The current pandemic has us counting every minute until we can safely travel again. We’ve done our best to make the best of the situation and stay inspired despite all the challenges we’ve faced.
But the disappointment of not being able to travel after so many months can hit you hard.
Perhaps, 2020 was the year you were supposed to go on your first solo trip to Latin America. Maybe you had planned on visiting a lavish resort in Thailand. Or perhaps, you planned on rediscovering a quaint European city you visited as a child.
If you had a trip planned this year and had to cancel it, don’t sweat it just yet! I gathered a list of the most unique destinations around the world you should add to your bucket list so you can book a flight next year when this is all over.
1. FRENCH RIVIERA
Upscale, glamorous, and picturesque – everybody should experience the French Riviera at least once in their lives. Spend your days sunbathing in the très chic sandy beaches of Plage Royale and the Iles de Lerins, which is only a short ferry away and is more secluded. Or go sightseeing in the luscious rolling hills of the Luberon, which are wrapped in lavender flowers from July till August.
You’ll find a selection of stylish seaside towns around the coastline where you can eat under the brimming sunrays on a stylish outdoor patio. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a few A-listers as you drink champagne in the many luxurious restaurants in the area.
The Cotswolds is a rustic little village in the south of England full of cozy bars, rural trails surrounded by spectacular views, and British tea rooms. It’s an incredible spot both for families and anyone traveling solo. What’s more, Cotswolds offers wondrous sights like Tewkesbury, where you can go on long walks along the pleasant riverbank of this medieval town.
Make sure to visit Chipping Campden to do some shopping on the historically-rich High Street. And after you take a moment to catch your breath, go on a little sightseeing adventure and bask in the beauty of Stow-on-the-Wold, an enchanting town with adorable chocolate-box architecture.
Dordogne is an idyllic region in France full of castles, superb local cuisine, old villages, ancient cathedrals, and rich forested sights that make it a genuine delight to explore.
Foodies will welcome the local gastronomic scene that will quench anyone’s thirst for fresh locally-produced dishes. Make sure to try slow-cooked duck confit, Black Périgord truffles, cabécou, (goat’s cheese), and the unforgettable magret de canard, which is fried duck breast with a Dordogne twist.
If you’re a history buff, you can play archaeologist for a day at the Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum. And if you’re looking for a thrilling outdoorsy adventure, visit Parc-en-Ciel to play mini-golf, do free jumping, zip-lining, and tree climbing. It’s perfect for the whole family!
Get lost in the beauty of the enchanting architecture and buzzing city life of Marrakech. Known as the Red city, this culturally-rich metropolis is sheer magic.
Take a stroll with camels across the desert, or bask in the beauty of the fabulous architecture of the grand palaces. Get ready to walk around for hours at the colorful souks, the traditional Arab open-air markets, where you’ll be surrounded by the scent of thousands of spices and produce. The busy bazaars are packed with ornaments, luxurious fabrics, carpets, souvenirs, exotic snacks, and even snake charmers.
When you’re lost in the hustle and bustle of the city, it might be easy to forget for a moment that this colorful city sits on the edges of the Sahara Desert, near the snow-covered Atlas Mountains.
If you’re looking to cool down, go swimming at any of the vibrant Atlantic beaches in the region. Stop by Essaouira, the best Marrakech seashore for windsurfing; Oualidia, which has been dubbed the Oyster Capital, is extraordinary for foodies; or Agadir, a buzzy seashore resort with sandy stretches.
This tasteful and modern French locale is the ideal spot to spend the summer months in 2021 because you can walk around the neighborhood and check out the morning markets in shorts and flip-flops while looking for new baked goods.
Of course, you can always skip breakfast and take a few photos at the local lavender fields, or enjoy the delicious gastronomy by the harbor. Make sure to rent a car and drive through the scenic Côte d’Azur, a spectacular coastline that leads to Monte Carlo, Cannes, and St. Tropez.
Art enthusiasts and history buffs will also get a thrill out of Provence’s prehistoric cave paintings, so if you’re looking to get away from it all, this place is heaven on Earth.
6. CHANIA, CRETE, GREECE
Innovative cooking and breathtaking seashores make this an ideal island escape. With its charming cobblestone roads, Chania will knock your socks off with its stunning waterfront views and local cuisine.
From luxurious shoreline bistros to flawless Cretan top-notch food, this city on the north-west side of the Greek island has a rapidly growing scene. Visit the Old Town to try lemon artichoke pizzas, broiled coxinhas, and Moussaka, which is sort of like lasagna with a Greek twist.
If you’re looking to get lost in the wilderness, take a tour to explore the White Mountains of Crete where you’ll get the best panoramic views. And if you’re looking to unwind and bathe in a tropical beach with white and pink sand, head to Elafonissi Beach, a place where Mother Nature really went all out.
7. FINNISH LAPLAND
Looking for the ultimate destination to spend your 2021 holidays in? Then come experience the snow-covered wilderness of Finnish Lapland’s Urho Kekkonen National Park which offers snowy mountain views and majestic slopes.
It can’t get any better than that, but believe it or not, it does! You and the kids will get to go on an epic husky safari through the wilderness for the adventure of a lifetime. And in the end, you’ll get the chance to interact with Father Christmas and bake gingerbread house with his elves. But if that wasn’t cool enough, this region also offers the chance to see the incredible Northern Lights or go skiing in Levi, a large ski resort in the northwest of the region.