New year, new adventures! From Capri, South Africa and Hawaii to Mykonos, we’ve got your bucket list covered and have rounded up the most awe-inspiring destinations you cannot miss in 2020! From thousands of year old geological sites to buzzing island escapes and European food feasts, The Asia Collective’s Top Trend Destinations will make you skip all plans for the year and book flights to these hyped destinations straight away!
This other worldly Arab nation has to be on your bucket list for 2020! From the most amazing food to sleeping under the stars in Bedouin tents and ancient monuments Jordan has a diversity waiting to be explored! The capital Amman is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world, witnessing human settlement in the 13th century BC. And while the Middle East often is home to political tensions, Jordan is a small piece of safe haven that cannot be missed.
5 Must-Do’s in Jordan
1. Visit one of the new seven wonders of the world, the “Rose City” Petra
Jordan’s most well-known site Petra was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in 2008 and has since joined the bucket list of many travellers worldwide. Make sure to allocate two days to explore everything this enchanted location has to offer! From the famed Treasury, a tomb carved out of limestone for a Jordan king, to The Colonnaded Street and the Monastery, expect to be in awe during your whole visit.
TAC Tip: Hire a tour guide to take you off the beaten tracks for the most spectacular views! And: three nights a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8.30pm) the area around the Treasury is beautifully lit by 1,500 candles – a truly magical experience!
2. Explore the Wadi Mujib nature reserve
A hike through the world’s lowest nature reserve with its rugged and awe-dropping mountains cannot be missing on your Jordan adventure! The Wadi Mujib nature reserve features different trails along its spectacular cliffs and waterways where you can swim, slide and abseil from rushing waterfalls. We recommend the Canyon Trail – your guide will know exactly where to slide and where to climb, making it an adventure you’ll never forget!
TAC Tip: Don’t forget to bring your GoPro to capture all the exciting moments!
3. Sleep under the stars in the Wadi Rum Desert
Join the bedouins in their traditional lifestyle and spend a night in the desert – whether you choose to bring your own tent to wild campsites or go glamping in luxury with state-of-the-art facilities and entertainment, it’s a Jordan experience you shouldn’t miss!
Must-visit sites you can’t miss in the Wadi Rum Desert:
* Lawrence’s spring
* Rock bridge
* Sand dunes
4. Visit Amman Citadel during sunset
Occupied since the Bronze age, Citadel area in Amman is surrounded by a 1,700m long wall and features many breathtaking sights such as the Temple of Hercules and the Ummayad Palace which you shouldn’t miss during your trip! To get the most amazing shots make sure to venture there in the early evening, with the sun’s glow reflecting in the stones 850m above sea level.
5. Go camping in the heart of The Dana Reserve
Jordan’s Dana Reserve is the country’s largest nature reserve featuring breathtaking landscapes. It’s on the very edge of the Great Rift Valley with up to 1,600m-high mountain peaks down to sandstone canyons which drop below 100m sea level. You’ll encounter the most diverse wildlife here, close enough to reach out and touch during a unique camping experience.
TAC Tip: Most campsites are open from March – October, we recommend a visit during the slightly cooler months of March-May.
Best Hotel in Jordan
Address: Anfeshiah, Wadi Rum Protected Area and Natural Reserve, Jordan
Who hasn’t dreamed of sleeping under the stars – in a bright desert night sky. At Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp in Jordan your dream is about to come true, and even in luxury! Choose from traditional bedouin tents with five star amenities to your very own bubble – stargazing from your bed included.
Dive into delicious traditional Jordanian food home-cooked by the camp’s private chef and enjoy your feast either in one of their luxury tents, or have your food served outside under the beautiful Wadi Rum desert sky. A wonderful experience you will remember for a lifetime!
- Rooms start from approx. US$210 per night at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp.
What better excuse to skip the cold European winter months than to escape to summer in Cape Town! And South Africa has so much more to offer than buzzing coastal city vibes, from the most beautiful wine regions and whale watching from impressive sand dunes, to road tripping along the Garden Route and ticking a safari off your bucket list, the Rainbow Nation can’t wait to show you its best side.
5 Must-Do’s in South Africa
1. Hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town
Whether you decide to climb up yourself (which will take you roughly 1.5hours) or take the cable car – getting on top of Table Mountain is a must-do while visiting buzzing coastal city Cape Town! Once on top, you’ll soak in the breathtaking 360 degree views making it worth the effort. And there’s even a café up there to recharge before the trip down, unless you are really brave and choose to abseil.
