Trending Trips for 2023
Fully customizable private tours
Trending Trips for 2023
Fully customizable private tours
Trending Destinations for 2023
Like all travel junkies, here at UTC we were extremely excited about 2023 and all the travel possibilities it could bring. As we expected, the previous year was the year that the long-haul travel returned in earnest: borders reopened, restrictions were removed, and a warm welcome was waiting for us from our favorite guides, hoteliers, and restaurateurs.
Below is a collection of trending destinations and itineraries in which we are seeing ever-increasing interest. Whilst the world of travel rebuilds, there is no time like the present to plan your adventures for 2023 and beyond. Our travel experts are available to discuss your ideas at any time, so please give us a call or request a video appointment to utilize their knowledge and make your trip dreams a reality!
Home to hundreds of beautiful islands, national parks, cascading waterfalls, historic towns and much more, Croatia is one of the most picturesque countries in Europe – if not the world. Along the Dalmatian Coast, the shimmering blue ocean separates the mainland and the islands. The crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea allow you to explore Croatia by cruise. Our company roots started in Croatia, and for the past five years we have been the largest tour operator, offering Croatia cruises on our privately-operated vessels. A week cruising the Croatian islands allows you to visit six or seven different islands – including Hvar, Brac, Vis, Korcula among others – as the ship docks overnight in the port.
Each morning, you’ll sail to a new island, enjoying breakfast and lunch on board the ship, and taking the opportunity to jump into the ocean and enjoy swim stops in hotter weather. For those who do not want to cruise the Croatian islands, we can also curate personalized trips across Croatia, booking accommodation and tours in popular cities like Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, and Istria among others. We can also organize day trips to national parks like Plitvice and Krka which are simply picture-perfect.
It comes as no surprise that Italy is among the top ten most trending destinations for 2023. This iconic country – home to some of the most romantic cities, delicious food and historic sites – is always among the top most traveled countries in the world. With such diversity, it is a country that you can revisit time and time again. A first visit to Italy usually combines destinations like Rome, Venice and Florence. For returning visitors, there is a wealth of choice including Milan, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, the Lakes, Bologna, Sicily and many more. Whether you are interested in history, culture, art and architecture, or food, our travel specialists can curate private tours into your personalized itinerary.
There is nowhere as diverse as Japan. From snow-peaked mountains to islands coated with white sand; from cities with electric nightlife to quaint towns in the Alps, with nothing but local spots and friendly smiles. It is a country that features on many peoples’ bucket lists, but as it was one of the last countries to properly re-open in terms of restrictions, it took a while to get up-and-running in the travel world. That said, it has come with vengeance and today is one of the most popular destinations in Asia. Of course, destinations like Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima are some of the most sought-after, but our travel specialists have been found up-and-coming destinations, including Ine.
Described as ‘Japan’s most beautiful village’, Ine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been built on the waters of the Ine Bay. This village is essentially made up of over 200 boat houses (locally named ‘funayas’). While the weather – and in turn the intensity of the sea that comes with it – can be pretty intense in Japan, it is astounding that this ‘floating village’ is still standing. Surrounding unhabituated islands surrounding Ine help to keep it protected and waters calm. This can be a great region to visit, or to be used as a base for exploring nearby islands and bays.
A summer spent in Europe is like no other, and we’ve noticed the popularity for Spain rise over the past year or so. Spain’s landscape is so diverse, offering white-sand beaches and picture-perfect islands, dramatic mountains and hiking trails, and cities home to ancient landmarks and magnificent architecture. For first-time visitors to Spain, cities like Madrid and Barcelona, and islands like Ibiza and Tenerife are attractive, and rightly so. But we have found that other, lesser known destinations in Spain, are trending. Southern cities like Ronda, Seville and Granada are famed for their iconic white villages and dramatic cliff-top castles. Our specialists can curate the perfect trip for you in Spain – combining both iconic and off-the-beaten-track destinations to suit you.
South Africa is home to expansive national parks where wild animals roam freely, and cosmopolitan cities that are wrapped by dramatic mountains. For those who have never been to Africa before, South Africa is the perfect choice. There is a wealth of national parks and private reserves across the country, offering perfect accommodation choices for honeymooners, solo travelers and families alike, with the chance to see the Big Five. Combine your safari experience with some time in the trendy cities like Cape Town and Durban, both offering sandy beaches and active excursions like hiking, cycling, snorkeling, diving, whale watching, and even shark cage diving. South Africa is also a great destination for those who are into their food and wine. The Cape Winelands (the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch area) is home to a wealth of award-winning wineries that are enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
Although films like Mamma Mia contributed to the popularity of Greece, this country is on many peoples’ travel bucket lists, and rightly so. Located in southeastern Europe, Greece is riddled with ancient history and 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Acropolis of Athens, Mystras, Mount Athos, Meteora, and the Temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus to name a few. If history and architecture isn’t of interest, Greece also boasts one of the most delicious and popular cuisines in the world. Enjoy Mediterranean spreads including fresh Greek salads, grilled fish and seafood, and flavorsome cheeses. One of the most popular things to do in Greece is sail across and explore the Greek islands. While some islands already have a huge popularity behind them – like Santorini and Mykonos – there are a host of Greek islands that are quieter, and regarded up-and-coming destinations. These include islands like Crete, Milos and Paros.
Located in East Africa, Tanzania has always been one of the best safari destinations on the continent, so why have we included it in our up-and-coming destination shortlist? While the spotlight has been on national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater – because of their exceptional game viewing opportunities and unique landscapes respectively – some of Tanzania’s southern parks are becoming increasingly popular, and rightly so. The Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania offer a more exclusive game viewing experience, without the crowds that the northern parks attract. The game viewing in the south is still fantastic though as the great Rufiji River is the lifeline for the resident and migratory animals that come into the park.
