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These are the best places to travel in 2021, according to National Geographic

The globetrotting magazine has released its list of top destinations for nature, adventure, culture and sustainability

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

We’ve got high hopes for travel in 2021. There’s no doubt that we’re eager to get out there and explore again – the only question is: where first? Luckily, the end of the year usually means all sorts of ‘where to travel’ lists start appearing – and perhaps surprisingly, even 2020 is no exception.

The latest comes from National Geographic Traveller, which has just put out its annual ‘best in the world’ list. This year, they split its list of 25 ‘destinations on the rise’ into five themes: sustainability, family, nature, adventure and culture. The magazine says each of its choices are intended to serve as inspiration for future travel, whenever that may be possible.

Highlights in the sustainability category include Alonissos in Greece, where an ancient shipwreck has been turned into an underwater museum, and the French territory of New Caledonia, which now has a 1.3 million-square-kilometre marine park. In the family section, meanwhile, they recommend the almost-complete England Coastal Path, which will be the longest seafront walking trail in the world.

Adventurers, they say, should take to the mountains, beaches and waterfalls of Dominica, while culture vultures are advised to explore the Native resilience of New Mexico’s Pueblo Nations. Nature lovers, on the other hand, may well be into the grassy savannahs of the Cerrado, Brazil, or the ‘last paradise’ of Australia’s Lord Howe Island, where only a select number of visitors are allowed at any one time.

Read on for National Geographic’s full list of the best places to travel in 2021.

The best destinations for culture

Pueblo Nations, New Mexico
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Gyeongju, South Korea
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tonglu, China

The best destinations for nature

Isle Royale, Michigan
Yellowknife, Canada
Cerrado savannah, Brazil
Lord Howe Island, Australia

The best destinations for sustainability

Alonissos, Greece
Copenhagen, Denmark
New Caledonia, Overseas France
Freiburg, Germany
Gabon, Africa
Denver, Colorado

The best destinations for adventure

Svaneti, Georgia
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska

The best destinations for family

England Coastal Path
Transylvania, Romania
Space Coast, Florida
Hortobagy, Hungary
Indigenous British Columbia, Canada

Need more inspiration for 2021? These ten emerging European cities should be on your travel list.

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