Top 6 regions to visit in 2018.
Lonely Planet’s travel experts have scoured the globe to find next year’s irresistible destinations, unforgettable experiences and the trends you need to know. Those are some of them.
1. Northern Ireland
Belfast’s transformation over the past two decades has been remarkable.The rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum. Beyond lies the Causeway Coast, whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever.
- Alaska, USA
Mix of wildlife with a rough-and-tumble outdoor spirit, Alaska satisfies any thirst for adventure. Where else can you spend 20-hour summer days tackling snow-laden mountains, spotting grizzlies or following the path of the Klondike gold rush? Alaska has never been easier to reach. Recently, the state’s major cruise companies have announced expanded capacities, larger ships and more variety for travellers.
- Languedoc-Roussillon, France
The charms of the south of France are many and varied. White beaches, blue seas, country markets, maquis-covered hills. Lesser-known region of Languedoc-Roussillon takes its turn in the sun. Two swish new museums are currently in the works, and they’re set to put this fiery corner of France on the map – although anyone who’s tasted the region’s fabulous food and fine wines really won’t need any extra reasons to visit.
- Kii Peninsula, Japan
The number of visitors in Japan has doubled in the past three years and is only predicted to rise. Since the word is out about this thrilling country, travellers need to dig a little deeper. The Kii Peninsula, which dips down into the Pacific Ocean south of major tourist draws Kyoto and Osaka, offers many of Japan’s most lauded attractions. There are Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples, sublime natural scenery and steaming hot springs, traditional culture and modern convenience – but without the crowds.
- Lahaul & Spiti, India
If you like mountains , your roads rugged and your landscapes verging on the supernatural, then the windswept valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, which run east and west from Keylong, are a little piece of Shangri-La. Kept bone-dry by the rain-shadow of the Himalaya, the ochre badlands of Spiti hide some of India’s most spectacular Buddhist art, while well-watered Lahaul has seldom-visited temples and a back route to Kashmir said to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads. Long overlooked by travellers rushing to Ladakh, this wild and wonderful area is finally starting to get the attention it deserves.
- Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic
In the south of Samaná Bay, Parque Nacional Los Haitises is a 1375-sq-km patchwork of craggy islets, blue canals and verdant forest, an ecosystem that appears plucked from prehistory. Venture deep into the park and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s cultural history. Los Haitises is hardly a well-kept secret, but visitor numbers are rising: some big hotel projects are brewing nearby, so get here before the crowds arrive.
Top 6 regions to visit in 2018.