Travel hot list 2013

By Michael Manton, Tuesday 18 December 2012

Every year, the travel writers and editors of Rough Guides reveal their top 10 choices for the year to come. Here are their picks for 2013 and as usual, there are some surprising and unusual choices.

Stockholm, SwedenStockholm, Sweden

Gracefully set on 14 islands and connected by 40 bridges, Stockholm is the Baltic’s largest seaport. Surrounded by clear waters and unspoilt countryside, it is one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. Spring 2013 sees the opening of the new ABBA Museum, dedicated entirely to everyone's favourite 1970s, Scandinavian pop band.

Flights to Stockholm


One of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, Dubrovnik was founded by the Romans in the 7th century, when it was known as Ragusium. With marble-paved squares, fountains and magnificent buildings, this World Heritage Site is a pleasure to explore. Dubrovnik joins the EU next summer, so a spring visit could be just the (cheaper) ticket.

Flights to Dubrovnik; short breaks to Dubrovnik

Northern Cyprus

Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus has been cut off from the popular Greek south of the island since 1974 and, as a result, has avoided the ill effects of mass tourism. Now the sleepy villages, majestic Crusader castles, turtle beaches and picturesque harbours of this quieter part of the island are being discovered by more and more travellers.

Flights to Northern Cyprus


A pretty, compact city, perfect for walking around, Košice has been chosen as 2013's European Capital of Culture, along with Marseilles. Among the year-round events will be the White Night Festival in October, when the city is filled with light installations from local artists.

Flights to Košice


Situated in a valley on the River Elbe, Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony. Much of the city was destroyed by Allied aerial bombing towards the end of World War II and the city has since gone through major development. Only a couple of hours from Berlin, it still remains relatively shielded from tourism.

Flights to Dresden

Northeast Iceland

Immense glaciers, thundering waterfalls, rugged lava flows and sulphurous geysers… the varied landscapes of Northeast Iceland are bound to amaze. Visit Jökulsárgljúfur National Park to see Europe's largest waterfall, Dettifoss, featured in Ridley Scott's Prometheus film earlier this year.

Flights to Northeast Iceland

Margate, England

The opening of the Turner Contemporary in 2001 kick-started the regeneration of this pretty seaside town and this year it was chosen as one of the towns to benefit from the Portas Pilot regeneration scheme. To support this, Southeastern Trains are offering a £10 return ticket from London to Margate until the end of February 2013.

Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaiso stands along a crescent of hills above a sweeping bay, where steep winding roads and funicular railways link the lower and upper towns. In its character-filled cobbled streets, adorned with turn-of-the-century architecture, visitors can find some of Chile's best restaurants and bars.

Flights to Valparaiso

Puerto Rico

The home of Bacardi Rum, birthplace of the salsa and possible 51st state of the USA, Puerto Rico is a palm-ringed Caribbean island that has remained relatively untouched. With year-round sun and beautiful seas, it is the perfect destination for diving, surfing and deep-sea fishing.

Flights to Puerto Rico


Inspired by Nevada's Burning Man Festival, Nowhere is a European arts-based festival that adheres to the same principles of radical self-expression and self-reliance, and a total absence of commerce. In 2013, it will take place from June 9-14 near Zaragoza in north-eastern Spain.

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The French connection

Maybe it’s the old notion of romance, the famous French sense of style, the delicious food and fine wines, the number of art and architectural works or the relaxing café scene… Sometimes our nearest neighbours can seem a world away in terms of culture. It’s both proximity and difference that makes France such a great destination for a holiday or short break. And if flying doesn’t float your boat then why not sail across the Channel?

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