Where to go in 2020
Broaden your horizons in the new year with a visit to these travel destinations.
An ancient castle in Umbria
Castello di Reschio in Umbria, central Italy, is more than a thousand years old, says Annabelle Thorpe in The Times. It is sure to enchant guests when it opens its doors as a hotel for the first time in June. “The converted tenth-century castle is part of a sprawling 1,500-hectare estate and will have 36 rooms, mixing traditional – terracotta floors, marble bathrooms, ancient beams – with contemporary styling.” Il Torrino, located in the watchtower, is one of two restaurants. Activities at Castello di Reschio include tennis, cookery lessons and horse riding.
Rooms from £676 a night, slh.com
Skiing in Copenhagen city centre
Where else can you go skiing in a city centre? asks Rachel Dixon in The Guardian. CopenHill is a huge new urban ski slope, built “atop a renewable waste-to-energy power plant”. It even has running and hiking trails, and the world’s highest outdoor climbing wall. The Danish capital’s green credentials go further than the power plant. Copenhagen has pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2025, and it is well on the way to achieving that goal. More than two-thirds of its hotels hold an eco-certificate. One of the newest is the industrial-chic Hotel Ottilia (from £120 B&B, brochner-hotels.com), converted from two former brewery buildings in the emerging Carlsberg City district. It serves an organic breakfast, hosts a “wine hour” in the late afternoon (you get a free glass) and the rooftop restaurant has views over the city.
Exploring the rainforests of Belize
With its pristine coral reefs, jungle rainforests and remote Mayan villages, Belize is an “ideal getaway” if you enjoy a more active holiday, says Wanderlust. The “Epic Belize” trip from tour operator Island Expeditions “showcases the best of this compact Central American gem”. The adventure begins in Bocawina National Park at a remote rainforest eco-lodge in the southern Maya Mountains. Then travel south for a traditional meal in the Maya village of Santa Teresa and afterwards kayak the rapids and canyons of the Moho River. Then head to Dangriga for a boat ride to Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. “You’ll spend four nights at this Unesco World Heritage site, sea kayaking and snorkelling the azure blue waters.”
$2,999 for nine nights, February to April, islandexpeditions.com
Mozambique is now more enchanting than ever
“With dozens of white-sand islets ringed by vibrant marine life, Mozambique is Africa’s under-the-radar answer to the Maldives,” says Bloomberg Pursuits. It’s “more enchanting than ever”. That’s partly down to its “most impressive newcomer”, Kisawa Sanctuary ($5,500 a night, kisawasanctuary.com). Each of the resort’s dozen rooms sit on a full acre of sand on Benguerra Island. The structure was apparently partly 3D-printed, combining sand and seawater to make mortar. The resort’s non-profit arm, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, will use the technology to help propagate local coral reefs. May to September is the time to go for “great” beach weather and “prime wildlife viewing” if tacking on a visit to Gorongosa National Park. When the resort opens this summer, “it will immediately become one of the most coveted spots, not only in Africa but anywhere on earth”.
An undiscovered gem
While Georgia has grown in popularity, its southern neighbour “has remained relatively off the radar”, says the Financial Times. That said, bookings to Armenia with tour operator Wild Frontiers (wildfrontierstravel.com) are up 100% compared with a year ago and a host of airlines are due to start flying to the capital, Yerevan.
The west Asian country’s medieval monasteries and churches, “many of them set among dramatic mountains”, are the main draw. Geghard monastery (pictured), for example, was cut into the rock of the Upper Azat valley and was completed in the 13th century. It is now a Unesco World Heritage site, together with the monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin. “Yerevan and the wine-lands are also fascinating.” Both country and capital are an “unexpected delight that you need to discover before the secret gets out”, Justin Wateridge of Steppes Travel (steppestravel.com) tells the paper.