TAC Tip: Views are dependent on weather, so always check the conditions before embarking up the mountain. You can check the weather, cableway opening hours here.
2. Go on a Safari in Kruger National Park
Your heart may skip a beat when a 7-tonne elephant walks so close to your car you could touch it or a huge male lion stares straight into your eyes from just one metre away, but nowhere else on earth can you have up close and personal encounters with such majestic wild creatures. Safari in the Kruger National Park is a must-do for any visitor to South Africa and there are game lodges to suit any budget or style, from the most basic tented camp to five-star luxury.
TAC Tip: If you’re brave enough, enter Kruger National Park on your own in a rental car equipped with a map and camera for the ultimate adventure!
3. Explore the beautiful beaches on the Western Cape
While the country’s wild side is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of South Africa, the beaches should definitely not be overlooked when planning a holiday here. A scenic drive along the famous Garden Route or down the Cape Town coastline will leave you in awe with every turn. The pristine white beaches and glistening turquoise water is often bordered by incredible rock faces. And don’t even get us started on the liquid gold sunsets every night!
TAC Tip: Visit Boulder’s Beach near Simon’s Town to observe the African penguin colony. And before going swimming anywhere at South Africa’s public beaches, be sure to check the flag for shark warnings!
4. Go on a winery tour in Stellenbosch
Only a 40-minutes drive from Cape Town, lies the beautiful university town Stellenbosch amidst lush mountain ranges in the Cape Winelands. Streets lined with historic oak trees, winding back mountain roads, and art galleries, there are countless Stellenbosch wineries that will give you a taste of what South Africa has to offer. When choosing your favourite wineries, keep stunning views in mind, too!
Must-visit wineries in Stellenbosch:
* La Motte
5. Go for a road trip along the Garden Route
What better way to explore a country’s beauty than by renting a car and just drive! One of the world’s most picturesque roads makes it easy not to get lost and offers the most stunning views as you drive along South Africa’s beautiful West Cape coastline for 200km on the famed Garden Route.
Must-stops on the Garden Route:
* Mossel Bay, an old-fashioned seaside resort town with the world’s mildest climate all year long just after Hawaii
* Knysna, voted as one of South Africa’s best small towns, for its art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants
* Plettenberg Bay, for its beautiful, golden beaches
TAC Tip: Go between July and October during whale watching season for the most spectacular encounters you’ll never forget!
Best Hotel In South Africa
When travelling to South Africa, staying in a lodge is a must-do! You’ll be spoilt for choice with Tintswalo Lodges below:
Perched on a pebbled beach at the foot of the Table Mountain National Park, overlooking the picturesque Atlantic Ocean, Tintswalo Atlantic is an award-winning boutique lodge and widely known as Cape Town’s hidden gem – the perfect city stay!
Sharing an unfenced boundary with the renowned Kruger National Park, Tintswalo Safari Lodge sits on the pristine Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, home to some of the best game viewing that South Africa has to offer. Pack your binoculars, the big 5 await you!
- Tintswalo Manor House
Sharing the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve with Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Tintswalo Manor House offers a luxurious, fully-catered villa to families and groups travelling to the Greater Kruger National Park which is a must-visit in beautiful South Africa.
Situated in the heart of Kyalami just north of Johannesburg, Tintswalo at Waterfall is an exclusive 5-star boutique hotel offering unparalleled cuisine, exceptional luxury and typical Tintswalo service standards. Bring your swimmers for the ultimate holiday snapshot!
Step back in time and experience true authentic heritage and an ambience of the 1950’s like no other in the colourful country of Cuba. Immerse yourself in everything Cuban from its lively cities Havana to Trinidad, street food to salsa dancing, famous bars, iconic cocktails, and the people of Cuba who keep the culture rich and bursting at the seams with flavour and vibrancy.
5 Must-Do’s in Cuba
1. Discover the city in a classic vintage car
Havana is renowned for 1950’s American cars lining its streets in various styles and pops of colour adding to the city’s vibrant culture and unique heritage. So of course on the top of our Cuba to-do list is exploring this lively city and all of its best kept secrets in a classic vintage car – true Cuban style!
2. Visit Cuba’s beautiful white sand beach in Varadero
Relax and enjoy the calm turquoise waters and stretch of soft white sand in the Caribbean paradise that is Varadero Beach. The Cuban culture still lingers in this area of the country with numerous art galleries, museums, cabarets, quaint bars, live music, cigar & rum shops to keep you thoroughly immersed in all that is Cuba.
