We might haven’t even finished the first full week of 2015 but it’s never too early to begin planning a vacation for this year. To help you decide on where to go, this article from Forbes have selected the places to visit this 2015.
Travel is back, and in a big way: according to a recent report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the tourism agency of the United Nations, international tourism hit a new record in 2014, with over 1.1 billion travelers traversing the globe. And although conventional wisdom says the world is getting smaller, the list of potential destinations for passionate travelers continues to grow. While a quick Google search reveals a seemingly endless slew of recommendations, I undauntedly present the three top places on my 2015 travel wish list. Though the selection process was unscientific and highly subjective, there are a host of compelling reasons to visit each of them in the year ahead, not the least of which is that they remain largely undiscovered (relatively speaking)…but not for long.
Montenegro: Long overshadowed by Croatia, its captivating neighbor to the west, Montenegro is poised to become a world-class luxury travel destination thanks to its idyllic, 180-mile-plus coastline and rugged interior dotted with river canyons, glacial lakes and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the singularly spectacular Durmitor National Park. Already home to the stunning Aman Sveti Stefan resort, which hosted the wedding of Novak Djokovic in July, the Balkan country is luring other top-tier operators, including the esteemed One&Only chain, which will open its first European property in Kumbor on Tivat Bay in 2016. Meanwhile, on the UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor, Porto Montenegro, whose chief investor is Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk, is vying for the title of Europe’s leading marina, with berths up to 180 meters to accommodate superyachts; tax and duty-free fuel at a 45% discount versus countries within the EU is another incentive sure to lure uber-wealthy mariners.
Namibia: Celebrating its 25th anniversary as an independent nation this year, Namibia is arguably the jewel of Africa, and an example to the continent—and the world—of the power of sustainable development. It was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution; the government has reinforced conservation efforts by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. Today, over 43% of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management, and the program has facilitated a remarkable recovery of wildlife: Namibia now boasts the largest population of black rhinos and cheetahs in the world and is the only country with an expanding population of free-roaming lions, leading some to call Namibia’s conservation efforts the greatest African wildlife recovery story ever told. The country is also home to the largest sand dune in the world, Soussusvlei, and Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa.
Lithuania: This former Soviet Republic, located east of Sweden and Denmark, will become a card-carrying member of the Eurozone starting January 1, 2015—which means traveling there is about to become a whole lot easier (think scads of ATMs, simpler electronic payments, and a familiar currency). It’s also home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the old town of capital city Vilnius, a Baroque masterpiece and one of the largest old towns in Central and Eastern Europe; and the Curonian Spit, a 60-mile peninsula of spectacular beaches stretching south into Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Once heavily forested, it’s now the pride of the country and backed by Europe’s largest moving sand dune.
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