As the year winds down, travel companies are looking ahead to see what’s hot in 2020 – and Audley Travel is no exception. The tour operator has released its top picks for the places to go in the next year, along with some tips on what to see and do there:
Egypt — Audley Travel has seen a significant uptick in travel to Egypt since 2018 – but why is 2020 the year to go? A new Nile River cruise will soon be available from Mayfair Cruises starting in late 2019. Additionally, after delaying the opening for the last couple of years, the long-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum is finally planned to open in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Audley’s Recommendation: Closed for visits since 1965, the interior of the Bent Pyramid of Dashur was re-opened to visitors in July of 2019. Built some 4,600 years ago for Pharoah Senefrou, it is an example of one of the earliest pyramids at a time when they were still perfecting the design.
Austria — April 1, 2020, marks the 55th Anniversary of The Sound of Music release, a perfect opportunity to travel to Salzburg, and through the Austrian lakes district, to visit where the hills came alive 55 years ago.
Audley's Recommendation: Travel to Salzburg and through the Austrian lakes district and explore the city that the real Von Trapp family called home. Travelers can tour the Trapp home as well as other locations where iconic scenes were filmed.
Ireland — Head to Ireland’s most northerly county, Donegal, for its long, sweeping beaches, heather-clad mountains, precipitous cliffs and network of ancient monuments. The destination received an approximately $5.6 million investment this year in an effort to boost tourism at the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal (fun fact: the cliffs are three times the height of Cliffs of Moher!) and the Donegal Airport received additional funding for expansions of the runway, allowing for more routes and tours to be added. 2020 is also the 1,500th Anniversary of St. Colmcille, one of Ireland’s patron saints who shares distinction with St. Patrick and St. Bridget, so destination-wide celebrations are sure to drive visitation.
Audley's Recommendation: Ireland’s best kept secret won’t be a secret for long, as more and more people traveling to the country seek to get off-the-beaten-path and away from the swarms of visitors. Trade the crowds of tourists and buses along the "Wild Atlantic Way" for the unspoiled scenery of County Donegal, just a 25-minute plan ride from Dublin.
Cambodia — Cambodia has long been one of Indochina’s forgotten destinations, but new direct flights from Bangkok to Sihanoukville are launching this January, making it a must-see for 2020.
Audley’s Recommendation: Cambodia's magnificent temples are the country's most famous attraction, but venture beyond Angkor and travelers will be rewarded with a far more enriching experience. Avoid the overcrowded beaches of Thailand and enjoy the undiscovered beaches in Cambodia instead. Best of all, the new flights will make the trip a lot easier as travelers will no longer have to make the long journey back to Phnom Penh for their flight.
Antarctica — A visit to Antarctica is challenging and rewarding in equal measure; however, the dramatic landscapes and superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are simply like no other place on Earth. Expedition cruises to Antarctica are the simplest, most effective way to explore this beautiful, barren continent, which is why a new ship launch from Aurora Expedition in the fourth quarter 2019 will be a game changer for 2020.
Audley’s Recommendation: Educational and exhilarating, these rewarding boat voyages offer access to penguin colonies, thermal pools and historical settlements. Audley specialists recommend setting sail on the newest ship from Aurora Expedition, the Greg Mortimer. The new state-of-the-art vessel is set to sail this October 2019.
Myanmar — A new five-star experience in the mysterious and remote region of Myanmar is the new Rosewood Yangon, which is already considered the most luxurious property in the area. The hotel partially opened in summer and will debut entirely this fall; it offers travelers signature Rosewood service with unique colonial-styled accommodations.
Audley's Recommendation: Audley specialists recommend travelers stay at Rosewood Yangon, originally the New Law Courts for British Burma. Adding to the destination intrigue, Myanmar’s temple city, Bagan, was just awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.