3. Drink mojitos & listen to live Cuban music at some of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bars
La Bodeguita Del Medio – Cuba invented the Mojito so what better place to drink one than here!? La Bodeguita host regular cocktail making workshops so you can learn all the insider tips and tricks of their secret cocktail craft.
El Floridita – One of Famous Novelist Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bars to hangout in and his number one go-to for a daiquiri. El Floridita remains popular today for tourists and locals alike with their plush upscale interiors, legendary heritage, and signature daiquiri cocktail.
TAC Tip: Afterwards head to Disco Ayala- an underground club cave in Trinidad – one of the coolest things to do in Cuba!
4. Entice your tastebuds with authentic Cuban street foods
Wandering the streets of Cuba you will find somewhere to eat just about anywhere, be it a local cafeteria or a street cart. Get your tastebuds ready to eat like a local with some of these traditional Cuban dishes.
Fritas – Cuban pork hamburger. A ground pork patty with lettuce & tomato in a soft roll. Add a pineapple ring or cream cheese and strawberry jam with a side of watermelon juice like the locals do.
Pie de Coco – Coconut pie. An ultra-sweet shredded coconut baked into a pie crust. Eat this sweet snack with a 50-50 coffee (50% coffee, 50% sugar). Pie de Coco can be bought from vendors cycling the streets.
Elites – Corn on the cob. Served grilled, rolled in cheese, sprinkled with chilli powder and spritzed with lime juice – mouth watering!
Tostones – Flattened pieces of banana fried, served with a dipping sauce.
Churros – Deep fried dough sticks covered in sugar served with a chocolate dipping sauce… the perfect treat after a Cuban sandwich!
Hawaiian Pizza – Classic pizza base topped with tomato sauce, a mix of mozzarella & cheddar cheese and of course- pineapple. The pizza is cooked in an open oven and served in a piece of folded paper. Do it like the locals do and eat it like a taco!
5. Dance the salsa
Head to any of these bars to see live salsa dance performances and maybe even join in yourself! Cuba’s rich upbeat music scene makes it impossible not to give the Cuban Salsa a try whether it be in a club with a mojito in hand or on the street.
Best Hotel in Cuba
Address: Calle Paseo, 206 | Plaza de la Revolucion, Havana 10400, Cuba
The luxury boutique Paseo 206 Hotel is located in the middle of Old Havana. Paseo 206 is inspired by a classic 1930’s Cuban mansion house, featuring only eight suites. The boutique hotel will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to your very own mid-century residence. Each room offers exceptional comfort, modern amenities, and a Cuban experience with contemporary international influence. Enjoy the upscale in-house restaurant and bar for a delicious Italian inspired menu with Caribbean flair.
TAC Tip: Enjoy an aperitif from the Paseo 206 vintage drinks cart on the private rooftop terrace with unspoiled views of the stunning city surroundings.
- Rooms start from approx. US$399 per night at Paseo 206.
Iceland is a country of sharp contrasts and is the only place in the world where fire and ice co-exist. Marvel at Iceland’s vast landscape of pure natural beauty and dive into its rich and vibrant culture. Whether you spend your time indulging in hot pools overlooking icey surroundings or hike a glacier in sub zero temperatures, Iceland will certainly remain as one of the most surreal destinations on the planet that must be experienced.
5 must-Do’s in Iceland
1. Witness the magical Northern Lights
The aurora display of the Northern lights is one of the most spectacular displays created by Mother Nature and should definitely be at the top of your bucket list to experience in person. If you can brave the cold to witness the Northern lights we recommend camping to see the display – sleeping beneath a canopy of stars to watch the dancing lights high in the night’s sky, an unforgettable experience.
TAC Tip: Visit Iceland from early September to end of April when you’re most likely to see aurora activity as the nights are darkest then.
2. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon – a geothermal outdoor spa
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland’s town of Reykjavik has been listed as one of the 25 wonders of the world. Through nature and science the Blue Lagoon has been formed with mineral-rich water from far beneath the earth. The geothermal seawater is known for positive effects on the skin through its active ingredients of minerals, silica and algae. Aside from the Blue Lagoon itself there are a number of spa amenities and treatments available such as mud masks (full body & face), sauna & steam rooms, massage, manmade waterfall, and a relaxation area to wrap up in a robe with a hot herbal tea and a stunning view across the lagoon.
3. Get adventurous with glacier hiking & ice caves
Explore the extraordinary wonder and beauty of Iceland’s unique ice caves and glaciers via glacier hiking, ice climbing, and ice cave excursions. Whether you are an experienced glacier climber or a novice you’ll be sure to find an option to suit with one of these well respected and highly skilled instructors. Book your expedition well in advanced as spaces are limited!
