The 10 Hottest Global Travel Destinations to Visit in 2016

Image: Getty

While it’s probably considered more productive to work on your New Year’s resolutions, it’s definitely more fun to map out your 2016 vacation plans instead. For those of us looking to add to our Passport stamps this year, luxury travel network Virtuoso has unveiled its Annual Virtuoso Luxe Travel Report for 2016. From the up-and-coming travel spots to visit this year to the hottest international getaways, here are all the places to jet off to in 2016.

 Top 5 Emerging Destinations

#1. Cuba

Now that U.S. travel sanctions have been lifted from Cuba for the first time since 1962, Americans are eager to jet set off to the unknown Caribbean island. The up-and-coming travel destination tops the list of emerging places to visit this year for its old-fashioned charm, culture and well-preserved Spanish architecture. Plus, Chanel is set to take its resort runway to the island hot spot next May—meaning the fashion set just may have a new vacation favourite. Nervous about venturing to Cuba for the first time? Read this Cuba travel diary here.

Courtesy of Virtuoso

Trip Experience To Try: Travel like a Cuban local by taking a specially curated tour which guides you through Cuban culture, people, art and more—especially helpful for first-time travelers. Try one of Virtuoso’s recommended Cuban tours here.

#2. Iceland

For a truly unique island vacation experience, Iceland ranks as this year’s second hottest off the beaten path destination. With an incredible mix of waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes and black-sand beaches, the diversity of vacation experiences is endless. From sailing trips to whale watching, volcano tours and the hottest tourist attraction, The Blue Lagoon, there are plenty of things to do for every type of traveler here.

The Blue Lagoon Spa in Iceland; Image: Getty

 Trip Experience To Try: Visit the Iceland Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a set-in nature spa that’s located in the heart of Iceland. From an outdoor spa, waterfall, in-water massages, saunas, lounges and plenty of dining, it’s the ultimate serene vacation experience.

#3. Croatia

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Credit this one to the Game of Thrones craze (many of the shows scenes have been filmed in Croatia), but the European country is rising as one of the hottest new travel spots. Coast lining the Adriatic Sea, the picturesque destination offers plenty of beach relaxation, ancient towns to explore, picturesque views and Instagram-worthy travel experiences.

Courtesy of Virtuoso

#4. Myanmar

The Southeast Asian country is home to gilded pagodas, bustling street bazaars and beautifully designed ancient Buddhist temples. Myanmar’s diverse culture lends a travel experience that offers a wide array of activities for travellers to experience while visiting.

Image: Getty

Trip Experience To Try: Experience the Belmond Governor’s Residence for a luxe stay in Yangon, Myanmar. The secluded colonial-style mansion hotel dates back to the 1920s and boasts lotus pools, fan-cooled verandas and pagodas for guests to enjoy.

#5. Antarctica

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The vast white sheets of ice, glaciers and water of Antarctica make for the ultimate wilderness getaway. Take a cruise to enjoy all the best parts of the South Pole bearing continent from icy kayak rides to wildlife tours and more.

Image: Getty

Trip Experience To Try:  Experience the arctic climate and gorgeous icebergs on a cruise along the continent’s coast. Peruse Virtuoso’s luxe cruise options to Antarctica here.

Top 5 International Destinations

#1 .Italy

For the second year in a row, Italy tops the list of most sought after global vacations. Whether you’re looking to soak in the sun along the Amalfi Coast or explore the culture of Venice, Rome, Milan and Florence—Italy is the perfect spot for a well-rounded trip of relaxation, food, shopping and culture.

Courtesy of Park Hyatt

Where To Stay: For the city dwellers: The Park Hyatt Milan, located in the heart of Milan the 5-star hotel is located just steps away from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Duomo. For the beachside dwellers: Punta Regina Positano.

#2. France

Whether you’re exploring the heart of it all in Paris or escaping to the beaches of St. Tropez, there’s always a stylish trip waiting in this Euro hotspot. Looking for a trip that’s a little more unique? Try visiting the scenic countryside in Provence.

Image: Getty

Where To Stay: For Paris Dwellers: La Reserve Paris, For Your St. Tropez Getaway: La Réserve Ramatuelle, scheduled to reopen for the season on April 22, 2016, For The Country Lovers: Domaine de Manville in Provence.

#3. South Africa

Rising as a must-visit destination for those craving both adventure and relaxation, South Africa boasts a truly robust vacation experience. Travellers can experience a safari to see the country’s incredible wildlife or take a canopy tour to take in the views from above. The country has access to all the outdoor activities that are probably lingering on your bucket list, from diving with sharks to riding ostriches or simply enjoying the incredible rocky beaches of Cape Town.

Courtesy of andBeyond

Where To Stay: The Lodge at &Beyond Phinda Homestead, a private house that mirrors that of a luxurious safari lodge. Guests have the whole place to themselves with the luxury of a private chef, personal game drive vehicle and ranger.

#4. Mexico

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For the beach bums at heart, Mexico boasts an array of picturesque islands and villas to relax in the sand. Whether you prefer the beaches of Tulum or exploring the ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, there are plenty of vacation hotspots to hit throughout the country.

Image: Getty

Where To Stay: Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco, you can always count on Banyan Tree for offering the most glamorous of lodging to its travellers. Bask in your own private villa—and pool—in the scenic hotel that’s located along a cliffside perched atop  the exclusive Punta Diamante enclave.

#5. Australia

Touch down in the Land Down Under for a truly diverse, sunny vacation. From snorkelling in The Great Barrier Reef to visiting the iconic Sydney Opera House, there is plenty of wildlife and culture to be explored here.

Image: Getty

Where To Stay: COMO The Treasury in Perth. The first COMO-owned property Australia just opened its doors in October 2015. Spanning the top three floors of three Victorian-era buildings, referred to locally as the State Buildings, the luxe hotel features COMO Shambhala wellness therapies, shops, and restaurants including Chef David Thompson’s newest culinary endeavour, Long Chim.