The Best Places to Travel in 2023
For most of us the only travelling that was possible in 2023 was in our dreams. I’m sure you’re just as eager as we are to get back out there and to see more of the world. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that time is precious. I’m sure we’ll all be thinking a little deeper about where and how we choose to spend our holidays from now on. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the best places to travel in 2023. Once it’s safe to do so, let’s get out there, explore new places, and create new connections.
Isle of Skye
Get outdoors on the Isle of Skye. Located on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye is an exciting destination to explore and reconnect with nature. Challenging hikes and scrambles lead you to jaw dropping vistas of the 50 mile long island. Wildlife watchers can spot white-tailed sea eagles, whales, dolphins, otters and red deer among many other fascinating creatures. Stay in a charming B&B and explore the history of Skye in it’s castles and villages. The Isle of Skye is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel in 2023.
Helsinki is the Nordic capital city that dances to the beat of it’s own drum. Home of 1.4 million Finns, Helsinki is Finland’s largest city, shaped and moulded by the sea. The city’s rhythm is in sync with nature, boasting an innovative hub focused on sustainability. Helsinki is part of a greater Archipelago consisting of 330 mesmerizing islands which are perfect for day trips throughout the summer months. Helsinki is perfect for a city break. Some of the highlights are Nordic cuisine, artisanal markets, and inspiring design and architecture. Spend a few days exploring then cap it off with a day at the sauna, where stress melts away amidst warmth and wood. After all, saunas are a way of life in Finland.
Scotland’s capital city has so much to offer. Edinburgh is definitely one of the best places to travel to in 2023, especially if you haven’t had a chance to visit yet. Edinburgh Castle sits atop a hill in the centre of the city, and bustling streets sprawl out in every direction around it. Winding cobbled streets are lined with cute coloured shop fronts where small independent businesses offer local goods and a place to enjoy a cup of tea.
Edinburgh is a city of arts, culture and comedy, and is home to the annual Fringe Festival. Grand theatres are dotted around the city showcasing everything from small amateur performances to world class productions. In fact, the music scene is equally prevalent here. Live music is performed in bars and clubs every night of the week. So spend the days admiring the architecture and city gardens, then head into the night with Edinburgh’s diversified nightlife.
Another of the best places to travel in 2023 is Ethiopia. Rich in history, diversity and culture, Ethiopia is unlike any travel destination on earth. Firstly, there are landscape contours that take you over 3000m high above sea level before dropping to the lowest point on the African continent (NINOINN). Secondly, cultural and religious traditions have been held intact for millennia. Monuments dedicated to faith remain as preserved today as they were many years ago. Needless to say, as soulful and sincere people, Ethiopians are fantastic hosts and the caretakers of a proud and beautiful culture.
Peak District, UK
The Peak District is located in the north of England, in close proximity to Manchester and Sheffield. Covering an area of 555 square miles, the Peak District encompasses many small villages and towns, including Bakewell, Edale and Eyam. The land across the Peak District is largely hilly and offers countless walking trails. Some notably taller peaks include Kinder Scout and Mam Tor. Waterfalls, caves and natural pools are scattered around the Peaks, a lot of which can be found along well marked walking or cycling trails. Other popular activities in the Peak District include wild swimming, rock climbing and bouldering. As a result, the area is particularly popular with the outdoorsy and adventurous.
Lofoten is a large group of islands in the Norwegian Sea. The dramatic mountainous landscape with high, sharp peaks is simply unforgettable. Furthermore, open sea and small sheltered beaches surround the mountains creating endless diversity and places to discover. Whilst the sea around Lofoten is rich in life, there’s also a high density of sea birds. Lofoten has awesome cycle routes around the islands. Luckily the main routes largely hug the coast, taking you through small fishing villages with colourful houses and spectacular views. Lofoten is also a great destination for mountaineering and rock climbing. And with 24 hours of sunlight through the summer months, the climbing opportunities are quite literally endless.
Berlin is a vibrant and exciting city for both tourists and residents. Rich in history and art with a well-known epic nightlife, Berlin is a fantastic place to visit any time of the year. Berlin also bas a spectacular food scene with world-class restaurants and beautiful cafes to unwind in. If you do visit, don’t be surprised if you find yourself considering staying long term. Berlin is consistently near the top of the annual quality of life rankings, and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Cycle paths span the city, and there’s no shortage of public parks and green spaces. There are countless museums and attractions to visit, plus loads of street art and hidden gems. Berlin should definitely be on your travel bucketlist in 2023.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is a fairytale destination in more ways than one. Set in the Julian Alps in Slovenia, Lake Bled has become a hotspot for romantic honeymooners. The picturesque setting with jaw-dropping mountainous landscapes and a quaint church on an islet in the lake make this feel like a scene from a story book. Further to this, Bled Castle (thought to be the oldest castle in Slovenia) sits atop a cliff side overlooking the lake. This medieval marvel is full of history and charm, and offers spectacular views of the mountains, lake and town.