*Jokulsarlon South Coast & Ice Caving
4. Take a snowmobile or super jeep through the Golden Circle
An exciting full-day outdoor adventure that will expose you to the top natural attractions of the Icelandic land. Venture through the wide rugged landscape of Iceland’s Golden Circle on a super snow jeep or snowmobile pass mountain tracks, bubbling mud pools, shooting hot spring water holes and glaciers!
5. Visit Iceland’s mesmerising waterfalls
Referred to as the waterfall of the Gods, the Godafoss Waterfall is a spectacular site to see with water falling at a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres.
You can walk right up to the Skogafoss Waterfall to experience its greatness in close proximity. Try to visit when the sun is shining and you will see beautiful rainbows through the waterfall spray.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is located over steep cliffs making it possible for people to walk behind and stand under the cascading waters.
The Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is powerfully stunning with its stark contrast of black rock against white foam and crystal blue waters and is considered one of Iceland’s photogenic gems.
Best Hotel In Iceland
Address: Deplar Farm Hotel, 570, Fljot, Skagafjörður
Where used to lie an old sheep farm now stands Eleven Experience’s The Deplar Farm Hotel, a luxury escape nestled in the remote Fljot valley of the magical Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland. The cosy property features 13 inviting suites, a rejuvenating spa, and a restaurant serving dishes like locally-caught trout and Icelandic char. Find your call of action in one of their many wild and rugged adventures on offer such as skiing, snow trekking or horse-riding. For those less adventurous there’s the open-air pool heated by geothermal energy. The Deplar Farm Hotel is the perfect destination to rest your bones and entice your thrills on your upcoming Icelandic adventure.
- Rooms start from approx. US$320 per night at The Deplar Farm Hotel.
Western Australia is the largest and most diverse state of Australia covering an impressive third of the country. Featuring beautiful must-visit beaches, wineries, wildlife, and overall extraordinary holiday experiences, it’s easy to see why Western Australia is on our 2020 trend destinations list.
5 Must-Do’s in Western Australia
1. Go on a winery tour in Margaret River & taste delicious renowned wines from the local region
If you’re looking for a getaway destination that will provide both the beach and some of the finest wines in Australia look no further than Western Australia’s Margaret River. Located on the south coast of Western Australia, the small town of Margaret River features fantastic restaurants, bars, beaches, boutique shopping, art galleries, surfing, and of course internationally renowned wine and wineries. See below our selection of top Margaret River wineries where you can sample the perfect drop paired with delicious gourmet cheeses & other premium produce.
2. Swim with giant whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef
Swimming with whale sharks is an extraordinary experience and should be at the top of your adventure list for 2020! Experience breathtaking beauty as you glide underwater alongside the largest living fish species on the planet. Ningaloo Reef is also home to blue whales, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, beautiful corals and all different species of fish, which makes it the perfect destination for your next underwater adventure.
For the less adventurous there is also whale watching! Enjoy whale watching throughout the entire area of the Ningaloo Marine Park waters over 300 kilometres of reef, spectacular scenery and so many Insta-worthy moments!
3. Visit Western Australia’s beautiful beaches
No holiday to Australia is complete without visiting one of the many stunning beaches. Start daydreaming with our must-visit beaches of Western Australia!
Cottesloe Beach, Perth
One of Perth’s most popular spots for swimming, surfing, and snorkelling. Make sure you stay for the beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean – fish & chips on the sandbanks go well with the view!
Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Consistently voted amongst the top beaches in Australia, the turquoise crystal clear waters are perfect for spotting sea turtles, stingrays, and stunning coral.
The Basin, Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island’s The Basin is a popular favourite among visitors to the island. A couple of steps from the beach across a shallow reef platform lies a large hole in the reef – similar to a man made pool – that literally acts as a basin!
Cape Le Grand National Park & Esperance Bay
Cape Le Grand National Park is known for its stunning scenery and idyllic beaches best for swimming, bushwalking, fishing and camping. Also just down the road is Esperance Bay where you can encounter Kangaroos and baby joeys sunbaking on the beach and roaming free, a very unique experience.
4. Take a selfie with a Quokka on Rottnest Island
These cute furry creatures can only be found on Rottnest Island and are not camera shy! Find them running around snapping selfies with all of the visitors – a must do when visiting Rottnest Island which is only a 30-minute ferry ride from Perth.
