New year (and decade), new pins on the world map. Here’s a list of the top travel destinations 2020 to help you plan a year full of travel-escapades.
If Kim Kardashian’s visit to Armenia wasn’t enough to inspire your wanderlust, this year’s got more tricks for you. The Asian nation of the Caucasus region, which joins Europe and Asia, is about to be more connected. Europe’s budget airline, Ryanair, will start flying to the Armenian capital of Yerevan this year, and trips from Italy to the country will begin later this year. Germany to Armenia flights will also be launched next year, making it the perfect addition to your next Euro trip.
Add it to your list as it’s got something for everyone—from artsy cafes, bookshops, rich food culture, stunning natural vistas such as the Gegham Mountains or Lake Sevan, to wine culture, the Dilijan National Park with rich biodiversity, Transcaucasian hiking, and more. While its neighbour Georgia has gained attention over the past few years, Armenia has remained without a buzz. However, that’s about to change in 2020.
With the Olympics set to be held in Tokyo this year, Japan’s a top destination to visit in 2020. Whether watching the games or not (though if you’re there, don’t miss it), the energy is going to be infectious in Tokyo from end July to mid August. Don’t miss the city’s thriving food scene. Take your Japan trip beyond the capital—Okinawa for its pristine beaches, largest coral reefs in northern hemisphere, a soon-to-be restored Shuri Castle, and the Sekisei Lagoon. Head to Kyoto for a mix of old school and modern – among swanky hotels and huge shopping centres, you’ll find Shinto shrines and zen gardens. If the likes of waterfalls, animal sightseeing, and hot water springs are on your mind. Don’t forget to add Nikko to your list as well.
The Great North calls. If you wish to witness a wine culture amidst its history, head to British Columbia in Canada. Wineries started here 30 years ago, so it’s still in the nascent stage when compared to countries with a wine legacy. Set against the mountains, thick foliage, and watersides, the vineyards here do international food, cheese, and charcuterie boards with their wines. Pair the wine escapade with a more food-focused one and head to New Brunswick. All about food, this town will give you a taste of the local delicacies and also lets you try making these first-hand. Oyster mushroom, seaweed, râpée (potato and pork dumpling), tricot stews, tourtière (meat pie), are just a few of the delicacies you’ll get to try.
Move over Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. The latest South American country to become a hot destination is Argentina. The fact that this year the country will witness a total solar eclipse is a major attraction for travellers. This rare occurrence is set to take place on December 14, in the town of Fortin Nogueira, and shall last for just two minutes. The popularity is so high that special tours are being organised for the spectacle alone. The other reason to visit Argentina now is Patagonia. The Andes overlooking pristine waters, galaxies in the skies, and Southern lights—if peace and quiet are what you’re seeking, here’s where to go.
Yes, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Melbourne, and Gold Coast are favourites. However, this year the go-to place is Tasmania. World-class wineries, quirky art museums, and boutique hotels dotting the island are just a few elements that make a wholesome experience here. Imagine the island state to be a less crowded, calmer, and a clearer version of the stunning Australian vistas. Natural rock formations, endless beaches, and gourmet food too will line your days here.
Kochi is the city making waves as India’s top travel destination for the year. The Queen of the Arabian Sea has a host of cultural experiences tucked away in Fort Kochi—an area and not a real fort—from the oldest European church in India, Saint Francis Church, to Santa Cruz Basilica. Fisherman using the Chinese fishnets is a sight you can’t miss and the Athirapilly waterfalls are ideal for nature enthusiasts. Art lovers will revel in the Kathakali performances, Kerala Folklore Museum, and Dutch Palace. Kochi Muziris Biennale on December 12 is just icing on the cake. As with any other region of India, the culinary space is vibrant and has to be experimented with when in Kochi.
A different face to Europe, Slovenia moves away from the high life and introduces you to the laid-back holiday. Twentieth century architecture, the glacial Lake Bled, pink skies and meadows competing with Ireland is what you’ll find here. A thriving indigenous wine industry and F&B space that’s about to get its first Michelin Guide this year, this tiny nation is the Europe experience without any fuss—be it monetary or crowds.
Relatively retaining more of nature than the other African safaris and at a distance from mass commercialisation, Tanzania is the place to be to experience the wild at its best. The Sergeant National Park experiences the Great Migration twice a year, during January-February and June-July—this is the time when over two million animals migrate to the lands that have been made lush by the rains. Sightings of the Big five are commonplace, i.e. lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos, and leopards. And if you’re an avid wildlife enthusiast, you’ll enjoy seeing wild dogs, bush babies, hyenas, and more. Watching live big cat chases, hunts, and newborns in the wild is an experience of a lifetime.