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Top Holidays

17 top travel destinations in 2023 for epic adventures and bucket list holidays

  • Inspiration
  • By Francesca Brooking
  • Published 20 December 2022
  • Revised 26 February 2024

Where do you want to visit in 2023? If the world is your oyster, it can be tricky narrowing down a holiday destination, particularly if you want to tick off a bucket list. We’re here to help. We sat down with our travel experts to bring you our list of the best travel destinations to visit in 2023. 

Our 17 recommended places to visit have been broken down into almost every continent in the world so whether you’re looking for a tropical paradise or snow-capped mountains, we’ve got you covered. 

Remember, if you see anything you like, make sure to give our personal travel managers a call and they will help you plan an unforgettable holiday. 


Tanzania safari

Tanzania safari


Best for abundant wildlife and nature

Wildlife lovers, it’s time to tick that safari off your bucket list and we can’t think of a better place than Tanzania. It’s home to the Serengeti National Park, a vast treeless plain where millions of animals roam, including the Big Five (lions, elephants, leopards, rhinoceros and buffalo). 

If you visit between May and June, there’s a chance you might see the annual migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras too!
It's not just about the wildlife in Tanzania though. Hikers can pack their walking boots and climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. 

Then why not reward yourself with five-star luxury on the beaches of Zanzibar? Or, for more adventure, stay in a luxury eco-lodge on the banks of Lake Victoria. 

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Best for foodies and souk adventures

Morocco is a North African country brimming with colour whether that’s in the pomegranate seed-studded dishes, the treasures of the Marrakesh souks, the pottery and tanneries of Fez or the deep orange of the desert. 

You’ll want to take a photo of the blue village of Chefchaouen and the golden stone of the World Heritage listed Medina of Fez. As for food, hearty tagine with marigold-yellow couscous, Makouda with spicy harissa sauce and pots of sweet tea are just some of the delights to gorge on here. 

Aït Benhaddou, a village carved out of the mountainside is a must-visit along with the Gorges of Dades and the awe-inspiring Ouzoud Waterfall. 
If the simple life is calling your name, experience peace and authenticity in the traditional Berber villages among the Atlas Mountains. 

South Africa

Best for diverse landscapes and beautiful beaches

Right on the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is full of surprises. Opportunities to see the Big Five on safari are plenty here with top reserves including Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. 

If you want the chance to see even more, Addo Elephant National Park is the world’s first for seeing the Big Seven. It’s position on the Eastern Cape is a prime spot to spot marine life such as the great white shark and southern right whale too!  

It’s not all about the wildlife though. Head to Cape Town and explore its diverse culinary heritage after a day spent beach hopping or surfing. Sample some of South Africa’s signature wine at Cape Winelands and immerse yourself in Zulu culture. 

And for some real luxury? Ride the Blue Train, a five-star hotel on wheels that travels between Pretoria and Cape Town. If that’s not decadent enough, you can even charter it and create your own tailor-made route!

Middle East

Dubai desert

Dubai desert

United Arab Emirates

Best for modern cities and desert adventures 

The UAE is a firm favourite and for good reason. Its cities are urban playgrounds where you’re guaranteed to find the biggest and the best attractions, shops and dining experiences. 

The luxury and glamour of Dubai are unmatched, whilst the capital, Abu Dhabi is a beach lover’s paradise with epic cultural attractions to explore. 

Adventures aren’t just reserved for the cities though. Thrill-seekers will love Ras Al Khaimah’s zipline from the top of Jebel Mountain. It’s the world’s longest zipline, measuring at a dizzying 2.83km long! 

In the desert, do a 4x4 safari over the dunes, be a Bedouin for a day, go hot air ballooning or relax in a cool oasis. 

The UAE’s history and culture are also fascinating. Discover old fortresses, see the ancient mud-built towers of Old Dubai or visit Sharjah, Dubai’s little-known traditional neighbour. 





Best for island-hoppers and jungle lovers

Whilst Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands are well-known holiday hotspots, Indonesia actually has 13,000 islands to choose from making it the world’s largest island nation. So, whether you want to explore familiar favourites or go off the beaten path in luxury, consider Indonesia in 2023. 

Roam through endless rice paddies and undisturbed black sand beaches in Medewi in West Bali. Or why not visit some of the most spectacular UNESCO-listed temple ruins in the world such as Borobudur Temple in Central Java? 

Wildlife lovers will adore Gunung Leuser National Park where critically endangered Sumatran orangutans roam and Komodo National Park is a must for catching sight of Komodo dragons. 

And if you’re feeling adventurous, climb up volcanoes, dive the Coral Triangle and visit the world’s biggest crater lake in the Batak highlands. 


Best for historic Buddhist temples and fantastic festivals

Thailand isn’t just a destination for backpackers and full moon parties. It offers plenty for the discerning luxury traveller too. 

