As we look for the best places to travel in 2024, let’s ditch the mundane and aim for the extraordinary. Instead of simply ticking destinations off your bucket list, immerse yourself in unforgettable experiences that will redefine your wanderlust.
Picture exploring the lush vineyards of Mendoza with the Andes Mountains as a brushstroke backdrop or savoring aged Scotch in Scotland’s misty highlands after a round of golf at St. Andrews Old Course. Imagine diving into Sicily’s rich history through its mouthwatering cuisine or embarking on a thrilling Kenyan safari for the Great Migration spectacle.
The best places to travel in 2024 are not just about where to go but what to experience, taste, and savor for years to come. From Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, get ready for a year of unique adventures that will linger long after the journey ends. Here are the best places to travel in 2024.
Best Places to Travel in 2024 For Food & History
Sicily: Palermo’s Gastronomic Heritage
Palermo has the second largest historical center in Europe with the largest number of UNESCO sites. The city offers a plethora of attractions, from grand monuments like Mercati Storici and Piazza della Vergogna (the Square of Shame) to well-preserved street markets that transport you to bygone eras.
Dating back thousands of years, Sicily’s cuisine is a melting pot of Mediterranean flavors. Palermo, its upbeat capital, is renowned for its 12th-century grandiose architecture, art history, opera, and mouthwatering food markets. From Arab-influenced street food to classic Italian fare and sumptuous Mediterranean seafood, Palermo showcases a rich fusion of cultures through its dining scene.
Check out the city’s bustling markets to savor local delicacies like arancini and cannoli while exploring the centuries of rich history woven into its cuisine. Plan on spending your days eating your heart out at hotspots like Capo to Ballarò, Palermo’s largest market, indulging in fresh gelato and flavorful local cheeses along the way. Once you’ve had your fill, explore beloved historic sites like Palazzo dei Normanni, Catacombe dei Cappuccini, and the beautiful Palermo Cathedral.
Lima, Peru: Where Gastronomy Meets History
Lima, once viewed simply as the gateway to Cusco and Machu Picchu, has earned its place as the gastronomic capital of South America, offering a sensational blend of history and world-class eateries. From its legendary ceviche to the diverse flavors of Japanese-influenced Peruvian cuisine, Lima invites travelers on a culinary journey bar none. It is now home to several of the top restaurants in the world, including Maido & Central. And while the cuisine at these hotspots is sensational, “Astrid & Gaston is a spot you won’t want to miss for phenomenal food and an inviting ambiance,” according to travel expert Harsh Patil. Explore local markets, indulge in the country’s beloved Pisco Sour, and savor the blend of the indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian influences defining Peruvian gastronomy.
Whether you’re searching for eclectic food markets, sublime fine-dining restaurants, or legendary historical landmarks, Peru’s capital city is one of the best places to travel in any season. During your stay, visit the museums exploring the agricultural history that led to Peru’s culinary prowess. Don’t leave without embarking on a walking tour of Lima to discover Inka ruins and colonial-style architecture and taste the unique flavors that set the city apart from other Latin American destinations. Lima also happens to boast some of the best coastlines for surfing aficionados, so consider carving out some time to catch a wave or two. Make your trip to Lima an even more extraordinary experience by adding Machu Picchu, a world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, to your Peru itinerary.
Best Wine Tour Destinations of 2024
Mendoza, Argentina: The Andes Vineyards are the New Frontiers
As the world’s fastest-growing wine-producing region, Mendoza offers a tasting experience unlike any other. Nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Andes, this Argentinian province boasts sprawling vineyards against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Mendoza’s unique environment infuses each vintage with bold flavors and a distinctive character. While the region is best known for its iconic Malbec, you can also relish rich varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In the past few years, renowned French vintners have also established a foothold here, making it one of the best places to travel in 2024 for a multicultural wine-tasting adventure.
Mendoza invites wine-loving travelers to explore bodegas, indulge in delectable cuisine, and bask in the blissful fusion of wine and mesmerizing landscapes. For a spontaneous day of tastings and tours, navigate the Maipu Valley region where reservations generally aren’t needed. Visits to wineries in Mendoza’s Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley regions will require advanced planning but are well worth the extra leg work for the impressive wines, avant-garde architecture, and a full panorama of the Andes astride a stallion!
The Vines Resort & Spa, nestled in the prestigious Uco Valley, offers luxury amidst glorious terrain. Wine tasting paired with exquisite cuisine at Siete Fuegos elevates the experience to an A-list affair. An unexpected encounter with renowned winemaker Santiago Achaval may even lead you to roll up your sleeves and harvest a small-batch wine. It’s an unparalleled journey for the wine connoisseur. “When in Argentina, the Matervini Winery is a must-visit. Santiago Achaval, the torchbearer of the Argentinian wine industry, started this boutique winery over a decade ago. Today, Matervini features six expressions of Malbec from different types of soil, exhibiting the nuanced geology of these Andean foothills with purity and pride,” says Harsh Patil.
Portugal: A Vibrant Tapestry of Wine Heritage
Internationally recognized for its wine tourism, Portugal is steeped in wine heritage that attracts travelers from around the world. From the lush Douro Valley, the birthplace of port wine, to the Alentejo plains and their robust reds, Portugal is home to a tantalizing tapestry of flavors. Unravel the rich history behind port wine and indulge in tastings against the backdrop of charming countryside and cities steeped in history.
