The new year has just begun and already, some of my readers have asked me for ideas on where to go in 2019. I thought about this and decided to create this list, partly based on places I’ve visited and absolutely loved in the past few years. Here are my recommended destinations in 2019:
I visited Nepal for the first time last year and even though I only got to see Kathmandu, I was blown away by its historic sights, temples and friendly people. The chaotic traffic was often overwhelming but despite that, I was drawn to its serene, deeply spiritual vibes. I’d go back in an instant! While you’re there, do explore the rest of this country to see other historic towns and the breathtaking peaks of the Himalayas. If you’re short on time, take a scenic flight to the Himalayas for literally jaw-dropping views!
See my video of the scenic flight to Mount Everest:
Read about my impressions of Kathmandu.
Matera, situated in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, is the designated European Capital of Culture in 2019. There will be lots of cultural events to enjoy throughout the year but take some time to explore this wondrous city of caves, which is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited settlements in the world! Visiting Matera is like taking a step back in time to Biblical ages! Read about things to do in Matera.
If you’re visiting Matera, I also recommend exploring the neighbouring region of Puglia. Check out my guide to the best places to visit in Puglia.
Another country I visited for the first time last year. I don’t know why it took me that long to finally visit Lithuania! It’s a beautiful country with a gorgeous capital (Vilnius), charming towns, large swathes of dense forests, crystalline lakes and beaches. Spend a few days exploring Vilnius (with its picturesque old town and countless churches), then head over to Kaunas (a wonderful mix of historic architecture and Art Nouveau) and indulge yourself in the spa town of Birštonas. If you’re there in the summer, head for the beaches of Palanga and nearby Šventoji. A curious (perhaps spooky) site that is worth a visit is the Hill of Crosses in northern Lithuania, where approximately 100,000 crosses and religious icons dot the slopes of a hill.
There’s always something to do in Germany, one of the top holiday destinations in Europe. This year, fans of Modernist architecture and design are in for a treat as the influential movement, Bauhaus, celebrates its 100th birthday! Trace the steps of the Bauhaus movement and admire the terrific architecture and design in cities such as Weimar, Erfurt, Dessau and Berlin. Take note of the new Bauhaus Museums opening in Weimar and Dessau in 2019.
From the lofty peaks of the Andes to the tropical Pacific Coast and the incredible Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is an amazing destination with lots to see and do. Explore the historic centre of Quito before venturing into the cloud forests of Mashpi and further up into the Andes. If you can, I recommend a visit to the Galapagos Islands.
Read about places you should not miss in Ecuador.
I visited Belfast, Northern Ireland, four times in 2018 and absolutely enjoyed every visit. Stroll around the city centre, visit one of the many pubs, check out the stunning street art (and pubs) in the Cathedral Quarter and re-live the days of the Titanic at the Titanic Museum. While you’re there, make time to explore more of Northern Ireland. Check out the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Coastal route, Lough Neagh, Game of Thrones experiences, culinary tours in Enniskillen, hikes in the Mourne Mountains and cycling tours in the Sperrins.
La Réunion & Mauritius
These two dots in the Indian Ocean are the perfect pairing for those seeking a luxury beach escape combined with action and adventure. La Réunion (or Réunion Island) is a French department (the Euro is the currency here) and is a mountainous island with one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It’s a paradise for travellers seeking action and adventure; from canyoning in old lava flows to hiking in the cirques, and exploring lava tunnels to flying in a micro-light plane above the mountains, Réunion Island is simply mind-blowing!
Read about things to do in Reunion Island.
After all that action and adventure, head to nearby Mauritius, with its incredible crystalline lagoons, powdery white beaches, bustling towns and stunning luxury resorts. Read about things to do in Mauritius and my recommended luxury hotels in Mauritius.
There you have it! My list of where to go in 2019! I wish you safe and inspiring travels!
Lithuania is beautiful! I absolutely loved my visit there last year. I’ve written a few posts about my trip. You can find them here: https://velvetescape.com/tag/lithuania/
I hope you’ll get to visit Lithuania soon.
Hi, I saw that Lithuania is beautiful, you can share some post about this or you can tell me more about recommendations to travel there? sincerely all the things I have read on the internet lead me to the same thing “it’s beautiful” but do not give me much more information, you would help me a lot if you could tell me more about this place.
I just stumbled upon this post and I love the inspiration! Mauritius has been a dream of mine for a long time. I’m also traveling to Northern Ireland for the first time next year 🙂 Can’t wait!
Absolutely! I included Chile on a previous list. Perhaps it’s time I revisited again. 🙂
Hi Thank you for this information, I still believe Chile should be part of the list !
There are many Caribbean destinations I can recommend such as Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, St. Lucia and Curacao.
Any destinations in the Caribbeans? Good sites though on your list. Nice share
We have done Kathmandu in Nepal and it was one of the most amazing experiences. We hiked to Base Camp, which was a real bucket list experience, being from New Zealand and following in Hillarys footsteps. I think Mauritius would have to be my next favourite on your list! That water looks incredible
Hi Keith, this list is awesome, Thanks for sharing.
So happy to see Kathmandu, Nepal in this list. I am feeling so great to see my country on this list.
Thanks for sharing, glad to have found Kathmandu in the list, it feels great when you find your country in list.
Thanks for sharing , great content
Thanks for your lovely comment. I was only in Kathmandu for a few days for a conference. I’ve heard of the other places you mentioned and I’d love to return to Nepal one day and see more of the country.
You always share to the world with something new and amazing places to go. Thank you so much for sharing the list of places to go in 2019.
I agree with your ideas and experiences. I got a chance to visit Kathmandu, Nepal last year. When I read your article I found you missed to see Pokhara, Mustang, Chitwan and so on. I found this country is really beautiful, peaceful and less expensive. You don’t need to miss the natural beauty of Nepal visiting Pokhara and chitwan.
I definately try to visit other places you mentioned.
How long did you stay in Neapl?
Glad you like the post! I’m planning to revisit most of these destinations this year. Starting with Matera next week!
I’m from India, and I always wanted to visit Nepal. I have a bunch of places to visit in India and our Neighbouring Countries this year. Thanks for sharing your list. Where do you want to visit in 2019 and if you can revisit one of these places in this list this year, which one would that be?
I’ve included Madagascar in previous lists as it’s high on my bucket list. My neighbours just went there a few months ago and they LOVED it!
Hi Keith, this list is awesome. I really want this all in my bucket list…Cheers from far away Taipei!
I read your post and you put such a wonderful destination to visit. I really apperciate it and makes me motivated to travel more.
I think that Madagascar should be added in the bucket list of travelers this year. It is a beautiful country for wildlife lovers and adventure seekers. Apart from that, getting closer to malagasy people would be a great experience once in a lifetime, they are very friendly and welcoming, they share to visitors their way of life and the ancient concept of life.
Greeting from Madagascar