Top 10 Places to Visit in The World in 2018
Another year rolls around all too fast. Provided you make it through the month-long-double-dare to suicide that is January, then it will be time to start making your travel plans for 2018. 2018 is going to be a very exciting year for travel as the world continues to open up. Here is my tuppence on the Top 10 Places To Visit In The World in 2018.
Where To Visit in 2018
So let’s get down to the list shall we?
1. St Petersburg – Russia
This is one of the worlds great cities and with the FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia there has never been a better time to visit. Normally, to access Russia a full Visa is required which can be expensive and requires biometrical camping before it is granted which is frankly a bit OTT. However, for this summer only a World Cup Match Ticket allows you one month in the country. The atmosphere will also be inclusive and you may be surprised at just how happy the Russians will be to see you.
St Petersburg is definitely the most accessible of Russian cities and makes a perfect introduction to the enigmatic country.
2. La Ciudad Perdida – Colombia
Granted, Macchu Picchu is indeed amazing. However, like so many popular destinations, it has become a victim of its own success and your experience of it will be severely tarnished by having to share it with 1000 other visitors who couldn’t be arsed to do the Inca trail so simply took the train up. Colombia’s La Ciudad Perdida, on the other hand, is still fiercely protected and visitor numbers are strictly limited. To access it, you will need to join a tour and hike for a 4 – 5 days round trip. Whilst the route deep into the Sierra Nevada jungle is tough, there are enough jaw-dropping moments along the way to make it worthwhile and the guides and porters will make your life as easy as they possibly can.
La Ciudad Perdida is accessed from Santha Martha on Colombia’s Northern, Caribean coast. The tour must be done as part of an organised, sanctioned tour group.
3. Karakoram Highway – Pakistan
Pakistan finally seems to emerge from the post 9/11 shadow when international tourism in the country pretty much died overnight. The government is now actively encouraging tourism and steadily relaxing the painful Visa requirements so visitor numbers are now rising dramatically. The mighty KKH runs from the arse-end of Islamabad to the Chinese Border and is probably the most stunning road you will ever see in tour life. The mountains of Pakistan are undoubtedly the best on earth and there is an abundance of trekking and camping opportunities. This a real and unforgettable adventure and I totally advocate visiting Pakistan now before the word gets out.
I did lead a tour early in 2o18 and may do more in the future.
Along with Pakistan, Iran is also perhaps one of the most misunderstood counties on earth. Its theocratic government is an antagonist of the west and this has created an unfounded reputation for Iran been unsafe and unwelcoming. In fact, the opposite is true and Iran and one of the safest and friendliness counties we have ever backpacked. It is also packed full of ancient sites, diverse traditions, and colourful people. This one will probably confound your expectations more than anywhere else on this list. These are also exciting times in Iran as the population steadily begins to challenge the repressive arms of the governing regime.
5. Belgrade – Serbia
It genuinely annoys me when people talk about Prague or Hamburg as being the party capitals of Europe because frankly, they utterly pale in comparison to Belgrade in Serbia. Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia, off old Yugoslavia and retains this sense of importance. Belgrade is a weird blend of medieval forts, green spaces, Austro-Hungarian palaces, and Soviet Housing blocks.
Serb’s love to party and there is literally a rave every single night (or afternoon). Serbian women are also the most gorgeous I have ever seen in my life and you are guaranteed to fall in love at least once in Serbia. A beer is $1, an Air B n B apartment $25 meaning you and your buddies can have it large down in Belgrade.
6. Bali – Indonesia
Nothing original here maybe, but Bali is still one of the top 10 places to visit in the world and continues to attract visitors by the planeload on account of it being a budget-priced paradise situated at the ends of the earth. Whilst Bali does attract some less than desirable types, the Bogan trail is easy to escape and there are quiet beaches and peaceful villas to be found everywhere for those who just want to take it easy and relax. If only it had a decent Trance Party scene then I may never leave.
Bali is famed for its tasty and healthy food, amazing temples and steaming jungles.
7. Garden Route – South Africa
South Africa’s Garden Route is a lush expanse of natural beauty stretching from the west to eastern cape and famed for its first class wines. Here you can drive the coastal highway, take in a vine tour or get indoors with some trekking and camping. The region also has one of the mildest climates on earth so is good to visit all year round and especially good for us Brits who hate weather extremities.
8. Big Sur – California
“Big Sur” is as much as a state of mind as a place. The one-time beat generation and hippy retreat of Big Sur refers to the majestic stretch of Road that runs (precariously close) to the Californias pacific highway. The legendary Route 1 stretches 8km from the town of Monterey to San Luis Osbido and offer some of the most awesome driving you will ever experience. The road is currently closed for repair but you can still actually drive most of the way down Big Sur.
Most people don’t seem to realize this meaning that if you go now, you will have the route almost entirely to yourself. I cycled it last Autumn and it was honestly two of the best days of my life. Big Sur is one of my favorite places ever and when I backpacked it last year I had an amazing time.
9. Transylvania – Romania
Many are not aware that Transylvania is not actually its own country but a region of Romania (although the Hungarians claim part of it). It is a gorgeous sprawl of green forests, rolling mountains and medieval towns packed with mystery and magic. The region is the fictional home of Count Dracula and you can take a day trip to Bran Castle (home of Vlad The Impaler, aka The Real Dracula) from the little town of Brasoz. Other highlights include the hip student hub of Cluj-Napoca and the postcard town of Sibiu. I was lucky enough to visit Transylvania this summer and it remains my favourite part of all of Europe.
10. Svalbard – Norway
Now that every man and his dog has taken the budget flight to Iceland in pursuit of the luminous Northern Lights, the more discerning travellers are already wondering where to go next time we need a good, stiff fix of perma-winter? Most blogs are touting the Danish Faroe Islands as being the next “It” Nordic destination and whilst they do look insanely cool, I can go one better. The Norwegian off-shore territory of Svalbard is amongst the most unique places on earth. It’s a former mining colony located deep inside the arctic circle where polar bears are more populous than people. Because of its extreme Northernness, summer solstice sees 24 hours of daylight whereas a midwinter visit will meet with the arctic night and over 1 month of total darkness. You can fly from Tromso.
If you do go, make sure you bring the right clothes and wrap up warm. My guide may come in helpful.
If you visit all of the Top 10 Places to Visit in The World in 2018 this year, then I wanna hear from you! Otherwise, please leave me alone.