Lonely Planet's top destinations for 2014
October 29, 2013 -- Updated 0812 GMT (1612 HKT)
Lower prices, fewer tourist numbers, the same incredible ancients sights that have been there for centuries. The Greek Islands in 2014 offer "remarkable value," says Lonely Planet in its Best in Travel 2014 rankings.
Best value destination -- Greek Islands
Top 10 countries to visit in 2014 -- Scotland (3)
Top 10 countries to visit in 2014 -- Antarctica (2)
Top 10 countries to visit in 2014 -- Brazil (1)
Top 10 regions -- Yorkshire, England (3)
Top 10 regions -- The Kimberley, Australia (2)
Top 10 regions -- Sikkim, India (1)
Top 10 cities -- Cape Town (3)
Top 10 cities -- Trinidad (2)
Top 10 cities -- Paris (1)
- Annual Lonely Planet Best in Travel guide published Tuesday
- Reasons for choices include major events/celebrations coming up plus "x-factor"
- Brazil tops list for best countries to visit. Sikkim, India voted best region
(CNN) -- Brazil, Antarctica and Scotland are the top three destinations to visit in 2014, according to the hot-off-the-press Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014.
The rationale: Well the first is pretty obvious since Brazil is hosting the World Cup. It's the centenary of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition, while Scotland's nod is mainly due to it staging the Commonwealth Games in the summer and celebrating the Year of Homecoming for overseas Scottish. A great accent probably also helps.
Published this week, Lonely Planet's ninth annual roundup of best destinations around the world for the upcoming year was based on "scores for topicality, excitement and that special x-factor," as determined by their inhouse experts and outside writers.
And there are a few surprises. The quiet, peaceful, pretty and sometimes (unfairly) maligned Adelaide in South Australia made the top 10 cities for 2014 (possibly because of some of those adjectives). The ranking prompted this response from an Australian media outlet: Was Lonely Planet drunk when it rated Adelaide?
The travel guide went with Paris as the best city next year (it didn't make the top 10 last year), with Trinidad in second place (January marks the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Trinidad) and Cape Town coming in third.
Read: 10 things to know before visiting Brazil
In terms of regions as destinations, Sikkim in India was voted the best, for "showing the way for what could be the future of India's tourism industry."
Some more notable predictions included Hunan region as "the next big thing" in China and the Greek Islands as the best value destination due to recently lowered tourism prices and fewer tourist numbers.
In addition to the more standard roundups, there are also some more inventive lists ranging from "10 essential travel destinations for Beatlemaniacs" (it's the 50th anniversary of the Beatles going to in New York) and "The cat's meow: top 10 destinations for feline fanatics" to "10 Shakespearean sites for travelers" in honor of the 450th anniversary of the playwright's birth.
From the 2014 guide:
Top 10 countries for 2014
Top 10 regions for 2014
1. Sikkim, India
4. Hokuriku, Japan
6. Victoria Falls
8. West Coast, New Zealand
9. Hunan, China
10. Ha'apai Tonga
Top 10 cities for 2014
3. Cape Town
Best value destinations for 2014
1. Greek Islands
2. Italy's Heel (Puglia)
Part of complete coverage on
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2042 GMT (0442 HKT)
From Maastricht to Melbourne, these itineraries make bookish travelers look stylish.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 0624 GMT (1424 HKT)
Good cocktails combine with spectacular views across rivers, cityscapes and oceans at these bird-level drinkeries.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1809 GMT (0209 HKT)
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT)
Cinema loves portraying the lives of expats. Sometimes it gets it right. Sometimes it casts Nick Nolte as a jungle king.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0117 GMT (0917 HKT)
Don't be intimidated, says a local expert. Here's how to do China without the hassles
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
When your city has an unenviable reputation for insulting tourists and fleecing them for every cent, inviting hotel guests to pay what they want could be a risky move.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0710 GMT (1510 HKT)
With factory tours and collections of stunning vintage prototypes, southern Germany is petrolhead paradise.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
Every tourist destination has a flip side, a season when prices go down and savvy, flexible travelers can score big savings.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0711 GMT (1511 HKT)
Morocco's Red City is crammed with stunning gardens, shaded souks and steamy bath houses.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Pristine beaches, unspoiled nature and few tourists -- a stretch on these former penal colonies is no longer a punishment.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0923 GMT (1723 HKT)
Life in Joburg can be stressful. Luckily there are some exceedingly non-stressful places close by.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 0907 GMT (1707 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson pays homage to the city he's called home for the past 12 years.
China notches up another superlative achievement as a Nanjing-based artist creates the world's largest and longest anamorphic painting.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 2002 GMT (0402 HKT)
In what is undoubtedly the world's "coolest" surf video, photographer Chris Burkhard endures freezing temperatures, blizzards and injury to capture Arctic waves and their riders.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one that travels between London and New York. It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
Today's five most popular stories