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  • Trending Destinations for 2024 & 2025

Trending Destinations for 2024 & 2025

Like all travel junkies, here at UTC, we were extremely excited about 2024/25 and all the travel possibilities they could bring. The trends we’re seeing this year build naturally from what we’ve experienced globally in recent times. Not only do we want to see amazing places, we want to feel authentic experiences that make us feel a part of that of that world.

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 2024 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!

Paris France

France

Hosts of the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics, France has been showcased on the world stage. Such a diverse country, where age-old traditions are often given a modern reboot. There’s so much to explore here; there are 630 Michelin-starred restaurants for a start, and several of our itineraries focus on gastronomy. You’ll get a dose of sobering history if you visit the sites of the Normandy landings, a feel for fantasy in Provence’s hilltop villages, and a taste for luxury amongst the high flyers and their yachts on the Cote D’Azur.

Explore France
South Africa 4

South Africa

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.

Cape Town, Winelands & Sabi Sands
Italy 1

Italy

It comes as no surprise that Italy is among the top ten most trending destinations for 2024. 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 choices 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.

Rome & Amalfi Escape
Kyoto Japan 3

Japan

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 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 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 the waters calm. This can be a great region to visit or to be used as a base for exploring nearby islands and bays.

Highlights of Japan
Portugal

Portugal

A summer spent in Europe is like no other, and we’ve noticed the popularity of Portugal rise over the past year or so. Portugal’s landscape is so diverse, offering stunning beaches and framed by orange-hued cliffs, hiking trails, and cities home to ancient landmarks and magnificent architecture. It’s fairly off the radar for many travelers, so they’re often delighted by the food scene, amazing scenery, and value for money.

Given its location, it’s also great to combine with nearby Spain. Get in touch to build an Unforgettable European adventure. Our specialists can curate the perfect trip for you in Spain – combining both iconic and off-the-beaten-track destinations to suit you.

Discover Spain & Portugal
Milos Greece

Greece

Although films like Mamma Mia contributed to the popularity of Greece, this country is on many people’s 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 aren’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 as up-and-coming destinations. These include islands like Crete, Milos, and Paros.

Luxury Greek Island Hopping
Croatia 5

Croatia

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, and 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.

Essence of Croatia Cruise & Land Tour
Ruaha Tanzania

Tanzania

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.

Southern Tanzania & Zanzibar
Sri Lanka hike

Sri Lanka

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 that 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, to do shortened versions of the trail, hiking from one boutique hotel to the next.

Best of Sri Lanka
Botswana 1

Botswana

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, at 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 rhinos and wild dogs.

Highlights of Botswana
Bernina Express

Switzerland

Switzerland, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and pristine alpine beauty, offers a wide array of captivating tours that cater to every traveler’s interest. Among the best tours in Switzerland, the Glacier Express and Bernina Express stand out as iconic railway journeys that showcase the country’s majestic scenery.

The slow-travel trend isn’t going anywhere and in Switzerland the train is king. Almost any journey from one town or city to another can easily be done and usually involves stunning views of mountains, lush green pastures, and pretty wooden farmhouses. That stereotypical view of Switzerland really does exist – everywhere!

Explore Switzerland

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