Australia is so diverse that you can find everything from beaches to mountains, theme parks to ski resorts, vineyards to wildlife. Visit Sydney’s iconic Opera House, go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, and marvel at Kangaroo Island’s rugged beauty. In Australia, you will truly be spoiled for choice!
Sunny Spain is an excellent choice for a European mid-season vacation. Barcelona and Madrid are, of course, must-see destinations. Don’t miss a visit to Granda’s Alhambra fortress in Andalusia. Take a Flamenco class or learn to cook traditional Spanish dishes. If at all possible, time your visit to coincide with one of Spain’s many festivals, such as La Tomatina, Tenerife Carnival, or the famous Encierro, or running of the bulls.
Despite its fiscal difficulties, Greece remains one of the top ten countries to visit. The historical cities of Athens and Delphi, with their legendary ruins, are must-sees, as are the beautiful islands of Santorini and Corfu. Or, to avoid the crowds, visit some of the lesser-known islands, such as Cythera and Kastelorizo. And savour the sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine while watching the perfect sunset over the Aegean.
South Africa is another destination that should be on your bucket list because it has a diverse range of options. Cape Town has consistently been named one of the best cities to visit. In terms of wildlife safaris, Kruger National Park competes with Kenya’s Masai Mara. Don’t miss a trip to Table Mountain or the Kalahari Desert. And South Africa’s wine industry is good enough to compete with France and Italy!
Instead of visiting Switzerland, go to its less touristy (but more beautiful) neighbour, Austria. Vienna is a charming city with mediaeval architecture, cobblestone streets, and quaint cafes. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, and take a bicycle tour of the city where the classic film The Sound of Music was filmed. Make a day trip to the Krimml Falls (the highest in Europe) or Hallstatt, Europe’s oldest still-inhabited village, while you’re in Salzburg.
Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, has long been ranked among the top ten countries in the world. So, if you haven’t yet visited this East-meets-West treasure, make this the year! The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, and a cruise down the Bosphorus are just a few of the attractions in Istanbul. Make a point of visiting Cappadocia’s quirky cave dwellings and hot air ballooning over its surreal landscape.
Indonesia is another country with numerous islands to explore. If you only have time to visit one island, make it Bali. Explore Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre, or go on a sunrise trek to Mount Agung (the island’s highest point) or Mount Batur, an active volcano set in a massive crater. You could also go to the beaches and watch dolphins in Lovina.