5. Visit the mysterious pink Lake Hillier on Middle Island
Lake Hillier is one of Australia’s most famous pink lakes located off the Southern Coast of Western Australia on Middle Island. The lake displays a bubble-gum pink colour which looks good enough to drink, although we would not recommend this as the lake is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world!
Best Hotel In Western Australia
Empire Retreat & Spa, Margaret River
Address: Empire SPA Retreat, Caves Rd, Yallingup, Margaret River, WA 6282
In the centre of Margaret River Region’s tranquil vineyard valley you will find the beautiful Empire Retreat & Spa. Built on the foundations of old stone, timber, and a rustic-luxe aesthetic, this fashionable farmhouse is a boutique hideaway just waiting to be discovered. Featuring ten stylish suites, two luxury villas, and an opulent day spa, the Empire Retreat & Spa is the perfect getaway for a unique stay in Australia’s wine country.
- Rooms start from approx. US$220 per night at Empire Retreat & Spa.
Say aloha from this tropical island filled with postcard views! Comprised of six volcanic archipelagos, Hawaii is uniquely home to rugged cliffs, grand waterfalls, tropical jungles, ukulele tunes, untouched beaches and endless rainbows. Of the six main islands, you’ll find buzzing vibes like state capital Honolulu in Oahu (the most popular island), with secret spots yet to be discovered. An island of cultural diversity and jaw-dropping landscapes, Hawaii is the ultimate tropical paradise for your 2020 getaway!
5 Must-Do’s in Hawaii
1. Hike the famous Kalalau Trail in Kauai
One of the best ways to see Hawaii’s iconic views is hiking the Kalalau Trail along the coast of Kauai. This 22-mile hike will take you through five lush valleys, cliffside views and natural streams. Pack a water bottle, light hiking gear and your camera for a full day of adventure!
2. Witness Kauai’s dramatic landscape
Known for its jaw-dropping scenes from Jurassic Park and Lost, Kauai is the one island you can’t miss when in Hawaii. Take your time to see all the majestic views of this insane jagged landscape from hiking trails, helicopter tours, or sailing the coast.
3. Devour Hawaii’s local dishes
Considered one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world, Hawaii carries a unique mix of flavours and tastes of Polynesian, Japanese, American cuisine and many more. Poke bowls, spam masubi, acai bowls, poi and loco moco are just a few things that should be on the top of your eating list.
4. Explore Hawaii’s abundant wildlife
Hawaii is known for its beautiful and well-preserved nature, so the wildlife is not to be missed! Set on an adventure to find playful dolphins swimming in turquoise waters, majestic whales gliding past, or wild sea turtles resting on the coast.
5. Witness an active volcano
There’s not many places where you can fly over jagged cliffs to find fresh lava spewing out of the earth. Erupting since 1983, Kilauea Volcano will leave you mesmerised by its natural beauty. You can witness this natural phenomenon from a bird’s eye view with a private helicopter tour, or drive the Chain of Craters Road to watch lava enter the ocean.
Best Hotel In Hawaii
Address: 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea
Along the coast of Wailea Beach lies the luxury island resort, Four Seasons Resort Maui. This spacious destination features all amenities you can dream of, such as ocean view rooms, award-winning dining, and an adults-only infinity pool with underwater music and panoramic views of Lanai and the West Maui Mountains. Stroll down to Wailea Beach for a swim or snorkel, or relax and calm your mind in the outdoor spa surrounded by Maui’s natural beauty. Three amazing golf courses lay just a 5-minute drive topped with majestic volcanic views as backdrop.
- Rooms start from approx. US$820 per night at Four Seasons Resort Maui.
A classic destination popular with iconic movie stars of the 50s, there’s no doubt Capri has to be on the top of your 2020 travel bucket list. Reminisce on Jackie O’ with oversized sunglasses strolling through the Piazzetta, or Sophia Loren stylishly tanning on a yacht.
At Capri, you’ll find a mixture of island simplicity, stunning natural scenery, and a hint of dolce vita that never seemed to fade since the good old days. Some may stop here for just a quick day trip, but we urge you to stay overnight to appreciate all that this island has to offer. Get lost wandering in alleyways, visit ancient churches and gardens, and soak up the sun for a romantic and stylish holiday in Capri.
5 Must-Do’s in Capri
1. Rent a boat
The most common route to Capri is by sea, so we urge you to make the most of it! Take the early ferry from Naples to witness the majestic sun rising over the mountains of this island. The sky turns in all shades of warm colors as the sleepy town gradually awakens. Then, spend the day lazing on a boat and exploring secret beaches.
