The Christmas holidays are over, New Year has been celebrated and resolutions have been made. Have you resolved to travel more in 2019? Perhaps ‘tick off’ some of those bucket list moments?
If wanderlust is kicking in, you may well be thinking about your 2019 travel plans…
To help with the choices (or perhaps add to them!) here are our hand-picked suggestions for twelve unforgettable 2019 travel experiences.
Cruise on the World’s Longest River – Egypt
It is hard to beat the experience of a Nile cruise. The temples and tombs are incredible; the views over the Nile to cultivated fields, swaying palm trees are wondrous; and the opportunity to sit back and relax whilst enjoying excellent service and comfortable accommodation is almost unbeatable. Check out www.merrittsupply.com/fairing-fillers/ to get all the necessary supplies for your trip. Choose between 3, 4 and 7-night cruises between Luxor and Aswan (and vice versa) on the most luxurious boats on the river. Opt for an opulent vessel or go for a traditional dahabiya, the preferred mode of Nile transport for ‘grand tourists’ up to 100 years ago. Today, their deluxe modern incarnations are an increasingly popular way to see the sights of Upper Egypt .
Gaze on magical Petra: a city ‘half as old as time’ – Jordan
With their extraordinary coloured rocks, celebrated tombs, and grand carved façades, the monuments of Petra are among the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. A visit to Petra will impart myriad memories: from the walk through the Siq, a dramatic narrow gorge of striking beauty hemmed-in by towering cliffs, to the iconic ‘Treasury’ with its massive façade of impressive 1st-century carvings. Continuing through the rose-red city, the giant Royal Tombs, the Street of Façades, the pink-hued theatre, and the massive tomb of Ed-Deir, ‘the Monastery’, hidden high in the hills, all vie for your attention. But perhaps Petra’s most unmissable sight is Petra by Candlelight, a thrice-weekly spectacle that lights the Siq and forecourt of the Treasury with thousands of candles .
Watch the sunrise over the Pyramids of Meroe – Sudan
With almost twice the number of pyramids found in Egypt, Sudan is another hidden gem for travellers seeking new and exciting destinations. Once the capital of a kingdom that ruled much of northern Sudan for 700 years, Meroe is Sudan’s most spellbinding attractions. Meroe’s famed pyramids were built by the enigmatic Pharaohs of Kush and are divided into two clusters across a desert landscape of far-stretching sand hills. One of the most spectacular times to explore the tall tapering pyramids of Meroe is at sunrise when the sand dunes change from orange to yellow in hue – an unforgettable sight and a unique opportunity for photographers.
Experience Easter in Jerusalem – Israel
For a fabulous Easter with spiritual meaning, there is nothing like experiencing Holy Week in Jerusalem. Held sacred by three major religions, the Eternal City of Jerusalem is one of the holiest, most complex and fascinating cities in the world – a place that literally effervesces with faith, passion and history. Jerusalem’s most hallowed sights include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest place in Christendom, The Dome of the Rock, built in 691 AD on the site from where Mohamed ascended to heaven, and the Wailing Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites where the great Herodian Second Temple once stood. In 2019, Easter Sunday falls on 21 April, but special services will take place throughout the previous week, starting on Palm Sunday, 14 April and continue until Easter Monday.
Walk through Cappadocia’s lunar-landscape – Turkey
Cappadocia’s deeply eroded volcanic scenery with its fantastic towering ‘fairy-chimneys’ and atmospheric cave hotels make it one of Turkey’s star attractions. By far the best way to appreciate this stunning lunar landscape with its amazing variety of forms and colours is on foot. Our Walking in Cappadocia private tour is accompanied by a professional English speaking guide and has been designed to showcase the finest of Cappadocia’s valleys on a series of short treks that range between two and four hours in duration and are graded between easy and moderate in terms of difficulty. Cappadocia is firmly entrenched on Turkey’s tourist trail, but it is amazing how few visitors to the region take advantage of the great walking trails on offer – thus making the prospect of a holiday walking in Cappadocia even more appealing.
Discover one of the Middle East’s great secrets – Lebanon
Currently, one of the Middle East’s hidden gems, Lebanon is a destination on the rise and 2019 is the perfect time to visit. Our individually crafted luxury Lebanon holidays will introduce you to a green and fertile land with an extraordinarily rich history and natural beauty. Whether you wish to discover vibrant Beirut (a city that was once known as the Paris of the East), sample Lebanon’s exquisite cuisine and wine, take a walk back through the ages to the time of the Phoenicians and Crusaders in the pretty fishing village of Byblos, or visit incredible Roman ruins, this diminutive nation has a lot to offer. We are particularly excited by the news that following an update by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of their Lebanon travel advice, the UNESCO site of Baalbek has returned to the travel map, having languished within a “no-go zone” for many years. Visitors to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley can now once again look forward to exploring a site that rivals Jordan’s Petra in its magnificence.
