Is your New Year's resolution to travel more? If not, it should be! From relaxing on the sun-drenched beaches of French Polynesia to exploring the streets of charming Irish cities, here's where you should be heading in 2019.
January: Porto, Portugal
Although Portugal's winters are not warm enough for sunbathing, temperatures are mild with highs of 14°C in January. So there's no better time to explore Lisbon's charming little sister than the present.
Stroll through the historic center's maze of alleys, taking time to admire the city's innovative contemporary architecture, but most importantly take time to eat! Food sits at the heart of Portuguese culture, and no other Portuguese city embodies this better than Porto. With a handful of lavish food markets, steakhouses, Portuguese-style tapas bars and high-end eateries, it's no wonder foodies are crazy about this city!
February: Arles, France
Forget Avignon, Nice and Saint Tropez, Arles is set to be the French destination everyone will be talking about in 2019. Maybe you recognize this town's spectacular Romanesque architecture from your favorite Van Gogh paintings, but it has more recently found its way back on the lips of the cool kids after hosting the Gucci Resort 2019 fashion show.
And this Provencal city's creative scene is only set to expand in the coming year with the opening of Parc des Ateliers, a large arts campus set to host innovative exhibitions. Not only is this city historically iconic, but recently it has attracted a new it-crowd, making for a uniquely effortless charm not to be missed in 2019!
If you're an off-the-beaten-track kind of traveler, Belize is a must-visit destination in the coming year. Whether it be to catch a glimpse of its impressive Great Blue Hole, 500 meters deep and a half a mile in diameter, or to visit its remarkable Belize Barrier Reef System, recently removed from UNESCO's danger list. Snorkel, dive, kayak or even try your hand at paddleboarding, the waters of Belize are brimming with treasures for you to explore.
But that's not all: on land Belize has enough to keep adventurers entertained with enchanting Mayan ruins at every turn.
April: Fanjingshan, China
Did you know that China has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than anywhere else in the world? And one of the most recent to be added to the list is the spectacular Fanjingshan. Nestled in China's Wuling Mountain Range, Fanjingshan is not only worthy of a visit because of its age, thought to have been formed between 2 million and 65 million years ago, or its magnificent views, this mountain also boasts a rich biodiversity!
Out of the area's 2,000 different types of plants, 31 are endangered. And Fanjingshan's forests are home to 19 endangered animal species including the endemic grey snub-nosed monkey, the Chinese giant salamander, and the forest musk deer!
May: Yerevan, Armenia
May is the perfect month for a city break. Temperatures are rising, but are not yet unbearable for daytime exploring. But instead of flocking to Paris or Rome, set your own trend and head to the Armenian capital of Yerevan!
Perfectly walkable, Yerevan is overflowing with history and culture waiting patiently to be stumbled upon. From Soviet-era buildings, fascinating art galleries and the breathtaking Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan will not only surprise you with its incredibly affordable prices but with its abundance of beauty.