New Telegraph

The 20 best places to travel in 2021 (2)

Egypt

Chosen By: Melissa Biggs Bradley of Indagare

Why: According to Bradley, 2021 is the moment for Egypt, which reopened to Americans this summer. “Our Egypt classes were some of the most popular virtual travel classes in our Indagare Global Classroom and it’s not hard to see why,” she says. The country houses a third of all of the world’s antiquities and is home to the only remaining place in the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the pyramids at Giza. Plus, the country represents a good value for travellers. Don’t Miss: Officially the largest archaeological museum in the world, the longawaited Grand Egyptian Museum will be fully open in 2021. Located close to the Great Pyramids, it will be filled with dazzling exhibitions, including one showcasing every artifact found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. “It will be a destination in and of itself for anyone interested in ancient history,” says Bradley, who says that Indagare can help pull off the ultimate coup: private access to parts of the museum.

The Islands of Tahiti

Chosen By: Kimberly Wilson Wetty of Valerie Wilson Travel

Why: “So many destination weddings, honeymoons and milestone celebrations were put on hold in 2020, so 2021 will be a year for celebrations. And what better place than French Polynesia,” says Wetty. The Islands of Tahiti is also a natural choice for any traveler seeking carefree vacation options, just an eight-hour flight direct from Los Angeles or San Francisco. With naturally pristine, remote and secluded beaches, the destination’s 118 South Pacific islands provide the perfect escape in this new era of travel. What’s more, Tahiti is welcoming all U.S. travellers, with no visa or quarantine period required. (Safety is ensured by pretesting requirements for each traveler and a self-test that is provided to each traveller while in the destination.) The destination has also implemented a Common Cancellation Policy ensuring that travelers can have peace of mind if their trip is canceled due to border closures or positive test results. Don’t Miss: “Sexy overwater bungalows and fantastic water activities offer up the recipe to embrace the simple joys in life with family and friends,” says Wetty. Stay in an overwater villa for the ultimate in luxury (Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort is undergoing renovations, slated to open in January 2021), plan your “workcation” in a spacious vacation rental from Tahiti Homes, sail to multiple islands on your own private catamaran with expert yacht charter companies such as The Moorings or connect with the culture-safely-at an authentic Tahitian Guesthouse.

Rwanda

Chosen By: Julie Danziger of Embark Beyond

Why: With COVID-19 forcing the world to pause travel, many destinations have started to evaluate how they can manage travel more sustainably in the future. In Rwanda’s case, sustainable travel has been at the heart of everything it does and every tourism product that’s been developed dating back to 2005, when a programme was established to help benefit communities near Rwanda’s national parks. Rwanda has done an incredible job of acting quickly to resume tourism activities with additional safety measures in order to protect not only travelers and locals, but also the endangered primates that inhabit their forests. According to Danziger, Rwanda appeals to travelers who have already discovered Africa and want to explore new regions. “It is also a destination that limits the number of visitors, so the fact that not just anyone can go adds to the excitement,” she says. Highlights include Gishwati Mukura National Park, which is undergoing a massive reforestation effort and plans to begin tourism operations (like primate trekking, birding, hiking and more) in future months. Next year will also bring Mantis Kivu Queen, a luxury houseboat cruising Lake Kivu. Don’t Miss: New hotels are adding to Rwanda’s appeal, especially Singita’s Kwitonda Lodge on the edge of Volcanoes National Park. ”Singita has truly developed a name—once you stay at one you are hooked and need to hit them all,” says Danziger.

Qatar

Chosen By: Tania Swasbrook of Travelworld International Group

Why: An Arab country on the Arabian Sea, Qatar is known for its fascinating culture and its varied landscapes ranging from beaches to desert to the futuristic sky-scraping capital of Doha. “Qatar has a strategy to position itself as the region’s prime spot for travel, sustainable tourism and culture,” says Swasbrook. “Tourism has grown significantly and the FIFA World Cup will be hosted there in 2022.” The Middle Eastern country was also recently voted the number one safest country in the world and it has rolled out Qatar Clean, an initiative developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that ensures compliance with strict standards for hygiene and cleanliness at all hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. The country’s airline is also helping attract travellers who previously just flew Qatar Airlines to get to other areas. “More and more we have seen people incorporate Qatar as part of their trip,” says Swasbrook. Don’t Miss: Qatar was recently named the “richest country on earth,” partly due to all the glamorous hotels there—including big names like St. Regis, W, Park Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton. And there’s much more to come, with 112 properties under development.

Tunisia

Chosen By: Melissa Biggs Bradley of Indagare

Why: With landscapes ranging from southern desert expanses out of Star Wars to farmland up north, plus archeological sites, seaside villages and a buzzing scene in Tunis—complete with one of the world’s oldest medinas—Tunisia is perfect for travelers interested in history, culture and getting off the beaten path. Tunisia was already creating excitement with the Indagare staff before the pandemic began. “Simone Girner, our creative director, scouted in Tunisia before COVID -19,” says Bradley. “Now you’ll have the opportunity to experience an Arab nation that defies stereotypes before anyone else.” Don’t Miss: The luxury hotel group Anantara recently opened the Anantara Tozeur Resort, set at the gateway to the Sahara and offering easy access to a famous site from the original Star Wars movie, as well as plenty of one-of-a-kind experiences— from soaking in a hammam to dining under the stars, Berber-style.

