Popular travel guide Lonely Planet has revealed its list of the best travel destinations for the year ahead, with 50 ideas to inspire your itineraries.
Following on from its regular annual suggestions on the best countries, regions and cities to visit in the coming year, to mark its 50th anniversary, two new categories – Best Value Places and Travel Destinations most sustainable travel – have also been introduced.
The lists are collected in a new book for those who want to explore the world’s most exciting destinations. According to Lonely Planet, each category includes ten destinations chosen for their relevance, unique experiences, wow factor and ongoing commitment to sustainability and community.
New Zealand enters the list of 50 once, in the selection of destinations offering the best quality-price ratio. South and Central Otago Lakes was chosen for its stunning scenery and plethora of outdoor activities which, according to the guide, don’t have to cost much.
Among the suggestions were the appeal of discovering the region’s golf courses, winter sports and wineries and activities such as bike and hikes in the region. One of the suggested highlights is to “park your bike in the rack and enjoy a craft beer from Altitude Brewery, along with cheap eats, at Atlas Beer Cafe in Queenstown, an affordable hot spot 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 food and music culture.
“For lovers of the great outdoors, adventure and culture, Mongolia has a lot to offer,” shares Lonely Planet. “The capital is full of unique people and attractions. Wedged between Russia and China, Mongolia seems difficult to reach given recent geopolitical events in its two large neighbors. But Mongolia’s doors are open and a tourism campaign has eased visa restrictions until 2025.”
The Western Balkans Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, a 3,364 km route crossing eight countries, including Estonia, Latvia And Lithuania, topping the list of best regions to explore. Australia’s Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island, was second on this list, with the guide explaining that the region was rebounding strongly from the 2020 bushfires and remained one of the South Australia superb ecotourism destinations.
The highest city, Nairobiwas chosen for its unique rhythms, impressive lineup 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 neglected destinations, Spain is recognized as the leading sustainable travel destination.
The Midwest, one of United States the most underrated regions, with bustling cities and incredible food scenes, takes home the top prize in the best value category.
The best of Lonely Planet’s 2024 trip:
Trans Dinarica cycle route, Western Balkans
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Montana, United States
Basque Country, Spain
Southern Thailand, Thailand
Swahili Coast, Tanzania
Saalfelden Leogang, Austria
Far North Scotland, Scotland
Philadelphia, United States
Prague, Czech Republic
Kansas City, MO
Ecuador, South America
Patagonia, Argentina and Chile
Trails of Wales, Europe
Português Way of Santiago, Portugal
Palau, Australia and the Pacific
Baltic trails, Baltic countries
South Africa, Africa
The Midwest, United States
Danube Limes, Bulgaria
Lakes of South and Central Otago, New Zealand
Night trains, Europe