Where will you be expanding your horizons in 2020?
If you take National Geographic’s advice, you’ll be seal-watching in Quebec, hiking in Hungary or braving the world’s tallest bridge in Guizhou, China.
The travel publisher has just released its Best Trips list, highlighting 25 destinations it recommends for “transformative travels” in 2020.
“Best Trips is our annual list of where to go, what to know and how to see the world in the year ahead,” says George Stone, executive editor of travel at National Geographic.
“To build the list we worked with National Geographic editors around the world as well as photographers, writers, explorers and, of course, passionate travelers to report on the essential sites to see and places to be in 2020.”
The picks are divided into four categories: Culture, City, Nature and Adventure.
Culture picks for 2020
Next year, foodies should direct themselves to Asturias, Spain – with its hearty fabada stews and cave-aged Cabrales cheeses – or to Mendoza, where nearly two-thirds of Argentina’s wine is produced.
History buffs should check out Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldest known complex, explore Guatemala’s Mayan heritage at sites such as Tikal, or wonder at Egyptian King Ramses II’s architectural legacy at Abu Simbel.
- Asturias, Spain
- Guizhou Province, China
- Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
- Maya, Guatemala
- Mendoza Province, Argentina
- Abu Simbel, Egypt
City picks for 2020
National Geographic is recommending that visitors skip Mexico City and head two hours east to the vibrant city of Puebla, with its gaily colored colonial architecture and 365 churches.
In Europe, the top tips are the Czech city of Telč, with its arcaded Baroque Houses, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Mostar, home to the celebrated Mostar Bridge, and Parma, Italy, where all that delicious Parma ham and Parmesan cheese comes from.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Telč, Czech Republic
- Fort Kochi, Kerala, India
- Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Parma, Italy
- Puebla, Mexico
Nature picks for 2020
Like seals? Head to Magadalen Islands in Quebec. Turtles more your thing? The Maldives has a Four Seasons resort with a rehabilitation center filled with the critters.
But if you have a craving for bison which cannot be quenched, then your destination absolutely has to be Bialowieza Forest, home to the world’s largest population of free-roaming European bison.
- Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada
- Kalahari Desert, Botswana
- Bialowieza Forest, Belarus/Poland
- National Blue Trail, Hungary
- Canary Islands, Spain
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
Top adventure picks for 2020
For a little country, Wales packs quite a punch. It has an abundance of castles, gorgeous windswept beaches and some very impressive mountains.
And now to capitalize on this, the tourism board has launched The Wales Way, a family of three touring routes that takes in all this mighty UK destination has to offer.
Elsewhere, the National Geographic list highlights the lesser-visited regions of Tohoku in Japan and Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, home to lots of pristine snow and not very many people.
- Tasmania, Australia
- Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Austria
- Wales Way, UK
- Tohoku, Japan
- Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
- Zakouma National Park, Chad