Let 2023 be your year of revenge travel! The world is officially open and as previously predicted, 2023 is going to be one big rebound for those who are thirsty for travel.
If you’ve started dusting off your backpack but still aren’t sure where to travel to in 2023, we’ve got you covered! In this post, we’re sharing our top picks for destinations to visit in 2023. We’ve included some classic destinations as well as some up-and-coming spots that you’ll want to get to before they get insanely popular.
1. Koh Lipe, Thailand
Go for: Tropical beaches, an alternative to the Maldives
Koh Lipe Island in Thailand is our first pick of destinations to visit in 2023. Some people are calling Koh Lipe the Maldives of Thailand! This little-known tropical paradise should be top of your mind in 2023. Koh Lipe is an island in the tropical South Andaman Sea in the far south of Thailand near the Malaysian border.
Koh Lipe is a much lesser-known Thai island than its more famous cousins such as Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi. Thanks to conservation efforts from the Thai Government, many of the reefs surrounding the island are in amazing condition. Expect crystal clear turquoise water and white sand beaches lined with palm trees. Yes, this is paradise!
Snorkelling around Koh Lipe is great but it gets even better when you visit the surrounding uninhabited islands of Koh Adang, Koh Usen and Koh Kra. You can access these islands via a kayak. Experience the ultimate tropical island adventure in 2023.
2. Matka Canyon, Macedonia
Go for: Outdoor activities, and beautiful nature
Matka Canyon is another up-and-coming destination that you should put on your 2023 travel list. Matka Canyon is a beautiful gorge and lake located just outside of Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia. It is easy to take a day trip to visit Matka Canyon from Skopje, making it easily accessible.
This canyon is actually a gorge that was filled with water to create an artificial lake that was created by a dam in 1938. Matka Canyon is not only beautiful to look at but there are lots of amazing activities to do in the area, including kayaking, hiking and boating. This is the perfect way to get a dose of nature, in a Balkan country that is often overlooked.
3. A New Zealand Road trip
Go for: The most pristine nature in the world- deserted beaches, mountains & lakes
New Zealand (Aotearoa) was a country that was totally out of bounds for international travellers until quite recently. New Zealand is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world and after such a long time of not being allowed there, you’d be excited to touch down in the spectacular Land of the Long White Cloud. As New Zealand starts to warm up after so much isolation, there are many more flight connections to NZ in operation, particularly through the US, making this small island at the bottom of the world more accessible.
The best thing about New Zealand is its pure pristine and unspoilt nature. Mass tourism is not a thing in NZ and you can find incredible nature on every corner (even in the major cities!). New Zealand has immense diversity when it comes to its landscapes, and it is relatively small, therefore, the best way to make the most out of a trip to NZ is to hire a camper van or car and go on a road trip.
For beautiful beaches, native bush, waterfalls and out-of-this-world volcanoes and thermal activity, the north island is a must. For beautiful mountains, world-class hiking, glaciers, lakes and unreal sounds then the south island is where you need to be.
4. Matera, Italy
Go for: Insane ancient architecture, a true hidden gem
Matera is a little-known city in the Basilicata Region in the south of Italy. It is one of the most beautiful and unique towns in Italy and is a UNESCO site. If you want to get off the beaten path in Italy in 2023 then Matera should be at the top of your list.
The town itself is carved entirely out of the rocky slopes and cliffs of a mountain. It is incredibly ancient and looks like something straight from a fantasy movie. The steep mountainous geography made it hard for locals to develop. Their solution? Carve houses and churches out of rocks and live in caves!
Prior to 2019, no one really gave Matera the time of day. However, when it become the European Capital of Culture, it was thrust onto the world stage. The town itself is remote and in an overlooked region of Italy, with not many people making the effort to experience it. However, usually the most remote places that are hard to reach are the most spectacular! That is certainly the case for Matera which is one of the most beautiful places in Italy.
Do not miss visiting Matera in 2023!
5. Namibia, Africa
Go for: Desert landscapes and otherworldly surroundings
Our next top destination for 2023 is Namibia in Africa. Namibia is on the southwest coast of Africa. It is one of the driest and most sparsely populated countries on earth, making it a unique travel destination for 2023.
