A new year has arrived, and you’ve been thinking of your New Year’s resolutions. Are you itching to use your air miles or leave the country for the first time? There’s no time like the present to start checking items off your bucket list. While traveling the world may seem intimidating, it’s doable if you have a list of destinations in mind. Check out these international cities that will transform the year ahead.
Whether you’ve seen it on a postcard or while scrolling through social media, Santorini is instantly recognizable. With volcanic mineral beaches, captivating blue and white architecture, and steep cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, it has only become more popular in recent years. Fira, Santorini’s capital, offers stunning views of the caldera, a deep blue bay created by volcanic explosions. Take a boat tour to the volcano’s hot springs or explore Fira’s museums and picturesque walking paths. At night, visit one of the many restaurants serving classic Greek dishes like moussaka. From Fira, hike to the nearby town of Oia. You’ll take in breathtaking views and see smaller, equally beautiful villages along the way. Once you reach the cliff-top town, sip on a glass of local wine and take in the stunning, colorful sunset you won’t find anywhere else.
Cairo combines the exciting pulse of sprawling city life with a rich history. A journey to the Giza Pyramids, the last surviving structure of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is a must. For a true adventure, book a tour by horse or camel. You’ll marvel at the size of the larger-than-life pyramids, which were once tombs for the powerful pharaohs. Most tours also include an encounter with the Great Sphinx. About an hour from the city, you can explore more of the Old Kingdom of Egypt at Sakkara and Dahshur, both home to what’s thought to be Egypt’s earliest pyramids. To experience more of the city itself, be sure to check out Khan el-Khalili, a famous market full of traditional crafts and souvenirs, or Salah El-Din Citadel, a nearby medieval Islamic-era fortress.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
You don’t need to be on a honeymoon to experience the serene beauty of Bora Bora. In addition to its well-known overwater bungalows, the island escape boasts a variety of watersports and ways to explore the depths of the sea. Pack your favorite swimsuit and underwater camera, then dive into the clear waters of French Polynesia. Get up close and personal with reef sharks while snorkeling and scuba diving in the lagoon. Or, opt for a less daring day on Matira Beach, the largest public access beach on the island. If you’re visiting between July and mid-November, there’s a chance you’ll spot humpback whales migrating to the area. Bora Bora offers plenty of kaleidoscopic views underwater, as well as panoramic sights from its highest points, like the top of Mount Pahia.
From its fast-paced city life to its picturesque cherry blossoms, Tokyo makes for an unforgettable adventure. For a more traditional look at the exhilarating city, tour the ancient Buddhist temple, Senso-ji. It’s just as popular as it is colorful. Get a whiff of the large incense cauldron said to bestow health, then walk through the nearby shopping street of Nakamise-dori. If you’re interested in Tokyo’s technology-driven culture, you’ll love the Robot Restaurant and SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory. Check out teamLab Borderless, a digital art museum. See the crowds at Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest pedestrian walkways in the world. Find sanctuary from the head-spinning city at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Wander the 144-acre, beautifully manicured park and take in the serene landmarks. Your trip to Tokyo isn’t complete without taking advantage of the food scene, offering the best of sushi rolls, ramen noodles, and street foods.
Bali is the perfect destination for all travelers. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual sanctuary, yoga retreat, or surfer’s oasis, look no further than the “Island of the Gods.” Much like Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, you’ll fall in love with the rich culture and awe-inspiring landscapes. Walk along the emerald-green rice paddy fields and charming small villages surrounding Ubud. Seek new heights at the top of Mount Batur, offering panoramic views of the sunrise. As a predominantly Hindu island, Bali is home to numerous scenic temples. Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple sit on top of striking rock formations, while Ulun Danu Beratan floats in the middle of a serene lake. You can’t leave Bali without having your very own jungle adventure. Play with the local wildlife at Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, soar through the trees at Bali Swing, and hunt for waterfalls hidden throughout the lush greenery.
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