Foodies can find Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok, Chang Mai and Phuket as well as a mouth-watering street food scene. 

Adventurers can stay in luxury ecolodges in the spectacular lush jungles of the Golden Triangle and wellness warriors can find tranquillity in the wealth of award-winning retreats. 

Beautiful, golden sandy beaches are also in abundance here. As for ticking activities off the bucket list? You can’t go wrong with riding through rice paddies on the Eastern and Oriental Express, flying over the Andaman Coast, cruising on the River of Kings or dining in the treetops at Soneva Kiri!


Best for foodies and honeymooners 

Modern cities, unmatched snorkelling and epic mountain hikes, Malaysia has got it all. 

Its capital Kuala Lumpur is perhaps most well-known for the striking Petronas Towers that dominate the city skyline. 

The 88-storey supertall skyscrapers were the tallest buildings in Malaysia until they were surpassed by Menara Kuala Lumpur. Both attractions offer panoramic views from the top. Visit in the evening and see the world sparkle in the dark below. 

Malaysia is a fusion of cuisines with Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan, Dutch, British and Portuguese influences so another unmissable activity in Kuala Lumpur is a cooking class. You might even be able to take a few recipes home with you too. 

Outside the city, the Perhentian Islands are a well-known honeymoon destination and snorkelling among pristine coral reefs are a delight here. 
Across the sea, Borneo is a wild island with rainforests, orangutans and gorgeous views from the summit of Mount Kinabalu. 


Best for an incredible food scene and cutting-edge technology 

Ancient traditions blended with a modern lifestyle make Japan one of our top places to visit in 2023. Whether you’re looking for futuristic technology, incredible food or a chance to immerse yourself in the culture, it’s all here. 

A trip to Japan isn’t complete without visiting Tokyo, it’s vibrant capital with skyscrapers and ancient temples sprawled across it. 

Make sure you catch the views from Tokyo Skytree, the second-tallest building in the world before leaving a good luck charm at one of the many Shinto shrines. If you only visit one, let it be Meiji Jingu, a temple and quiet oasis within the clamour of the city. 

An iconic stop on your Japan tour is Mount Fuji, the country’s symbol. A spa day in a traditional onsen is, of course, another must alongside sushi making classes with a master and travelling in your own carriage suite on a luxury train. Time your trip for April or May and see Japan’s famous cherry blossom in bloom. 


Best for a playground of islands and lagoons

A tropical paradise in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines offers islands with white sand beaches and clear green-blue waters – more than 7,000 islands in fact!

Spend your holiday diving among shipwrecks, hiking up volcanoes, sailing through lagoons or island-hopping in the Caramoan Islands. With sand so soft and waters so clear, you would be forgiven if you want to do nothing else but relax on the beach instead. 

The Philippines is a nature lover’s playground, but Manila is sure to enthral you with its many centuries-old churches and colonial history. 

Vigan City located on the west coast of Luzon Island is also known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. You’ll still find cobblestone streets, rustic mansions and horse-drawn carriages to this day!




Best for record-breaking religious monuments and barefoot luxury  

Cambodia is the proud home of the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat. The sheer size of this Buddhist temple complex and UNESCO World Heritage Site was only realised when archaeologists flew over the surrounding jungle to take aerial photos of it. 

Now, following in their footsteps in a private helicopter ride is certainly one of the best things to do in Cambodia. 

If that wasn’t enough superlatives for one day, your excursion can also include a flight over Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia, complete with traditional floating fishing villages. 

A luxury Cambodian holiday can also be had on your own private island. We love Song Saa Private Island which boasts barefoot luxury, private pools galore and secluded beaches. For jungle lovers, luxury ecolodges in the rainforests are a must. 

Don’t miss Ta Prohm Temple half swallowed by thick tree roots, or Mondulkiri Project, an ethical elephant sanctuary which employs Indigenous Bunong people. 


Best for cultural immersion and street food 

Vietnam is known for its ecological and cultural diversity. Southern Vietnam is a popular hotspot for visitors looking for long uninterrupted stretches of beaches, coastal charm and picturesque islands.

In the northern regions, the landscape is wild and remote, containing some of the country’s most awe-inspiring scenery. Here mountains rise up dotted with ethnic inhabitants and ancient rice fields. The best place to see them is Sapa in the Muong Hoa Valley.

More rural beauty can be found cruising in Ha Long Bay where clear emerald waters and thousands of jungle-clad islets are bound to amaze. 

City lovers can delight in the urban jungle of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. Hội An is famous for its annual Full Moon Lantern Festival while Hué has the remains of the last royal dynasty in Vietnamese history. 




