Africa & The Middle East | Inspiration

Where to go in 2023: 14 must-visit destinations for this year's vacation

Recently updated on August 1st, 2023 at 04:38 pm

This time of year we like to look ahead and dream about where the next year could take us, and these must-visit destinations are on our radar for 2023. The new year is a gift with 12 fresh months for grand adventures and future travel plans.

Read on to discover 14 top destinations that are front of our minds for this year’s vacation. From seeing the pyramids of Egypt to meeting wild elephants on safari in South Africa, we’re thinking big in 2023. That means big experiences, big icons and big memories. Let’s dive in!

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1. Explore Norwegian fjords 

Always wanted to visit Norway? Make 2023 your year. You could be boarding the world’s most exciting train journey, travelling up through the scenic Flåm Valley, past the Kjosfossen Falls (where you’ll find the legendary forest spirit who dances and lures men into the mountains), before arriving at Sognefjord, the ‘King of the Fjords’. Not only will you be surrounded by the lush, spectacular nature with gushing waterfalls, green landscapes and striking mountains rising from the water, you’ll wake up at the Sognefjord Hotel, located on a peninsula stretching into the deep waters of the fjord. 

TAKE THIS TRIP: Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords

2. Venture Downunder

If Australia or New Zealand have been bucket list destinations you’ve wanted to visit forever, why not visit these countries in 2023? Two weeks is just enough time to tick off the Great Barrier Reef, meet koalas and kangaroos at wildlife sanctuaries, and explore lush scenic forests before skipping over to New Zealand. Here you’ll meet the locals at Maori villages and chase an adrenaline rush at Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.

GO THERE WITH: Australia & New Zealand Panorama

3. Tick off the Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are one of Canada’s must-visit destinations. Experience the snow-capped peaks with a scenic tour dedicated to the beautiful landscapes. Beginning in Stampede country, you’ll tick off Jasper and Banff, Lake Louise, and even wander the Athabasca Glacier in an Ice Explorer.

GO THERE WITH: Canada’s Rockies

RELATED BLOG: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 list has arrived

4. Eat tapas in Seville

There’s something very special about southern Spain, and you’ll get to know the culture of Andalucia when you visit the fiery city of Seville. One of Spain’s top destinations, this grand and charismatic city reveals a long history. Visit the tomb of explorer Christopher Columbus, wander the 14th-century Moorish Alcazar, and feel the passion, rhythms and clapping beats of flamenco.

TAKE THIS TRIP: Highlights of Spain & Portugal

5. Visit the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is one of those must-visit destinations that feels a world away from real life. You’ve heard about it on the news, read about it in magazines, and maybe even watched documentaries talking about the importance of the world’s largest rainforest – the life source of Planet Earth and an area of exceptional biodiversity. Join a guided tour beneath the towering canopy and seek out a shy capybara or the giant coils of the anaconda with a local guide. Get to know the culture, rituals and heritage of the native Amazonians and share in the knowledge passed down from generation to generation in this special part of Brazil.

GO THERE WITH: South America Revealed

6. Follow the music in Memphis

You won’t be able to help falling in love with the American city best known for its musical history of rock ‘n’ roll, soul and the blues. Albert King, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King all graced these streets – and soon you will too. Better yet, Memphis is the starting point for an educational trip where you’ll hear first-hand stories about the Civil Rights Movement in the American South. Meet activists, visit museums, devour delicious cuisine and pay your respects on this vibrant cultural journey.

TAKE THIS TRIP: Journey Along the Civil Rights Trail

7. See the pyramids in Egypt

Picture yourself wandering up to the imposing Great Pyramids of Giza and imagine what life was like in the kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Spend one unforgettable day gawking in awe at the Colossus of Ramses II and the Alabaster Sphinx at Memphis. Visit the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, then marvel at the Great Pyramid of Giza and the mighty Sphinx.

GO THERE WITH: Wonders of Ancient Egypt

RELATED BLOG: Egypt is back with a bang: Read why and where to go

8. Feel the contrasts of Japan

From timeless traditions to ultra-modern cities, Japan is one of those must-visit destinations that seems to have it all. Explore old rituals, like spending a night sleeping in a traditional ryokan, and eat in modern restaurants staffed by robots to really see both sides of this curious country.

TAKE THIS TRIP: Splendours of Japan

9. Go on an African safari

See lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes in the wild when you set off on an unforgettable safari trip. South Africa‘s oldest and most iconic national park, Kruger National Park, is the perfect spot for your first safari adventure. Here you can spot the magnificent ‘Big 5’, the Little 5 and everything in between. Go on, book that dream safari trip to South Africa, then cue up that song by Toto and happy dance around your lounge room.

GO THERE WITH: Best of South Africa

10. Dance a jig through Ireland

Lap the Ring of Kerry, sink a pint in Dublin, and dance in a jig in Galway when you explore incredible Ireland in 2023. Between the friendly faces and iconic experiences – like Ashford Castle and the Cliffs of Moher – there’s no shortage of magic on the Emerald Isle. If Ireland has been one of your must-visit destinations for some time, take the chance to explore with wonder this year.

TAKE THIS TRIP: Iconic Ireland & Ashford Castle

11. A week in Italy

Italy is always at the top of our minds. There’s something eternal about the beauty, the food, the people, and the cities that draws us in again and again. If you only have time for a short vacation in 2023 (or want to add an extra quick trip to your holiday schedule) a week-long trot through the boot eating your weight in pasta and pizza should be on the cards. Whether it’s your first visit of seventh time, Italy is a destination we’ll never tire of.

GO THERE WITH: Italian Holiday

RELATED BLOG: Beyond Venice and Rome: Explore these off-the-beaten-track Italian towns with Trafalgar

12. Explore great US National Parks

The United States is home to dozens of incredible national parks with sites as iconic as the Eiffel Tower or Sydney Harbour Bridge. Tick off a few of these must-visit destinations with a week-long trek from Denver to Las Vegas, passing by Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, and so many more. 

TAKE THIS TRIP: Best of the Canyonlands

13. Cruise the coast of Croatia

While we love our state-of-the-art coaches, some destinations are better explored by boat or train. Swap four wheels for a captain’s wheel and cruise across the Adriatic Sea on a nine-day cruise in Croatia from Dubrovnik to Split. Spend sun-kissed days on idyllic islands, discover Roman ruins and the Venetian empire, and eat delicious seafood plucked fresh from the sea.

GO THERE WITH: Pearls of the Adriatic

14. Find calm in India

Savour the lingering scent of spices, tranquil lapping waters, unique geography and vivid colours in the calm Kerala region. Known for its tea plantations and lush nature, Kerala is one of the top destinations to unwind and relax in India. It’s also the spice capital of the world! Be sure to bring home fresh and fragrant spices to inspire your home cooking.

GO THERE WITH: Captivating Kerala

Are these must-visit destinations on your bucket list for 2023? Tell us about the top destinations you’re planning to visit this year in the comments below….

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