With 37 years' experience of organising trips in 130 countries, we've seen some rises and falls in travel. Here are our predictions for the top destinations of 2019.
Turkey is back on the hotlist this year, with bookings here having doubled in the last 12 months. Explore the country’s west coast on the new Highlights of Turkey
trip – discover the historic capital of Istanbul and the ancient sites of Ephesus and Troy, and relax on the Turquoise Coast at Dalyan. Another new itinerary for 2019, Active Turkey
gets you out walking and cycling in the foothills of the Taurus mountains, and snorkelling on a day’s boat trip aboard a gulet.
2. Central Asia - ‘The Stans’
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are both climbers this year, and our new-for-2018 Kazakhstan trip, timed to coincide with a rocket launch, was a sell-out. For 2019, we’re introducing a new trip to Tajikistan
that travels along the ancient Pamir Highway, and along the Tien Shan range, through ever-changing scenery of high mountain passes, wild-flowing rivers and remote hamlets.
Particularly popular with walkers since we launched a Hiking in the Caucasus
trip last year, Georgia is characterised by its landscapes of snow-capped mountains, deep gorges and medieval villages. Now cyclists too can enjoy its beauty on a new cycling adventure in the Caucasus
. Explore Silk Road cave towns by bike, and discover the wine-producing Kakheti region. One of the real highlights of this trip is the Georgian hospitality – this region’s delicious homecooked food and wine are a big contributor to its popularity.
We're launching a new trip to this sleepy, history-packed destination – currently the ‘least-visited country in Europe’ according to Travelers Digest - for 2019. On our new short break
, you’ll discover the capital of Chisinau, the Moldovan countryside and have a chance to indulge in famed Moldovan wine, Kvint brandy and hearty local cuisine. You’ll also visit the fascinating breakaway territory of Trans-Dniester.
5. The Azores
These unspoilt mid-Atlantic islands are full of surprises
, from volcanoes and geothermal lakes to a tea plantation. A new self-guided walking holiday
here explores two of the nine volcanic islands, with easy and moderate walks along rugged coastlines and through forests. You can also climb Portugal’s highest peak, Mount Pico.
6. South Korea
The successful winter Olympics hosted here in early 2018 has sparked increased interest in this beautiful, history-packed nation. A new cycling trip
here combines the mainland with the little-known island of Jeju, and explores historical sites, sleepy fishing villages and sweeping coastlines. It’s a moderate-graded trip, due to some undulating terrain, with rides of 40-60km on seven days.
7.India (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh) for Kumbh Mela
The world’s largest congregation of people, Kumbh Mela, takes place in India every few years in one of four sacred riverside locations. Attended by different sects of holy men and pilgrims, this extraordinary gathering attracts around 120 million people over a six-week period. Visit Allahabad in early 2019
to witness the daily religious rituals and sadhus smeared with ash, meditating on their heads or bathing in the Ganges.