Lonely Planet has announced its Top 10 Regions to travel in 2011. In Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2011, the Lonely Planet staff breaks down best destination spots and maps out where travelers to these regions should go. I’ve included the top 10 list here with my own favorite destinations in each region.
1. Sinai, Egypt
We’re loving Sinai for its close proximity to the Red Sea and all its underwater diving. Scuba diving is popular here and many companies offer tours for you to take. You can also take camel rides here and experience the beautiful sides of this region.
2. Istria, Croatia
Istria borders rocky coastlines and is surrounded by Roman ruins. The city is full of rolling hiss topped with villages surrounded by walls. You’ll find vineyards here and many other Mediterranean features including olives and orchards.
3. Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
There may be things to do here but not a one of them could compare to just sitting on the beach and relaxing. Most of the hotels have private bungalows and you can just relax and enjoy the view here, you’ll need nothing more.
4. Cappadocia, Turkey
The volcanic activity of years ago has left this area paved with fairy chimneys. Explore Goreme National Park to see the landscape up close. Then take one of many of the local balloon tours to see the beautiful earth unfolding before you.
5. Westfjords, Iceland
The Drangajökull glacier is in this part of Iceland as well as many mountains that worth the hike. You can travel by boat here or ride horses and once you’re exhausted, try many of this area’s hot natural pools to relax in.
6. Shetland Islands, Scotland
There are over 100 islands in this region of Scotland that was once inhabited by Vikings. This area is home to many castles and some of the top archaeological sites in the world.
7. Great Barrier Reef & Whitsunday Islands, Australia
While you may already be familiar with the great diving options of the Great Barrier Reef, you may not know about the 74 islands of Whitsunday. This area has many reefs of its own here that may be less crowded. You can do boat rides or view waterfalls here.
8. West Coast, USA
You’ll love the drive from Monterey, where you can see the Cannery District and aquarium, all the way to the large expansive cliff sides of Big Sur. You’ll love the trees and pastures that border your side while the other views open water.
9. Chilean Patagonia
This area of Chile is largely uninhabited, though it does feature a large population of seals and penguins. You can hike or ski here, or even climb granite cliffs to view the region’s waterfalls.
10. Gili Islands, Indonesia
There are three main islands here, each with their own features. You can scuba dive, snorkel, sail or surf here, or my favorite option, just relax.