With new flight routes, hotel openings, upcoming anniversaries, and landmark events, 2013 is an exciting year for travel. Sometimes, too many possibilities can be overwhelming and make it difficult to narrow down your options. Not to worry! Here at IDEAL, we’ve chosen the top travel destinations for the year and the key reasons to visit each. You’re sure to find your ideal vacation below. Happy travels!
Top Travel Destinations for 2013
Finland – for the brightest Northern Lights in 50 years
The rare clashing of the Solar Cycle and the Solar Maximum in winter of 2012/2013 will create the brightest Northern Lights in 50 years. Finnish Lapland is the perfect place to view the lights, as it is almost entirely within the Arctic Circle. Visitors can stay at a brand new glass igloo at the Hotel Kakslauttanen in Urho Kekkonen National Park, where you can gaze at the lights from the comfort of your bed.
Mighty Fine Company is running five-night trips to Finnish Lapland. For more information, visit www.mightyfinecompany.com.
Alaska – a new faster and more convenient way to get there
Flying to Alaska from the UK is now easier than ever, thanks to a new route offered by Icelandair, which cuts flying time down to less than ten hours.
2013 also marks the 100 year anniversary of the first ascent on America’s highest mountain, Mount McKinley in Denali National Park. British explorer Hudson Stuck and Americans Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum were the first people to reach the summit of the 20,230 foot mountain on June 7, 1913 after three months of climbing. Keen climbers who want to tread the same route can book a 27-day climb with Adventure Peaks. Visit www.adventurepeaks.com for more information.
Ibiza – for exclusive partying at the new Ushuaïa Tower
In June 2013, the Palladium Hotel Group will extend the current Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel with the Ushuaïa Tower, an eight floor property that will be located alongside the sister hotel Ushuaïa Club. The Tower is suitable for those looking for an Ibiza club experience, but with more exclusivity.
Guests will have access to A-list and private gigs, as well as suites that include private terraces and Jacuzzis. The hotel will offer an infinity pool looking out at the sea, a cocktail bar on the ground flood, and a roof terrace bar. The Tower is already rumoured to be one of the best places to party in 2013. For more information, visit http://www.ushuaiabeachhotel.com/en/thehotel/ushuaia-tower.
The Far East and India – with 22 new tours from Wendy Wu Tours
Wendy Wu Tours has launched 22 new tours through China, Indochina, and India for 2013. One of the top tours is a 22-day “Mongolia and Naadam Festival Experience.” Guests have the opportunity to travel rarely visited lands by passing through the Gobi Desert to Ulaanbaatar to join in the festivities of the Naadam Festival, Mongolia’s most celebrated festival, dating back to the Genghis Khan period.
Panda lovers can enjoy the nine-day “In Pursuit of Pandas” tour. Get up close to the magnificent Giant Panda and discover China’s historical sites, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Grand Buddha of Leshan. This is a great introductory tour to China, especially for those short on time.
For more information, visit www.wendywutours.co.uk.
Travel to Florida to join in the Viva Florida 500 celebrations. In November 2013, there will be a coast-to-coast challenge across Florida, commemorating the historic route taken by Juan Ponce de Leon, the first European settler in Florida, in 1513. The race from Sanibel Island to Florida Bay is a self-sustaining race in non-motorized sailboats and paddlecrafts, which model the kind of vessels that Ponce de Leon would have used 500 years ago. Participants must sail from start to finish within seven days. For more information, visit www.racesfl.com.
The state will also highlight its culture and heritage this year. Top places to visit include the winter estates of two of America’s most famous inventors: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The Koreshan State Historic Site offers tours of beautifully preserved rustic homes from when the utopian Christian sect Koreshanity was active. Mound Key State Park features unique mangrove islands built by Native Americans with shells, fish bones, and pottery. Visit www.fortmyers-sanibel.com for more information.