Lonely Planet has named their Best in Travel for 2020, and we can’t wait to take you there. Our world is home to so many diversely stunning regions all worthy of a mention, but with 2020 just around the corner, we’ve narrowed down some options to help you with your planning. Here are a few ways you can visit some of Lonely Planet’s hit list next year and why you’ll love them.
This historic route hasn’t lost any of its appeal. Once a path forged by traders connecting East and West, this region of Central Asia draws travellers in with its stunning architecture and relics of begone times, lively cities and vibrant bazaars, and breathtakingly dramatic landscapes. Did we mention that there is a fiery crater in the barren landscape of Turkmenistan, called the ‘Door to Hell’ (or officially the Darvaza Crater)? Now that’s what we call dramatic!
G Adventures takes you on a small group adventure (by private vehicle) through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan over 26 days. You’ll primarily stay in standard hotels or guesthouses, but you’ll also get three nights in a traditional yurt, two homestays, and you’ll camp under the stars near the Darvaza Crater.
This Exodus itinerary whisks your small group around by train (with some minibus travel as well) as you focus on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan over 15 days. You’ll be rocked to sleep with one night on a sleeper train, as well as a yurt stay. The remainder of stays will be in en suited standard hotels. Highlights include Kyrgyzstan's stunning mountain scenery, Issyk Kul Lake, and two of the greatest cities on the Silk Road - Samarkand and Bukhara.
Sitting in the shadow of its neighbouring regions (think Tuscany and Umbria), Le Marche has remained one of Italy’s best kept secrets – and perhaps that is its greatest appeal. Or, it is equally possible that its allure lies in the charming hilltop towns, the captivating cityscape of Urbino, the rich history, the warm local welcomes, or the mouth-watering cuisine. We’ll leave it up to you to decide.
This journey takes you off the beaten path and introduces you to unspoiled villages and hidden gems of an underrated region of Italy, sandwiched between the Italian Apennines and the Adriatic coast. Known for its smaller group sizes (maximum 28 passengers), a slower pace and longer stays in each destination, you can truly immerse yourself in the Le Marche region with Albatross Tours.
Find out more: Uncover the Alternative Side of Italy with Albatross Tours
Celebrating 200 years of statehood in 2020, there is no better time to visit Maine than during their bicentennial celebrations. As festivities break out around the state, you can expect to see pop up festivals, concerts and displays across the region – and there is plenty to celebrate. Boasting a charming coastline peppered with lighthouses, a modern food scene, and autumn leaves so bold that make the countryside blush red, Maine is certainly a jewel in New England’s crown.
Visit Maine’s Acadia National Park and take in sweeping views of the landscape from atop Cadillac Mountain. This Globus trip will also showcase Portland on Maine’s rocky coast and Bar Harbor which will be your base for two nights. Don’t miss the classic foodie experiences here, with a traditional lobster bake and clam chowder on offer.
Cruise around the eastern seaboard with Viking and call into Portland to learn all about the rich maritime history here. Home to Maine’s oldest lighthouse, you can also choose climb to the very top for spectacular views of a coastline that contributes to the appeal of Maine and her neighbouring states.
Nestled in the south of Spain’s Andalucía region, Cádiz Province is making its mark on the culinary culture of Spain. Home to delicious fortified sherry and boasting restaurants with accolades of the highest level (yes, we mean Michelin stars), it is a highlight of Spain’s already vibrant foodie scene. Plus, with stunning beaches, rugged mountains, grand monuments, olive groves, whitewashed villages, and fiery flamenco, the reasons to visit don’t stop when you leave the table.
Take a self-guided cycling trip through Andalucía taking in the charming landscapes, including that of the Cádiz Province. Fuel your daily cycle with incredible cuisine as you pass by impressive Moorish architecture, beautiful beaches, and quaint hilltop towns. The best part? On a self-guided trip, you can stop at every one that calls your name!
Get a true taste of the region with Trafalgar as you stop into Jerez for a ‘Dive Into Culture’ experience that showcases the centuries-old tradition of Spanish sherry production. Sample the produce for which the region is known, as well as exploring the boulevards and plazas of Cádiz.
An ecosystem where flora and fauna intertwine in a display of nature at its finest. A vast array of species calls this misty jungle home, living harmoniously alongside communities that have looked over it caringly for centuries. Journeys to this incredible pocket of the globe can be enriching for visitors and the region alike with sustainable travel programs contributing to cultural and environmental preservation efforts. Learn more about this spectacular place and why it is an integral part of our planet on a carefully considered itinerary.
Spend two nights in a rainforest lodge from where you can explore the depths of the Amazon with Explore. Join a jungle trek, fish for Piranha, visit a local village, and perhaps head out at night with your guide to spot caiman by torchlight. With plenty of experiences on offer, you can get a taste of what makes this ecosystem so special and fall asleep to sounds of the wild.
Wind your way through the Brazilian Amazon on an Explore itinerary dedicated to showcasing this rich ecosystem. Follow walking trails through the jungle (led by expert guides) to spot varied wildlife and visit local communities to get an insight into their way of life. As well as hotel stays, you’ll overnight on boats, camp, and spend a couple of nights at a lodge for a diverse and enriching experience. Perfect for active travellers, the culturally curious, and the nature lovers.