With the currency exchange massively in our favour you can wine and dine like a king.

Grab your passport and hit the airport for we have put together a list of the 10 best places to go in 2016. Make sure you go now before the crowds

1 – SOUTH AFRICA

Why: With the currency exchange massively in our favour you can wine and dine like a king.

Stay: At The Silo that opens above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art (the MoMa of South Africa) in Cape Town. It comes with a penthouse suite, a rooftop pool and a champagne bar that overlooks Table Mountain.

Eat: The Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch is famed for its wines. Noneother than Nelson Mandela was known to put in an order from its 300 year old vineyard. We love the roast beef on a spit, but if you really want to push the boat out you can enjoy the Estates Experience Menu (you just need to give them 24 hours’ notice). Or you could reserve a table at The Test Kitchen run by award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts. This innovative restaurant has received has also received rave reviews from Heston Blumenthal.

Explore: You can’t leave Cape Town without climbing up Table Mountain. There are a variety of routes you can try in length and difficulty. You can hike through the jungle, scramble over rock faces before you reach the famous tabletop summit with sea views.

 

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2 – TOKYO

Why: The city, which is now riding high after a successful bid for Olympics 2020, is known for its hospitality. However, while you’re bound to see more state-of-the art facilities popping up, including the new National Stadium, this city already has more than enough to entertain visitors. It has an an array of beautiful temples and shrines, a crazy nightlife and the city’s restaurants have been awarded more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world,

Stay: Take your designer luggage to the Mandarin Oriental Toyko that overlooks the grounds of the Imperial Palace. It also has not one, but three Michelin-starred restaurants, and a swimming pool that offers astounding views of the Tokyo skyline.

Eat: Visit the teahouse in Hamarikyu Garden. Set at the edge of the Sumida River, it’s the perfect place to watch the world go by.

Explore: One of the main attractions for this city that serves up super fresh sushi is the Tsukiji Fish Market, known as ‘Tokyo’s Kitchen’. You can catch the live tuna auctions at 5am. However, if you want a lie in they have 399 other varieties of fish that you can spy later in the day.

 

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3 – AUSTRALIA

Why: The currency is weak at the moment, which means more spending money for us! The country offers you a wealth of natural wonders – a vast rich red desert, a diving reef that can be viewed from outer space and creatures you won’t spy anywhere else. If you’re going to go, you really should spend at least three weeks there to see as much as you can of the country. However, if you’re short on time, you can always book a gourmet weekend at Margaret River.

Stay: Pullman Resort Bunker Bay is the perfect place from which to tour the vineyards. Choose one of the boutique villas that come with chic furnishings, cathedral ceilings and a courtyard garden.

Eat: At one of the 90 world class wineries that are close by. One such winery is the Eagle Bay Brewing Co that has been opened since 1950. Not only can you sample some of their famed vintages, but you can enjoy an array of wholesome dishes created by Chef Rupert Brown using herbs and salads plucked from their organic garden.

Explore: Margaret River is prime whale watching territory. Okay, a trip around the vineyards you might be seeing two – but hey, as we said Australia is great value for money.

 

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4 – BOTSWANA

Why: The Africa country is celebrating 50 years of independence. So join the celebrations by discovering this wonderful country. This country, which will soon be a magnet for tourists, is already a magnet for wildlife. So before the crowds arrive, saddle up and tour the Okavango Delta by horse back.

Stay: Just because you’re on safari, doesn’t mean you have to rough it. Book one of the plush tented rooms at Mombo Camp. Here is where you’ll find yourself in the midst of bush-to-bush game in one of the most luxurious tented camps to be found in Botswana.

Eat: Wake up to breakfast in bed, then after a day in the saddle, the chefs in the camp will serve up an array of homemade dishes (and even treat you to afternoon tea).

Explore: From the camp you will be able to ride out into the bush and spy the Big Five along the way. If you need to ease those muscles when you return after a day in the saddle, you can also jump into the camp’s swimming pool.

 

Africa was a hell of a trip! Took some of the best photos of my career and had an incredible time doing it. It was exhausting doing dual safaris everyday for 12 days but entirely worth it! I’ll be doing write ups of the places that I have travelled to give you a better understanding of how to photograph it, what to see, travel tips, and highlighting a nonprofit in the area so be in the look out for that on my website soon! #botswana #africa

Une photo publiée par Lucas J. Pols (@ljpphotography) le


5 – RIO DE JANEIRO

Why: This party city has one more reason this year to don the beads and dust off the Mardi Gras floats – it’s hosting the Olympics.

Stay: At the hillside hideaway of Hotel Santa Theresa. This hip hotel offers jawdropping views of the city, a Veuve Cliquot bar and you’ll even find a complimentary pair of Havaianas in your room.

Eat: Enjoy a caipirinha on your balcony looking out over the beach, then head to Lasai, which was listed as one of the World’s 50 Best restaurants. Set in a historic house dating from 1902, this innovative restaurant serves up such dishes as pulled braised oxtail on homemade brioche, coconut yam with egg yolk and vegetables grown on the chef’s own farm. The key ingredient of the day is often showcased in a glass dome on your table.

