Is a White Christmas the right Christmas for you?
December 5, 2019
Our ATAS experts share their tips for a white Christmas abroad.Read More
Not the southern US state, but a fascinating Eastern European country on the Black Sea - Georgia is just to the south of Russia and, perhaps surprisingly, on the same latitude as southern France. In the summer (June to August), the coastal tourist spots enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate.
Georgia is developing quickly into a top tourist destination, yet still enjoys a relatively low crime rate, making this a safe option for your European itinerary. Now is the time to explore the mountains, sulphur baths, wineries and coastal resorts.
And then there’s the wonderful, bustling capital city, Tbilisi. The architecture along the cobble-stoned old town streets is as diverse as the country’s landscape, reflecting a unique culture and long history with varied infuences, from Eastern Orthodox to Soviet Modernist.
Georgia also features on the Lonely Planet forecast for 2018, which describes it as “a country of ancient recipes cooked up in tucked-away taverns where toastmasters raise glasses of spirits to honour heroes old and new”.
Ask your travel agent about Eastern European holidays that include Georgia.
Exploring Chile and Argentina requires a long holiday. Bear in mind we’re talking huge distances, even by Australian standards. These two countries take up the tail of South America, and Chile runs 4,300km top to bottom. Australians fly into Santiago, Chile, recommended for its street art, which reflects a unique vibrancy and can be explored on guided walking tours. Before you head too far further afield, make sure you take in the gorgeous bohemian town of Valparaiso, to the north-west of Santiago.
Highlights to capture on your itinerary include the Easter Island monoliths, the stunning mountain and lake district scenery, and the wildlife and indigenous people of Patagonia, which spans both Chile and Argentina.
Argentina is where you’ll find the famous Iguazu Falls, forever linked now with the epic 1996 movie, The Mission. And recommended as a must-see by National Geographic is the Quebrada de Humanhuaca World Heritage site in the north-west province of Jujuy, a beautiful area along the spectacular Rio Grande.
Hawaii’s island of Oahu is often associated with the tourist holiday mecca, Waikiki. But on the opposite shore you’ll find a totally different vibe.
While the North Shore is legendary for surfing, especially Waimea Bay, it also enjoys a lush, rural landscape. Local farms welcome visitors who respect the environment, and the botanical garden and falls of Waimea valley are a refreshing counterpoint to the beautiful sunny beaches.
Waikiki is lots of fun and a great place to kick back, but for those who prefer a seriously laid back style, snorkelling with the turtles at North Shore is the go - it doesn’t get much more relaxed than that! The best time is between May and September, when the water is calmer. Surf’s up during the winter months.
Chat to your ATAS travel agent about Hawaii holidays that include a stay at the famous Turtle Bay Resort on North Shore.
Interest in Cambodia can be attributed largely to film and music tributes to its harrowing history. Yet in recent years, it’s becoming more widely known as an emerging tourist destination.
Travelling here is impossible without acknowledging the country’s past however, and experiencing something of its legacy. Besides the killing fields, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum helps to deepen our understanding.
Yet the history of Cambodia is so much more than the killing fields. Angkor Wat is the planet’s largest religious monument, and is often named as one of the great wonders of the world and its largest religious monument. This is one of many temples, complementing the mix of modern and colonial architecture of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Holiday packages often combine Cambodia and Vietnam - highly recommended for a rich travel experience.
Moroccos has been a favourite with European travellers for many years, particularly for its colourful markets selling stunning carpets and artefacts. The medieval walled city of Marrakech, at the foot of the Atlas mountains, is the place you will envisage when you conjure up chaotic, noisy bazaars - and this experience is still to be had.
Now, this artisanal heritage is picking up pace among modern day artists, drawn to the country’s more recent development not only of traditional skills, but into fine arts as well. National Geographic recommends a trip to Tétouan, where some of Morocco’s contemporary artworks are housed.
Morocco is also famous for access to the Sahara Desert, where you can enjoy a camel ride, and its food. Australians will be familiar with some of Morocco’s traditional dishes, based on the staple couscous, gently spicy and divinely aromatic. Take your time to savour the food in Morocco, and seek out the top restaurants of Marrakech.
Amsterdam remains a huge favourite with Europeans and Australians, and we highly recommend a stopover here when you plan your European holiday.
Known for its laissez-faire approach to life, it’s impossible not to relax in this “Venice of the North” - so called because of its network of canals. You might even find yourself hopping on a bicycle with the locals, as one of the best ways to explore. The city is also highly walkable, and wandering around the streets, with their mix of modern and 17th century buildings, is a highlight.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and of course the intriguing red light district before travelling further into the Netherlands.
There are numerous picturesque cities and tourist spots across the country, but this year, your priority should be Leeuwarden in Friesland, which is celebrating its status as a European Capital of Culture for 2018. Friesland is also home to World Heritage listed islands in the Wadden Sea - don’t miss this experience too!
Once you’ve made your choice of destination for 2018, all you need is a great ATAS accredited travel agent to help you buy a flight and plan your trip - and you could be on your way to the holiday of a lifetime! Find out more about us here.
Intrigued by the latest hot destinations for 2018? Find a local ATAS accredited travel agent here to find the best travel deals, plan your trip, and book your flights, accommodation and tours.
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