HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS

16 Best Holiday Destinations You Must Visit 

HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS2020 started with hopeful New Year’s resolutions, a roaring excitement for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and a beaming optimism for the next decade. Out with the old, in with the new, 2020 is going to be the best decade-endear ever–or so we thought. Let’s travel with Airlines Northwest and explore some of the best holiday destinations on the planet–and we mean that! 

South Africa

A picture of lions, tigers, and zebras usually pops up when South Africa gets swirled into the conversation. But let’s try to break the stereotypes here. Africa is best-known for its awesome safari escapades, but there’s so much more about this beautiful country that’s worth visiting. 

Aside from the parade of exotic animals, South Africa offers diversified touring opportunities. Many travel agencies offer a week-long (or even a month-long) safari escape. But if you feel like extending your stay, you can also check out the amazing beaches, savannas, and vineyards that Africa is most famous for. Some of the must-visit spots in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s capital cities, include the Cape of Good Hope and the Garden Route, which gives you access to lagoons and forests. Known for its edgy cliffs, the Cape of Good Hope offers breathtaking views of beaches and mountains in the region. 

If you’re done with sightseeing and you want some action, Maclear’s Beacon surely won’t disappoint. Home to Cape Town’s unspoiled fauna and flora, this flat-topped mountain is a famous landmark for hikers and non-hikers. You can reach the mountain top in two ways: hiking or via cable ways.

The country’s real charm is its well-preserved culture and its wildlife preservation. Can you imagine yourself listening to the symphonic sound of elephants as they trumpet from excitement? Or maybe a lion’s roar from afar while watching the African sunset can seal the deal for you. Either way, Africa is a great holiday destinations for any type of traveler. 

Bali 

Arts, romance, and a serene atmosphere–Bali is a honeymooner’s paradise wrapped in one picture-perfect province. But even if you’re backpacking solo, Bali’s land and seascape are sure to captivate you.  

From magical temples to serene beaches, Bali is a mix of natural wonders that spell the perfect balance between yin and yang. It has pretty much everything for all types of travelers. Bask under the sun wearing your skimpy swimsuit on day 1, marvel on Bali’s glorious mountains the next day, and end your tour with relaxing yoga meditation. Everything is laid out for you and it’s just all a matter of going. 

But aside from its exquisite beauty, what made Bali one of the best holiday destinations is its enchanting culinary and cultural scene. Taking advantage of its rich soil are its local chefs, street vendors, and stay-at-home cooks. Its traditional menu, along with its wide range of vegan, organic, and international cuisines, make it a dream destination of foodies who love diving into a full gastronomic experience. 

Los Cabos, Mexico

Rugged coastlines, electrifying marine life, and an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean–everything about Los Cabos, Mexico is like a surreal painting. While serene beaches rest on its coastlines, one of the most-visited landmarks in Los Cabos is the arch of Cabo San Lucas. You may have to travel far south to witness its exhilarating beauty, but it is definitely worth the extra mile. 

Also known as Land’s End, the arch of Cabo San Lucas is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California. Tourists flock in the area to see dancing sea lions and other marine life, along with its unique rock formation. 

If you want to swim on pristine ocean waters, you can also explore Playa Santa Maria, Playa del Amor, and Cabo Pulmo National Park. The best for sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving, Los Cabos is a spectacle of diverse beaches. No wonder famous celebrities drive all the way to the south to unwind in this virgin paradise. 

Japan 

You don’t even need the Olympics to add Japan to your bucket list because the country is already beautiful on its own. An amazing country that’s home to even more amazing people, Japan gives you the best of nature and technology. Either you want to experience a ride to a bullet train or a hike to Mt. Fuji, Japan gives you unlimited reasons to book a plane ticket now–or after the pandemic. 

And now that it’s on the radar of sports enthusiasts, we have more reasons to celebrate Japan’s authentic beauty. From the grandiose Imperial Palace to the serene Japanese Alps, you can find a mix of the past and the present in this country’s touristy spots. 

One of our personal favorites is the historic Kyoto, which is known for its architecture. A mirror to the past, Kyoto is a cultural heritage that houses well-preserved artworks, temples, and sculptures that take you back to the pre-WWII era. Kyoto is one of the cities that have been spared from WWII’s catastrophe and the Japanese have been successful in preserving it ever since. Not a fan of history? How about a trip to the bustling city of Tokyo where you can find the most innovative gadgets? Anywhere you go, Japan has something that can feed your curiosity and creativity.

Ireland 

It’s not just folk tales of leprechauns that made Ireland to our list. Also known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland reflects the best of Western Europe through its magical forests, ancient castles, and mysterious ruins. As if entering a new dimension, Ireland lets you marvel around the world of fairy tales, minus the fairy dust and magic wands. 

But other than its architectural beauty, it is also prominent for its lush greenery and never-ending highlands. The Cliffs of Moher, the Killarney National Park, the County Kerry, and Glendalough are a feast of edgy cliffs and rolling mountain views, but that’s not the end of it. Setting the bars high for creativity, Ireland’s main cities are a parade of colors and artworks.  

