We’re only a few weeks into the new year and it already feels like time to start planning a big adventure. With so many amazing places to explore around the world, it can be hard to know where to visit, but January is the perfect time to start plotting and planning. Rather than spending your time exploring big cities, aim to get back to nature this year and discover some of the most beautiful landscapes our world has to offer. Here are 7 amazing places to visit this year.
1. Uluru, Australia
We’re so fortunate to have such a beautiful place within reach, but many of us never make the time to visit Uluru for ourselves. A trip to the Red Centre is one of absolute magic, camped out in the Australian outback under millions of sparkling stars or watching the sparse desert come alive vibrant orange and red with the first light of sunrise. A visit to this sacred space is also a chance to learn the history of the area and appreciate how precious and ancient the land is. It will give you a new understanding and appreciation for Australia and just how beautiful our home country is. Find out more about Uluru here.
2. Gili Islands, Indonesia
Rather than getting lost in the madness of mainland Bali, hop aboard a local fast boat and set sail for the Gili Islands. Comprising three small islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, the area offers a retreat from the scores of tourists found in Bali. You’ll find a slower pace of life, long afternoons with golden sunsets and perfect sparkling blue water so clear you can snorkel and swim all day. The hospitality on the islands is amazing, with friendly local vendors offering simple accommodation and fantastic food at a fraction of the price of Bali. Find out more about the Gili Islands here.
3. Marrakech, Morocco
Make Marrakech the starting point for an adventure you won’t forget. Explore the winding streets of this vibrant city, getting lost among the seemingly endless markets and brightly adorned stores selling spices, rugs and everything in between. Then head out into the wide open, traversing the snow-capped Atlas Mountains before driving out into the Sahara Desert to spend a night camped out under the stars, surrounded by tents and sand dunes. The food in Morocco is unlike any other, bursting with flavours and spice that will have you craving more for years to come. Find out more about Marrakech here.
4. National Parks, United States
Quite often the United States is associated with sprawling cities like New York and Los Angeles, but there’s so much to discover outside of these places and a large number of them are on the West Coast. Watch the sunrise over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then spend the day hiking down into the Canyon or soaking in once in a lifetime views then visit nearby Zion National Park for even more jaw-dropping beautiful landscapes. Explore the Sequoia National Park, wandering through rugged foothills and deep canyons, marvelling at the world’s largest trees. Take a trip to Yosemite National Park to see El Capitan and Half Dome, spot bears and take in magnificent waterfalls and views. Find out more about National Parks of the United States here.
5. Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
High in the hills of Europe, where the borders of Italy, Switzerland and France meet. The French part of this area is known as Chamonix Mont-Blac and it’s towering snow-capped mountains will take your breath away. The area is renowned for its Alpine skiing but more than that the landscape is absolutely stunning. Rolling hills, dramatic drop-off points and mountains straight out of a fairy-tale create a diverse landscape dying to be explored and photographed. Find out more about Chamonix Mont-Blanc here.
6. Wanaka, New Zealand
I add Wanaka to just about everything I write about and that’s because it’s absolutely gorgeous. You’ll find Wanaka a welcoming, cosy town set among breathtaking mountains and the picture-perfect beauty of Lake Wanaka. It’s a place where you find yourself walking five steps then stopping to take another photograph because everywhere you turn you find something more beautiful. Spend your time visiting wineries, learning to ski or enjoying the slopes, eating at fantastic restaurants selling great local produce, meeting the locals and planning where exactly you want to live when you move there. Find out more about Wanaka here.
7. Mount Huangshan, China
Forget what you know about China. Forget the over-populated cities and pollution. The famed Yellow Mountain, Mount Huangshan, is one of the most incredible landscapes you’ll ever see, like something out of a Chinese history book or fairytale story. Imagine misty mountains and sheer rock faces that drop away into nothing. Picture wide open spaces, walking through huge trees along winding pathways and being immersed in a part of nature you never thought possible, let alone to be found in China. Mount Huangshan is an absolute surprise packet and a place worth making the journey for. Find out more about Mount Huangshan Here.