2. Visit Marina Piccola
One of the best thing about Capri is its picturesque beaches found across the island. The one not to be missed is Marina Piccola, where legend has it that Ulysses was seduced by the sirens. Visit Marina Piccola for the ultimate European summer dream – lazy and dreamy days by the sea, racking up a glowing tan, and cooling off in the crystal clear waters.
3. Have an Aperol Spritz at the Piazzetta
Strolling through Capri, you’ll most likely stumble upon the bustling square also known as la Piazzetta, located in heart of the island. This is the perfect place to grab an Aperol spritz on a leisurely evening and enjoy the wonderful sight of stylish designer-clad holidayers parading through town.
4. Take a dip in The Blue Grotto
One of the best ways to see the beauty of Capri is by boat. From there, you can marvel at the dramatic limestone cliffs and catch unique sites like the Faraglioni or the luminescent and dazzling glow of The Blue Grotto.
TAC Tip: Get there later in the day after day-trippers have gone for a magical dip!
5. Spend a leisurely day at Fontelina Beach Club
An iconic spot that has seen the likes of Sophia Loren and Bridget Bardot, Fontelina Beach Club is paradise on earth. Reachable by a short boat ride, find yourself looking out to stunning views of the Faraglioni, devouring fresh seafood, and sipping on vino under the iconic striped umbrellas.
Best Hotel In Capri
Address: Via Croce, 11-15, 80076 Capri NA, Italy
A short stroll from the Piazzetta you’ll find Capri Tiberio Palace, an elegant oasis centrally located yet oh-so-quietly hidden. This stylish luxury boutique hotel set in the heart of Capri has captured the eyes of jetsetters from around the world with its whimsical stripes, bold polka dots, and stunning decor. Fashion designer turned architect Giampiero Panepinto made sure that guests checking in to one of the 46 rooms or 14 suites will slip immediately into holiday mode with its pastel hues and laid back vibes. Drift into total zen at the Tiberio Spa, lounge by the outdoor pool overlooking Capri, or whet your appetite with sophisticated and fresh Mediterranean cuisine at Terrazza Tiberio.
- Rooms start from approx. US$780 per night at Capri Tiberio Palace.
A stunning Greek island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos has long been known for its dazzling nightlife. But put that aside and you’ll find idyllic beaches, romantic whitewashed houses overlooking glistening waters, and the touch of warm Greek hospitality found nowhere else. Iconically beautiful, this island is a slice of heaven on earth and must-visit destination on your 2020 travel bucket list.
5 Must-Do’s in Mykonos
1. Stroll through the little alleys of Mykonos Old Town
Start walking from Mykonos Town and pass through seaside area Little Venice to find cute boutiques and cafes on the island. Discover main sites such as the impressive whitewashed Paraportiani Church, and whet your appetite with a gyro or two at Jimmy’s or Souvlaki Story.
2. Rent a quad bike and explore the island
Hop on a quad bike without a map and follow your instincts to find hidden gems of Mykonos! Every corner and day-to-day life in Mykonos is a delight to the eyes, from little sheeps to local churches. We urge you to pack your camera and kinis and stumble upon Instagrammable views and trendy beach clubs to take a dip and cool down. We reccomend stopping by Scorpios, Nammos, and Psarou Beaches, the waters are stunning and perfect for enjoying the Greek sunshine!
TAC Tip: Make sure to take a swim in the beautiful bay at Panormos Beach and stop by Principote Beach Club to enjoy a cocktail with stunning views of the ocean!
3. Visit the traditional Windmills of Kato Mili
Located on the western side of Mykonos Town, you’ll find five majestic and iconic windmills overlooking the sea. Built in the 16th century, the windmills were once used for the island’s history of grain milling. Nowadays, it’s a reminder of Mykonos’ past and a picture perfect spot that can’t be missed!
TAC Tip: Come here early in the day to dodge crowds of tourists in the summer season. You can thank us later!
4. Enjoy dinner at an authentic Greek taverna in Ano Mera
One of oldest villages in Mykonos, Ano Mera is where you’ll witness the daily life of locals uninterrupted by the happenings of tourists, unlike its neighboring capital Mykonos Town. Head here just before the sun sets to see the town slowly light up and come to life, and enjoy a long leisurely dinner at your chosen taverna!
5. Have a sundowner at 180 Degree Sunset Bar
Step into 180 Degree Sunset Bar to discover this gem providing the best panoramic and jaw-dropping views of the Aegean Sea. Yummy cocktails, chilled out music and an amazing sunset to end your perfect day on this romantic island.