A weekend visit to Galway, which was named as the European Capital of Culture this 2020, will treat you to artistic performances. Magicians and street performers line up on its rustic streets and alleyways, while local cafes and restaurants burst with exquisite culinary flavors. And, of course, let’s not forget the shabby beer pubs that made Ireland more iconic. A trip to Ireland will never be complete without a tall mug of beer, anyway. 

Jamaica

Pristine Caribbean beaches, blue lagoons, and rich rivers are the heart of Jamaica. A country that served as a stage of Hollywood films, Jamaica’s local culture and natural scenery extends beyond the movie screen. But just to keep you updated, did you know that this country will hit the cinema again for the next James Bond movie? Yup, time to book a flight or hit the cinema once it is released! 

To kick off our virtual tour, we’ve got the Negril Beach (Seven Mile Beach), which is popular for its clear turquoise waters and powder-like sand. It may not be the best beach for surfing, but its tranquil nature gives you more access to a variety of beach activities. If you’re done with kayaking and scuba diving, you can complete your day with horseback rides that give you access to Jamaica’s scenic beauty.  

Got tired of your day tour? Grab a plate and indulge in Jamaican cuisine that’s bursting with rich flavor while you enjoy the best sunset view. 

Siargao, Philippines

If you’re a surfer, Siargao needs no introduction. Fighting head-on against Bali in the “beach-all-day” department, this small southern island quickly rose as a top surfing destination because of its gigantic surf brakes. Its iconic Cloud 9 has lured famous surfers all over the world, including Anthony Kiedis and Kelly Slater to name a few. 

Teeming with backpackers almost all-year-round, Siargao has become a refuge of many tourists who want to experience a laid-back atmosphere. The community is relatively small, with its size only a tenth of Bali, but this may be one of Siargao’s charms. Just imagine sitting on a hammock under a coconut tree as you listen to the gentle (and sometimes roaring) sound of the waves. Ahh, the smell of freedom!

Aside from its fantastic natural scenery and invigorating nightlife, Siargao is also famous for its local cuisine and its nipa huts-turned-rooms for rent. Perfect for those who want to take a break from busy urban streets, this paradise takes you back to a time when life was simple and worry-free.

Greece 

Goddesses wearing their ethereal cloaks, a picture of Zeus and his mighty thunderbolt, and great Greek palaces all make Greece is a center of attraction for those who love ancient mythology. But even if you haven’t read a single mythology book, this country gives you all the reasons to keep it on your wish list.

When in Athens, it’s hard not to spot the Acropolis as it sits right at the skyline of this famous city. To say that its architectural structure and Doric columns are beautiful is an understatement. Stepping foot on its grounds is like squeezing yourself in a wonderful masterpiece that was cleverly preserved over time.

This, along with the mesmerizing architecture in Santorini, the divine monasteries of Meteora, and the legendary Mount Olympus can open the gates of your imagination. And if you have the extra energy, you can go on a hike in Samaria Gorge or go spelunking in the rugged Melissani Cave.  

Needless to say, Greece is one of our best holiday destinations because of its well-preserved cultural heritage and its great sense of character. Even the calm Athenian Riviera can convince you to go save up for a trip to this gorgeous country. 

Switzerland 

How about riding a cable car that shows you amazing snow-covered views of the Swiss mountains? Or maybe skiing around the Toblerone-shaped Matterhorn in Zermatt can ignite your adventurous side? 

Snow season or not, Switzerland is the dream holiday destinations of many travelers because of its epic scenery. Its glorious highlands filled with rolling greenery spells peace and serenity, while its charming villages show the beauty of simplicity. The view of the Swiss Grand Canyon, the Oberhofen Castle, and the Rhine Falls are so therapeutic, you can find healing and positive floating on the air. A spectacular trip to nature, Switzerland, along with its famous alps, quaint shops, and cobbled streets, is a gift to every traveler.  

Brazil

Let’s face it: with wild Amazon fire headlining major events last 2019, it’s quite discouraging to pay Brazil a visit. But believe it or not, this is the best time to support tourism in the country. By booking a trip to Brazil, you also contribute to providing a source of livelihood for its locals. Plus, no natural disaster can write off Brazil’s natural beauty. 

While the colorful festivals and the lively scenery in Rio de Janeiro are already hard to say ‘no’ to, there are also other Brazilian landmarks worthy of your attention. From the stunning Iguaçu Falls that stand over 100 meters tall, you’ll be amazed by the Amazon rain-forests. Home to wildlife and native Amazons, these rain-forests are a door to major natural wonders.   

Salvador is also beaming brightly in the face of adversity with its new architectural structures and tourist spots. Following a 5-year historical preservation initiative, the city now highlights the House of Carnival and the Fasano Hotel chain. 

