Itineraries… Where to get your passport stamped in 2019

Gold Lists 2019

Turkish Riviera

Best time to visit: Between April and May

What you’ll love

  • The gorgeous beaches
  • The historical buildings and open-air bazaars
  • The food…think fresh fish right out of the sea and, of course, meze
  • The romantic sunsets

More about the destination

With its breathtaking beaches, fantastic food and guaranteed sunshine, there is a lot to love about the Turkish Riviera. The trick is finding that unspoilt area down the coast where package tourists haven’t taken over yet. Our recommendation is Bodrum, with its sweeping views of the Aegean, old stone buildings that border on ruins from ancient civilisations and pretty bougainvilleas wherever you look. This side of Turkey, the cool, calm waters of the Mediterranean is also excellent for scuba diving and snorkelling, while ashore, you’ll find plenty to keep busy with buzzy restaurants, visiting DJ in pubs and open-air bazaars.

Insider tip on where to stay

Long popular with vacationing Europeans for its unbeatable location on the Aegean coastline, the Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum has had a recent makeover, and is looking better than ever before. Check in here for a Turkish Riviera experience that’s as authentic as it gets, with gourmet dining experiences, two private beaches and a seductive spa.

Seychelles

Best time to visit: Between April and May

What you’ll love

  • The beaches with their super fine and blindingly white sand
  • The fantastic weather with temperatures that cling to the 30°C mark
  • The local food-think octopus curry, coconut nougat and the freshest grilled fish straight from the Indian Ocean
  • The exclusivity of the private islands like Fregate

More about the destination

When it came to the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles off the eastern coast of Africa, Mother Nature was unbelievably generous. The islands have it all: spellbinding beaches, lush forests, two UNESCO World Heritage sites and some of the world’s rarest fauna, including its largest tortoises. To say that the Seychelles is a destination for castaway fantasies would be an understatement. It’s the poster island for remote beauty, exclusive enough to have the likes of Prince William and David Beckham honeymooning here, on the North Island.

Insider tip on where to stay

With just 67 private villas and 27 residences configured around the bay of Petite Anse, the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is one of those hotels that just gets what you want from an island getaway- a tree-house villa with a private pool, breathtaking views of the ocean beyond, and lots of quiet me-time. The hotel is also home to a hilltop spa, a beachside infinity pool, and an intimate Japanese restaurant where sushi platters are prepared tableside.

Australia

Best time to visit: From December to February

What you’ll love

  • The beaches range from epic to downright heavenly
  • The wildlife… From kangaroos and koalas to whales and dolphins, Australia has it all
  • The surfing (there is even a beach named “Surfers Paradise”)
  • Sydney Harbor at sunset

More about the destination

Most people don’t need much convincing to visit Australia. It’s that far-off land, on the other side of the world, with some the world’s most beautiful beaches, incredible food and unforgettable experiences like scenic seaplane tours of Australian landmarks. One city that attracts visitors all year round is Sydney, with its perfect balance of city and beach life attractions. Cool neighbourhoods, amazing al-fresco drinking venues, and a central waterfront, home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, this beachside city has it all.

Insider tip on where to stay

Sitting in Sydney’s historic Rocks neighbourhood, the Langham Sydney is what you would call prime real estate. The hotel is also home to some of the largest rooms in the city, some of which have balconies that open to views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tokyo, Japan

Best time to visit: From March to May

What you’ll love

  • The food- think sushi, sashimi, tempura and the most heart-warming miso soups
  • Japan’s rich and fascinating history, intrinsically linked to the Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist faiths
  • The magnificent vistas of ancient temples, cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji and so much more
  • The super trains

More about the destination

Between having more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city in the world, a growing interest in the health benefits of Japanese hot springs, and the prospect of the city hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020, Tokyo is firmly on the list of the best places to go in 2019. The Land of the Rising Sun, with its hi-tech trains, is also one of the most easy to visit. Just hop on one of its bullet trains and travel from Tokyo to Osaka, some 500 km away, in less than 5 hours.

Insider tip on where to stay

With some of the most spacious- and grandest- rooms in the city, the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo is all about glittering luxury with a capital G and a capital L. From its position spanning the top 11 floors of a 37-storey skyscraper, the hotel also affords majestic views of the Tokyo skyline and the Imperial Palace, so bring your binoculars because you’re in for quite a treat.

Vancouver, Canada

Best time to visit: Between March and May

What you’ll love

  • The locals are as friendly as they get
  • The mountains and beaches are sights to behold
  • The farm-to-table philosophy of the restaurants
  • The amazing skiing just a stone’s throw away from the city

More about the destination

Although Canada has a number of great cities, including the likes of Toronto and Montreal, few offer that perfect mix of urban and outdoor attractions like Vancouver does. As the locals put it, it’s Canada’s ‘Manhattan with mountains’, and boy are they right. In recent years, the city has become the home of many global fashion brands- think Lululemon, Herschel and Off-White, while just outside Vancouver, three mountains provide the perfect setting for a number of outdoor activities, including amazing skiing. The city is also beachside, so you get the best of both worlds here: ocean and mountains.

Insider tip on where to stay

The Rosewood Hotel Georgia, sitting squarely in downtown Vancouver, is the last word in luxury with its Art Deco design, all-Canadian art collection, some of the most beautiful rooms in town and one of Canada’s most celebrated restaurants, Hawksworth. It’s the haunt of travellers who enjoy the finer things in life.


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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