So the door on all of our 2014 adventures are almost over, however the best part is planning where to visit next! Many destinations go through phases of being in and out of fashion, it does drive me a bit mad but at the same time it helps me figure out where to go.
Having studied where I think would make a fantastic unique get away, here are my top 10 suggestions for destinations to visit in 2015.
- Capital City: Rabat
- Currency: Moroccan Dirham
2015 will be the year I FINALLY visit Morocco! It’s been on my bucket list for a while now, there’s many places I want to try visit when I arrive including the Atlas mountains, Rabat, Fez, Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
With incredible bazaars selling spices, carpets, dates and many other local items, you’ll immerse yourself in the North African culture and cuisine. From the UK, Morocco is an incredibly easy country to visit with budget and full service carriers operating all year round. Don’t even get me started on the food available to buy…I’m salivating at the thought!
2. Cape Verde
- Capital City: Praia
- Currency: Cape Verdean Escudo
Officially part of Africa, the Cape Verde islands were colonised by Portuguese explorers in the 15th Century. Many tourists chose to visit the other islands in the Atlantic including the Canary Islands, however Cape Verde has seen a huge increase in recent years and is becoming more popular.
A former Portuguese colony, these islands are home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches whilst having a rich marine eco-system ideal for diving. It is quite expensive to fly there, although it’s well worth it for the views and the isolation.
- Capital City: Sucre / La Paz
- Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
The first time I ever visited South America I landed in Bolivia, I was so excited and didn’t know what to expect. La Paz is the highest capital in the world so landing there probably wasn’t a good idea, you need to acclimatise your body to the high altitude. It was a fascinating city, I’d not heard great things but none of these were true.
Bolivia is one of the most affordable countries I’ve visited, so if you are looking for a bargain I’d start here! There are several well-known tourism spots in Bolivia including Lake Titicaca and the Salar de Uyuni salt flats, which are the largest in the world. Bolivia really surprised me as a destination and I have so much more to go back and explore.
- Capital City: Maputo
- Currency: Mozambican Metical
With a coastline of more than 1,000km along the Indian Ocean, it’s safe to say that Mozambique isn’t short of a few spectacular picture postcard views. The country was originally taken over by the Portuguese in 1500, due to the wealth of spices and slaves they could accumulate.
Mozambique is the perfect starting point for any African adventure as it borders six other nations. There are many opportunities to explore the countries natural wildlife in various National Parks and Reserves, animals will include elephants, hippos, zebras and the African wild dog.
- Capital City: Vientiane
- Currency: Lao Kip
South East Asia is well known for being an affordable holiday, Laos is often the loser when it comes to international tourists who opt to visit neighbouring Thailand or Vietnam instead. This is now beginning to change as people discover the “forgotten land of S.E Asia”.
Laos is one of the last places in Asia to enjoy the natural wildlife, although many species are on the verge of extinction. Travel up the famous Mekong river and try to spot one of the rare Mekong pink dolphins.
The country is famous for being a mostly Buddhist country, therefore temples will feature on a lot on your journey in Laos, I always find these experiences incredibly relaxing. If you fancy the more adventurous lifestyle there are opportunities to kayak and trek in the mountainous regions, here you’ll be given the option of local homestays.
- Capital City: Tbilisi
- Currency: Georgian Lari
Georgia has recently signed a trade agreement with the EU meaning it’ll be easier to export to the countries within the European Union. This will have huge advantages for exporters and will encourage tourism to the country. Hopefully this will also mean easier flying options from the UK to Georgia, the only direct flight ceased to exist when BMI sold it’s route to BA and they discontinued it. The easiest way to get there now is via Turkey or Ukraine with regular flights by budget airlines.
Not to be confused with the American state, Georgia is a country in the Caucasus with a turbulent past. After gaining independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia has fought hard to create a tourism industry, which currently is flourishing. You might be surprised to find that the country has beaches, incredible wine and spectacular mountain ranges, these secrets won’t be kept quiet for too much longer.
7. Saint Helena (Oversea’s United Kingdom territory)
- Capital City: Jamestown
- Currency: Saint Helena Pound
Officially still part of the empire, Saint Helena is an island nation which relies heavily on British aid due to being one of the world’s most isolated islands. However, this is all set to change in early 2016 with the arrival of its brand new airport, currently being constructed.
It’s a very exciting step for the territory, it could mean an influx of tourists who will finally help the Saint Helena people become less reliant on aid.
Due to its isolation, as you can imagine the history is rather turbulent but it certainly makes for an exciting discovery. The islands most famous resident was Napoleon who was exiled to Saint Helena by the British.
At present if you wish to visit you’ll have to take RMS St Helena from Cape Town which makes regular journeys. With the arrival or the airport it makes me wonder how much longer this option will be around, so 2015 could be the perfect opportunity to try it.
- Capital City: Skopje
- Currency: Macedonian Denar
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a landlocked country in the Balkans is blessed with outstanding natural beauty. Thankfully it isn’t overrun with hordes or tourists and doesn’t yet feature highly on the list of the typical European traveller, however that is their loss!
Close to the Albanian border is where you’ll find the majority of Macedonia’s tourist attractions. Lake Ohrid is considered to be the jewel in it’s crown, not only is it an UNESCO World Heritage site but it’s a place of historic significance.
- Capital City: Port au Prince
- Currency: Haitian Gourde
Yes, I did say Haiti! The country was hugely affected by the 2010 earthquake, although it has made huge strides to try restore normality, the country is still suffering from a lack of infrastructure and authority.
Haiti unfortunately has the tag line, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Thankfully however the country has huge tourism potential with idilic beaches, culture and history to discover.
10. Sri Lanka
- Capital City: Colombo
- Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
One of my favourite holidays was to Sri Lanka in 2011, an incredibly beautiful country that was affected by the tsunami in 2004. Thankfully the civil war is over and tourist numbers have now started to rise.
Sri Lanka, although small, packs a huge punch in terms of things to see. From highland tea plantations, colonial era buildings in Galle to stunning beaches, you certainly won’t get bored as there’s plenty to explore on this Indian Ocean island. It is also one of the most affordable countries I’ve visited, food is cheap and transport is easily accessible making it the perfect getaway in 2015.
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