If you are making 2019 the year of travel, then make sure these countries are on your bucket list. Jennifer Morris from Travel Savvy shares the hottest destinations for this year.
Réunion Island (pictured) offers an island escape like no other. Those who enjoy the balmy beaches of Zanzibar and Mauritius will appreciate the mix of culture, history and beaches of Réunion. A flight from Johannesburg to St Denis is the quickest way to get there. The destination offers much more than just its stunning beaches. Its most iconic landmark is Piton de la Fournaise, a climbable active volcano standing 2632m. Travellers can stroll through its markets, marvel at the Parisian architecture and sample French cuisine in St Denis.
An average seven-night package can start from R16000 (three star) to R27000 (five star).
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital of Argentina does not disappoint when it comes to colourful and vibrant. The birthplace of football great Maradona, Buenos Aires offers travellers an immersive experience. From learning to tango (there are many clubs and bars at every corner) to marvelling at their street art - visitors will be bowled over immediately. Make sure you add the riverside town of Tigre, famous for its river cruises of the old fruit harbour called the Puerto de Frutos to your itinerary. The city is also known for its theatre. There are more than 300 - and you are bound to find one that sets your soul on fire.
Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is a coastal city in central Vietnam known for its sandy beaches and historical sites. Dubbed as the ‘new Thailand’, Da Nang offers an insight into the French colonial past and the Vietnam war.
Perhaps visit the caves and Buddhist shrines in the Marble Mountains, or take a cable car to the French Village of Ba Na.
Other attractions include Son Tra Peninsula, and the Hai Van pass for motorcycle enthusiasts. An average 7-night package can start from R16 000 (3-star) to R23 000 (5-star).
An average 7-night package can start from R17500 (three star) to R29000 (five star).
There’s no doubting that Goa is one of India’s gems. A short flight from either Dehli or Mumbai makes this state a perfect stopover. There are many great qualities to Goa. It is famous for its 17th-century churches and beach scene. And there is plenty to do. Travellers can indulge in an array of water sports including surfing, paragliding, motorboating and snorkelling, or see panthers and sloths at Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary or Mollem National Park. Old Goa is evident of the region’s ancient roots and perfect for those who are curious about the history. As anywhere in India, one has to indulge in their divine food offerings. Among them are Bebinca, a dessert made from ghee and coconut milk. Curry and seafood lovers should try the Crab Xec Xec that is made with fresh crab, coconut, coriander and dry roasted spices or the fish curry rice.
An average 7-night package for Goa can start from R15800 ( three star) to R25000 (five star).
One of the countries most interesting cities - and with good reason. Known for its art and architecture that dates back centuries, travellers can indulge in slices of pizza and sfogliatelle, a shell-shaped filled pastry. This southern Italy city, which sits on the Bay of Naples, is synonymous for its rich architecture, churches and history. Make sure you visit National Archaeological Museum, Castel Nuovo, harbour and cathedral. The more adventurous can hire a car or travel by bus to the Amalfi Coast, which is only an hour and a half away. A tour of underground Naples and a train ride to the ruins of Pompeii offers insight into the 2000-year-old Roman history. If time permits, wander into the coastal town of Positano, the perfect detour to Capri by ferry.
An average 7-night package can start from R14500 (three star) to R22000 (five star).