The Top 10 Countries To Travel To
Lonely Planet is an iconic travel company that made their name selling in-depth guidebooks using writers who live and experience those countries on a day to day basis and have a level of expertise in their culture and traditions. At the end of every year, they release their best in travel list where they rate where they think are the best places to go in the coming year. Here we take a deeper look at their top 10 choices for 2018.
10. South Africa
With a glorious coastline, rolling mountainous terrain and vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in places like Cape Town, South Africa has always been a fantastic place to visit by in 2018 it will be the centenary of the iconic Nelson Mandela's birth, the man who led the country out of apartheid and became its first black president.
With a range of exhibitions and events celebrating the man, his cultural impact and the country he left behind, now is a great time to see how South Africa is shaping itself in the modern world.
China's ancient imperial history has long been a draw for tourists but it is modern China that should be getting more attention as its new high-speed railway opens up more of the country and high tech buildings and collaborations see it boast the world's highest viewing deck at Shanghai Tower.
It has not turned its back on its history though as the Forbidden City Imperial Palace has had extensive refurbishment and upgrades with new areas open to the public.
An island getaway that has long been seen as the idyllic holiday spot has also put many off in recent years due to its relative isolation and expense but as the country has set itself up as a hub for flights to Africa, new connections have made it that much more accessible and thus cheaper.
Celebrating 50 years of independence in 2018, it is bound to have a calendar of events that will appeal to tourists and locals alike.
Not the first travel destination on people's minds.The collapse of the Soviet Union and then a brief yet devastating war with Russia in 2008 saw Georgia struggle but heavy investment has seen the country rapidly develop into a bohemian and diverse spot on the globe. The constantly growing cities mix the ultra-modern with rich history whilst the mountains contain many vineyards and wineries selling cheap and delicious local wine.
Swiss style chalets in the hills are contrasted with stunning black sea resorts on the coast. After the Russian revolution, Georgia was declared an independent state and will be celebrating the centenary of such in 2018.
A glorious archipelago in the Mediterranean, Malta has long enjoyed the riches of the warm waters that surround it and has been caught at the crossroads of empires that have come and gone as they used its strategic positioning as a gateway to Europe.
With its capital city Valletta being named European Capital of Culture for 2018 it will have a wealth of food, film and cultural festivals inundating it for 2018.
5. New Zealand
New Zealand has become the go-to place for backpackers and adventure seekers in part due to the success of the Lord of The Rings film franchise but also down to efforts started some 25 years ago to draw thrill seekers to the rugged and stunning landscapes of the country.
Trails and 'Great Walks' were marked out and set up as perfect for adventuring through and now a further two set to open in 2018 to build on this legacy.
This tiny African country sits where three tectonic plates meet and are drifting apart from one another, as such the natural beauty is emphasized by magma bubbling beneath the surface and huge salt crystals dotting the shores of stunning and clear lakes.
Head to the golden beaches and you can take trips off the coast to go diving with whale sharks or just relax on the warm sands.
With a burgeoning scene in cuisine, Portugal has an array of Michelin starred restaurants and a vibrant micro-brewery scene to add to the already stunning history and locales of the country.
Over 300 beaches and extremely affordable the country is absolutely perfect for a relaxing trip.
2. South Korea
Bracing for the winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea has invested in high-speed railways that will whisk visitors across the country while capital city Seoul has also had a wealth of investment.
New business parks filled with cafes, bars, and libraries have popped up including the Seoul-lo 7017 which hangs high above the capital city on a disused highway.
A long, thin nation that stretches down the West coast of South America, Chile has a range of stunning vistas from its Andean mountain ranges and undulating landscapes of Patagonia, it is also celebrating 200 years of independence in 2018.
New non-stop flights from London and Melbourne make it easier than ever to get to for global travelers to visit the trendy capital of Santiago.