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Jan 2018

Top Holiday Destinations For 2018

Top Holiday Destinations

New year, new bucket list! Get inspired by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 lists and EU Holidays’ own expert holiday picks.

1. Morocco 

“Lonely Planet Best Value Destination”  

This North African nation is home to vast, sweeping deserts, ancient cities and colourful souks (markets). Come dusk, the Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh comes alive with a timeless scene of street stalls selling delicious grilled meats, while acrobats, snake charmers and local musicians entertain the bustling crowds. Nearby, tucked away among the enchanting Majorelle Gardens lies a gorgeous museum dedicated to famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Elsewhere, the city of Chefchaouen is known as the “blue pearl of Moroccodue to its distinctive blue-washed buildings – guaranteed a hit photo on Instagram. Looking for adventure? Head south to Merzouga and the nearby Erg Chebbi, a breathtaking expanse of giant Saharan sand dunes. Exploring this spectacular desert landscape on a camel trek or four-wheel drive safari will live long in your memory. 

EU go for it: 12D9N Great Morocco with Sahara & Chefchaouen 

2. Malta

“Lonely Planet Top 10 Countries”

 Malta is known for its lovely mild climate and beautiful architectural and historical monuments. Valletta, the capital of this tiny Mediterranean island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s elegant and aged palaces, gardens, churches and fortifications are predominantly Baroque in style, with magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral built between 1573 and 1578 a real must-see. Declared European Capital of Culture for 2018, Valleta will have a packed events calendar throughout the year catering to culture vultures of all ages, with world-class music festivals, art exhibitions and lively street performances. 

EU go for it: 11D8N South Italy, Sicily + Malta (All Seasons) 

3. Georgia 

“Lonely Planet Top 10 Countries”

In-the-know travellers have long appreciated this country’s rich heritage, attractive cities and unspoilt mountains and countryside. The capital, Tbilisi, is home to the impressive Holy Trinity Cathedral, a towering golden structure completed in 2004 that forms part of one of the world’s largest religious buildings. Stand on the ancient Narikala fortress to get stunning panoramic views of Tbilisi and its surrounding mountains. Further east, Kakheti is the country’s premier wine-producing region. Besides a wine tasting or three, travellers can visit the picturesque hilltop town of Sighnaghi and many beautiful castles, churches and the Bodbe Monastery, an important pilgrimage site.

EU go for it: 11D8N Great Caucasus

4. Poland 

“Lonely Planet Best Value Destination” 

The city of Krakow is one of Europe’s top cultural and historical treasures. Its Old Town, the centre of Poland’s political life for centuries during the early first millennium, is filled with bustling visitors, food stalls and horse-drawn carriages. No trip is complete without a stop in Wroclaw, which lies on the Odra River and is a major banking, industrial and cultural centre in western Poland. Its market square, the Rynek, is smaller than Krakow’s, though no less beautiful with its quaint medieval buildings. At the end of the year, it is turned into a glittery Christmas market with vendors selling mulled wine and gingerbread houses.

EU go for it: 13D10N / 14D11N Highlights of Eastern Europe (Summer)

5. Seville, Spain

“Lonely Planet Top 10 Cities” 

Game of Thrones fans might recognise the allure of Seville and the surrounding region of Andalucía, which has been used for filming locations for the popular television series. Its Old Town contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while the resplendent Plaza de España, a semicircle of graceful buildings and bridges, and the baroque façades of the Plaza de Toros are also grand sights. Finally, there’s nothing like ending your day at a traditional flamenco club and feasting on delicious Spanish tapas.

EU go for it: 13D10N Spain & Portugal (Summer) 

6. Provence, France

“Lonely Planet Top 10 Regions”

To fully explore this southeastern region, take a trip to Marseille for its tranquil Old Port, the quaint maze-like streets of Le Panier and the Romanesque-Byzantine Notre-Dame de la Garde. Step into the past in Arles, where Roman buildings like the Amphitheatre and the Baths of Constantine are well-preserved. The Barbegal watermill complex there and the famous aqueduct Pont du Gard near Avignon offer glimpses into the Romans’ technological achievements. Avignon also boasts gorgeous medieval monuments like the Palais de Papes, which was the papal residence during the 14th century, and Pont d’Avignon. Lush lavender fields and fragrant distilleries complete a sweet trip to Provence. 

EU go for it: 13D10N Indulgence France (ALL SEASONS)

7. Oslo, Norway

“Lonely Planet Top 10 Cities”

 There’s a regal theme in this cultured capital this year, with Norway’s Queen Sonja and King Harald celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The event will be marked with plenty of culinary and cultural events throughout 2018. Oslo is also a perfect kick-off point for an aurora chasing expedition. The country is replete with majestic landscapes of fjords and icy mountains to marvel at along the way, such as Lofoten’s soaring mountains and open seas. The Henningsvær and Reine fjords are particularly stunning snowscapes as well, with pristine peaks and silvery waters.

EU go for it: 10D7N Aurora Chasing in Norway

EU's Picks
These are some other hot spots on our radars for 2018!

8. Tanzania & Kenya 

Millions of wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate between the Serengeti plains in Tanzania and the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya each year, chasing the rains that bring fresh grass and water. Known as the Great Migration, this is the largest mass movement of land animals on the planet. With awesome landscapes, thrilling river crossings and some of Africa’s biggest predators on the herds’ heels, this dramatic pilgrimage is a must-see for nature lovers.

EU go for it: 12D9N Great Migration Tanzania & Kenya 

9. Russia 

International football fans will descend on Russia in June for the FIFA World Cup, but there’s plenty more amazing attractions to draw the crowds during summer. From the mighty Kremlin and iconic Saint Basil’s Cathedral, to the grandiose metro stations built under Stalin, Moscow offers beautiful sights filled with history. In St Petersburg, the magnificent Peterhof Palace, former residence of the tsars, is a treasure house not to be missed. For something a little different, take a side trip to Veliky Nogorod, one of the most important historical Russian cities full of well-preserved medieval monuments.

EU go for it: 10D7N Best of Russia (Summer) 


10. Macedonia 

Looking for somewhere a bit off the beaten track? Still relatively untouched by the tourist crowds, Macedonia is a picturesque Balkan nation offering an intriguing mix of modernity and Greek, Roman and Ottoman history. The city of Ohrid and the lake that shares its name are both incredible World Heritage Sites. Take a boat ride on the crystal clear waters of one of Europe’s deepest lakes and enjoy wonderful views of mountains soaring on all sides. In Skopje, the Byzantine-era Fortress Kale and the Ottoman-era Mustafa Pasha Mosque are fascinating attractions, while the Sveti Spas Church houses the capital’s most impressive historic relics.

EU go for it: 12D9N Treasure of Balkans 

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