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22 destinations for 2022

Our quest: to uncover the extraordinary destinations guaranteed to reignite a spirit of adventure after 18 months close to home. Kerry Smith asks travel experts – who spend their lives crossing borders and continents – to vote on the question: where to next?


01/12/2021

The famous hot-air balloons of Cappadocia (Timur Garifov)

Cappadocia, Turkey  

“At a time when everything has been so intense, Turkey provides respite – and nowhere more so than the light, airy, whimsical Cappadocia. The region’s otherworldliness feels like walking through a fairy tale. Spread across the middle of Turkey like a lunar landscape, Cappadocia is home to bizarre anthill-like cones, rock-hewn churches and underground cities. The conical formations, the result of volcanic eruptions, look like gnome homes. This spectacular sight has captivated travellers for centuries. Although today, one of the most impressive sights is the hundreds of hot-air balloons drifting across the sky like clouds.” Evita Robinson, founder of Nomadness Travel Tribe and Nomadness TV

British Airways flies direct to Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Istanbul 

Take off to Turkey

The rooftops of Marrakech (Holly Farrier). Opening image: Moroccan desert (Gallery Stock)

Morocco

“The ultimate caravanserai destination, much of what makes Morocco incredible comes from its cultural and geographical connection to so many different regions: the Middle East to North Africa; North Africa to Europe; North to South Africa. Just eight nautical miles from Europe, Morocco is pure exoticism: travellers can lose themselves in endless smells and colours. The city of Marrakech bustles with high-intensity harmonious chaos one moment – but walk through a door and you’ll be in a serene courtyard. It’s little wonder that so many artists, designers and musicians, from Yves Saint Laurent to Edith Wharton, travelled here in search of inspiration.” Serge Dive, founder of Beyond Luxury Media, a platform that serves the high-end experiential travel industry

British Airways flies direct to Morocco 

Take off to Morocco

The view across to Paro Taktsang (The Tiger’s Nest), Bhutan (Louis AW Sheridan)

Bhutan

“The last remaining Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan is high up in the Himalayas, largely untouched by the modern world. The Bhutanese are proud that it was the world’s first carbon-negative country and that no law is passed unless it improves citizens’ wellbeing. The air is clean, the landscape strictly protected and tourism numbers tightly controlled – could this be the world’s perfect wellness destination? For the ultimate wellbeing adventure, explore the country with Amankora or Six Senses, both of which have a collection of five extraordinary properties across this remarkable kingdom.” Frances Geoghegan, founder and managing director of Healing Holidays

British Airways flies to Bangkok, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok and Singapore, where there are connecting flights to Paro

Take off to destinations around the world

Gamla Stan waterfront, Stockholm (Adrian Trinkaus)

Stockholm and Swedish Lapland

“The capital of Sweden is one of Europe’s most effortlessly beautiful, charming and romantic cities. This small, low-rise, open-minded, open-air city surrounded by water will be a magnet for post-pandemic travellers who are looking to return to urban destinations, but may not yet want to city-break in the bigger capitals.

“The city’s proximity to the glorious Stockholm Archipelago is an opportunity to mix urban and nature. Stockholm is the gateway to Swedish Lapland, where adventure awaits. From forest-bathing in the never-setting summer sun to hunting down the Northern Lights in winter, it’s a place where nature – combined with amazing attractions such as Icehotel, Treehotel and Arctic Bath – will heal ‘wanderlost’ souls.” Uwern Jong, editor-in-chief of OutThere magazine, the world's leading travel journal for gay men and the LGBTQIA community

British Airways flies direct to Sweden 

Take off to Sweden

Seattle’s Public Market

USA

“Being shut out of North America for so long has made it more desirable than ever. No country is more synonymous with the open road, and, although I’ve done two coast-to-coast drives, I’m always craving another. The route I’m most looking forward to doing next year will take me up to Chicago on the imposing edge of Lake Michigan, across the breathtaking plains of North Dakota and Montana, over the Rockies and into Washington State, where two of my favourite eclectic American cities – Seattle and Portland – await. The sheer space of the USA is invigorating, and, after 18 months shut up inside, it’s a sure reset for mind, body and soul.” Ally Wybrew, content editor, High Life online

British Airways flies direct to 26 cities in North America

Take off to the USA

The vast, unspoiled coastline of Costa Rica (Max Bender)

Costa Rica

“There are 800 miles of Pacific and Caribbean shoreline in Costa Rica, providing endless beaches. But it’s the country’s deep biodiversity and commitment to nature (more than a quarter is protected parks) that attract travellers who come to explore the rainforests, volcanoes and mountains. Some of the world’s best sustainable lodges are here, and these support and involve local people. Pacuare Lodge – possibly the only hotel where you raft in and raft out – has indigenous cookery courses and a jaguar research programme.