Nature lovers planning their 2024 travel itineraries won’t want to miss a trip to the Azores, a jaw-dropping archipelago with nine beautiful islands and ample famous vineyards. The island of Pico is particularly special, thanks to the nutrient-rich volcanic soil which helps nurture delicious wines. The hills of Douro Valley are home to sought-after wineries like Quinta do Portal, while the hot and dry climate of Alentejo produces many award-winning wines. For a coastal adventure, explore Setúbal to discover its famed Moscatel wine. Reminiscing on his fondest times in Porto, Harsh Patil shares his top recommendation: “Visit Taylor Fladgate to taste some of their finest vintages whilst enjoying the panoramic views of the sprawling city below. During your visit, be sure to acquire some rare vintage ports, as they can only be found here at the winery.”
Best Places to Travel for Wildlife Encounters
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya: Safari Adventures in Luxurious Style
With one of the highest wildlife densities in Kenya, Lewa Conservancy promises an immersive wildlife experience that is not to be missed. Set in the heart of Africa, this world-class conservancy offers encounters with the Big Five and several unique species. Treat yourself to thrilling safari game drives, witness the Great Migration in nearby Masai Mara, and stay in luxurious lodges that blend seamlessly with the surreal landscape.
When you visit Lewa, you get an authentic African adventure and the satisfaction that your tourist dollars are contributing to local wildlife conservation and community development. For a high-end stay with first-class accommodations, Lewa’s Sirai House is unrivaled. For an intimate experience that offers up-close wildlife encounters from the comfort of your suite, check into the family-owned Sirikoi Lodge.
Okavango Delta, Botswana: Nature’s Oasis
One of Africa’s largest natural sanctuaries, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is home to an extraordinary concentration of wildlife. This UNESCO World Heritage Site mesmerizes travelers with its pristine wilderness, inviting them to explore its labyrinth of waterways, spot diverse animals, and immerse themselves in the crown jewel of all safari destinations.
From serene mokoro rides to guided walking safaris, the Okavango Delta offers an intimate connection with Africa’s untamed beauty. Its diverse ecosystem allows for some of the continent’s most unique safaris if you’re game to hop onto a helicopter for a birds-eye view, canoes, or even a hot air balloon. With safari camps to suit all budgets, the Okavango Delta is a magical place for all. “While Qorokwe Camp is my team’s all-time favorite, there’s another hidden gem worth considering in Mokete Camp—it’s remote, exclusive, and home to the largest herds in Botswana,” says Harsh Patil.
Scotch Tasting Travel Destinations
Scotland: The Birthplace of Scotch Whisky
When it comes to Scotch tasting, you would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting destination than Scotland. As the birthplace of this revered spirit, Scotland offers a captivating blend of history and Gaelic culture amidst breathtaking landscapes. From the windswept Highlands to the legendary Speyside distilleries, each sip of Scotch is an immersion into centuries-old tradition and craftsmanship, making Scotland one of the best places to travel in 2024 for whisky lovers.
Scotland is home to nearly 150 distilleries spanning five distinctive regions: Islay, Campbeltown, Highland, Lowland, and Speyside. From the powerful and peaty single malts of Islay to Speyside’s world-famous Malt Whisky Trail, a trip to any of these regions is a perfect fit for whisky lovers. Big hitters like Glenfiddich, Macallan, and Lagavulin are based in Scotland, with their distilleries offering tours and tastings that reveal the nuanced flavors and age-old traditions behind their distinct whiskies. If you can only choose one, the tasting and distillery tour experiences at Macallan are best in class. You’ll get the opportunity to indulge in whisky varietals from their vault collection—available only at the distillery. However, Macallan’s exclusivity requires reservations made well in advance.
And because golf and scotch tasting go hand in hand, it’s unsurprising that Scotland is home to some of the world’s most exclusive and historic golf clubs – such as St. Andrews, Royal Troon, and Muirfield. Enjoy a round of golf accompanied by landscapes of rolling hills and coastal dunes, followed by a Scotch tasting for a luxurious and truly memorable experience. Whether you’re an avid golfer, a whisky connoisseur, or simply seeking a unique adventure, pairing Scotch and golf is a winning combination for an unforgettable Scottish sojourn.
Kentucky: The World-Famous Bourbon Trails
If bourbon is more your speed, there’s no better place to visit than Kentucky as its vast limestone deposits are the bedrock of bourbon distillation. As one of the best places to travel in 2024, dive into generations of the spirit’s storied history with a journey through the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, where dozens of historic distilleries such as Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve await, amongst myriad boutique distillers. Meander through rolling hills as you savor the rich flavors defining the history of bourbon in America. From Louisville to Owensboro, you’ll want to dedicate several days to your tasting voyage.
Dive into a bottle of Knob Creek at the Jim Beam Distilling Company before venturing off to the award-winning Green River Distillery, one of Kentucky’s oldest. Of course, no trip down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail would be complete without a stop in Bardstown, the bourbon capital of the world. During your stay, don’t miss the chocolate and whiskey tastings at Lux Row Distillers, where five iconic brands coalesce together under one roof. Heaven Hill Distillery is another fantastic choice, set in the bucolic countryside. Their Five Brothers bourbon tasting is held in the very barn where the bourbon is crafted, making for a uniquely intimate experience.
Plan Your 2024 Travel Wishlist With xplorearth
The best places to travel in 2024 are all about experiential travel – embarking on journeys that go beyond the usual. Whether it’s indulging in the rich heritage of Scotch tasting, savoring the nuances of wine from different regions, indulging in culinary delights, or immersing in nature’s wonders, with a well-planned itinerary these travel experiences are bound to exceed your wildest expectations.
When you book your 2024 travel adventures with xplorearth, you get a custom experience curated just for you. Unlike many travel advisors offering pre-packaged trips, our luxury travel itineraries are designed to suit your specific interests. Our bespoke itineraries, vetted properties, and expert guides will enrich your travel experience, allowing you to create treasured memories you won’t find elsewhere. We ensure the best places to travel this year will be one you will never forget!
Learn more about Harsh Patil and the journeys he curates at https://www.xplorearth.us
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