As we say goodbye to another year, we’re thinking ahead to 2018’s holiday calendar. We’re not the only ones, either – we’ve already started noticing trends in where people are searching for their next getaway (and what they’re looking to do when they get there). Want to know what’s looking hot? Here’s the inside track…
Croatia has soared in the popularity stakes over the past couple of years and it’s not hard to see why. Holidaymakers are being lured by the country’s historic towns and cities (and not just Dubrovnik – Split, Rovinj and Pula are all hotspots), UNESCO-awarded sites, breathtaking beaches and spectacular national parks. The festival scene is a draw, too.
The short flight time (UK flights touch down in under three hours) is also a bonus, plus Croatia’s not part of the euro zone, making those afternoon cocktails and seafront suppers even more appealing.
Private yacht charters
Freedom, adventure and a whole lot of style – crewed yacht charters are new for us for 2018, and we think they’re going to prove to be a big hit. The yachts themselves provide a serious taste of luxury, with en-suite cabins, al fresco dining decks and gourmet meals cooked to order by your private chef (expect to have the most Instagrammable of holiday snaps!).
As for the experience of taking to the water, one moment you could be mooring up in the Bay of Naples (or hopping ashore on Hydra island, or wandering around Hvar Town), the next you could be sitting on deck watching the sun set with a glass of your favourite wine. Not a bad way to spend a week…
Greece has always been a firm favourite, but each year we tend to see a new island or strip of coast that people have got the hots for. For 2018, it’s the islands of Santorini, Kefalonia and Zakynthos that have got people talking.
With a gorgeous colour scheme of blue and white, and views so unbelievable photos don’t do them justice, Santorini is the perfect hotspot for a romantic break away.
Then there’s Kefalonia. Often overlooked in favour of its northern neighbour, Corfu, Kefalonia’s unspoilt landscape is attracting lovers of the outdoors, while its upmarket yet low-key towns are stealing the attention away from traditional glitz-and-glamour spots like St-Tropez.
Head south of Kefalonia and you have Zakynthos, an island that’s shaken off its party reputation with the help of an influx of luxe hotels (and one of the most photogenic beaches in Greece).
Multi-generation family holidays
Family holidays are going big in 2018, with parents, kids, grandparents and even aunts and uncles joining the gang. Hotels are making it easy for bigger groups to all stay under one roof comfortably, too, with luxe villas set within the hotel grounds.
Families can enjoy the facilities of a hotel with all added space and home comforts of a villa. Gran and grandad could be in the private pool with the kids while mum heads to the spa, the whole family can sit down to a laid-back meal on the terrace (or wander down to the hotel’s restaurant if no-one fancies cooking), and adults can uncork a bottle of wine in the lounge after the kids have gone to bed for the night.
Looking for more than just a pretty coastline? You’re not alone – destinations which team beach days with a slice of adventure are sky-rocketing for 2018. Sri Lanka is our pick, with lush jungle to explore, wildlife to spot and ancient temples to tour. Ask our Trusted Advisers about our selection of private escorted tours in Sri Lanka, which pair perfectly with a week’s stay on the island’s beaches.
Multi-centre holidays in the same country
Multi-centre holidays aren’t a new thing, but for 2018 we’re seeing much more interest in people looking for multi-centres in the same country, and even on the same island.
Take Majorca, for example. The island is so diverse, why not hire a car and stay a few nights in two separate parts? Team a beach break with a few days of shopping and culture in Palma, or twin the sandy bays of the north with the mountain towns along the west coast.
Tempted by our talk of Croatia earlier? It’s another destination that’s great for a multi-centre holiday – kick off in Dubrovnik, before driving along the coast for a few days on the Split Riviera. Our team can put together almost any itinerary you like – just give them a call to chat through your ideas.
Distant oases, soaring mountains, spice-laden souks and ancient minarets: that’s Morocco in a nutshell. And it’s all only a few hours’ flight from the UK. The Atlas Mountains is our region to watch for 2018 – stay at the Kasbah Tamadot for a riad-style hotel with an infinity pool and terraced gardens tucked away in the foothills. There’s also breezy, beachy Essaouira, which makes a perfect pairing with Marrakech.
Oman seems to be the country on every travel magazine’s lips at the moment. You could head to the seafaring capital, Muscat, or retreat to mountainous Jabal Akhdar. Fancy trying something a little different? The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort perches on a 2,000-metre-high plateau, so you get canyon views from everywhere from the restaurants to the pool.
Paradores in Spain
Some things are better a little vintage and that is definitely the case with Paradores – unique, historic hotels scattered across Spain. Stays at these characterful properties (we’re talking the likes of medieval castles and Renaissance palaces) come as part of our exciting new itineraries, one taking you to the cultural cities of Andalucia, and the other to the rugged landscapes of northern Spain.