“Not one to rest on its laurels, Costa Rica has a new initiative aimed at creating the safest environments for female and solo travellers. And, it’s the first country in the region to unveil a nationwide electric-car charging network. Maybe an eco-road trip could be on the cards?” Kerry Smith, consultant content director, British Airways’ High Life

British Airways flies direct to Costa Rica 

Take off to Costa Rica

Floating island on Lake Titicaca, Peru (Adobe Stock)

Uros and Taquile islands, Peru

“On the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, Uros and Taquile are a pair of man-made floating islands that are home to a small number of indigenous people who rely on tourism to, literally, stay afloat. To make the island, totora roots were gathered from the surface of the lake, bundled together and stacked to create a base that is anchored by eucalyptus stakes driven into the water. Fresh roots are added all the time, and villagers live within their community, fishing and farming potatoes. Travellers can book guided tours to the islands to buy handicrafts, meet families or enjoy a homestay.” Monisha Rajesh, travel journalist and author

British Airways flies to South America 

Take off to South America

Lake view from Jucanyá, Guatemala (Getty Images)

Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

“Lake Atitlán lies in the southwestern highlands of Guatemala. Formed by a collapsed volcano and surrounded by three remaining volcanoes, it’s one of the most dramatic landscapes in the country. Guatemala itself has a rich past and a story to tell: it’s a melting-pot of culture and history, there is a true mix of heritages, an abundance of tantalising local foods, and a country full of vibrant colour — all of which can be discovered from Lake Atitlán. Find adventure in the form of hiking and water sports; the lake is the perfect base to explore the surrounding villages and discover the eclectic mix of Mayan and Spanish influences. As travel shifts towards immersive experiences, there’s no better place to pause and delve into such a fascinating history and pristine nature. You’ll never want to leave.” Amar Latif, TV presenter and founder of Traveleyes, the world’s first commercial tour operator for people who are blind or partially sighted

British Airways flies to South America 

Take off to South America

The Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt (Gallery Stock)

Egypt

“I want to see the Great Sphinx of Giza and wander through the belly of a pyramid. As a Black American, I feel a very powerful connection to Egypt, since it’s likely the ancient Egyptians were Black Africans who were displaced by later movements of peoples, such as the Roman and Arab conquests. This is a story that still needs to be told in a way that connects with millennial Black travellers exploring Egypt for the first time.

“This is an important time for Egypt: the much-anticipated $1bn Grand Egyptian Museum complex is due to open next year, making 100,000 objects associated with the pharaohs visible for the first time. Also, not to be missed are Cairo, the rock-cut temples of Abu Simbel, the Aswan Nubian villages in southern Egypt – which have huge African influences – and The Dahab, for diving, hiking and nature.” Evita Robinson, founder of Nomadness Travel Tribe and Nomadness TV

British Airways flies direct to Cairo 

Take off to Egypt

Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (Ossip Duivenbode)

Rotterdam, Oslo and Rome

“Europe is my focus – and, in particular, spectacular new cultural openings. The latest addition to Rotterdam’s stunning skyline is the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. Looking like a spaceship, it houses not aliens but art – the first art storage facility in the world that offers access to a museum’s complete collection. In Rome, the Mausoleum of Augustus is a massive representation of the human ego. The largest circular tomb in the world was closed to the public for 14 years until 2021 and slid into dereliction. It has now been expertly restored to take its place among the monuments from the past that breathe life into the Italian capital. And I have Oslo pencilled in for 11 June 2022 – for the opening of the Nordic region’s largest art museum. ‘Art, architecture and design all under one roof’ is the promise of the National Museum of Norway, with a spectacular harbourside site in Oslo. Munch’s celebrated painting of a tortured soul is the leading exhibit here.” Simon Calder, travel journalist, broadcaster and travel correspondent for The Independent

British Airways flies direct to Rotterdam, Oslo and Rome 

Take off to Europe

Lagoa do Fogo, São Miguel, Azores (Adobe Stock)

