To quote Dumbledore: “Another year gone!”
For some, 2023 may have been their best year yet. For others, perhaps not. But as you sit down in this new year to figure out your ‘word’ for 2024 (perhaps you want this year’s word to be ‘fun’ or ‘stability’ or ‘adventure’ or ‘rejuvenate’), we implore you to consider that no matter what your word is, it can relate back to travel.
You can have fun on travel. You can find stability in your life by travelling. Where better for a new adventure than in some far-off country? Or where better to rejuvenate than on a beach in Spain somewhere?
See. Travel has it all. That’s what we love about it. Put ten people in a room and ‘travel’ will mean something different to each of them. One will love a peaceful cabin getaway with no WIFI, while someone else wants to jump on a guided tour of Italy where they can make new friends as well as memories.
We know that sometimes travel can be a tad overwhelming too. With the world expanding the way it is, with technology opening doors, we have more at our fingertips than ever before. So, when you have fifty different blogs telling you to go fifty different places, where should you travel to in 2024?
That’s ultimately up to your checklist. What is it you want out of your holiday? That’s the place to start. Do you want a wild adventure in nature? Do you want to relax and rejuvenate with sand between your toes? Do you prefer city lights and art galleries and the hubbub of all that rush?
As a company that lives and breathes travel, we’d like to have our two cents on where we think the best travel destinations are for 2024.
Coming up in this blog:
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
North of Scotland and Orkney
Basque Country, Spain
South of Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coast
Isle of Bute, Scotland
Close your eyes and picture Tuscany. We know you can do it. Tuscany is one of those places that glows in people’s minds like a precious jewel sparkling in sunlight. There’s a reason it’s known around the world, frequented by many travellers, yearned for by those craving exquisite landscapes defined by rustic charm and died-and-gone-to-heaven food.
We’d call this place a rejuvenate. A place to feed yourself pasta and seafood. Sipping on wine or sparkling water as the sun dances across your skin. What better way to feed your soul than with hearty ribollita, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, and world-class wines? Tuscany is a region of Italy dedicated to your pleasure.
Isn’t it time to find out more?
Dingle Peninsula will take your breath away. It’s a place where weather-beaten beaches hug wild shorelines. Where the traditions of a mysterious and passionate culture remain part of the everyday, from ruins to towns. It’s the kind of place where one has real adventures. Where you go home after an evening in the pub that also acts as a hardware store, unable to believe the stories the locals told you, unable to contain the smile on your face from all the silly fun you just had, unable to remove the powerful taste of Guinness from your mouth.
But why would you want to forget any of it?
The north of Scotland is Tuscany’s wild little brother. A frazzled, wide-eyed, mysterious personality embedded into every mountainous curve, every deep loch, every landscape of vibrant heather. Birds glide overhead, keeping a keen eye on something hidden in the bushes, something you’ll never notice, because you’re too lost in the landscape. The wild starkness of this place, so much of it in the history strewn about the countryside, remnants of our Scottish ancestors.
From the beaches to the caves, castles to the cities, there are endless places to explore in Scotland’s north. And we love taking you there to see as much of it as possible. One place we’ve never been able to get over, of course, is the grandeur of the Orkney Islands. There are more than 70 islands that make up Orkney, only about 20 of which are inhabited. It’s actually closer to the arctic circle than it is to London, a place where you can truly feel like you’ve stepped off the edge of the modern world.
Who doesn’t like a bit of mystery? When people think of the cultures of Europe, the Basque Country is not often the first to come to mind. But that’s just it, isn’t it? You’re already a little bit intrigued, aren’t you? Just wait until we tell you that Basque has one of the oldest cultures in Europe. That they have their own language called Euskera, one of the oldest European languages still spoken today. That the residents of this fascinating region are masters of improv, have their own delectable ‘cuisine in miniature’, and have been known to befriend giants.
Be tempted to visit during the summer seasons, when the locals are out and about, gathered in local restaurants with a table of seafood and pinxtos before them. The region has it all: scenic hiking trails, historic cities, and vibrant coastal towns with bustling bays that look ready to receive ships like The Black Pearl.
Wales is a special kind of place. For a small country, Wales boasts a culture with an ancient language that will make your tongue twist. It's a land of castles, with more than 400 scattered across its arresting landscapes.
And within this wondrous land is another little world. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park may be one of the smallest National Parks in the UK, but it has one of the most diverse landscapes in the country. It’s been praised for its high-quality habitats in which live a range of amazing species including choughs and dormice.