Experience the soul of Arabia – Oman
The Sultanate of Oman is richly endowed with fairytale forts, wild frankincense groves, towering mountain ranges, and seas of rippling golden sands. Whether it be turtle watching, camping in style in the Wahiba Sands, swimming in a remote wadi, trekking in the Hajar mountains, or exploring the stunning forts, Oman has a great deal to offer the visitor. Oman’s manifold options include visiting UNESCO World Heritage fortresses, navigating authentic markets, turtle watching, trekking, exploring picturesque desert oasis and verdant wadis, and off-road adventures across spectacular sand dunes. With such a range of opportunities, choosing where to go in Oman, where to stay and what to see isn’t easy, but whether you are seeking a cultural immersion or an off-the-beaten-path adventure, a family holiday or a luxury getaway, our team of experts can plan a vacation tailored to you.
Indulge your inner Nabob at an Indian palace hotel – north India
The once-mighty Mughal Empire spread across swathes of the Indian subcontinent and left an architectural legacy of symmetrical domed masterpieces which reflect Indian, Persian, and Turkish design. Today, many of these lavishly appointed historical buildings, along with palaces from the princely state of Rajasthan, have been converted into atmospheric heritage hotels. Combining original features with modern-day comforts and impeccable service, a stay in one of India’s palace properties will leave you feeling like royalty. For an unforgettable experience, we recommend the Sajjan Niwas Suite at the impossibly romantic Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. Or, why not visit Lucknow and explore India’s hidden wonders combined with a stay in one of the city’s most sought-after hotels. The striking Vivanta by Taj – Gomti Nagar is tastefully decorated in the late Mughal style of the Nawabs of Lucknow.
Immerse yourself in the theatre of the Pushkar Camel Fair – north India
One of northern India’s most lively festivals is Pushkar Camel Fair which takes place in the northern state of Rajasthan. Held annually during the full moon of the fifteenth lunar day of the Hindu month of Kartik, Pushkar provides the visitor with an unbeatable opportunity to immerse themselves in rural India and discover the vibrancy of its beating soul. Rajasthan’s most famous festival (mela), the Pushkar Camel Fair combines livestock trading with a religious celebration and attracts tens of thousands of camels and other livestock along with hundreds of thousands of visitors including joyful pilgrims, exotic priests, magicians, bards, poets, and villagers sporting giant turbans, shimmering sarees, and resplendent moustaches. In 2019, the Pushkar Camel Fair will begin on 4th November and lasts for approximately one week.
Journey across the ‘Roof of the World’ in the high Himalaya – Ladakh
Travellers seeking a summer holiday destination that combines jaw-dropping scenery, magical sights with adventure, and luxury should look no further than Ladakh. A bridge between the earth and sky, Ladakh is located high up in the Himalaya and is a starkly beautiful place with windswept, arid and snow-dusted mountains, stunning azure blue lakes, striking medieval monasteries, and a vibrant and deeply ingrained Tibetan-Buddhist culture. Ladakh is also the ideal destination for those who yearn to visit India during the summer months as the mountainous location means you can usually avoid the monsoon showers on India’s lower plains. Until recently Ladakh was firmly the domain of all but the hardiest of travellers, but improved infrastructure including more flights and the introduction of luxury camping means the region is now more accessible for the discerning adventurer.
Take a lazy cruise through Kerala’s tropical backwaters – south India
The alluring Keralan backwaters, a network of rivers interwoven with canals, lakes and lagoons that meander through almost half the length of the picturesque state of Kerala, are universally accepted amongst the top 10 places to travel to in all of India. Choose between the vibrant waterways of Alleppey, popularly known as the ‘Venice of the East’; or, alternatively, travel to the northern districts of Kerala and take a houseboat through seldom-visited tranquil backwaters exploring remote unspoilt villages and ancient temples ignored by mainstream tourism. A cruise through the backwaters combined with an overnight stay on a traditional houseboat continues to remain one of the most inspirational moments for travellers to this part of the world.
Make a bee-line for the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’ – Sri Lanka
Renowned for its idyllic beaches, ancient monuments, mountain scenery and tropical jungles that shelter leopards, elephants and bears, Sri Lanka is a stunning destination with universal appeal. This diversity attracts all types of travellers from honeymooners to families; from culture vultures to beach lovers; and from adventure junkies to wildlife enthusiasts. Sri Lanka also has an extensive array of accommodation ranging from small boutique hotels to opulent resorts and luxurious wilderness camps. With such a range of opportunities, the question as to where to travel in Sri Lanka is far from straightforward. We have a wide range of suggested itineraries but, because of the diversity of options, we would encourage you to take advantage of our tailor-made service. Whatever your travel style, we’ll ensure that your holiday to Sri Lanka is simply magical.
Have we inspired you to start planning an unforgettable year of travel in 2019?
Get in touch with our team to discuss your dream destination – complete our online enquiry form or give us a call on 020 3583 6089.