Lonely Planet selects the best destinations for 2022

(CNN) – In 1973, young British couple Tony and Maureen Wheeler published a how-to book, Across Asia on the Cheap. Little did they know that a modest how-to brochure would lay the foundation for a global travel brand called Lonely Planet.

Nearly 50 years later, their travel guide empire, Lonely Planet, is still going strong.

As much of the world is slowly opening up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, travel is high on the minds of many of us. The hope is that 2022 will see families reunited, loved ones catching up after long periods apart, and packed vacation time used in once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022 book is now on sale. We’ve got a quick preview of the places they think should be on your to-do list, from the hidden gems of the Oman desert to the gorgeous blue waters of Belize.

“After an imposed hiatus, it’s time to take long-delayed travel plans off the shelves and make them a reality,” Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s vice president of experience, said in a statement. “Rolls celebrate the world in all its fascinating and seductive diversity.”

This year, Lonely Planet highlighted the top 10 cities, regions and countries – see the lists below.

Top 10 countries

10. Egypt

Egypt is home to the Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

But don’t think “old” is synonymous with “boring.” Despite their 4,500-plus year history, we continue to learn more about these architectural marvels every year.

Case in point: The 207-foot-high Pyramid of Dozer, the oldest pyramid in the group, only reopened to the public last year.

Malawi is considered one of the friendliest countries in the world.

Jonathan Gregson / Lonely Planet

9. Malawi

At just 45,747 square miles, Malawi can sometimes be overshadowed by its larger neighbors like Mozambique and Tanzania.

But there are treasures to be had in the “warm heart of Africa,” all while having fewer tourists to compete for space along the stunning Lake Malawi, the world’s ninth largest lake.

Malawi has many of the same attractions that its African cousins ​​love, such as safaris where you can see elephants, baboons, hippos, and other animals in their native habitats, all for a fraction of the price.

8. Nepal

It is almost impossible to discuss Nepal without talking about Mount Everest. But this Himalayan country has a lot to offer to travelers who don’t climb the highest mountain in the world.

In the Mustang hinterland (meaning “fertile plain”), hikers can explore the high desert and meet locals at home along the way, dining on Nepalese specialties such as coffee with yak butter and koti-style momo – half fried, half steamed. .
The Middle Eastern Kingdom of Oman scores highly for Lonely Planet employees.

The Middle Eastern Kingdom of Oman scores highly for Lonely Planet employees.

Justin Folks / Lonely Planet

7. Oman

Do you think Norway is the only place in the world where there are fjords? Think again.

In Musandam, Oman, bordering the Strait of Hormuz, the mountains reach heights of up to 2,000 meters creating a wonderful backdrop for narrow stretches of water.

But that is not all that Oman has to offer. On the same trip, you can also experience the Empty Quarter, a stretch of desert where Oman meets Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That’s four countries at once – and you won’t need to pack a coat.

Anguilla is one of the Leeward Islands.

Anguilla is one of the Leeward Islands.

Anna Gidnak/Shutterstock

6. Anguilla

Well, Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory and not technically a country. However, the gorgeous Caribbean island deserves a closer look.

Anguilla’s subtle reopening plan has made it a favorite destination for CNN contributor Hannah Seligson, who traveled there with her young children in January.

She was passionate about the island’s “aquamarine sea, 33 public beaches, 80-degree temperatures, great hotels and food,” as well as her responsible approach to public health amid the pandemic.

5. Slovenia

Amidst so many popular destinations in Eastern Europe, Slovenia can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. no more. CNN contributor Chris Dwyer describes it as, “Not the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Alps, or Slovenia are some combination of the three, offering their own distinct touch.”

Thanks to the country’s small size, visitors can cover a wide range of terrain in a short amount of time, from picturesque Lake Bled to the bustling capital of Ljubljana.

Lonely Planet isn’t the only one noticing this. This year, the Michelin Guide distributed stars to seven restaurants in Slovenia.

4. Belize

Do you want to explore the Mayan ruins, swim in the blue waters and watch the wonderful wildlife? Belize has all of this and more, and can be accessed via direct flights from several North American cities.

If you’ve been waiting for Australia to open its borders, try Belize instead: The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Belize Barrier Reef Reserve is so breathtaking that US travelers won’t need to worry about jet lag.

In the meantime, language enthusiasts will appreciate that the national language of Belize is English.

3. Mauritius

The most searched topic on Google about Paradise Island in Mauritius is “Where’s Mauritius?” Let’s face it: It is located in the Indian Ocean 700 miles east of Madagascar.

Now that you know where it is, here are some reasons to visit this underappreciated African haven, by CNN contributor Tony Smart: “It’s inhabited by peaceful, multi-ethnic people, topped with fantastic golf courses, and offers a myriad of watersports, mountain trekking Hunting, bird watching, luxury resorts, old colonial capital, great food, three and four star hotels, one of the best botanical gardens in the world, good nightlife, beautiful beach bars, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of the oldest horse racing tracks in the world, And the sightseeing of the wonderful city.”
Norway has more than 15,000 miles of coastline.

Norway has more than 15,000 miles of coastline.

Nick Fox / Alami

2. Norway

Norway is constantly included in the lists of the happiest countries in the world. So what is their secret? CNN asked two members of the country’s royal family, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, about their theories.

Mette-Marit has one answer: “We love being outside in nature. If you’re at a Norwegian house on a Sunday and don’t go for a walk in the woods…that’s not good.”

If you want to channel that peaceful energy yourself, head to Bøkeskogen, the world’s northernmost beech forest. It’s about two hours from the capital of Oslo, so you can easily experience the city and the country on the same day.

1. Cook Islands

Fun fact: Air New Zealand only operates one flight from the US that doesn’t go to New Zealand. It connects Los Angeles to Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands and a gateway to some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

This group of 15 islands in the South Pacific has been at the top of many Lonely Planet employee wish lists for 2022 and beyond.

What is on offer? Water-centric activities such as snorkeling, diving and fishing, not to mention a glimpse into the indigenous Maori community of Te Phara Nui village.

Thinking of choosing a city or region for your next trip? Here are the rest of Lonely Planet’s picks for 2022.

Top 10 Regions

1. Westfjords, Iceland

2. West Virginia, United States

3. Xishuangbanna, China

4. Kent Heritage Coast, UK

5. Puerto Rico, United States

6. Shikoku, Japan

7. Atacama Desert, Chile

8. The Scenic Rim, Australia

9. Vancouver Island, Canada

10. Burgundy, France

Top 10 cities

1. Auckland, New Zealand

2. Taipei, Taiwan

3. Freiburg, Germany

4. Atlanta, United States

5. Lagos, Nigeria

6. Nicosia / Lefkosia, Cyprus

7. Dublin, Ireland

8. Merida, Mexico

9. Florence, Italy

10. Jeonju, South Korea

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