Not to mention its 420km of coastline, its 200 circular walks, and its 50 beaches (11 of which are Blue Flagged for their water quality).
And we know what you’re wondering... with so much coastline, surely there are some stories about pirates? You’d be right. There are many legends associated with Pembrokeshire but one of our favourites is the legend of St Govan and the Pirates. Fused to the side of a rocky cliff-face is St Govan’s Chapel, named for the saint who lived there in the 6th century.
One day when St Govan was taking a walk along the south coastline of his beautiful country, he was set upon by a gang of violent pirates. Typical. As St Govan fled, a cleft opened up in the cliff above him and he was able to hide himself away in it until the threat had passed. Even once the pirates were gone, St Govan decided he would remain safe by continuing to live in that rocky opening.
There’s more to this story, of course. A magic bell, an angel, further attacks. But what remains today is the rock-hugging chapel with the most incredible sea view. You can even still see ‘bell rock’ and the legend goes that if you make a wish while standing in the rock cleft, it will come true – as long as you don’t change your mind before turning around.
Pembrokeshire and Wales are both full of legends and histories as magical and wild as this one. So, what are you waiting for?
Welcome to a land of rich traditions. Festivals, music, dance, and even culinary delights. The region of Catalonia is brimming with culture and even has its own language, Catalan, which is spoken alongside Spanish. This distinct cultural identity is just one of the thrilling things you’ll be treated to when you visit Catalonia.
Look around you at that luxurious Moorish architecture. Wander the golden sands of the Costa Brava. Your memories of exploring Catalonia will be your most treasured souvenirs from this adventure. Which is why we’ve added a new 3-day tour to this wonderful region, so you can sit on the terrace of a lively restaurant, stare at a view of blue water and white sand, with a glass of wine raised with your friends in celebration.
There’s a kind of healing power in Bath. The spa water found within the famous Roman Baths is a concoction of 43 different minerals, a distinctive scent, and an air of mystery about it. There was something that convinced the Romans to stay. To build their grand city. And there’s a reason people flock there today. Centuries of stories are carved into the stones of this elegant and luxurious city.
But it's not just the Roman influence that will keep history buffs interested when visiting Bath. Fans of Jane Austen can head straight for The Jane Austen Centre. Art lovers and history fanatics will feel the pull of the many museums and galleries in town.
And when a place is built purely for pleasure and relaxation, the question you want to ask yourself is: why haven’t I visited before?
Scotland is known for many things. The lurking Loch Ness Monster and the sweet faces of Highland Coos. The sweeping Isle of Skye and the grand valleys of Glen Coe. The powerful aftertaste of whisky and the fascinating allure of Haggis.
But there’s another part of Scotland that we adore. An element of this great country that is often overlooked, with the exception of Skye, of course. The islands. There are so many islands of Scotland, you could spend an entire month exploring them all... and still need more time.
We could tell you a dozen things about each island that we love, but there’s a wee island just off the west coast of Scotland, not far from Glasgow, that we’ve got our eye on. We’ve just opened up a new day tour that visits it, because we’re sure you’ll love it like we do. The Isle of Bute is an island of beautiful landscapes and sinister history. From grand manors to witch trials, there’s a plethora of things to steal your attention on this tiny isle.
2024 is your year to try something new. We’re not talking about resolutions that you’ll give up on after a few months. We’re talking about good, healthy, invigorating habits that you want to start now. For us, nothing is more invigorating than going somewhere new. Especially somewhere lesser known. Some place none of your friends or family have been. Some place they’re intrigued by, asking to see photos and hear stories of your travels. That’s your 2024. Sounds pretty good, right?
Then you’ll be wanting some suggestions. Ireland’s South-East is a region worth discovering. A place where you’ll find the ruins of an ancient Celtic fortification. A megalithic tomb from the Stone Age. A medieval town with a big personality. An insight into Ireland’s history, both fascinating and dark.
It’s a place of noteworthy people and powerful families. Blood wars and curious histories. Heritage of once-great people cover the landscape, and you’re here to discover it all.
It feels a bit selfish of us to boast and say we get to go all of these places... but you can go there with us. Whether you join us on tour or plan your own adventures, make sure to tag us on Instagram and TikTok if you end up at one of our top places to visit in 2024 – we'd love to see what you get up to.