9 unreal destinations to visit in 2019

New year, new list of dream travel destinations! From Egyptian kings to outback opera, here’s what’s hot around the globe in 2019.

1. Lapland, Finland

Make 2019 the year your snowy dreams come true! If Santa’s real, he lives in Lapland, so what more reason do you need to go? Travel in winter to experience a dark winter wonderland or go in summer for 24/7 sunlight (when a hotel with blackout curtains is essential).

How is this even real? Lapland, Finland.

2. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is home to ancient temples, lush wilderness and an incredible surf scene. It’s Lonely Planet’s No.1 destination for 2019, with heaps of new transport and accommodation options for singles, couples, families and groups. Make sure you try fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry) – it’s a local fave and amazing.

3. The Whitsundays, Queensland

2019 is a big year for the Queensland coastline. After being ravaged by a cyclone in 2017, resorts on Daydream Island, Hayman Island and Airlie Beach are finishing their refurbs (spoiler alert – they’re better than ever) and re-opening for business. And there’s a new kid on the block if you’re looking for some Long Island luxury: Elysian Retreat. Private beach, adults-only, and accessible only via helicopter. Luxe AF.

White sand for daaaays. The Whitsundays.

4. Venice, Italy

Yes, gondolas and canals are a European getaway cliché – but for a reason. Venice is a bucket-list destination and with so much happening, 2019 is the year to go. Check out Futuruins (ends 24 March), the Art Biennale (11 May to 24 November), the iconic Carnevale (16 February to 5 March) and more!

5. Nepal

Nepal is home to some of the world’s highest mountains (including Mount Everest) and breathtaking sights that no phone pic is ever going to do justice. If climbing Everest is out of the question, take a flight over the Himalayas to see the snowy peaks from above. But if you are keen to climb, here’s an insider tip: The Langtang Valley, north of Kathmandu, is a quieter trekking area and rewards you with incredible views of the holy lake at Gosainkund. Just take it slow and steady and you’ll get there – just like this six-year-old champ.

Everest Base Camp, Nepal

6. Taichung and Taipei, Taiwan

Foodie alert – Taiwan is your 2019 hot spot! The Michelin Guide released its first ever Taipei edition in 2018, putting the spotlight on restaurants like Peng Lai (try the deep-fried pork ribs – trust us). An hour south by train is Taiwan’s second largest city and another gourmet delight, Taichung. Don’t leave without checking out the Fengjia Night Market, the biggest in Taiwan. Fill your belly before taking a side trip to dazzling Sun Moon Lake, but leave some room for a tea leaf egg from the famous stall that’s been in business for over 60 years. Bit more interesting than avo on toast…

7. Switzerland

Cheese, clocks, skiing. Oh, and one of the world’s most renowned spas. If your 2019 is about getting a license to chill, the Thermal Spa at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is just what the doctor ordered. The views of the Alps and Lake Constance are great, but being at a world-class, cutting-edge-meets-holistic spa means it’s OK to just concentrate on colour-therapy baths and getting a massage. And did we mention it’s home to the world’s first Swarovski glass-covered steam room? Self-care just got blinged.

WOW! Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

8. Denali National Park, Alaska

Yes, we’re all a little bit in love with Canada (Justin Trudeau, I blame you). But go a little further north-west for some amazing experiences that aren’t on most tourist to-do lists. Visit Denali (formerly Mount McKinley), North America’s highest peak and part of the Denali National Park. Hike the Savage River Loop Trail, meet the Denali Sled Dogs (the cutest park rangers around) and keep your eyes peeled for wild moose 😲

9. Broome, Western Australia

Broome. Yep, the one in WA. When you’re finished with Perth, head north and check out a place like nowhere else in Australia. There’s a MASSIVE reason to go in 2019 – Opera Under The Stars is returning to the lawns of the iconic Mangrove Hotel. You can’t miss it!

A stunning sunrise at Gantheaume Point. Broome, WA.

What’s on your 2019 travel hit list?

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