdina and Rabat, finalizing the itinerary in Island Gozo.
In 1918, 100 years ago, this Caucasian country became independent of Russia. Its long history and its spectacular territory, “amazing economic value” and that citizens of several countries “can visit Georgia without a visa for a whole year” are the other attractions that make this place worthy of occupying the number 7 post in this ranking The traveler is discovering on his journey “Orthodox churches on top of high mountains, medieval monasteries surrounded by green valleys and towns carved out of cliffs,” summarizes Lonely Planet. Essential in Georgia are the 15 monasteries excavated on the slopes of the caves of Davit Gareja, on the border with Azerbaijan. There is also the medieval town of Vardzia and Kazbegi, a village that is the starting point for excursions through the Upper Caucasus.
Impossible to talk about the island without falling into the clichés. It is an idyllic setting with sapphire waters. It is a melting pot of cultures (there is a European past, its inhabitants are African, its vast colony is of Indian origin) and its coral reefs are a paradise for diving and snorkeling. This year, the site commemorates the 50th anniversary of its independence, another reason to visit it, and it offers the best resorts and other landscapes away from the beach that are worthwhile, such as the Black River Gorges National Park and the Land of the Seven Colors or the wooded zones and the plantations of cane. In the tips proposed by Lonely Planet, there is also the Grand Baie; the côte souvage, the village of Chamaret (entrance to the aforementioned National Park) and the leafy Île aux Aigrettes.
It is very complicated to summarize in a few paragraphs the reasons why one should visit this enormous country, but one of them is undoubtedly his recent commitment to modernity and technology. According to Lonely Planet, the idea is to spend a month in the country, starting with the capital, Beijing, with visits to the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City and an excursion to the Great Wall. A bullet train journey to reach Xian can be a unique experience. The publisher’s script also indicates visiting Shanghai, one of the country’s finest examples of modernity, as well as taking in the views of the world’s highest point and picturesque rural areas of Yuanyang and its rice plantations. Finally, you will love Hong Kong.
Wildlife, beaches, and mountains also feature the South African landscape, also remembered by Nelson Mandela, whose centenary is celebrated in 2018 with a special program of events that will appeal to visitors. It is impressive, according to Lonely Planet, to take a photo safari through the Kruger National Park; visit the remote Wild Coast and immerse yourself in the country’s past at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and on Robben Island where Mandela spent most of his time in prison. On the 15-day itinerary proposed by the Best in Travel 2018, in addition to Cape Town, it is included on the Hermanus tour to see the whales. Important not to forget the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park; swim with sharks at the Protea Banks and visit Johannesburg. Not to mention, of course, the Kruger National Park.