This year is set to be busy enough, without having to research the hottest destinations for the year ahead.
So, our gift to you is the world’s top 12 bucket list destinations for 2016 - one for every month, depending on when you would like to travel!
Take a look and start booking:
January: Paraty, Brazil
This small seaside town south of Rio is fast becoming a hot spot for the cool set of South America. Cobblestone streets and brightly-coloured houses are insanely photogenic, but so is the pristine coastline, dotted with palm trees, tiny islands and boats full of fresh fish that will sail in to sell you lunch.
February: Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
While most holiday-makers flock to the well known hub of Punta Del Est, those in-the-know head straight to the little coastal town of Jose Ignacio. It’s a magnificent drive along the rugged coastline, through tiny townships like La Barra, filled with chic little boutiques and antique stores. Jose Ignacio seems to ooze more style than anywhere else on earth, but wouldn’t dream of whispering that secret to anyone!
March: Valparaiso, Chile
If you’re not afraid of heights then this town will blow your mind! A rainbow of wonky houses built precariously into steep hillsides, Valparaiso seems to defy gravity!
STAY: Casa Higueras. The view, the pool and the food here will blow you away!
April: Tanna Island, Vanuatu
This is one of the only places in the world where you’re allowed to stand on the rim of an active volcano! Tanna is one of the 93 islands that make up the republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. It’s only a three hour flight from Sydney and the people have been voted the happiest people on earth. Picture white sandy beaches with black volcanic coil, lush green palm trees and azure blue oceans.
STAY: White Grass Resort.
TOP TIP: Aim for a sunrise or a sunset tour of the volcano - and try not to trip!
May: Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
Everyone has been to Bali but its better-looking, little sister, Nusa Lembongan, is where it’s at for 2016. The water is still sparkling, the island is relatively undiscovered (very few cars) and the accommodation options are some of the coolest you’ll find anywhere in the world!
STAY: Le Pirate.
TOP TIP: Hire a vespa and spend a day riding around the island. Be sure to stop in at the Sandy Bay Beach Club for lunch!
June: The Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands are an archipelago, north of Sicily and are named after the demigod of the wind, Aeolus. The islands seem to explode out of the deep blues seas surrounding them and are spectacularly beautiful! Being Italian, the islands offer some of the most sumptuous foods you will ever taste and are a brilliant destination for treks and hikes, as well as road trips and just about any water sport you can imagine.
TOP TIP: Venture to as many of the islands as you can, don’t limit yourself just to the main island of Lipari. Definitely visit Vulcano and Salina.
July: The Cotswolds, United Kingdom
July is the ultimate time of the year to visit The Cotswolds, when the sun is shining and the convertibles all have their roofs down. The country side outside of London will blow you away with its spectacular greenery and majestic hillside homes. Every angle is a photograph. And every small town has a handful of friendly pubs and country garden courtyards perfect for sipping Pimms and watching the English summer sing away.
TOP TIP: Be sure to visit Blenheim Palace on the way there and I strongly suggest you hire your own car so you can explore as many towns as you can.
August: D-Hotel Maris, Turkey
Notice I’ve put the Hotel here, not the town? There’s a reason. D-Hotel Maris is a destination in itself. Once you arrive here you will feel no desire to leave the Resort grounds. I’m tempted to just tell you to check the photos out and you will see immediately why it’s on the list. No explanation needed. Possibly the coolest hotel on earth.
TOP TIP: Spend a day doing nothing but lying on the white pontoon in the water just off the jetty.
September: Tulum, Mexico
This coastal hot spot in Mexico is spectacularly gorgeous. There’s very little electricity so generators power everything – or candles by night. Rustic palapas and beach bars dot the white beaches and tiny eco chic hotels and villas are the only way to go. This is the destination for those who hate large hotel chains and crowded swimming pools and breakfast buffets. Step back in time and learn to lounge like a supermodel, under a palm tree with a fresh coconut. It’s easy to get used to!
STAY: Coqui Coqui.
TOP TIP: Book in for dinner at Hartwood. Even if you have to wait a couple of hours to get in, it will be a best meal moment of your life!
October: Banff, Canada
Possibly the prettiest destination in all of Canada… and that’s saying something! The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is the only place to stay and the white water rafting nearby is an absolute must do! You’ll learn about bears and golf and possible bears on the golf course! The hotel is extraordinary and is known as one of the top spa destinations in the world. Be it winter or summer, the outdoor heated spas are a once in a lifetime experience.
TOP TIP: Be sure to visit the hotel’s indoor spa and spend a day doing all things thermal and refreshing!
November: Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia
Ningaloo Reef is known as one of the best diving destinations in the world - and you can swim with whale sharks! Swimming with these gentle giants of the sea can change your life.
TOP TIP: Don’t bother with spending a bomb on luxury accommodation. The best experience will be staying in a place with a stack of other visitors who want to sit around a fire and compare whale shark stories!
December: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is the new Bali. It has some of the most exotic hotels and best shopping in the world, all at really affordable prices. The food is mouth watering, the people are glowing with pride and the country is fascinating - no matter which parts you explore! Explore the Central Highlands for the lush greenery, or head to one of the many world class spa resorts for a pampering treatment to rejuvenate your soul. Northern Sri Lanka is entirely different again - almost like another country - filled with culture and beauty. The golden beaches are pristine and un-spoilt, with white sands and palm trees. Then there’s the wilderness, where majestic elephants roam free and are protected and respected. This is a part of the world where you can choose the speed of your own clock.
TOP TIP: Sri Lanka is known for its rich Buddhist heritage and is the perfect place to do a pilgrimage, regardless of your own religion!