Bahamas

It’s hard to bump off the Bahamas when we talk about the best holiday destinations. Beach lover or not, there’s just something about its amazing sea and landscape that’s so magnetic. Snorkeling, diving, and boat tours–name it and the Bahamas has it.

And with the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve opening doors last 2019, you have all the more reasons to book a cruise to the Bahamas. The goal behind the reserve is to maintain the rich marine life in the area, which can only be accessed by guests of MSC Cruises. 

If you’re not in the mood for an exclusive cruise, you can also hop aboard a tour to the Paradise Island and the Glass Window Bridge. Come sunset, prepare yourself for an exhilarating nightlife orchestrated by countless casinos and bars in the heart of the city. 

Armenia 

Armenia has been quietly sleeping on the shadows while most of its European neighbors are enjoying the spotlight. But now, it has decided to wake up and turn every traveler’s dream into a reality. 

As the first country to adopt Christianity, Armenia is home to century-old churches and monasteries. Once you step foot to Yerevan, its capital city, you’ll be welcomed by the gigantic view of Mt. Ararat, which dominates its skyline. The mountain is considered holy because it was mentioned in the Bible as the docking point of Noah’s arc. 

Just like other European countries, Armenia greatly reflects its rich culture and history. But what really sets this country apart is its network of world-class trails. While some are still under construction, tourists can now enjoy a great hiking experience via the Trans Caucasian Trail. You can also find monasteries and churches surrounded by great mountain and river views. 

Merging century-old architecture with unspoiled natural resources, Armenia is now rising as one of the best holiday destinations for 2020 and beyond. 

Pakistan 

Pakistan and traveling are like oil and water. They simply don’t mix. With terrorist attacks and strict travel permits on Pakistan’s horizon, it’s doubly hard to book a ticket to the country. But marching forward, Pakistan has been trying to iron out its tangled tourism sector by strengthening security measures for travelers.

Now, why include Pakistan on our list when it’s not really safe to travel to large parts of the country? One reason: its rare natural beauty. While bombings are the perfect way to discourage tourists, Pakistan cannot hide its eccentric beauty from a prying traveler’s eyes. It is home to some of the most exquisite landscapes and magnificent mountain views. Its enhancing rivers, valleys, and forestry look like they came out from a vivid painting. 

One of the best holiday destinations for extremists, Pakistan also boasts peaks that are higher than Nepal’s and China’s combined. Not that the danger of a terrorist attack isn’t enough, Pakistan won’t back down if it’s an extreme hiking experience you’re looking for. 

A word of caution: it is still risky to travel to Pakistan, especially if you plan to go north. If you can’t help but daydream about traveling to the country, check the country’s security parameters first. 

Mumbai, India 

Colorful tapestries, percussive Indian songs, and a picture of a golden Buddha are a reflection of India’s rich cultural identity. But there is more to this flourishing country than what meets the eye. While the Taj Majal has been turning heads for the past few decades, Mumbai is now entering the scene for reasons other than this cultural heritage. 

Recently, Mumbai welcomed the first-ever Soho House, which is a tourist attraction on its own right. The internationally-acclaimed hotel is a tourist magnet because of its attention to detail. Matching the electrifying city of Mumbai is its well-coordinated interiors and luxurious amenities. And how’s a dip to a rooftop pool to cap off your Mumbai trip? 

This, along with other five-star hotels that mirror the Indian culture, is now putting Mumbai at the center stage. But, of course, let’s not forget to leave the hotel and take a tour around the pagodas, temples, and museums that Mumbai is most famous for. 

France

Mixing art, culture, and luxury is France, an elegant country that effortlessly paints love and romanticism on its walls. The dream holiday destinations of honeymooners, France houses the best museums, cafes, and restaurants. From the Palace of Versailles to the Eiffel Tower, this country has some of the best architectural structures in Europe. 

But while a trip to the Louvre Museum is an artist’s dream, France is now cooking up a new attraction for travelers: Arles’ new arts center. Written on Arles’ Roman walls and amphitheater is the country’s well-preserved history. Today, Arles is fastly becoming a center for artists as designer cafes and ethno-craft stores line up on its streets. 

And since we’re in France, let’s take a trip to the famous UNESCO-listed heritage, Mont Saint-Michel. Otherwise known as the “Pyramid of the Seas,” this mysterious site sits around 80 meters above the bay. 

Ready to take perfectly-curated photos? Pack your best OOTDs because France’s unique artistry is sure to give your eyes a feast. 

Netherlands

Ending our 2020 holiday destinations tour is Netherlands, a country that never runs out of colorful reasons to thrive. A laid-back community where you can literally stop and smell the tulips, Netherlands is known for its flowery fields.

From the famous Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to the Venice-like Giethorn, Netherlands is beautiful in all corners. If you plan to visit the country, make sure to pack extra clothes to explore other cities that are as equally-gorgeous as Amsterdam. Who knows? You might even find yourself in a 13,343-acre national park in Holland. Or better yet, on the cobblestone roads of Thorn.