Located on the southern coast of India, Sri Lanka is a beautiful island home to vibrant forests, colorful cities and picture-perfect beaches. Because of its relatively compact size, the island of Sri Lanka makes it very possible to travel around, and explore lots of different destinations within. These often include its capital, Colombo, Galle, Ella and Kandy among others. There are also iconic experiences in Sri Lanka that you must do, such as climbing Sigiriya Rock, taking the train from Colombo to Kandy, and visiting the Cultural Triangle’s major sites and temples.
But going into the new year, our specialists have found some up-and-coming destinations in Sri Lanka and for active travelers, the Pekoe Trail is certainly one to add to your bucket list. This trail is a heritage tea trail which crosses over seven valleys and hundreds of tea plantations. On route this 300km trail, you’ll pass stunning waterfalls, lakes, unique architecture and historic sites. People have been walking this trail for centuries, but it is now possible, with to do shortened versions of the trail, hiking from one boutique hotel to the next.
Situated in southern Africa, Botswana offers a diverse and rich safari experience. The Okavango Delta – in the northern part of the country – is an expansive inland river delta and is famed for its sprawling plains that, in certain times of the year, turn into flooded wetlands. This means that you can do water activities like boat safaris and go out on mokoros (local canoe boats). On dry land, the game drives are guided by professionals and you’ll have the chance to see an abundance of big cats like lions and leopards. Of course you’ll see a wealth of elephants, antelope and potential sightings of more elusive animals like rhino and wild dog.
Often described as the melting hub between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a country home to an array of cultures, traditions, art and architecture. Turkey has always been a popular destination but it is becoming increasingly popular, for those who are looking for something a little more unique. An obvious choice to fly into and start your trip is Istanbul – the capital. This city straddles both Europe and Asia and is home to iconic sites and landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Other popular destinations include Cappadocia, Bodrum and Izmir among others. For those who are interested in cruising, we offer private gulet yachts which take you along Turkey’s turquoise coast. Speak to our Turkey or small ship cruise specialists to find out more!
Other trending trips for 2023
Lisbon, Algarve, Seville, Madrid12 NightsFrom $5,867 PPDiscover the rich history, culture, and magnificent scenery of Portugal and Spain on this unforgettable adventure. It explores everything from Moorish palaces and whitewashed hilltop villages to stunning beaches framed by cliffs in hues of red, orange, and yellow lapped by crystal-clear aquamarine water. Begin in Lisbon with a guided tour that will bring you to Pena Palace, a Romanticist castle set across a jagged, rocky outcrop on one of the highest hills in the Sintra Mountains. Embark on a private boating experience along the Algarve, enjoy a tapas tour and wine tasting, tour Madrid on two wheels, and so much more.
Ubud, Pemuteran, West Bali National Park, Munduk, Amed, Sidemen, Candi Dasa13 NightsFrom $4,413 PPLeave no stone unturned on this complete tour of the Island of Gods. Across 14 unforgettable days, you’ll visit every corner of this magical island, taking in Ubud, Pemuteran, the West Bali National Park, Munduk, Amed, Sidemen, and Candi Dasa. Experiences include – but are absolutely not limited to – hikes to secluded waterfalls and across volcanic peaks, mountain-biking through terraced rice fields, temple tours, Balinese cooking classes, nature walks, underwater adventures, and lots of fantastic interaction with the wonderful Balinese people. With private guides and drivers taking care of all the arrangements, and staying in some of the island’s best and most characterful accommodation, there will never be a better way to sample the very best that Bali has to offer.
Rome, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Naples, Florence, Lake Como, Venice15 NightsFrom $4,972 PPExperience it all on this 16-days, 15-nights luxurious tour of Italy that includes many private guided experiences. Begin in Rome, taking in all the sights, explore the Vatican Museums, marvel at Michelangelo’s fresco in the Sistine Chapel ceiling and journey to the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, enjoying a sunset cruise. On your way to beautiful Tuscany, you’ll tour the incredibly well-preserved ruins of Pompeii and then see the masterpieces in Florence and sample Chianti on a Tuscan tour. Discover the dazzling beauty of Lake Como and then cap it all off in the “Floating City,” Venice, complete with a gondola ride.
When to go: Jun - MarBest Seller
Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar Island9 NightsFrom $8,763 PPThe wildebeest migration is one of the most desired safari experiences to witness, and rightly so! With approximately 1.5 – 2 million wildebeest and zebra migrating across the plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, it is the largest migration on Earth. Although the herd patterns differ each year, our specialists will curate an itinerary that gives you the best opportunity to see the wildebeest migration herds, no matter what time of year you travel.
Between the months of June and October, you will stay in a luxury tented camp in the northern plains of the Serengeti, before flying across to the beautiful island of Zanzibar. Between November and March, you will stay in the southern plains of the Serengeti. Our Africa specialists will offer detailed explanations and curate the perfect safari for you. So if the Great Migration is on your bucket list, get in touch today.
Istanbul, Cappadocia, Izmir8 NightsFrom $3,988 PPDiscover classic Turkey on this exciting journey that begins in Istanbul, with private guided tours of its rich history and culture. You’ll take in many landmarks while getting a fascinating insight into the stories behind them before jetting off to the remarkable Cappadocia region, renowned for its bizarre and beautiful landscapes with soaring rock formations. Discover churches carved right into the rock and embark on an epic adventure in a hot-air balloon over it all. You’ll visit one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites, the ancient city of Ephesus, founded in the 10th-century BC, and conclude with a cruise on the Bosporus Strait.
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