Azores

“Portugal is always a favourite hotspot. But my favourite spot within Portugal? The Azores, Europe’s nine westernmost islands, where wonderful traditions live on, the air is intoxicatingly fresh, the food (especially the seafood) is incredible and the local ceramics are beautiful.” Peter Greenberg, CBS News travel editor

British Airways is adding the Azores to its Heathrow short-haul network from next summer 

Discover BA’s new routes

Surfing the waters of Lanzarote (Getty Images)

Lanzarote

“Yes, really! Like so many previously mass-market destinations, Lanzarote is rethinking its approach to tourism. After all, success now is not measured by the numbers of visitors, but by ‘high-value’ tourists – a term that refers not to dollars or euros, but to those who forge strong bonds with the destination. Lanzarote used the Covid closure to start repositioning: more than 120 local businesses united to change direction towards becoming a destination defined by culture, wellbeing and heritage.” Rajan Datar, broadcaster, journalist and host of the BBC’s The Travel Show

British Airways flies direct to Lanzarote 

Take off to Lanzarote

Beach huts in Agonda, India (Holly Farrier)

Agonda, India

“Although Goa is one of India’s most popular strips, the village of Agonda on its southern edge has long been making strides in sustainability. It’s lined with middle-range beach huts where travellers sip cold lassi, eat masala fried crab and watch deep pink sunsets melt into the sea, while the beach is a designated turtle-nesting site. In high season, the huts lure in yoga-loving tourists and elderly couples, but for the rest of the year they are packed away and the beach is left to regenerate and recover.” Monisha Rajesh, travel journalist and author

British Airways flies direct to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai 

Take off to India

Cycling through Sierra de la Laguna, Baja Mexico (Getty Images)

Sierra de la Laguna, Baja California Sur, Mexico

“On the southernmost mountain range at the tip of Baja California Sur, when the sun sets through cactus fields and over the ocean, the Sierra de la Laguna turns purple. These are the most beautiful mountains to climb, hike and camp in all of Mexico. There are tours from authentic rancheros and the landscape changes from cactus fields to pine forest, and from desert to lakes in a matter of miles, sometimes minutes. It’s all a couple of hours’ drive from the laid-back surf towns of Todos Santos and El Pescadero.” Ben Pundole, founder of AHotelLife.com

British Airways flies direct to Mexico City 

Take off to Mexico

A coral reef abuts a Fijian island (Getty Images)

Fiji

“Fiji’s Rainbow Reef is known as the ‘soft coral capital of
the world’. The 333 islands of the colourful South Pacific archipelago are home to turtles, sharks and neon fish. Take the Sigatoka River safari to visit villages, eat home-cooked meals, sing and dance. Plus, there’s world-class surfing, diving, white-water rafting, cloud forests and palm-lined beaches. It’s perfect for longer trips and ‘workcations’. Hop on an overnight flight from LA and dive right in.” Kerry Smith, consultant content director, British Airways’ High Life

British Airways flies to Los Angeles, where there are connecting flights to Fiji 

Take off to destinations around the world

Stanley Park, Vancouver, a designated National Historic Site of Canada (Luc Tribolet)

Vancouver, Canada

“It’s rare for me to visit another city and feel that it could be home, but Vancouver falls into that category. Often named as one of the world’s best cities for quality of life – it’s simultaneously energising while enjoying a slower pace of life compared to other big cities.

“It’s clean, green and cosmopolitan, embodying what every great world city should aspire to be: a place where people find themselves, not lose themselves. It convinces its inhabitants to live in harmony with nature and calls them to the outdoors. And from Vancouver you can experience the most magical scenery, from giant mountains to rainforests sparkling with seasonal colours. You can see bears. And witness the majestic presence of whales. All quite simply epic.” Serge Dive, founder of Beyond Luxury Media, a platform that serves the high-end experiential travel industry

British Airways flies direct to Vancouver 

Take off to Vancouver

The Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower), Munich (John Rodenn Castillo)

Munich

“While Munich, Germany’s third largest city, is perhaps best known for Oktoberfest or Christmas markets, I love the mixture of the Old Town’s historic centre that’s been painstakingly restored to its original splendour, with beautiful boulevards contrasting with the hidden courtyards. Magnificent old churches and palaces coexist happily alongside noteworthy contemporary buildings by architectural greats such as Coop Himmelblau and Zaha Hadid. The city is perfect for a weekend break, or as a base for a longer stay – the old town has some fascinating home stores and boutiques that are easy to navigate via foot, bike or tram.” Tara Bernerd, the internationally renowned designer who has created many hotel interiors from Sixty Soho New York to The Hari Hong Kong