Explore: You can watch Usain Bolt and pals battle it out at Barra Olympic Park. Then visit the Feira do Rio Antigo in Lapa, which is a huge antiques fair during the day, and turns into an al fresco nightclub as soon as the sun goes down.

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6 – CUBA

Why: President Obama finally opened the US Embassy, which means that the American influx is on its way. So if you want to visit a country before McDonald’s starts unpacking its Happy Meals book your ticket now.

Stay: At Hotel Saratoga, a luxury boutique hotel tucked away in Old Havana, Cuba’s historic capital. It combines old world charm with creature comforts. Take a seat on the terrace that was popular with writers and artists in 1930s, order a mojito or Havana cigar and watch the world go by.

Eat: Take a seat at the cosy La Casa restaurant in Nuevo Vadado. And it’s not just the locals who have fallen for this restaurant by the sea, A-listers such Matt Dillon and Diego Maradona can be found here tucking into platefuls of tapas, pasta or sushi.

Explore: The only way to tour the city is in a vintage car. So visit the Museum of Fine Arts, stroll down the Paseo del Prado to Havana’s seawall, then finish your day with a show at the legendary Tropicana club.

Hotel Saratoga outside

7 – ANTARCTICA

Why: It’s been 50 years since explorer Lars-Eric Lindblad first took guests to Antarctica. And as those icebergs keep disappearing due to global warming, if you want to experience what Eric’s first guests saw you need to go now before it’s too late.

Stay: Fly to Ushuaia, then climb about the National Geographic Explorer. Your floating hotel will take you into Drake’s Passage between Cape Horn the Antarctica Peninsula.

Eat: Swap tales of your adventures in the ship’s restaurant or bar. Serving up first-rate cuisine using fresh ingredients, you don’t have to worry about toting your supplies with you on this expedition.

Explore: The National Geographic Explorer not only comes with 13 zodiac boats and 36 kayaks to help you get nearer to the action, but there will also be a National Geographic photographer on board who will be able to give you tips on how snap that perfect Instagram shot or two. You’ll have the chance to spy dolphins, penguins and even a whale or two.

8 – DUBLIN

Why: The Celtic tiger is back. As the country commemorates the centenary of the Easter Rising, which is seen as the start of Irish independence, this island will be welcoming visitors with open arms and ready to party.

Stay: The Merrion Hotel set in four former Georgian townhouses is the perfect place to rest those partied out feet. Featuring the two-star Michelin restaurant, pool, spa and gym, you won’t want to leave…

Eat: With Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant on your doorstep, you need to book a table at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. Expect dishes such as melt-in-the-mouth veal cheek, crab salad and crème brulee. And don’t forget to order a bottle or two from the 18th-century wine cellar.

Explore: If you are staying the The Merrion, you can use one of its bikes to explore the city. However, you are only a few minutes’ walk from the galleries, museums and shops of Grafton Street. Then if you’re there on 17 March, make sure that you’re near O’Connell Street where you will be able to see the famed St Patrick’s Parade – Dubliners guarantee that this year’s parade will be the best one yet.

9 – GREENLAND

Why: the home of whales, polar bears and aurora borealis sightings will be hosting the Arctic Winter Games from 6 to 11 March. Greenland’s capital Nuuk will be hosting skiers and ice hockey players as well as those skilled in the more ancient arts of the knee jump and finger pull.

Stay: The city comes with a couple of large hotels that sport all those necessary amenities and an array of friendly guest houses too.

Eat: Get ready to enjoy fjords to fork cuisine. With seaweed, Greenland halibut and locally grown herbs on the menu, this food is about as fresh as you’ll ever have eaten. Foodies will be able to indulge their tastebuds at an array of eateries, including the Thai Charoen Porn restaurant, A Hereford Beefstouw steakhouse and numerous cafes including the popular Café Esmeralda.

Explore: Who needs a car or a boat, when you can order up a boat, snowmobile or dogsled. Take a trip out to spy the wildlife, or wake up early to see the aurora borealis, one of the most dramatic light shows on Earth.

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10 – USA

Why: … Because Robert Redford is telling us to. The Hollywood star gave his voice to a new movie that celebrates 100 years of the country’s National Parks. While the US might be famous for its skyscrapers in New York, its Chinese Mann Theatre in Los Angeles and its Art Deco buildings in Miami, it’s the National Parks that are sure to blow visitors away the most. Three are the parks in California are really close together so in the spirit of being in the US, you could even do a road trip.

Stay: You can start by glamping in the  Sequoia High Sierra Camp  in Kings Canyon National Park before heading to Ahwanee Hotel  in Yosemite National Par and then if you have had enough of being under canvas, you can move on to the  Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe.

Eat: At Sequoia High Sierra Camp you can dine in the camp’s gourmet restaurant, in Yosemite you might want to pick up a picnic and then when you arrive in Tahoe you can sip their signature cocktails by the fire.

Explore: If you’re not wowed by the waterfalls of the Kings Canyon National Park, you will be by the gargantuan rock formations at Yosemite. There’s a reason why the photographer Ansel Adams made this his second home. And then there’s Lake Tahoe where you can kick back on the beach.

 

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