Lonely Planet: 2013 top destinations

 
 
 
  • 10. Madagascar Optimism abounds as Lonely Planet believes Madagascar is on the verge of recovery from political instability since Presidential elections are scheduled for 2013. Those seeking a place out of the ordinary are being advised to go now before the country reappears as a travel hotspot. (Shutterstock)
  • 9. Dominican Republic Described as the Caribbean's 'Next Big Thing' by Lonely Planet, travellers can expect value for money as well as a great list of events as part of the destination’s attraction. More airlines now service the country’s eight international airports, explaining the 8.4 percent increase in tourism in the first quarter of 2012. (Shutterstock)
  • 8. Turkey The historic old towns of Mardin and Midyat along with feasts of amazing food in Gaziantep have landed Turkey in the top 10 Lonely Planet Destinations for 2013 list. Adventurers would do well to visit the recently uncovered ruins of Göbekli Tepe near Sanliurfa. (Shutterstock)
  • 7. Iceland Lonely Planet has lauded Iceland's value for money but warns that anybody visiting this strange land will develop an unconditional love for the place. Famed for mind-bending scenery and sincere local hospitality it might not be a secret destination but it's definitely one worth visiting in 2013. (Shutterstock)
  • 6. Solomon Islands For travellers wanting to experience old-school South Pacific, Lonely Planet suggests heading out to Solomon Islands, believed to offer up some of the best scuba diving in the world. Its popularity will saw as former barriers such as lack of infrastructure, threats of civil war and exotic strains of malaria are reportedly on the decline. (Shutterstock)
  • 5. Slovakia Another destination chosen by Lonely Planet for its cultural and off the beaten track appeal, it describes the country’s economy as one of the fastest growing in the EU – expectations are that it will shake the cheap piss-up tag earned in former years so start planning. (Shutterstock)
  • 4. Ecuador Ecuador is set for a railway network revamp in 2013 which will certainly benefit tourism. Lonely Planet recommends checking out Ecuador’s famed 5900m-high volcano Cotopaxi and the Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose), claiming the steepest (and most hair-raising) stretch of railway in the western world. (Shutterstock)
  • 3. South Korea Lonely Planet rated this destination particualrly for its events and off the beaten track appeal. Described as having untapped potential when it comes to golfing, hiking and fishing, the country is also set to play host to a few major sport tournaments in 2013 - alladding to its appeal. (Shutterstock)
  • 2. Montenegro Travellers looking for adventure and great wilderness activities are being advised to visit what Lonely Planet calls naturally prolific with rugged hiking and adventure trails to explore, not forgetting draw-cards such as Bay of Kotor and the buzzy beaches along its Riviera. (Shutterstock)
  • 1. Sri Lanka Described as a cut-price paradise, Lonely Planet advises that investment is fueling the country’s tourism industry – previously hit by the 2004 Tsunami and decades of war. Those seeking to combine culture and value-for-money should definitely short list this as a trip to take in 2013. (Shutterstock)