7 up-and-coming destinations you'll know by the end of 2022

If you’re ready to uncover some new travel destinations and hidden travel gems in 2022, but not sure where to go, look no further. We’re getting inspired for a brand new year of travel by exploring new destinations you may not have thought of visiting yet. Ready to get off the beaten track? Here are 7 of the best destinations you’ll definitely want to add to your 2022 bucket list.

1. Norway

The appeal of Norway is simple: it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s also one of the most up-and-coming holiday destinations for 2022. With its stunning fjords, grand glaciers and rocky, jagged coastlines, Norway is not only full of mountainous beauty, it’s also home to some of the prettiest villages in Europe.

Arctic-inspired towns, cosmopolitan cities and rural landscapes combine with incredible food (think tasty apple tarts, creamy fish soup and traditional gravy-covered meatballs) and wonderful wildlife – in Norway you can spot whales, reindeer and Arctic foxes.

WATCH: How to make the best Norwegian apple tarts

GET INSPIRED BY: See the Best of Norway with Trafalgar

2. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, also known by its Māori name Tāmaki Makaurau, may be New Zealand’s largest city… But it’s often used as just a stopover for travellers on their way to other treasures of the country. But Auckland is a travel gem of its own, where vibrant city streets and two breezy harbours meet golden beaches, lush farmland, volcanic peaks and the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. 

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Whether you want to get some thrills at the Auckland Sky Tower, surf at the beach, go wine tasting in the world-class vineyards, or explore the thermal springs and wildlife reserves within an hour’s drive of the city, Auckland is undoubtedly one of the best up-and-coming destinations for 2022.

GET INSPIRED BY: Iconic North

3. Westfjords, Iceland

The Westfjords is one of the most extraordinary regions in Iceland, but according to some, only about 10% of Iceland’s visitors ever see it. This makes it one of the greatest new travel destinations to uncover in 2022, with plenty of jaw-dropping scenery to explore. There are the rugged green cliffs and waterfalls edging up to the wild ocean and red and black sand beaches. There’s the little fishing villages dotted between soaring mountains and fjords. 

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There’s even the Hornstrandir hiking reserve, where you’ll find Arctic foxes, amazing birdlife and more. And don’t miss the remote Strandir coast where you’ll find thermal springs, coastal hamlets… And nobody else. This is a true off the beaten track travel experience, but it’s one that’s sure to blow you away.

GET INSPIRED BY: Iceland including the Blue Lagoon

4. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana may be one of the smallest capital cities in Europe – but it’s bursting with treasures. And as one of the greenest and most liveable cities in Europe, it’s one of the best up-and-coming destinations. You’ll quickly fall in love with the gorgeous streets, where stunning bridges arch over the emerald Ljubljanica River flowing through the city. 

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The city centre itself is closed to cars, meaning you wander the leafy walkways and enjoy coffee and pastries in the airy cafes without a care in the world. And in summer, the vibrant bars, clubs and restaurants make you feel like you’re in one big street party. Whether you want to explore the historic museums, go paddling down the river, or make the hour’s drive to the enchanting Lake Bled, you’ll adore Ljubljana.

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5. Vancouver Island, Canada

You’ve probably heard of Vancouver, one of the most popular cities on the west coast of Canada. But what about Vancouver Island? You can’t miss taking the ferry over to explore this hidden travel gem. The island has everything from lush forests, mountain trails, and surfing beaches to English-style gardens to baroque architecture and a thriving arts scene. Wander along the harbour and indulge in the famous chocolate-and-custard Nanaimo bars. Go hiking and paddling or explore the galleries, shops and restaurants in the Old City Quarter or Chinatown. 

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You can even meet the locals with Trafalgar when we visit a family-owned working farm for a delicious Be My Guest lunch with local flavours and ingredients. If you can’t get enough of the culinary delights, you’ll also love exploring the food and wine across the Cowichan Valley farm region. And if you’re visiting between October and March, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the incredible Northern Lights!

GET INSPIRED BY: Iconic Rockies and Western Canada

6. Atacama Desert, Chile

Chile is famed for its breathtaking Patagonia region, mysterious Easter Island, the Andes Mountains, and vibrant Santiago… But did you know there’s also a desert in Chile? And not just any desert. The Atacama Desert is famed as the driest non-polar desert in the world. It’s also one of the oldest deserts in the world, with some of the clearest night skies in the world – perfect for stargazing. It’s also as close to space as you can get without leaving Earth! The area has been used for Mars expedition simulations due to the similar terrain and climate. 

Head to the gateway town of San Pedro de Atacama and you’ll be perfectly positioned to explore this incredible desert. Don’t miss the bizarre rock formations, massive sand dunes, and colourful mountains in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. And be sure to explore the fields of steaming geysers, soak in the hot springs, and check out the huge salt flat lined with towering volcanoes. It’s truly otherworldly.

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7. Atlanta, USA

Nicknamed ‘Hotlanta’ for a reason, Atlanta is a melting pot of cosmopolitan charm, culture and incredible cuisine – it’s also unfairly overlooked as one of the United States most vibrant cities. In Downtown Atlanta you’ll find great restaurants, iconic African American culture and the centre of Atlanta’s booming film industry.

Away from Downtown, Atlanta is one of the most densely forested cities in the US with some 36% of the city covered with trees. Magnificent oaks, Southern pines and magnolias are there to spot in most of the city’s 300-or-so parks, nature preserves and gardens.

A visit to Atlanta is not complete without exploring the city’s African American culture. Birthplace of Martin Luther King, Atlanta’s quintessential African American hero, visitors to the city should head for the Sweet Auburn district to discover the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, home to a number of historic buildings including King’s boyhood home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where a young Luther King was co-pastor with his father, and his burial site.

GET INSPIRED BY: Travel along the Civil Rights Trail and visit Atlanta with Trafalgar

What are your favourite up-and-coming destinations for 2022? Let us know in the comments below!

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