Destination 2015; top places to visit next year

There’s nothing like the Christmas and New Year break to get you thinking about your next big trip; planning your destination 2015 is what January was made for! Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to take the cold and rain knowing that you have an exciting adventure lined up.

At APH we love to travel, so we’ve come up with our top tips for the best places to visit next year; we’ve got everything from adventurous terrains for explorers to tropical paradises, perfect for recharging batteries.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get planning your trip for 2015!

Amalfi Coast, Italy

destination 2015

Stunning Sorrento Image credit

Dramatic coastline and jaw dropping scenery; the Amalfi coast stretches out to the south of Naples. Italy’s most stylish coast is dotted with glittering towns like Positano and Amalfi, the coastal mountains the plunge dramatically into the sea as roads cling impossible to their steep sides.

Enjoy fabulous food at Southern Italy’s best restaurants, lounge on your terrace taking in the views of the sparkling sea or hop in the car and enjoy one of the world’s most spectacular coastal roads.

destination 2015

Positano is the perfect place to sip cocktails and lounge on your balcony Image credit

The Amalfi Coast makes a great base to explore historic Pompeii, an easy day trip away by bus or car. A boat trip out to the island of Capri is also well worth the effort; highlights include the blue grotto, a sea cave illuminated by blue light or catching a chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro to take in the breath-taking views.

destination 2015

Villa Rosa Positano

Highlights: Pretty Positano, stylish Capri, historic Pompeii

Stay: Make the most of the stunning sea views from your private terrace every morning at Villa Rosa in Positano

Go: April to September

Flights: £102 flying Alitalia into Naples

 

Whitsunday Islands, Australia

destination 2015

The swirling sands of the Whitsunday Islands Image credit

This gorgeous group of islands found just off the tropical Queensland coast are sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef and fringed by white sandy beaches. Only seven of the 74 islands have resorts, and these cater for every taste and budget. The most populated island is Hamilton Island which has a plethora of hotels and apartments along with an airport and a selection of restaurants.

destination 2015

Sailing is the best way to take in the islands

You can take a day trip to the island from the mainland town of Airlie Beach or fly directly there and get transferred straight to paradise via Hamilton Island. Thanks to the sheltered seas, there are few crashing waves making conditions ideal for sailing; this is one of the best ways to take in the islands.

Laze on sandy beaches, take a dip in a pool, explore uninhabited islands or take a trip out the Great Barrier Reef and take in the beautiful underwater world!

destination 2015

Sleep on a tall ship with Sailing Whitsundays

Highlights: The white silica sand of Whitehaven beach; taking in Hamilton Island via golf buggy

Stay: On a boat! Sailing Whitsundays has 3 day/3 night boat trips from £260 p/person

Go: April to October

Flights: £621 flying China Southern into Brisbane, or fly direct to the islands with Qantas into Hamilton Island at £868

 

Philippines

destination 2015

Boracay is a beach lovers paradise Image credit

350 years of Spanish rule have left their mark on the Philippines; the mix of cultures has led to some fabulous colonial architecture, delicious food and some of the friendliest locals you will meet.

The Philippines are an island hoppers dream; over 7000 island make up the archipelago, you can find yourself your perfect sandy spot, anywhere from a bustling beachside town to pitching a tent on a deserted strip of perfect white sand.

destination 2015

The Philippine Tarsier, one of the country’s cutest residents Image credit

Start out in muggy Manila where you can take in colonial buildings and enjoy some of the best food to be found on the islands, then make your way via boat to your beach paradise of choice; we recommend the tiny island of Boracay, which is fast becoming a tourist hot spot thanks to its stunning beaches and laid back attitude.

destination 2015

Boracay Beach Resort

Highlights: Lazing on the tropical paradise that is Boracay, snorkelling with whale sharks

Stay:  Stay in a bungalow beside a beautiful beach at Boracay Beach Resort

Go: January to May

Flights: £402 flying China Southern into Manila

 

