Lonely Planet reveals incredible outdoor adventures in 2024
Topping the annual list for best country is Mongolia, celebrated for its expansive landscapes, adventure opportunities, and unique culinary and musical culture. Nairobi claims the title of the best city, noted for its distinctive rhythms, locally-inspired restaurants, and vibrant arts scene. Spain is recognized as the top sustainable travel destination, applauding its efforts to promote off-season travel, expand renewable energy, and draw attention to previously overlooked regions.
For those more interesting in outdoors pursuits, one notable inclusion is the Camino Portuguese hiking trail, celebrated for its serene and picturesque routes. This ancient pilgrimage path guides hikers through the heart of Portugal, offering a slower pace that allows for a deep immersion in the country's culture, history, and natural beauty. As travellers traverse this scenic trail, they encounter charming villages, historic landmarks, and the warmth of Portuguese hospitality, making it an ideal choice for those who appreciate a more contemplative journey.
Camino Portuguese hiking traiââ‚¬â€¹l
The selection also underscores the growing popularity of night trains in Europe as a sustainable and scenic mode of travel. As travellers embark on these overnight journeys, they not only reduce their carbon footprint but also witness the ever-changing landscapes unfold under the moonlight. The experience of waking up to a new destination, surrounded by nature's tranquility, adds an element of magic to the journey, emphasizing the joy of the travel itself.
For those seeking a deeper connection with pristine natural environments, destinations like Patagonia, Ecuador, and the Western Balkans' Trans Dinarica Cycle Route beckon.
Patagonia, with its awe-inspiring landscapes of glaciers, mountains, and vast expanses, provides an unparalleled opportunity for hikers to immerse themselves in the unspoiled wilderness of Argentina and Chile. Ecuador, known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems, invites travellers to explore the Amazon rainforest, the GalÃ¡pagos Islands, and the Andes, fostering a profound connection with the natural world.
The Western Balkans' Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, spanning eight countries, including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, offers a sustainable way to experience the diverse landscapes and cultures of the region. This long-distance cycling route traverses the Dinaric Alps, providing an active and environmentally friendly way for travellers to appreciate the beauty of the Balkans while engaging with local communities along the way.
Trans Dinarica Cycle Routeââ‚¬â€¹ (photo: transdinarica.com)
For those seeking the best value, the Midwest in the USA takes the spotlight, with its bustling cities and remarkable food scenes. The comprehensive list spans popular destinations such as Tuscany, Italy, and Mexico, alongside hidden gems such as Uzbekistan, Donegal, Ireland, and Izmir. The theme of Slow Travel is embraced, featuring the Camino Portuguese hiking trail and the increasing popularity of night trains in Europe.
The selection showcases the resilience of destinations like Kangaroo Island, bouncing back strongly from the 2020 bushfires.Â
This year's Best in Travel list captures the essence of authentic and sustainable exploration, catering to the desires of modern travellers seeking genuine experiences guided by local expertise. Whether it's the vast landscapes of Mongolia, the vibrant culture of Nairobi, or the sustainable initiatives of Spain, these picks offer a glimpse into the diverse and compelling future of travel.
In essence, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2024 not only spotlights destinations but also encourages travellers to embrace a slower pace, connect with nature responsibly, and savour the journey itself as an integral part of the adventure.