It is January and apart from thinking about those resolutions (wait, you don’t have any yet?) we also start planning our holidays in 2013. We have compiled a list of the best destinations to travel to this year.
Rio de Janeiro
Maybe you were thinking to go to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup but do you really want to explore this Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvelous City) in the madness of this event? Why don’t you visit the wonderful beaches such as Ipanema (no, not the cocktail) and Copacabana, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue or come and experience the city during the Carnival (don’t wait too long, you have less than one month left until the party season starts).
When standing on The North Cape, Norway’s most northern tip of the peninsula, the only thing separating you from the North Pole is sea water. While still on the mainland of Europe, it’s impossible to get any closer, you are at the end of the world. As the climate is very polar, you will be able to enjoy the magic of the northern lights and beauty of the midnight sun.
Iceland with its capital Reykjavik offers the most amazing countryside you have seen. It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe and is also thought to be the fourth happiest country in the world. So don’t wait and experience spectacular glaciers and volcanoes side by side.
Puerto Iguazu is a wonderful place to serve as a starting point for your visit to the falls. The Iguazu Falls, Cataratas del Iguazú (Spanish) and Cataratas do Iguaçu (Portuguese) straddle the border between the two South American countries Argentina and Brazil.
Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand and is located on the south island of the country. Some of Christchurch’s major tourist attractions include several wildlife parks and reserves, art galleries and museums, the International Antarctic Centre and the historic Christ Church Cathedral (which was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake). The city is geographically unique because it is one of the world’s eight pairs of cities that have a near-exact antipodal city (a city on the exact opposite side of the earth). Christchurch’s antipode is A Coruña, Spain.
Jerusalem, the Holy City, is sanctified by religion and tradition, by history and theology, by holy places and houses of worship. It is a city revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The vibrant capital of Japan, Tokyo, which literally translates into “Eastern Capital”, is maybe not a holiday destination for many, it is an interesting country and city, however. You have seen Tokyo in various movies such as “Godzilla” (okay, he destroyed it…), “Lost in Translation” and “Kill Bill”. Now it’s time to see the various markets, Tokyo’s own Time Square “Shibuya”, the Japanese gardens with shrines and palaces and the culture, with your own eyes.
Crimea is the peninsula in the south of Ukraine, surrounded by Black Sea; the nature is unmatched. The Crimean peninsula is divided into two parts: One is the steppe area with huge open spaces; the other is the subtropical coast. The natural boundary between the areas is the eye-catching Crimean Mountains, which contain a dormant volcano called Kara-Dag. Other popular attractions are the hot springs, mineral waters and the mud baths of Saky.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and offers the visitor a wealth of historical attractions considering how the city has become so modernised since the end of the Vietnam War and the re-unification of the country. One attraction is the Hanoi Hilton. Don’t let the name deceive you, this is not a hotel. This was a name given for ironic reasons to the prison that housed many American prisoners during the Vietnam War.
Kathmandu (also spelled as Katmandu at times) is the capital of Nepal. And if you want to see and climb the highest mountain in the world, the Mount Everest, then book a ticket to Nepal. It has the densest concentration of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometers.
Sooo, have you been to any of these places yet? Are you planning to? Or do you have other cities and countries that make the top of your list? Why don’t you share it below in the comments!