Want to know where to go in 2019? Here’s part one of MojehMen and travel company Black Tomato’s round-up of the hottest – as in coolest – most interesting destinations to travel to over the coming year. Part two comes tomorrow. Get booking today.
NORWAY: For nature lovers and discerning travellers seeking escapism, try Western Norway’s Arctic Fjord region of Lofoten and Sunnmore. Sunnmore is a magnificent area of peaks and summits that’s far off the tourist trail – and where active travellers can experience incredible climbing, hiking, surfing and whale safaris by rib. Check out the ‘Naturfestivalen’ (Festival of Nature) arranged in the Ørsta area, featuring Northern Europe’s steepest mountain race, the ‘Saudehornet Rett Opp’.
TOHOKU, JAPAN: Japan continues to fascinate and entice culturally inquisitive travellers – but, while Tokyo and Osaka are must-sees, get to the lesser known region of Tohoku. Only 90 minutes north-east of Tokyo, Tohoku offers incredibly varied natural landscapes perfect for hiking – and even skiing in the winter. With colder weather, Tohoku is a also little-known gem for experiencing Cherry Blossom season for longer and without the crowds city crowds. Travel back in time to the Edo period and visit the village of Kakunodate – home to Samurai legends and artisan workshops. During the summer months, the region hosts several festivals that offer a fascinating glimpse into Japanese life. The Northern town of Amori comes alive with the Amori Nebuta festival.
SENEGAL AND GUINEA BISSAU, WEST AFRICA: A previously unexplored corner of Africa, which sometimes feels more Brazilian than African, this region is slowly luring in the culturally curious traveller, with its fascinating mix of heritage, and vibrant art and music scenes. Immerse yourself in ancient traditions voodoo and ancient rituals, where masked dances are performed and griots continue to play the role of historians and storytellers. Indeed, music runs through the veins of the people and the region plays host to internationally renowned music festivals such as the Abéné Drumming Festival, the Senegal Jazz Festival and Guinea-Bissau’s main event, The Carnival. Discover the ‘Sacred Forests’ in Casamance as well as villages of traditional Kings, the longest line of mangrove lagoons in Africa and its hidden adobe villages. One area to watch is the Bijagos Archipelago – also known as the ‘Brazil of Africa’.
THE SKELETON COAST, NAMIBIA: The sprawling Skeleton Coast, a previously hard to access corner of the country, is now ripe for travel adventure with several new design focused luxury lodges recently opened, the likes of Shipwreck Lodge. Now the otherworldly landscapes, unique desert-adapted wildlife and haunting shipwreck relics are waiting to be explored – the likes of Möwe Bay – explore the corroded remains of the Suiderkus shipwreck – and the Hoanib River route through game-rich valleys and river beds in search of a fresh track of black rhino or desert elephant.
GEORGIA AND TURKEY: These are seeing a boom in hotel openings ideal for travellers who prefer a little more luxury when they explore. There’s the Stamba Hotel, in Tbilisi, itself an emerging city where travellers can experience the innovative spirit that the region is typified by. Or, for a more peaceful coastal retreat, try Turkey’s Bodrum and the new Six Senses Kaplankaya.