Travel

Be adventurous in 2019

From Kigali to Ksamil, here are 10 of the top up-and-coming destinations next year

From Colombia's secret paradise of Palomino to the desert wilderness of Jordan's Wadi Rum and the tasty seafood of Bacalar, Mexico, there is a new hot spot to tempt everyone.

Research reveals that nearly half of global travellers (45 per cent) want to be more adventurous in their choice of destination next year than they were in this, rising to 58 per cent of those aged 18 to 34.

Here are 10 of the top emerging travel destinations to put on your 2019 bucket list, according to travel website Booking.com, which connects travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay.

WADI RUM, JORDAN

WADI RUM, JORDAN

The backdrop to many blockbuster films, Wadi Rum is everything you would expect from the desert wilderness. Dramatic sandstone mountains, red canyons and stunning prehistoric rocks make up the spectacular scenery, with Wadi Rum providing a getaway that is completely off the grid.

Many times, the desert has been compared to Mars with its reddish sands and natural arches, so why not take your next vacation here for an experience that is out of this world?

Where to stay: Memories Aicha Luxury Camp features everything you need for the ultimate desert experience. The property's sleek design makes it ideal for stargazing and looking out to the mountains.


SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN

SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN

One of the most prosperous stops on the ancient Silk Road, Samarkand is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia and has been the hub of world cultures for hundreds of years.

It is full of mediaeval architecture and monuments that are included in the Unesco World Heritage List.

One of the most popular monuments is the Registan, which ranks among the world's most beautiful squares and is completely covered in mosaics and adorned with gold and calligraphy.

Where to stay: A short five minutes' walk from the city centre, Jahongir Hotel offers traditional Uzbek cuisine and each room is decorated with lovely traditional embroidered tapestry, Suzani.


BACALAR, MEXICO

BACALAR, MEXICO

Tipped to be the next Maldives, Bacalar houses one of the most impressive natural beauties, the Lake of the Seven Colours. With its clear waters and white sandy base, this lake appears almost turquoise and is ideal for diving and snorkelling. Small fishermen's houses dot the lake, so be sure to sample the seafood as it is the food that Bacalar is most known for.

Where to stay: Casa Bakal is the perfect stay for travellers seeking the lake with its beachfront location. Go for a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool and take in the mesmerising sights, or hire bicycles from the reception and explore the surrounding natural beauty.


OUARZAZATE, MOROCCO

OUARZAZATE, MOROCCO

Known as the gateway to the Sahara, Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco's beautiful High Atlas mountains and home to the fortified village Ait Benhaddou, where you can head to the ancient kasbah to watch the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Quad biking is an excellent way to explore the region and you will see why it has been a setting for some big movies and TV shows - travellers can even visit the local film studios.

Where to stay: Riad Ouarzazate is a kasbah-style riad in the centre of Ouarzazate and offers stylish rooms with traditional Moroccan decor and an outdoor terrace where guests can enjoy traditional cuisine.


MESTIA, GEORGIA

This town in north-west Georgia is 1,500m above sea level and a great starting point for trips throughout the region.

MESTIA, GEORGIA

At the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, immerse yourself in the local history and culture. Active travellers will be in awe hiking up the Chalaadi Glacier on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains as well as hiking the lakes at the base of Mount Ushba, offering breathtaking views of the lakes.

Foodies will be intrigued by the local Svan cuisine - a must-try is the kubdari meat pie and tashmijabi (cheesy mashed potatoes).

Where to stay: Svaneti Apartment is perfectly located for snowy getaways, with ski storage space available. These fully equipped, great-value apartments with private bathrooms also include a comfy sitting area for guests.


PALOMINO, COLOMBIA

PALOMINO, COLOMBIA

This much-loved beachside town is a must-see. Not only does it offer beautiful Caribbean beaches great for surfing and sunbathing, it is also a great place for spotting wildlife such as monkeys and toucans, delicious seafood and a great range of hostels.

Travellers can also try tubing in the Palomino River, taking in the natural beauty as you float down to the Caribbean Sea.

Where to stay: Casa del Pavo Real boasts modern luxury at a backpacker price. Just five minutes from the beach, this charming hostel features an outdoor pool, garden, restaurant terrace and shared lounge.


KIGALI, RWANDA

KIGALI, RWANDA

The Land of a Thousand Hills has become more accessible in recent years, and travellers come from all over to see the incredible mountain gorillas that live in Volcanoes National Park. You can also spot the Big Five (lions, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes and leopards) on a safari in Akagera National Park.

The city of Kigali itself is considered one of the safest and most alluring capitals in Africa and offers more than just a great base to the wider region. Having undergone rapid economic transformation in the past 10 years, it boasts a booming food scene, bustling markets and fun nightlife.

Where to stay: Boutique hotel Pili Pili offers stylish apartments where guests can enjoy beautiful views, an outdoor swimming pool and an in-house restaurant serving international and local cuisine. It is close to a supermarket, Yego Arts studio and Nyarutarama Tennis Club.


LEEUWARDEN, NETHERLANDS

LEEUWARDEN, NETHERLANDS

Leeuwarden is full of laid-back Dutch charm with its museums, shopping districts and food hot spots, and was named the European Capital of Culture this year for its cultural performances and exhibitions.

Easy to explore on bicycle, visitors can stop off at the Fries Museum to learn about Frisian treasures, climb Leeuwarden's leaning tower and sample the local spirits at the family-run distillery at the Boomsma Museum.

Where to stay: Located in the heart of Leeuwarden, City Centre Guesthouse De Rozenboom is housed in a 17th-century building with views of the Oldehove and the Princessehof Ceramic Museum. In the surroundings, guests can explore the Prinsentuin gardens, Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie theatre as well as various shops, restaurants and bars just 100m away.


KSAMIL, ALBANIA

This village in Southern Albania is a hidden gem when it comes to beautiful beaches.

KSAMIL, ALBANIA

Located on the Albanian Riviera, you will find crystal clear waters, secluded beaches and peaceful restaurants.

Nearby sites include the Blue Eye - a lake where bubbles create colours that look like an eye - and Butrint, an ancient city and Unesco World Heritage Site.

Where to stay: Hotel Miramare is a perfectly placed one-minute walk from the beach, offering rooms with a terrace and sea or mountain views. With kitchenette facilities available for those looking for a little more independence on their trip, the friendly employees can also help plan excursions to nearby destinations including the popular Butrint National Park.


NUSA PENIDA, INDONESIA

Many tend to visit the Gili Islands, Bali or other tourist hot spots when visiting Indonesia, but Nusa Penida is an island off the south-east coast of Bali that offers breathtaking, mostly untouched landscapes.

NUSA PENIDA, INDONESIA

Travellers can try their hand at scuba diving, walk along the Crystal Bay or soak in the natural wonders including the Giri Putri Cave and the natural infinity pool Angel's Billabong.

Where to stay: Kabeh Jati Garden Villa & Restaurant provides guests with a comfortable stay complete with an onsite restaurant serving Asian and American food. The property is perched on a mountaintop and offers amazing 360-degree views of the island while being a short drive from the beach and local harbour.

TOURISM & TRAVEL