Travel experts Lonely Planet have released their “Best in Travel” list for 2023. Split across five categories – eat, journey, unwind, connect, and learn – the organisation named 30 countries, cities, and experiences to add to your bucket list.
From nearby cities (two UK destinations made it onto the list!) to exotic destinations, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration, here’s a deeper look into five of the top places to visit in 2023.
Eat: Lima, Peru
When you think about visiting Peru, it’s probably hiking to Machu Picchu that comes to mind. But the country’s capital has a thriving foodie scene that makes it well worth a visit too.
You’ll love tucking into fresh seafood and trying authentic Peruvian cuisine, like aji de gallina, shredded chicken in a thick curry-style sauce. When you’re not trying delicious street food, Lima has lots of culture to explore, from temples to street art, and the long coastline offers spectacular views.
Lonely Planet’s other five food destinations:
- Umbria, Italy
- Fukuoka, Japan
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Montevideo, Uruguay
- South Africa
Journey: Nova Scotia, Canada
Sometimes travelling is about the journey rather than the destination, and that’s what this category celebrates. Known for picturesque lighthouses and endless shorelines, one of the best ways to experience Nova Scotia is through a road trip visiting plenty of the towns in the province.
As well as visiting communities, the drive between the towns offers incredible vistas. Many travellers choose to start in Halifax, the province’s capital that’s packed with historical charm. Other popular destinations include Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, and Kejimkujik National Park.
Lonely Planet’s other five journey destinations:
- Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, Colombia
- Istanbul, Turkey, to Sofia, Bulgaria, train journey
- Western Australia
If you prefer your breaks to have a slower pace and return feeling rejuvenated, Jordan could be for you. The Dead Sea, where you can effortlessly float, is perfect for forgetting about the stress of everyday life, and there’s a huge array of resorts to choose from. An alternative is the Wadi Rum, which is often compared to a Martian landscape. It’s perfect for relaxing and you’ll have incredible views of the night sky.
Of course, Jordan has plenty to offer history fans too, including the breathtaking archaeological city of Petra and the ruins of Roman Jerash. Jordan is a great destination if you want to mix activities with relaxation.
Lonely Planet’s other five unwind destinations:
- Halkidiki, Greece
- Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Connect: Accra, Ghana
The connect category is about places that will bring you closer to the culture and community of the destination you’re visiting. Among them was the capital of Ghana, Accra. It’s an energetic city that’s packed with bustling markets, community areas, and creative spaces to explore.
Accra is becoming known for its excellent nightlife and selection of eating options, so it’s a great place to delve into trying new foods. When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the beaches are the perfect place to head.
Lonely Planet’s other five connect destinations:
- Sydney, Australia
- Alaska, USA
- Boise, USA
Learn: New Mexico, USA
If you want to jump into new experiences and learn while travelling, the USA state of New Mexico could be perfect. It’s home to 23 native tribes, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the indigenous culture, from sampling food to enjoying music. You’ll soon find out why it’s known as “The Land of Enchantment”.
The landscape of the American Southwest is truly mesmerising too, from the gypsum dunes to the Taos Plateau. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can see a lot more of the natural beauty by hiking, cycling, or even getting onto the water to paddle.
Lonely Planet’s other five learn destinations:
- El Salvador
- Dresden, Germany
- Marseille, France
- Manchester, UK
- Southern Scotland, UK
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