Best Hotel In Mykonos
Address: Elia Beach, Mykonos 846 00, Greece
Sitting atop of famed Elias Beach lies beautiful Myconian Utopia resort. With an all-white boho design topped with natural wood elements, it’s easy to see why this resort is our must-stay place when in Mykonos. Dripping in luxury details such as cotton and silk blend box stitch quilts and ergonomic beach beds, topped with stunning unspoilt surroundings and impeccable personalised service, Myconian Utopia ticks all the boxes to a perfect stay. Make use of their Myconian Utopia Resort Sanctuary Spa, offering luxurious treatments designed to awaken the senses and restore the natural balance of the body.
The best part? You can end the day enjoying the fiery Greek sunset from your very own sea view suite or Grand Majestic Villa with private pool or jacuzzi, topped with sweeping views of Elias Beach and deep blue hues of the Aegean Sea.
- Rooms start from approx. US$348 per night at Myconian Utopia Resort.
With a long coastline stretching across the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is the up and coming Eastern European country featuring balmy days, turquoise waters, medieval towns and multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Croatia is the one-stop country where travellers can experience a little of everything, from stunning mini islands to delicious delicacies!
5 Must-Do’s in Croatia
1. Rent a boat and go island hopping
With over 1,000 islands, a Croatian holiday isn’t complete without a sailing trip to see the best of the country’s natural elements. Discover the beauty of the Dalmatian Coast, the Blue Cave, and Hvar Island among many things, or just lie back and soak up the European sun. Some say Croatia’s white sand beaches are comparable to the Maldives!
2. Get lost in Dubrovnik’s Old Town
One of the world’s most preserved medieval city, Dubrovnik Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the Dalmatian coast. Get lost wandering through cobblestone pavements to find Baroque churches, palaces, monasteries, and views of ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.
3. Marvel at the beauty of Krka National Park
Located about 10km inland from Sibenik, you’ll find a magical place of waterfalls and turquoise waters that is Krka National Park. Here you can strip down to your bathers for dip to cool down from the summer heat (and get that perfect Insta shot!).
4. Spend a day at Brač’s Golden Flat
Head over to Brač for the famous Zlatni Rat, also known as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn. This sliver of white-sand land is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, thanks to its unique and ever-changing shape and mesmerising ombré shades of blue hues. Don’t forget to pack your swimmers for a relaxing day on the beach!
5. Explore Istria
Take a day off of Croatia’s beaches and travel northwest to find a whole different scenery. A romantic medieval town sitting atop Croatia, Istria is famed for its stunning countryside views and cuisine rivaling that of Tuscany’s. Indulge in gourmet food (known for seafood and white truffles – yumm!), fine wine, or discover cute fisherman villages like Vrsar.
Best Hotel In Croatia
Address: Ul. Frana Supila 12, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Set on the Croatian coast of Dubrovnik overlooking the Adriatic Sea lies 5-star luxury hotel Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik. The former 1913 royal villa is just a five-minute stroll to Dubrovnik’s Old Town, giving it all the more reason for you to stay here on top of its flawless service, tranquil garden, delicious cuisine, and lavish interior! Choose from one of its 158 grand rooms to pleasantly find the best sea and Old Town views in Dubrovnik, topped with state-of-art technology and a newly refurbished interior that’ll make you wish you lived here.
- Rooms start from approx. US$510 per night at Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik.
This traditional yet buzzing country offers not only some of the best food in the world (think the most amazing hummus on every corner!) but also lively neighbourhoods, beautiful beaches and thousands of year old geological sites waiting to be explored. Though it might be tempting to hit the Tel Aviv beaches during summer months, it’s best to visit in European Spring and Fall of March-May & Sptember-November for the most pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds.
5 Must-Do’s in Israel
1. Swim in the Dead Sea
One experience you certainly can’t miss when exploring Israel is going for a swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest point of the earth. The salty water lets you float in a seated position without having to paddle! Better avoid diving in – even a small drop of The Dead Sea’s water is unimaginably salty. A face mask with the rich Dead Sea mud is also a must!
2. Visit the Old City in Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is a melting pot like no other with important religious sites such as the Western Wall which represents the holiest site in the world for Jews, the Dome of the Rock which is of utter importance to Muslims and the Church of the Sepulcher where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried. Each site is only a few minutes walk apart.
TAC Tip: Wear a long dress and light scarf when exploring the Old City. It’s also best discovered walking at your own pace rather than joining a tour!
