If money was no object, many of us would simply spin the globe atlas in our homes, and where our finger randomly lands, is where we will likely be going to next. However, few can afford to do that.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t dream of an amazing place to visit this year. Here to guide you, the Insider Travel team have picked the must-visit destinations for 2022.
From the luxurious south of France to the splendour of Lake Malawi, there’s a travel destination to appeal to everyone.
A beautiful place that is perfect for solo travellers or people that prioritise safety over everything else is Iceland. It is the safest place in the world.
The country has consistently been number one on the list of the safest countries to visit, and let’s be honest, safety is usually a top priority for travellers, especially female solo travellers.
Iceland used to be under the radar but has become increasingly popular among people who want to explore beautiful landscapes, an eco-friendly destination and many more unique activities.
Some of the popular tourist attractions include the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach which is one of the most famous black beaches in the world.
For skincare lovers, the Blue Lagoon is a luxurious experience because the hot springs are said to be good for both your health and skin.
Another popular tourist attraction in Iceland are the northern lights (aurora borealis). Aurora is a natural light display that is predominantly seen in high-latitude regions like Iceland.
The spectacular natural light show is best seen at times of increased solar activity which is from late August to mid-April in the country.
The capital city, Reykjavik, offers a variety of luxury and budget hotels, perfect for any budget. Hotel Borg, which is in the centre of the city costs around R4 263 per night, while budget-friendly guest houses and apartments in the capital city start at around R1300 per night.
Iceland is a beautiful small country, and travellers will be tempted to try see everything during their trips but it is unrealistic to fully experience everything the country has to offer unless you are spending months in the country. – Nosipho Nyide
The Côte d'Azur, France
The climate in the south of France is the warmest in the country, with average summer temperatures reaching above 30ºC. So, if you’re looking to escape the chill in the autumn and winter months in exchange for balmy beaches and glamorous parties balanced with countryside views and an abundance of opportunities to immerse yourself in a new culture, this is the destination for your next holiday.
Antibes, Cannes, and St Tropez are sailing hubs for the world's super-yacht owners and their guests. The parties are legendary but the guest lists are super exclusive. Nevertheless, the Mediterranean lifestyle is scorching in every way. With a bikini, some SPF 50 and a cocktail in hand, you really can’t go wrong.
As for where to stay, it’s best to hop around from the seaside to the vineyard regions to experience the best of both worlds. The French villas are extraordinarily beautiful with some even boasting views of the iconic lavender fields of Provence that bloom in June. If you want to experience this, and maybe take a few snaps for Instagram, make sure you go during the right season. In winter, the snow can fall and the lush green vines start to look a little bare, the rolling hills are browning so the scenery can disappoint tourists who haven’t planned accordingly. – Sacha van Niekerk
The KZN South Coast
If you’re a camper, caravanner and water sport enthusiast, then camping under the stars at The Pont Holiday and Water Sport Resort in Port Edward, set on the border of the Umtamvuna River, is something to consider doing this year. It’s relatively inexpensive and more importantly local.
A quick two-hour drive out of Durban, this beautiful natural location offers campers time out to relax, unwind and spend special time with friends and family. Pets can tag along too.
The property has many amenities including a pool, an on-site restaurant, jet skiing, boating and canoeing in the Umtamvuna River, a playground for the kids and is close to many other attractions, such as the nearby beaches, Wild Waves Water Park, Red Desert, biking trails and river rafting and tubing.
The overall camp sites and ablutions are always neat and clean and if you get tired of sleeping on the grass, you could book out one of their mountain, pool or landmark view rooms.
The one thing to be careful about at this resort is your camp neighbour not following the rules of the site.
Although it doesn’t happen often, there is a chance that rowdy neighbours can interfere with your peace and tranquillity. If this happens, report them to security. – Alyssia Birjalal
Lake Malawi, Malawi
The first time I came across Lake Malawi was in the John van de Ruit book series, Spud. One of the characters was from Malawi and his father had a holiday home on the banks of the majestic lake.
The characters all rolled their eyes, irritated whenever he spoke about how it was the most magnificent view he had ever seen. He is even mocked about it. That is until he gets his father to fly all of them to their home in Malawi and they are rendered silent when they see he was right– Lake Malawi indeed is a marvel.
It is said that when the missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone saw Lake Malawi for the first time, he christened it the “Lake of Stars”. Lake Malawi is a vast body of crystal clear freshwater that is great for water sport enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy snorkelling and kayaking.
The Rift Valley lake forms Malawi's eastern border with Mozambique and Tanzania and is home to the world's greatest number of lake-dwelling fish species. It is Africa's third-largest lake and the eighth largest in the world, stretching 580km in length and 75km in width. It is also rather deep. The freshwater lake with its sandy beaches and deserted islands is the mainstay of the country's economy and tourist industry. The best time to visit is between May and October as it gets warmer going from moderate to hot by November. The Lake is perfect for beach holidays, offering calm, clear and warm waters in a tranquil setting flanked by mountains and a rural setting. – Buhle Mbonambi
This article first appeared in Sunday Insider, Jan 16, 2022