Maldives

Chosen By: Julie Danziger of Embark Beyond

Why: “The Maldives isn’t a ‘new’ destination, but in 2021 we anticipate it being more popular than ever,” says Danziger. The reason? “Combine recent peace negotiations and incredible new hotels, along with the Maldives being the ultimate for seclusion, and it’s destined for a boom in 2021.” In addition to being a naturally socially distant getaway, the destination has enacted strict COVID – 19 procedures and all of the islands’ resorts and accommodations are taking precautions—and then some. Properties like lti Maafushivaru have introduced complimentary PCR testing, eliminating the need for guests to travel off property to a testing facility. Besides that, the Maldives is launching the world’s first destination loyalty program. Don’t Miss: Danziger is a fan of Velaa, a private island that many will have their eye on for 2021. “It is not pretentious yet it is blow-your-mind wow,” she says. For those looking for a great value, Danziger suggests Niyama, which is “all about understated luxury and truly special.” Other 2021 openings to watch include Patina Maldives, designed by renowned Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan; Ekulhivaru, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in the Maldives; and Centara Grand Muthaafushi Resort & Spa Maldives, which will have an underwater restaurant and a floating cinema.

Ireland

Chosen By: Kimberly Wilson Wetty of Valerie Wilson Travel

Why: “From the lush green countrysides to charming Irish pubs, perhaps a round or two of golf or whiskey, the luck of the Irish is wished upon us all,” says Wetty, who has added Ireland to her hit list for 2021. One of the best things about Ireland is that five stunning areas can be visited in a single trip, offering wonderfully different, yet authentic experiences that are both intimate and breathtaking. This includes the Wild Atlantic Way, a journey that stretches from the beaches in Donegal to the Cork coastline; the captivating capital city of Dublin; Ireland’s Ancient East; the Hidden Heartlands; and Northern Ireland, with its wild landscapes and great stargazing. Don’t Miss: In Dublin, The Shelbourne, which is home to the world’s only Genealogy Butler—recently reopened with a multi-million euro refurbishment by Guy Oliver that includes a renovated bar and new offerings like a D.I.Y. Spa Experience that allows guests to curate a personal spa treatment.

Puglia, Italy

Chosen By: Tania Swasbrook of Travelworld International Group

Why: “We saw a resurgence of clients going to Italy pre-COVID -19 and it’s definitely going to be the case again in 2021,” says Swasbrook. “I have quite a few bookings for 2021 and a recent Google trend showed Italy as one of the top searches for ‘travel in 2021.’” Swasbrook says that even for clients who have traveled to Italy before, there is always a new area to visit, such as one of her new favourites—Puglia, which is at the tip of the boot and is known

for its whitewashed towns and miles of captivating Mediterranean coast. Don’t Miss: “Combine any historical sightseeing city with the gorgeous seaside resort of Borgo Egnazia for an amazing vacation,” says Swasbrook.

Antarctica

Chosen By: Melissa Biggs Bradley of Indagare

Why: According to Bradley, this is a phenomenal time to consider bucket-list trips, and one of her favorite locations is Antarctica. “We are excited to be running trips next year to explore the White Continent and already have sign-ups for one of our impact trips, which features biologists and glaciologists and environmentalists on-board throughout the expedition.” Don’t Miss: Bradley is a big fan of the Ultramarine yacht, which she says is the most “state-of-the-art” ex-pedition ship around. Indagare will be running trips on the ship, which is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, spacious suites, a spa, sauna and even a polar boutique stocked with the best cold-weather expedition gear.

Bodrum, Turkey

Chosen By: Julie Danziger of Embark Beyond

Why: With its deep turquoise waters and long beaches lined with tangerine trees, Bodrum has long been a vacation spot for ahead-of-the-curve jetsetters. Now, more travelers are discovering this Turkish Riviera beach town. “In the past, Bodrum has taken a backseat to Ibiza and more recently Hvar, but Bodrum is truly the new St. Tropez,” says Danziger. “We’ve been saying this for years and now, people are catching on. Bodrum is ready to take center stage.” Adding to its appeal is the fact that Turkey has opened its borders to Americans. Plus, it’s a destination where you’ll rarely spend time indoors, thanks to all the open-air restaurants, seaside bars and beachfront clubs. Don’t Miss: Bodrum has several chic new hotels, including the Bodrum Edition, from Studio 54 founder Ian Schrager, where classical elements meet cuttingedge culture. Another thing Bodrum is known for are the traditional, wooden yachts called gulets. Rent one through the family-owned Zephyria Yachting and cruise along the beautiful Turkish Coast. *Laura Begley Bloom, is a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling

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