2019 is set to be another incredible year in travel, with a whole host of nations and regions opening up to tourism for the first time. But 2019 also offers the chance to explore some better-known destinations in new and unique ways. Read on to discover the five destinations that are bound to be on everyone’s lips next year.
Germany has been on the tourist radar since the Grand Tours, undertaken by European’s of more noble rank, of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However 2019 will be another big year for Germany as the country commemorates a series of important anniversaries. The lesser-known destinations of Weimar and Dessau, along with perennially-popular Berlin, will be marking the centenary of the Bauhaus aesthetic movement with the opening of three new museums and a series of special events. Further afield, Leipzig will commemorate 30 years since the peaceful protests that brought down the Berlin Wall and enabled the reunification of East and West Germany, while also opting to remember the birth of communist East Germany in 1949.
With the political situation improving daily, there’s been no better time in recent years to visit this southern African country. A haven for many of the continent’s most iconic species, from giraffe and zebra to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), Zimbabwe is also one of Africa’s safest destinations. Despite everything, Zimbabweans off all ages and political views and incredibly friendly and welcoming to tourists, and proud of all their country has to offer. In addition to national parks including Hwange and Mana Pools, it is also home to the world’s largest waterfall – the simply breathtaking Victoria Falls. But if great wildlife viewing opportunities, and the waters of the River Zambezi tumbling more than 100 m into a narrow gorge isn’t enough to tempt you, Zimbabwe is also the site of one of Africa’s most important ancient cities, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Great Zimbabwe.
Cuba has danced to its own rhythm for decades, and despite a recent softening in the stance of the hard-line communist regime, it remains an intriguing complex of historic masterpiece, political enigma, and laid-back Caribbean getaway. Easier than ever (even for US citizens) to become immersed in the island’s unique cultures, there’s been few more enticing times to join one of the private tours in Cuba, such as those offered by the bespoke online operator Locally Sourced Cuba. You won’t want to miss the gently crumbling streets of Old Havana, home to many of the capital’s major sights, nor the tobacco fields of the lush countryside around Vinales, which are the starting point for one of Cuba’s most famous exports – its cigars. A journey to the white sands of the northern cayes will remind you you’re in the Caribbean, while the Revolutionary Museum and Bay of Pigs speak unnervingly about the difficult relationship that still exists between Cuba and the US.
Somewhat belittled by its reputation as an ‘India in miniature’, 2019 will see Sir Lanka rightlypunching above its weight from its comparatively small size. The Indian Ocean’s teardrop island is one of incredible diversity, with landscapes as far ranging as pristine isolated stretches of sand, rocky mountain peaks, and grassland that is the habitat of the Asian elephant. The experiences that await visitors to Sri Lanka are just as diverse, with everyone from families to adrenaline lovers and budget backpackers catered for. And with a climate that makes visiting at any time of year a possibility, discovering the wonders formerly off limits in the far north at Jaffna, or to the south in Galle, are only a plane ride away.
Almost hidden from the world since its independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 because of its location wedged between much-larger Kazakhstan and China among others, central Asia’s best kept secret is increasingly coming in from the cold. This mountainous country is rapidly gaining a reputation among independent travellers, lured to the country by its free and easy visa system, for its stunning natural beauty. Make the most of this unspoilt land by slipping on your hiking shoes and heading out on some of the country’s 2700 km of marked trails, supported by a growing number of local and community-run accommodation options along the way.
These exciting countries are set to be some of the top 5 travel destinations of 2019, don’t miss your chance to visit!