British Airways flies direct to Munich 

Take off to Munich

The Blue Lagoon at Malta’s Comino Island (Holly Farrier)

Malta

“Malta isn’t usually the first place mentioned when people talk about the Med, but recognition grew this year when it made the green list while others didn’t. And, despite the pandemic, it’s flourishing, with stunning design hotels. Hot on the heels of Valletta’s reign as European Capital of Culture, the capital abounds with unique cultural experiences, and there are five Michelin-starred restaurants with more on the cusp of opening.

“Exploring Valletta is like walking through a historic film set, where old and new fuse to exciting effect. Neighbouring Gozo is a step back in time and the waters around Comino challenge the Maldives for clarity and colour. Layer on top of this a passion for human rights. Malta has been the top European country in the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Rainbow Index for six years and will host Europride in 2023. With travellers seeking destinations that are stewards of positive humanity, Malta is the place to be.” Uwern Jong, editor-in-chief of OutThere magazine, the world's leading travel journal for gay men and the LGBTQIA community

British Airways flies direct to Malta 

Take off to Malta

Mountain gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda (Getty Images)

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

“Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is home to endangered mountain gorillas. It’s seen as a success story both by global conservation experts and locals for its protection of the gorillas (whose population is now growing) and in providing community employment. And it has generated income through a tourism revenue-sharing scheme to fund local schools and health facilities. As a tourist you can accompany rangers (many of whom are now women) in tracking gorillas.” Rajan Datar, broadcaster, journalist and host of the BBC’s The Travel Show

British Airways flies to Kigali via Doha with oneworld alliance partners

Take off to destinations around the world

Port of Chania, Crete (Holly Farrier)

Crete

“Crete is already ‘almost normal’ as international travellers arrive in search of that idyllic European vacation they’ve been yearning for. The largest of Greece’s 227 islands is a vivid mosaic of contrasts: from lofty mountains and pink-sand beaches, to hip nightlife and traditional kafeneions (coffeehouses) via buzzing harbours and ancient ruins. Over the last year, there have been some great hotel openings: Domes of Elounda has added luxury residences and suites. While Numo, set on one of the longest beaches on Crete, is putting the lively town of Ierapetra on the map. On the island’s south coast, it’s great for diving, gorge hiking, and visiting tiny Chrysi island, whose glowing sands are composed of thousands of shells.” Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays

British Airways flies direct to Chania and Heraklion 

Take off to Crete

Sunny, picturesque St Kitts (Michael Stavaridis)

St Kitts and Nevis

“This contrasting sister island nation is a top choice for a Caribbean multi-destination trip. St Kitts is known for its sugarcane fields, Brimstone Hill fortresses and luxury hotels. Highlights are the open-air train that runs along the coastline, while in the mountainous north is the sustainable community of Kittitian Hill. The wonderfully sleepy Nevis is a small island with big plans. Gentle slopes rise to the cloudy peak of its dormant volcano and Nevis sits on a geothermal gold mine, which harbours enough energy to power not just the island but several larger neighbours – giving rise to ambitions to become the world’s first carbon-neutral island.” Kerry Smith, consultant content director, British Airways’ High Life

British Airways flies direct to St Kitts and Nevis 

Take off to St Kitts

Rural Bình Chánh, Vietnam (Carol Sachs)

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

“Lush and abundant, Vietnam’s ‘rice bowl’ is so much more than that. Forget the crowded, silly boat tours, get a bike and cycle through its coconut, banana and dragon fruit groves. Tiny pathsrun behind houses, many of which are lovingly tiled in pastel colours. It’s a lazy ride – a few miles per day – with many small ferry crossings where your path suddenly ends in the water, long stops in hammock cafés to rest, chats with the schoolkids who take a lot of pleasure in overtaking you on their scooters, sleeping in waterside B&Bs, and again the next day, until you, along with the many arms of the Mekong, reach the sea.” Carol Sachs, travel photographer

BA flies to Ho Chi Minh City via Doha with oneworld alliance partners. ba.com

Take off to Vietnam