2022 was a great year for avid travelers, with health restrictions starting to finally ease off in almost all countries across the globe. Fun-filled reunions defined the year as people got to reconnect with family and friends once again in person. They also got another chance to visit their favorite destinations, ready to face a new world.
The COVID-19 pandemic might have changed travel in more ways than one, but wanderlust has endured and even become more insatiable than ever.
If you are gearing up for memorable journeys this year, here are the hottest destinations to visit in 2023 that you should add to your bucket list soon!
Southern Italy has one gem waiting to be discovered. Basilicata is an up-and-coming region that travelers might want to check out in 2023. While most of you may have already seen and admired the winding hilltop streets, the ancient caves, and Matera’s crumbling Baroque churches used as a backdrop for the latest Bond flick, No Time to Die, the region remains unspoiled. It takes great pride in its fascinating history, freshly-caught seafood, and pristine beaches.
Benguerra Island, Mozambique
The Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique is made up of five islands that are acclaimed for their diverse marine life and white beaches. Benguerra Island is the second largest of these five and has established itself as a stealthy, upscale, and wild getaway.
Here, you can experience the most authentic remote tropical getaway with its shorelines that stretch for miles and miles with no buildings or humans in sight. While you are there, don’t miss the chance to ride the traditional African fishing boat known as the dhow. Better yet, request that your lodging take you out to the water to see the rare sea cow or dugong up close and personal!
Douro Valley, Portugal
Do you hope to start 2023 with Europe’s most eye-catching scenery while sipping your favorite wine? Then, why not head over to the dramatic and verdant slopes of Douro Valley, Portugal, this year? The very heart of this region is only one to two hours’ drive east of Porto.
The car trip itself is already a sight to behold as it takes you through snaking, narrow roads that descend from the majestic mountains. You will feel like you are entering a whole new world while passing through the charming villages and idyllic vineyards dotting the hillsides.
The place is also rich in history. Lamego is an ancient pilgrimage town known for its majestic churches and grand tiled staircases. Numerous luxury properties are also available here, making it a perfect place to just kick back and relax while enjoying the best of Portugal.
Despite being founded in the 1200s, the Scottish city of Edinburgh continues to have some amazing surprises in store for its guests. The Gleneagles Townhouse that opened its doors not too long ago shows an effortless combination of modern and traditional touches. It boasts a 19th-century decorative dome with abstract art hanging from it and a restaurant serving a Sunday roast and avant-garde cocktails.
The city is also poised to welcome 100 Princess Street, a luxury boutique hotel with an Alexander McQueen-inspired interior, as well as the Virgin Hotel of Richard Branson.
More popularly visited destinations in Latin America might have been overshadowing Guatemala for the longest time, but it is a big mistake. Unknown to many, Guatemala is home to some of the very best, but without large crowds.
Guatemala has also been recognized as one of the most culturally diverse LATAM destinations. In 2023, the country deserves to take the spotlight. Be sure to give Guatemala a visit, not only to absorb its surroundings’ one-of-a-kind natural beauty but also to form deep connections with the locals.
The newly opened intimate and luxurious Villa Bokeh is a true game changer for Antigua, marking one of the more prominent luxury hotel offerings to this day.
No travel bucket list will ever be complete without Japan included, and the country has been enjoying incredible pent-up demand. Before the pandemic, Japan was already an “it” destination, so expect that there will still be residual demand from travelers who canceled their plans. Of course, there are still many other visitors expected to flock to the country because of the new interest in cultural experiences that Japan has to offer.
A high number of Airbnb guests have searched for Malaga for their 2023 travel compared to other cities in the world. The Spanish city has been enjoying a cultural renaissance for the past 10 years, which makes it a thriving cultural hub on the gorgeous Costa del Sol.
Several new museums are now filling the city, such as the Pompidou Center, a contemporary art treasure tucked inside a multi-colored glass cube. Malaga also has an incredible street art scene, as colorful murals blanket all the neighborhoods.
Patagonia National Park, Chile
Chile allotted 11 million acres of land back in 2018 to be used as national parks with the help of a large donation of private land to the country from a private entity. Tompkins Conservation Foundation’s conservation effort played a role in expanding Chile’s conversation about the untouched wilderness of Patagonia.
The Patagonia National Park now spans over 750,000 acres in Aysén’s austral region, thanks to land donated to Chile as part of the most recent Patagonia National Parks Network. The inherent remoteness and biodiversity of the area make it stand out. It is not that accessible and is even off the radar as it is miles away from the popularly visited regions of Patagonia.
You can stay at the recently opened Explora Lodge as your main base for your Chilean adventure. Tierra Atacama in Atacama and Santiago’s discreetly elegant and newly opened Hotel Magnolia are also great accommodations to consider.
Although Antarctica has been named the darling of adventure travel in 2022, the Arctic is poised to become this year’s must-visit spot. Greenland and Iceland both offer visitors a unique experience of isolation with intention. It gives travelers a chance to escape the crowds and discover their limits. It is the best place to be if you want to see the Northern Lights and bask in unspoiled beauty.
These are just some of the hottest destinations to visit in 2023 that every traveler should add to their bucket list soon!