2018 is here and if you are looking for a new destination to head to, look no further than these top cities to visit this year…
Sri Lanka – Ceylon & Galle
Sri Lanka is an island that marries dusty side streets, vibrant markets and bustling towns with lush greenery, beautiful sandy beaches and captivating architecture. During your visit you need to visit the Ceylon tea plantations where you can join the locals in picking the island’s famous ceylon tea. If you’re planning to go more south of the country, head to Galle Fort for independent shops, restaurants and traditional architecture. Be sure to try a tuk tuk on your visit as they’re great fun! For nature lovers a boat tour is an absolute must – you can see killer whales, blue whales and dolphins on one given trip.
Key things to do: Visit the tea plantations, experience Galle Fort, go to the Japanese Peace Pagoda
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Portugal – Lisbon & Porto
For what a recognition it deserves! Portugal is a country filled with reasons to fall in love with it – warm temperatures, trees swelled with tropical fruits, stunning views, bustling cities, lush countrysides, vineyards and let’s not forget the famous Portugese custard tart! Lisbon is a must, with the hustle and bustle of cities such as Barcelona but without the stag and hen parties. Porto is a must visit, for beautiful riverside views, port wine houses and an abundance of delicious restaurants. Don’t forget to visit Lello – the bookstore where J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter!
Things things to do: Pick grapes for wine in the Duoro Valley, Drink Port from a rooftop bar, The Time Out market
Launching on 25 March 2018, you can now fly with TAP Air Portugal from London City Airport straight to Porto, with six flights operating a week. Making it even easier to get to Porto and experience the beautiful city.
Japan – Tokyo & Izu Peninsula
Being the country’s capital, Tokyo is home to a whole variety of restaurants making it the ideal place to sample the food. Try and coincide your trip with their famous sakura season where not only are there beautiful blossoms, but several weeks of celebrations with sakura clothes, drinks & snacks. For something different in Japan, head to Izu Peninsula, an area popular for its hot springs, beaches amd mountains.Not only is this area still relatively undiscovered but it’s beauty spots make it ideal for photo opportunities and the restaurants local food is divine!
Key things to do: See a sumo show in Tokyo, visit the Shibuya crossing, take a hot spring bath in the mountains, see the Sakura blossoms
Currency: Japanese Yen
Chile – Valparaíso & Castro
Chile is a relatively well known destination, yet when you go it still feels like a real hidden gem. On your trip be sure to head to Valparaíso – one area often heralded the cultural capital of the country. It is easy to reach and has a real bohemian feel, with a whole range of street art, great nightlife and beautiful boutique shops to visit and admire. Head to the hills for breathtaking views and some great photo opportunities – you can either do this by foot or cable car which is a great experience all year round. A second city you need to venture is Castro – the capital of Chile’s Chiloe Island – for a really authentic experience. See the local houses (called palafitos) on stilts over water, and try the local dish curanto – a dish made from seafood, meat and potato dumplings wrapped in leaves and cooked in a stone fire pit.
Key things to do: Visit the wooden churches in Castro, head to the art museums in Valparaíso , take a boat tour of the port
Currency: Chilean Peso
Malta – Valletta & Melieha Bay
For a long while Malta sat in the background of peoples travel plans, most famed for its throng of expats, red phone boxes and old British buses, but not anymore…
Recently Malta has been creeping to the forefront, unfurling its shy persona to reveal an offering bursting with culture, foodies and an atmosphere you want to be part of. An island soaked in history it recently played host to scenes in Game of Thrones and also Annie Mac’s Lost & Found festival. There’s an abundance of castles to visit, old streets to wander and beautiful architecture. Be sure to head to Mellieha Bay for the island’s largest sandy beach. It’s an island with a bit of everything and it’s well worth getting there before the secret gets out.
Key things to do: Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon, visit Gozo, ThePopeye Village