3. Go for a scuba dive and snorkel in the Red Sea
Israel mainly lies on the Mediterranean Sea’s Eastern shore but also touches the Gulf of Aqaba in its South. As an avid diver or passionate snorkeller, you shouldn’t miss visiting one of the world’s shore diving capitals, Eilat. Explore the mesmerising underwater world classed as one of the best-protected coral reefs in the Red Sea. Don’t miss the Wreck of the Satil ship with its fascinating bridge, engine room and missile launching area waiting to be explored!
4. Visit the Baha’i gardens in Haifa
The Baha’i Gardens are to be found on Mount Carmel in Haifa, a port city on the northern west coast of Israel. Climb up the 1,700 steps of this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site for the most breathtaking views over the deep blue Haifa Bay passing emerald lawns and bright flower beds.
5. Soak in the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a city like no other – combining tradition with buzzing beach city vibes – an experience that will certainly be with you forever. From cute corner cafés to busy nightclubs, from the historic old town Jaffa to sunsets at the beach filled with families, tourists, millenials and locals alike, this town is one best to be explored at your own pace. Enjoy browsing our Tel Aviv must-do’s listed below – you shouldn’t miss them when exploring the vibrant city!
Visit one of the many Tel Aviv Markets
When asking native Tel Avivian’s which market is the city’s best you’ll most likely receive many different answers. From the famous Carmel market with its trendy clothing stalls and unique food offerings, to the indoor Sarona market with its never ending culinary choices and the infamous Jaffa flea market for hidden treasures, you’ll surely be spoilt for choice! Mingle with locals and tourists alike and don’t forget to bargain for the ultimate souvenirs.
Go on a Street Art Tour
Cosmopolitan city Tel Aviv boasts a myriad of mural pieces by local and international artists. From hidden alleyways to century-old synagogues, there’s endless art waiting to be explored. Join a walking tour or explore the bohemian Florentine neighbourhood at your own pace!
Explore the old town Jaffa
One of Israel’s most ancient cities (over 7,500 years old!) is a melting pot of cultures, culinary highlights and monuments. Wander around at your own pace getting lost in the small alleyways which are packed with art galleries, historic stone buildings, mosques and churches as well as the must-stop’s – Jaffa Flea market and the port.
TAC Tip: Head to Dr. Shakshuka for a traditional meal – not only is the food to die for, also the interior will leave you in awe!
Spend the day beach hopping
Enjoy the incessant tick tack of “matkot” Israel’s local beach ball game at Jerusalem Beach join in for a heated game with the locals or zick-zack through them to cool off in the sea. If a game of Volleyball and saltwater pools are more your thing you’ll love Gordon Beach which is popular amongst locals and tourists. Located just South of Old Jafa is Ajami Beach – bring your favourite book and indulge in some local hummus, beach life has never been better! Another must-visit is Bograshov Beach a hotspot for people watching and grabbing bites to eat from nearby eateries – pack your best swimmers and get amongst the crowds!
Go bar hopping
Kuli Alma was voted one of the best bars in Tel Aviv and its easy to see why! From a live music space and various exhibitions as well as pop up shows, this is the ultimate hotspot for hip locals and tourists alike. Yavne Bar & Restaurant is a hip speakeasy bar packed every night of the week! Expect eclectic neon signs, 70’s music, an impressive open kitchen and a DJ booth entertaining the dining and drinking crowd. Teder.FM in South Tel Aviv is located in the middle of an old art gallery offering mouthwatering thin-crust pizzas created by Tel Aviv’s celebrity Chef Eyal Shani, crowd-drawing guest DJs, movie nights, and second hand markets, Teder.FM has to be on your Tel Aviv bucket list!
Best Hotel In Israel
Address: Nahmani St 23-25, Tel Aviv-Yafo
The Norman Tel Aviv is located right next to central Rothschild Boulevard and some of Tel Aviv’s best cultural attractions. Capturing the timeless elegance of the 1920s, the luxury boutique hotel is located in two buildings, with the first one built in the eclectic style and is brimming with Renaissance and oriental influence whereas the main building is grand Modernist, featuring clean colours and wooden shutters.
The rooftop with breathtaking city views not only offers an infinity pool but also hosts an amazing Japanese tapas restaurant. Make sure to go for a wander in the hotel’s own citrus garden between the two buildings and sooth your soul and body at their very own wellness center before adventuring to Tel Aviv’s nearby sunny beaches.
- Rooms start from approx. US$570 per night at The Norman Hotel
You cannot wait to plan your next trip? Email our stay curators at [email protected] – they’d be more than happy to create the ultimate getaway for you!