Every year I always make a wish list of places to go, some of them new, some are places to return to, but mostly because there is a buzz about them and the time to go is now…
Southern Italy: Mainly Calabria and Basilicata which are looking like the next big things in travel. While I have been to and mentioned Matera in Basilicata before, with it set to become the 2019 City of Culture it is best to get there before so as to enjoy and explore all the nooks and crannies of the Sassi town without the tour groups. As for Calabria, it is Italy’s final frontier, the ‘toe’ of the boot that is Italy, and mostly overlooked by travellers. The charming seaside town of Tropea is fast becoming a popular warm weather destination. Get there now.
Patmos: Santorini and Mykonos remain popular and filled with tourists, so where to go with a bit of flair but not the crush of people. Patmos is growing in popularity but still hasn’t hit the tourist Greek island holiday crawl of people. Quaint villages offer romantic views and charming cafes without the clubby atmosphere.
Rhodes: For a bit of history with your Greek Island escapade, Rhodes is a delightful destination. The old town has fortifications built by the Knights of Saint John during the crusades as well as an ancient Greek acropolis
Sayulita, Mexico: Already hot and gaining popularity, this colourful, laid back beach town is far from the madness of Puerto Vallarta and the opulence of big hotels on Punta Mita. On Mexico’s glorious Pacific coast, this artsy little town is a bit more unique.
Iceland: Is the big thing for the right now. Expansive natural landscapes made popular in many big movies and TV shows, have put it on the ‘go to’ travel list. Go for the natural baths of the astonishing Blue Lagoon but stay for the people.
Finland: Is starting to percolate lots more interest in part due to being the Scandinavian country less traveled and in part because Scandinavia is trendy. With Sweden and Denmark already popular, this is Scandinavia with less tourism, good skiing, and unique experiences like sampling Reindeer meat on the menu.
Charleston, South Carolina: For a bit of genteel Americana, the historical city of Charleston in the the United States proudly maintains the southern way of life by upholding traditions and good manners. The historical center boasts pretty cobblestone streets, gas lit lanterns and landmark buildings dating back to the first settlers.
Palermo: Faded yet grand architecture and a faceted history have always made Sicily’s capital city a draw, yet has been ignored or passed over in recent years. With Sicilian cuisine and wine becoming increasingly popular and a new old world sophistication polishing the city, Palermo is starting to buzz.
Provence: For a classic vacation in the purest sense, it is time to return to the south of France, mainly Provence. The land of great painters, this region has it all including great wine and gourmet cuisine, not to mention fields of lavender and perfume. What’s not to love in the land of charming villages.
Northern Italy’s “Second” cities: For a foodie’s trip, head to Bologna, Parma, and Turin. Learn to cook in Bologna, taste some of Italy’s more innovative restaurants in Parma, and hunt for truffles outside of Turin. While “second” cities, they are no lesser than their more famous counterparts, just a little less traveled. All offer historical sites, cafe culture, and most important fantastic dining experiences.