As the world adjusts to a new normal, we’re hopeful for 2022 being the year we get to journey once more. Be it an expedition voyage to the South Pole, or a safari through the wilds of Botswana . . . here’s the Absolute Gold List of 10 places to add to your global travel bucket list this year.
The Absolute Gold List includes rare, exquisite places that are often looked over in favour of glitzier, Instagram-trending destinations. Our hidden gems are curated from years of personal travel and crafting bespoke itineraries. Well-armed, we wish you good memories and happy trails for the year ahead!
The meeting point of East and West, Turkey is often called the cradle of civilization. It owes its unique culture to its geography, where four seasons coexist within its diverse topography that includes rivers, beaches, volcanic mountain landscapes, and extraordinary forests. Turkey also boasts of a rich historical heritage, stunning architecture, luxury resorts, adventure activities, and cultural events.
The rich volcanic soils of Cappadocia have made the region famous for its wine, from vineyards that date back over 7,000 years. Don’t miss ballooning at sunrise above the striking cave churches here! Take a private tour to learn the artistry behind the intricate Anatolian carpets and vividly patterned Iznik tiles—perhaps even pick up some souvenirs.
The Maltese Islands are the jewel of the Mediterranean with their clear blue waters, quaint cobbled streets, magnificent Baroque palaces, and historically preserved temples that pre-date the pyramids at Giza. Once recognized as the European Capital of Culture, Malta has over 320 monuments within a 0.2 square mile radius.
Malta has a thriving nightlife scene and some of Europe’s best diving opportunities for the water inclined. Apart from the breathtaking Blue Lagoon in Comino island, Gozo island is also known for some fascinating WW2 shipwrecks and underwater architecture.
From the corn and spice infused cuisine to the exquisite Mayan temples of Palenque, Hispanic culture has offered the world plenty to make Mexico a must visit. Explore the colourful Spanish colonial towns and churches, and enjoy the natural wonders of the land, from the exotic wildlife to the live volcanoes and lush jungles.
Allow yourself to be swept up in the prehistoric charms of the Yucatan. Go scuba diving and snorkeling in the underwater caverns of the Cenotes, as you enjoy your stay at Mexico’s best beach vacation properties.
Botswana has legend status as one of the best destinations to experience Africa’s majestic wildlife. From the open expanses of the Central Kalahari to the Chobe National park and salt pans of Makgadikgadi, each region offers its own unique biota with thrilling plant and animal life to explore through guided safaris.
Hot air balloon over the Okavango Delta and enjoy the annual zebra migration below. Visit the ancient baobab trees in the fossil lakebeds of Nxai Pan National Park. Camp out under the stars after you take a guided walk in the wild with the San Bushmen.
Each of the Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – have their own brand of cultural heritage and historical merit. Vilnius in Lithuania is a modern melting pot of culture, while Latvia’s Riga is known for its energetic nightlife and Art Deco architecture. Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn is likely northern Europe’s most well-preserved medieval town.
Discover the Rundāle Palace near Riga, and hike the historical castle ruins of Latvia. Explore Lithuania’s sacred religious sites, and take a step back in time in the medieval Old Towns. Riga’s Central Market is the perfect spot for a local food tour!
From the mystical Amazon forests to the mighty Cotopaxi volcano in the Andes Mountains, Ecuador packs a lot of wonder within its narrow boundaries. The famous Galapagos Islands are a nature lovers’ paradise, and lie just off the Pacific Coast. Explore the colonial history of the lively South American towns here, along with the captivating Inca ruins.
Adventure through the impenetrable Amazon through our guided tours that introduce you to the lush, endangered world. Or find your thrills in Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, where you can dive with hammerhead sharks!
Chile is deservedly South America’s crown jewel, in no small part thanks to its stunning natural landscapes that include snow laden mountainsides perfect for skiing, gushing waterfalls, treks up active volcanoes in the Andes, and the magical sunsets on Easter Island. The Chilean hospitality is worth the visit for a luxury holiday to remember.
Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the Moai Monoliths of Easter Island, before you break to sip on some local Chilean wine. Go glamping in the Atacama Desert to really appreciate the beauty of your surreal surroundings.
The frigid Southern Continent is a breathtaking destination, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The spectacular views of the snowy white expanses and polar wilderness will make the expedition worth your while. Whale sightings and icy ocean kayaking will humble you with their stark beauty against this extreme landscape.
Visit the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station for an introduction to this delicately balanced ecosystem, and meet the penguins that call Antarctica home. For a more extreme introduction to the land, take the Polar Plunge where you will be fitted with a tethered harness before a supervised immersion into the polar waters.
A charming land with something for everyone. From the history and architecture in Rome, to stunning countryside landscapes, and romance along the canals of Venice. Experience Italian gastronomy at the best local gelateria’s and pizzeria’s, or indulge in the world’s fashion capital.
Drive along the Amalfi coast and siesta at a Tuscan vineyard. View a demo of traditional glass blowing in Murano and stopover at a local agriturismo farm stay with some of nona’s fresh pasta and limoncello.
From the remains of economic despair, Greece is rising with a new sense of cultural vibrancy. Explore her many sun-soaked islands and amazing archaeology in the Parthenon, Santorini and Olympia. Holiday in Greece this year to discover an unseen side to the Mediterranean masterpiece.
Take a private yacht to experience a Santorini sunset like no other. Cruise along the turtle island or experience a turquoise dream in Zakynthos. Do an olive oil tasting with a local farm tour, and sample the intricate textiles of Naxian loom weavers.