Namibia is a treasure for otherworldly landscapes and impossible scenery. Expect endless golden sand dunes that fall into the sea and dramatic desert plains with surreal-looking trees. If you’re lucky you may spot cheetahs, which are in abundance in Namibia. The Namib desert is the oldest desert in the world, where you can find an abundance of wildlife that has specially adapted to the harsh environment,
Another reason why Namibia is an excellent location to visit is that it hasn’t been overdeveloped (yet). Many local tribes have been able to converse their traditional ways of life. This country is overflowing with cultural diversity and prehistoric archaeological sites just waiting to be explored.
One of the best things about Namibia is that it’s great to visit year-round.
6. Exuma, The Bahamas
Go for: The clearest water in the world and interesting encounters with wildlife
Are crystal-clear waters and sparkling white sand beaches your thing? How about endless days relaxing in a luxury resort, cocktail in hand? Do you love having new encounters with animals?
If you answered YES, then you already have all of the reasons you need to visit the Exumas in 2023.
Exuma is an archipelago of 365 cays and islands located in the Bahamas. Exuma has everything you would expect from a pristine tropical island destination (and more!). Expect unbelievably beautiful beaches, inquisitive wildlife, outstanding snorkelling and of course, some of the clearest water in the world.
The Exuma’s are world renowned for the sapphire blue, crystal clear waters. The water surrounding the Exuma Islands is thought to be some of the clearest water in the world! The beaches are also surrounded by powdery white sand.
7. Madeira, Portugal
Go for: Dramatic landscapes, lush winter escapes, incredible beaches & adventure
Madeira is well and truly trending online and it's for good reason. The secret of Madeira is starting to get out! Travel to “the Hawaii of Europe” in 2023 before it becomes flooded with tourism.
The island of Madeira is a nature and adventure lovers paradise that is perfect to visit all year long (take note if you are looking for the perfect winter getaway this year). Expect dramatic landscapes and mountains surrounded by beautiful beaches and oceans brimming with wildlife.
Madeira is a volcanic group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean. It is closer to the African coast but it is officially part of Portugal. They boast a mild climate and diverse landscape which feel exotic and Jurassic. Thanks to the climate, plant life is lush and alive. The entire island feels like a garden during the spring.
Expect to find the best beaches in Portugal, incredible mountain hikes, dense bush and even the highest cliff in Europe (Cabo Girao). Another drawcard to Madeira is that it is relatively affordable compared to other European islands and is easily accessible with many flights from Europe’s mainland.
If you don’t want to take our word for it, Madeira was voted the best destination in the world six times in a row by the World Travel Awards. It has been voted the best island destination in Europe seven times in eight years!
8. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Go for: Diving, snorkelling and a cultural experience in a tropical paradise
Zanzibar is a tropical island off the coast of Tanzania and makes the list for one of our top destinations in 2023. This group of islands is just a 2-hour ferry ride away from the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar City is located on the main island of Unguja and is likely going to be the base where you explore all the wonders of Zanzibar from.
Zanzibar is a vibrant island, rich in culture. It emphasizes sustainability and ecotourism. It is home to beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear blue sea, everything you would expect from a tropical island. Some of the best beaches to visit include Jambiani, Pongew and Nungwi.
9. Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
Go for: An untouched Indonesian experience & wildlife encounters
Forget about Bali in 2023! Consider exploring another, lesser-known part of Indonesia - the Raja Ampat Islands. The Raja Ampat islands are made up of more than 1500 sparsely populated islands off the coast of the Indonesian city of Sarong. The scenery of the Raja Ampat islands is simply breathtaking and not what you probably picture when you think of Indonesia. Picture clusters of small jungle-covered islands, white sand beaches, blue lagoons, interesting caves and to-die-for water.
There is also an abundance of wildlife to spot on these stunning islands. There are many beautiful birds to watch and plenty of marine life and coral reefs to explore under the sea. This is actually considered a biological reef and marine life haven. This is one of the most beautiful places in Indonesia and the world. So make places to get here in 2023 before the secret gets out.
Go for: An extreme, once-in-a-lifetime experience
The final detention on our 2023 list is none other than Antarctica. The south pole of the Earth, Antarctica, seems like the type of destination reserved for serious scientists. However, it is becoming more and more popular for tourists to visit the icy wonderland of Antarctica. But this is certainly no Zanzibar.
Expect EXTREME weather conditions, basic accommodation and discomfort on every level. However, for going to this extreme to visit Antarctica, you will be rewarded with one of the most memorable experiences of your life. Expect to see plenty of icebergs as well as penguins, whales, and seals in abundance. To get to Antarctica, the most common gateway is through Chile on a boat tour.
Let us know where 2023 is taking you!