Not only is Lake Bled popular with romantics, but it’s also become a stop off point for backpackers looking for adventure. The area is teeming with exciting hiking and biking trails dotted with enchanting waterfalls and caves. As well as this, exhilarating canyoning tours and water-sports are also on offer on and around the lake.
Quebec City, Canada
Soak up the lively French Canadian culture in Quebec City. A lovely city with a unique historical and cultural significance, Quebec City has something totally unique to offer. The city was founded in 1608 by explorer Samuel de Champlain, and has been the site of important armed conflicts that shaped Canada and the continent. So, what makes it one of the best places to travel in 2023? Today Quebec City is a fun, lively place with fantastic restaurants, dining, and magnificent nature at the doorstep.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound is a natural wonder. It’s an enormous fiord located in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. The area is a dense rainforest scattered with cascading waterfalls. Mitre Peak towers over the landscape and makes for a thrilling hike. Milford Sound is also home to a vast array of flora and fauna. Colonies of penguins, fur seals and dolphins are often sighted here, making this a wildlife lover’s dream destination. A popular way to explore the beauty of Milford Sound is to embark on a boat tour of the fiord. For those who want to delve a little deeper, the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory offer the chance to see the thriving marine life and rare black coral.
Wildlife, mountains, amazing people – Kenya has it all. In truth, Kenya is made up of landscapes that are out of this world and has cultural experiences to match. You can safari into the vast savannah and marvel at the herds of elephants, rhino and giraffe. If hiking is your thing, you can go trekking into the breath taking mountains, where you could catch sight of a mountain gorilla. One thing that should be in mind when putting together a travel bucket list, is delving into the history and culture of the places you visit. Get to know more about Kenya by spending a day with the Maasai Mara tribe. You’ll be welcomed by friendly faces and eye-catching attire. Here you can learn about the traditions and lifestyle of the tribe and witness their beautiful, historical rituals.
Ghent is a true hidden gem, tucked away just a short train ride from Brussels. It’s a quaint city with enchanting architecture and medieval monasteries. In addition to this, it’s also an incredibly lively and friendly place to be. Ghent is known for having large public squares and frequent markets. Add the fact that it’s rich in history and sites of interest, and you’ll find no shortage of things to do here.
Ghent’s endless cosy bars are an ideal refuge from the cold winter air. And you’ll want to stop in more than one to sample the broad selection of beers. Unsurprisingly the nightlife is pretty awesome here. As the sun goes down the underground bars come to life with live bands performing everything from rock covers to jazz. So grab your mates, pick a bar, and let the good times roll.
Top Tip: Head to ‘t Dreupelkot, Ghent’s super small gin bar with an endless menu of shots.
Ella, Sri Lanka
Ella in Sri Lanka is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel in 2023. The town sits 1,041 metres above sea level and has an incredibly rich bio-diversity. Lush green trees cover rolling hills for as far as the eye can see. Hiking trails run in all directions so you can fully immerse yourself in nature. Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak are two of the most spectacular hikes, with rewarding views of the area. Obviously, the famous Nine Arch Bridge is not to be missed. Take a train from Ella station and Demodara station to ride over the bridge, or walk one of the many trails to see it from below.
Experience local culture in the traditional tea shops and local eateries in Ella. Homestays are particularly prevalent in here too, allowing you to stay with a local family to dive deeper into Sri Lankan life. Simply put, Ella is paradise.
Toulouse is located along the banks of the River Garonne in the South of France. It’s the country’s fourth largest city and is at the centre of the European aerospace industry. But Toulouse is city of two faces. On one hand it’s an exciting and innovative city, and on the other it’s a picturesque old quarter seeped in history. Toulouse elegantly combines coral coloured buildings and ochre rooftops with a large modern metropolis that sprawls either side of the river.
Toulouse is aptly named ‘La Villa Rose’ or The Pink City. This colourful and enchanting city is ideal for summertime activities. Wander the narrow streets and admire the architecture, making sure to visit the elegant churches that stand proud across the city. Why not pack a picnic and head to the riverside to soak up the sun? On that note, many restaurants and cafés offer outdoor seating so that you can enjoy the summer heat with a cold beer in hand.
Viñales is a breath of fresh air. The rural town is surrounded by vast greenery and acts as a gateway to the Sierra de los Organos mountains and the Viñales Valley in Western Cuba. It’s a small agricultural town lined with colourful wooden houses from the colonial era. The pace here is unbeatably slow and relaxed, making it one of the best places to travel in 2023. Locals leave their doors wide open, and the idea of a good night is sitting out on the front porch smoking a cigar. But the otherworldly landscape provides ideal conditions for outdoor activities. Try your hand at horse riding through the valley, rock climbing on craggy limestone peaks, and cycling scenic routes through the hills.
Choose your next adventure