Wondering where you should go in 2018? We’ve got you covered with everything from island nations to exotic African destinations, breathtaking lake-filled mountain settings and more. The top travel destinations in 2018 offer so much, this list might just inspire you to start planning for next year too.
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Malta (Nearby Hotels)
The capital of Malta was named Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2018, but Valletta isn’t the only reason you should visit. Located in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, this country is becoming increasingly popular on cruise ship itineraries, existing at a crossroads that makes for an especially interesting history. Visit before it becomes too popular, as its famous azure window on the Island of Gozo featured on “Game of Thrones,” really thrust Malta into the spotlight. While the window recently collapsed into the sea, the stunning azure waters and stretch of golden sands surrounding it are still well-worth visiting.
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (Nearby Hotels)
With Canada emerging from its highly touted 150th anniversary, 2018 is an ideal time for taking in the spectacular beauty of the country’s oldest national park with fewer crowds. Nestled in a valley surrounded by jewel-colored lakes, hot springs, canyons and dramatic mountain ranges, there are few places that could be considered more stunning. Moraine Lake may be its most spectacular highlight. Fed by glacial waters, it sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in the heart of the park, and in early summer, the water levels rise and cast a striking shade of blue. In this outdoor lover’s paradise, you can look forward to everything from hiking, fishing and mountain biking to whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River, sky diving over the Rockies, zip lining, climbing and caving.
Serbia (Nearby Hotels)
While the Adriatic coastlines of Croatia and Montenegro have become increasingly popular travel destinations, Serbia has been mostly overlooked. This undiscovered Balkan nation is a land where east meets west, both ideologically and geographically, with lots of picturesque scenery and a rich history waiting to be explored at a value price. Belgrade truly offers it all, with fantastic food, parks, rivers, lakes, art, history and music, along with an especially exciting nightlife. Throughout the nation are tranquil monasteries and national parks like Kopaonik and Zlatibor where you can enjoy both warm and cold weather outdoor adventures.
Perth, Australia (Nearby Hotels)
Perth is often overlooked in favor of Sydney and Melbourne, but it’s becoming known as one of the country’s coolest places to visit thanks to new hotels and venues popping up all over the city and new direct flights that make it easier to get there. Outstanding budget accommodations can be found too, including the Aloft Perth, a new hip youth hostel that offers live music, rooftop yoga and a pantry that’s open 24/7. The city also boasts a thriving foodie scene, a host of trendy new bars and a revitalized arts community along with a spade of outdoor adventures nearby.
Copenhagen, Denmark (Nearby Hotels)
Visits to the Danish capital have increased significantly in the last decade, but if you haven’t traveled here yet, 2018 is the time to go. Denmark is often named among the world’s happiest countries, and much of its happiness can be experienced right in Copenhagen. It’s a compact city that’s easy to explore on foot or by bike and it has a wealth of new dining and drink options showcasing “New Nordic” fare and more. Visit one of the many scenic parks that are ideal for mingling or joining in a game of football with the locals. The Danish Crown Jewels, housed in Rosenborg Castle, is not to be missed, though all three of its central palaces truly are must-visits.
Egypt (Nearby Hotels)
While Egyptian tourism took a hit after the 2011 political revolution, a new landmark is expected to draw an increasing number of visitors this year. You’re still likely to find cheaper prices and fewer visitors than the country traditionally has seen, but in addition to the mysterious pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, you’ll be able to check out the Grand Egyptian Museum and its more than 100,000 ancient artifacts from legendary pharaohs.
Iceland (Nearby Hotels)
Iceland has become one of the world’s hottest destinations. One of the reasons so many people are heading here is because they’ve glimpsed slices of it in films like “The Secret Life of Water Mitty” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” as well as the hit TV series “Game of Thrones” and the History Channel’s “Vikings.” With Wow airlines offering cheap flights from a number of places throughout the U.S., it’s time to book so that you can experience those jaw-dropping black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers and hot springs for yourself.
Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland (Nearby Hotels)
While Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland tends to get lots of Canadian visitors, few outside of the country have even heard of it. That’s slowly changing in part thanks to a massive iceberg that was captured in a viral photo off its coast on the Avalon Peninsula. Further north, on the Great Northern Peninsula, visitors are treated to countless icebergs, especially in May and June. During the first half of June, The Iceberg Festival in Saint Anthony celebrates the annual arrival of icebergs with music, food, entertainment, history, culture and more.
Lisbon, Portugal (Nearby Hotels)
In 2018, the capital of Portugal will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, after more than a half-century of trying. It gives travelers just another reason to visit, other than its beautiful beaches and ever-present blue skies, cobblestone streets with with panoramic views of red roofs and homes in pastel hues of yellow, pink and blue. This long-running festival is a massive party that draws thousands, while some 200 million viewers watch from around the world.