New Zealand

Best for thrill-seeking adventures and sustainable holidays 

If cinematic natural landscapes aren’t calling your name, New Zealand’s incredible wine scene, café culture and adrenaline-fuelled adventures will. Plus, it’s one of the best destinations in the world for sustainable tourism!

The country is divided into two main islands, North and South and the hardest part is choosing which one to start with first. 

The North Island is known for its cities Auckland and Wellington, Hobbiton Movie Set, volcanoes and long stretches of golden sandy beaches. The South Island holds a wealth of mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers and the misty beauty of Milford Sound. 

Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world is your destination for hair-raising bungee jumps and skydives. The islands around Auckland give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the best of both the city and remote tranquillity whilst the capital, Wellington is known for its cafés. 


Best for road trips and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

From dusty deserts to snow-capped mountains, thick jungles and surfing city breaks, Australia has it all. 

Explore the best of the East Coast with an unforgettable road trip or twin your Sydney city break with Melbourne for a fantastic holiday of coffee, trendy restaurants, Sydney Opera House and beach bum paradise. 

Why not venture into the burnt orange heart of Australia and see Ayers Rock by helicopter, or snorkel with vivid tropical fish and coral in the Great Barrier Reef? 
Island-hoppers should head to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island or spend relaxing few days enjoying the white beaches and jewel blue seas of the Whitsundays. Bliss. 

Plus, two events that have got us particularly excited about visiting Australia this year are the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Perth and the Sydney Pride Festival in March!

North America

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

United States of America

Best for family adventures, city breaks and awe-inspiring landscapes

One of the most diverse continents in the world, there’s a reason why many Americans have never felt the need to leave it. USA has so much to see and do for every type of traveller whether they’re an urbanist, nature lover, road tripper, history buff and more. 

See New York City during the festive season, chase the bright lights and casinos in Las Vegas, walk with film stars in LA or do a national park road trip. The possibilities are endless. 

If you want to guarantee some fun in the sun with the family, Florida with its abundance of theme parks and Miami beaches is always a good choice. 

For desert luxury, find your calm oasis among the dusty orange rocks of Arizona. Here, you’ll discover the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the Jaw-dropping Antelope Canyon. 

South America

Patagonia, Argentina-Chile border

Patagonia, Argentina-Chile border


Best for tango, football matches and gaucho culture 

You’ll be hard pressed to come by a better destination than Buenos Aires to watch football. In Argentina, this sport is taken particularly seriously and it’s no surprise that some of the greatest players hail from the country. 

While you’re at it, why not stop by Villa Malcolm and watch sparks fly at a local tango gathering? 

Football and dancing aside, Argentina is the place to really live in the moment. Climb up to high-altitude deserts and luxurious trekking lodges in the Patagonian Andes or go skiing in Nahuel Huapi, the country's largest national park. 

Head down to South America’s most southerly tip and sail along the Beagle Channel, home of some of the world’s most dramatic scenery that’s almost within touching distance of Antarctica. 

Find freedom in the gaucho lifestyle riding horses over the flat grassland of the Pampas and hear the thundering roar of Iguazú Falls on the Argentine-Brazilian border. 


Best for epic hikes and Inca heritage 

Of course, we can’t talk about epic travel destinations in 2023 without mentioning Peru and Machu Picchu! These ancient ruins surrounded by soaring mountains are unsurprisingly listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. 

More unforgettable adventures can be found in Peru’s section of the Amazon. The mighty Amazon River starts at Carhuasanta before winding its way down the Andes. Why not experience its untouched beauty on a luxury riverboat cruise? 

We can’t forget the jaw-dropping Rainbow Mountain – so named thanks to its striped rocks along the summit. Active travellers can get the adrenaline pumping on a sand dune buggy tour in the middle of the desert. 

Foodies can challenge themselves to eating as many different varieties of potato as they can (there are over 4,000…) and Lima is a must for restaurant lovers as two of them rank among the ten of the best in the world. 


Best for the Amazon Rainforest and carnival culture 

Brazil’s party culture is unrivalled and if you really want to see it at its finest, make sure you plan a visit around Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. 

The festival takes place a few days before Ash Wednesday and it’s a long weekend of street parties, parades and plenty of samba dancing. While you’re there, hike up Sugarloaf Mountain to the statue of Christ the Redeemer and sunbathe on Copacabana Beach. 

While Rio offers a fantastic city break, there’s still plenty of Brazil to explore. You can explore the depths of the Amazon Rainforest in Manaus where boat trips will take you through the network of channels and flooded forests. 

The vibrant city of Salvador is a must for its incredible street food scene and Afro-Brazilian heritage. For beach time, head to the tropical island of Ilha Grande with its sandy beaches and tropical forests reachable from both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. 

Inspired by this list of the best places to travel in 2023? Call our expert travel managers to create your dream holiday itinerary today! 

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