What's Hot: Our Tips on Where to Travel in 2023
At the Wild Frontiers office, we gazed into our crystal ball to see where would be big in 2023. Without blowing our own trumpet too much, in the past, we’ve predicted the rise of travel to Iran, Georgia, and most recently Saudi Arabia. So if you want some ideas on the hot places to visit in 2023, step this way…
Albania is a country we have long admired and our two walking tours - one taking in the beauty of the mountainous north and the other the coastal trails of the south - have been popular with many of you for a while now. Its charms are starting to receive wider attention, and we’ve introduced a new cultural tour which combines the best of north and south - Albania Encompassed. Some of the many highlights include the huge Ottoman citadel of Gjirokastër, the ancient ruins of Butrint, visits to a winery and to discover the country’s heritage of mussel farming, the bunker-based art galleries of Tirana and much more. Visit now before Albania mania kicks in.
It’s fair to say that Lebanon has been through a lot recently. Already struggling to cope with the number of refugees from Palestine and Syria owing to recent conflicts, the country was then beset by a huge explosion in the city docks, corruption at the heart of government and energy crises which at one point threatened to paralyse the country. Yet the Lebanese are nothing if not resilient, and that’s why we’re backing tourism to return there in 2023. Wild Frontiers’ sales expert Kenny travelled there in late 2022 and was determined that we should all do what we can to help this country back on its feet - starting by visiting.
Algeria has had a large amount of coverage in the press recently, including from travel writer Mark Stratton, who travelled with Wild Frontiers and wrote about the country for Wanderlust Magazine. Conde Nast Traveller magazine meanwhile tipped it as Africa’s next big destination. It seems 2023 is set to be the North African country’s year. It’s blessed with Roman ruins such as Djemila and Tipaza, Algiers’ impressive kasbah, the whitewashed colonial architecture of Oran and a vast Saharan desert of oasis towns, abandoned villages and stunning vistas.
Japan is back and as Wild Frontiers’ Hayley can attest, it’s definitely open for business! After two and half years of being closed to overseas travellers, the relaxation of rules was drip-fed over the summer. First, only for escorted groups, with a daily entrance cap. A few months later, they welcomed travellers on ‘non-guided package tours’. But with the economy taking a hit from these strict restrictions, the government even resorted to encouraging young people to get out and drink (ah, remember eat out to help out?), finally, Japan opened its doors on October 11th. Hayley flew out two weeks later and enjoyed frequenting cosy izakayas and slurping Michelin star ramen in Tokyo, admiring the enchanting autumn colours in sacred Koyasan and relishing river boat rides and temple visits in Kyoto. Good things certainly come to those who wait, but now that you don’t need to, get over to Japan in 2023.
Peru is a destination that everyone should visit at least once. Machu Picchu rightly remains one of the world’s most revered sites, and the country now has a growing number of eco-resorts and exciting activities from e-biking around the Sacred Valley to alternative hikes to Machu Picchu, not to mention its increasingly world-famous cuisine. If you’ve never been to Peru, make sure that changes in 2023. But for now, check out the top 7 things to do in Peru.
Whisper it, but Ethiopia could be on the way back. One of our all-time favourite countries, we used to offer tours throughout Ethiopia, from the Danakil Depression to the Omo Valley and the more well-known northern circuit, featuring Lalibela and the Simien Mountains. For now, it looks like after a recent peace deal the northern circuit may be back on, which is music (Ethiopian jazz?) to our ears. The Ethiopian government signed a peace deal with the Tigray region in November, ending years of conflict, and while it is still early days, African observers are welcoming the news, as are we at Wild Frontiers.
One country’s misfortune is another country’s opportunity...or something like that. The sad fact Turkmenistan is still closed to visitors is proving to be a positive for Kyrgyzstan, with many travellers now looking to combine Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan rather than what was previously our most popular pairing, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. They make for a great combo too: the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan seen in its turquoise lakes, walnut forests, dramatic mountains and vast steppe lands together with its strong nomadic culture of eagle hunters, horseback games and yurt camps combines beautifully with the cultural delights of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities to give a great overview of Central Asia. Check out our popular Kyrgyz/Uzbek group tour Mountains and Cities or browse all our tours to Kyrgyzstan.
Oman’s vast deserts, picturesque wadis, rugged coastline and ancient forts are attracting visitors seeking a quiet escape in the Middle East. A perfect winter sun destination, it’s a great place to recharge your batteries and escape the winter blues.
The smallest of the stans is also probably the most off-the-beaten-track stan, and therein lies its appeal. Discover the quiet capital Dushanbe (meaning Monday market), follow the ancient Oxus river along the border with Afghanistan, travel along one of the world’s most breathtaking roads on the Pamir highway, meet local Tajiks and discover a way of life that is in many ways unchanged in centuries.
Many of you are wanting to explore wilderness destinations after being cooped up at home for so long, and Namibia fits the bill perfectly, as one of the world's least densely populated countries with stunning desert scenery. Whether you self-drive on a private holiday or join our Namibia: Sands of Time group tour, the highlights keep coming, from the sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the Skeleton coast, and from the wildlife of Etosha National Park to ancient petroglyphs and encounters with the Himba people.