Popular travel guide Lonely Planet has revealed its list of top travel destinations for next year, with 50 ideas to inspire your itineraries.
Extending its regular annual suggestions on the best countries, regions and cities to visit next year, to mark its 50th anniversary, two new categories have also been introduced – places that offer the best value and more sustainable travel destinations.
The lists are brought together in a new book for those who want to explore the world’s most exciting destinations. According to Lonely Planet, each category features ten destinations chosen for their currentness, unique experiences, “wow” factor and ongoing commitment to sustainability and community.
New Zealand makes the 50 ounce list, in the selection of destinations that offer the best value. South Lakes and Central Otago it was chosen for its stunning landscapes and the plethora of outdoor activities that the guide suggests don’t need to cost much.
Among the suggestions were the appeal to explore the area’s golf courses, winter sports and wineries and activities such as cycling and hiking in the area. One particular highlight he suggests is “parking your bike on the rack and enjoying a craft beer from Altitude Brewery, along with cheap eats, at Atlas Beer Cafe in Queenstown, an affordable hangout popular with local bikers.”
The number one country on the list is Mongolia, chosen by Lonely Planet for its wide open spaces, adventure activities and distinctive culinary and music culture.
“For those looking for open spaces, adventure and culture, Mongolia has a lot to offer”, shares Lonely Planet. “The capital is full of people and unique attractions. Squeezed between Russia and China, Mongolia appears difficult to reach, given recent geopolitical developments in its two large neighbors. But Mongolia’s doors are open and a tourism campaign has eased visa restrictions until 2025.”
Western Balkans Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, a 3,364 km route covering eight countries including Estonia, Lithuania It is Lithuania, topped the list of the best regions to explore. Australia’s Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island, came second on this list, with the guide explaining that the area was recovering strongly from the 2020 bushfires and remains one of the South Australia major ecotourism destinations.
The upper city, Nairobiwas chosen for its unique rhythms, impressive array of locally inspired restaurants, and constant rotation of arts and cultural venues.
With its efforts to boost off-season travel, expand renewable energy and bring tourism to previously overlooked destinations, Spain is recognized as a leading sustainable travel destination.
The Midwest, one of the USA most underrated regions, with bustling cities and incredible food scenes, takes first prize in the best value category.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel in 2024:
Trans Dinarica Cycling Route, Western Balkans
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Basque Country, Spain
Southern Thailand, Thailand
Swahili Coast, Tanzania
Saalfelden Leogang, Austria
Far North of Scotland, Scotland
Montreal in Canada
Prague, Czech Republic
Kansas City, MO
Ecuador, South America
Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
Trails of Wales, Europe
Portuguese Way of Santiago, Portugal
Palau, Australia and the Pacific
Baltic Trails, Baltic
South Africa, Africa
Danube Limes, Bulgaria
Lakes of South and Central Otago, New Zealand
Night trains, Europe