Travel guides aren’t just for the new year. The vacation bug comes in ebbs and flows, and even if the good intentions of the new year are well behind us, there’s no reason why we can’t take a leap mid-year and expand our horizons. Travel in 2018 is serving up generous helpings of culture, great cuisine, and adventure. Ready to see where the wind takes you? Buckle up; it’s going to be an exhilarating ride.
There’s no denying the fact that when it came to 2017 travel destinations, it was all about Iceland. With increasing numbers of travellers heading to the geological hotbed, you might not be tempted to stake a claim of your own on the northerly island. But it’s all about the destination. While the country’s capital, Reykjavik, is booming with tourists, you can try heading a little further afield to enjoy your own slice of calm. Akureyri boasts the second biggest urban population in Iceland, and is a fantastic place in which to seek out some of the more exciting natural sights around. The harbour city sits just beneath the country’s longest fjord, making it a fantastic destination from which to get reacquainted with nature. When you’ve finished hiking for the day, treat yourself to a cold brew at local spot R5 Micro Bar, or fill up on sushi at Rub23. Food, fun and natural frolics — Akureyri’s got it all.
Back in 1998, Valencia was well and truly put on the map, thanks mostly to the opening of its futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the centre and two decades of local culture being celebrated. There’s more happening this year, too; the 125th anniversary of the birth of Joan Miro is set to be celebrated in the Spanish city, and the event is well worth a visit. This year, the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern is going all out, bringing together more than 100 of the artist’s works in Bombas Gens, one of the newest arty hubs in town. Get more than your daily quota of culture and discover this Spanish gem.
While it might be better known as a honeymooning destination for the rich and famous, the Seychelles make for a fantastic vacation spot and truly have something for everyone. Spanning a whopping 115 islands, the Seychelles offer up a range of different experiences; it’s all about picking your spots. Second-biggest island in the region, Praslin, boasts world heritage site Vallée de Mai, a nature reserve that houses a number of rare plants. Cousin Island, on the other hand, is a renowned giant tortoise reserve, one of the best places in which to see the animals in a protected environment. Sun, sea, and serene ocean giants? That’s something we can all get behind.
If you feel as though you’ve been hearing a lot about Laos this year, it’s probably because you have. Visit Laos has made a huge push for 2018, upping the marketing ante in a bid to boost local tourism. With road travel, flight routes, and river cruises all given a thoroughly modern makeover, navigating to and within the South Asian country is easier than ever. So what can you do when you’re there? Try visiting the capital Vientiane, a thoroughly charming spot that’s set to house a number of festivals throughout the year. If you’re looking to get a little off the beaten track, try heading north and making a pit stop in Oudomxay. Dotted with mountains and rivers, the region is a sight to behold, giving you the chance to really disconnect and experience life in an altogether different way.
New Orleans has never been afraid to throw a little party, and it’s no different in 2018. Festivals are practically a way of life, and throughout the year, there is a huge amount to be discovered in the city. If you’re really on the hunt for a good time, try setting your sights on the Nola district. While the whole city will be celebrating its tricentennial this year, festivities will concentrate on Nola. Not to be missed are jazz concerts galore and exhibitions honing in on the city’s first few decades. Neighbourhood celebrations will also be going strong throughout the year, making fun and festivities practically a guarantee.