Istanbul, Turkey

destination 2015

The Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque

Once Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul; you can explore three cities in one with a trip to Turkeys capital. Istanbul is packed full of historic sites like the incredible Topkapi Palace, once home to the Sultans at the heart of the Ottoman Empire; the beautiful blue tiled Sultan Ahmed Mosque, one of the few in the world to have six minarets or the Byzantine Hagia Sophia; once the world’s greatest cathedral until Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.

destination 2015

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar; expect to get lost Image credit

History is not the only reason to make the trip; shopping in the Grand Bazaar is like nothing you will have experienced before. Come armed with a map to negotiate your way through the maze of stalls selling crafts, food and clothing, and be prepared to haggle to secure some great deals.

destination 2015

Hotel Djem Istanbul

Highlights: Mosques, palaces and souks

Stay: Hotel Djem is a classic townhouse decked out with antiques and rustic charm just a stone’s throw from the main sights.

Go: April to May or September to October

Flights: £129 flying Air France

 

 

 

Cuba

destination 2015

With recent talks between Cuba and the US set to relax hostilities and thaw the frost, the country looks set to open up to waves of tourism; so before the rest of the world catches on we recommend making the hop over to this lively and beautiful island.

Start out in Havana where you can take in the faded buildings and get a feel for the history of the island. It’s thanks to the spirit of the Cuban people that the country hasn’t deteriorated beyond all repair, and wandering the atmospheric streets of Old Havana you get a real feel for their troubled past.

destination 2015

The faded glory of Old Havana

Cuba produces some of the world’s best rum, so head to Casa Del Ron to sample some treats before taking in Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban retreat; Finca Vigia. Once you’ve had your fill of the city make your way beach-ward and spend the rest of your days sipping Cuban cocktails on a sandy strip of heaven.

destination 2015

Saratoga Hotel Havana

Highlights: Old Havana, Rum tasting, beach lounging

Stay: Enjoy city views from the rooftop pool at Saratoga, Havana’s hippest hotel

Go: December to May

Flights: £509 flying Virgin Atlantic into Havana

Patagonia

destination 2015

Breath-taking view lurk around every Patagonian corner Image credit

Ancient forests, glistening glaciers and wildlife watching await the adventurous traveller who makes their way south to Patagonia. The sparsely populated tip on South America is shared by Argentina and Chile and home to the likes of penguins, orcas and flamingos.

The Parque Nacional Los Glaciers is one of the highlights of a trip to this region; the jewel in the crown of which is Glaciar Perito Moreno, a 30km long monster that creeps forward at a dizzy pace of two metres a day, causing huge splinters of ice to cascade down its steep façade.

destination 2015

Perito Moreno Glacier

Patagonia offers breath-taking views over unspoilt lands, and the chance to get up close and personal with some feathered friends. Penguin fans should make sure they include a trip to Magdelena Island where they can make friends with the adorable Magdellanic penguins that inhabit it.

destination 2015

Weskar Lodge

Highlights: Penguins, glaciers, vistas

Stay: Weskar Lodge has cosy wood panelled rooms featuring panoramic views over Last Hope Sound and the landscape beyond.

Go: November to March

Flights:  £662 flying British Airways into Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sri Lanka

destination 2015

Once a land torn apart by civil war, the rich and beautiful island of Sri Lanka is fast becoming a serious tourist hot spot, and it’s not hard to see why.

Featuring eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, rainforests, beaches, delicious food and elephants loitering around every corner; this stunning island is waiting to be discovered and thanks to its manageable size, most sites are within easy reach of each other meaning you can cover a lot of ground in a short space of time.

destination 2015

A baby Sri Lankan elephant with it’s mother Image credit

Highlights include the ancient temple of Sigiriya, the Temple of the Tooth which houses the relic of the Tooth of Buddha and Yala National Park for wildlife spotting.

destination 2015

Hotel Eva Lanka

Highlights: Temples, beaches, elephants

Stay: White sandy beaches and leafy jungle surround the cute cottages of Hotel Eva Lanka in the fishing town of Tangalle.

Go: September to April

Flights: £422 flying Qatar into Colombo

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