2018 hot spots

Turn your thoughts to your travel plans for 2018. If you're in need of inspiration, look no further. Le Sommelier have narrowed it down and chosen the hottest places for you to visit this year.


The Big Five aren’t the only animals that are worth travelling for when it comes to African wildlife. Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is a paradise for wildlife lovers. It’s a biodiversity hotspot with about 75 per cent of the species living on Madagascar to be found nowhere else on Earth. The island was marooned when supercontinent Gondwana broke up 180 million years ago. In the island’s forests, half the world’s chameleons and 28 species of lemur are to be found. Five-star luxe has found its way to Madagascar’s shores in the last few years. And last June saw the opening of ultra-luxe Miavana on the private island of Nosy Ankao. You can now experience this biodiversity hot spot in style.

In this holiday tour you will discover what makes this exquisite African island so unique. Guides will seek out eight species of lemur in Andasibe National Park, and night walks in the Ifotaka rainforest will reveal that the wildlife never sleeps. In their sacred forests you can meet the traditional Malagasy Antandroy tribe before you canoe through the mangroves on the coast. Whales are only the biggest creatures you can see near Manafiafy: pop on a snorkel and see what lies beneath the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters. Madagascar is one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots, and you are going to see its finest landscapes and wildlife.


There are island paradises and then there are the Seychelles – granite and coral islands, made up of lush forests, black-rock formations and some of the world’s best beaches. And from 24 March 2018, it’s going to be easier than ever before to get to the 115-island nation in the western Indian Ocean.

Described as a game-changer for the Seychelles tourism scene, British Airways are set to fly nonstop from Heathrow to Mahé twice a week.

The Indian Himalaya

The hottest destination on the Indian subcontinent right now is Ladakh and the Indian foothills of the Himalayas. The big draw for travellers is the chance of spotting a snow leopard – one of the planet’s most elusive and endangered creatures. There are said to be between 4,080 and 6,590 of these shy creatures remaining in the cold, high mountains of Central Asia.

Explore the wonders of the Himalaya with an itinerary that takes in historic monasteries, magnificent palaces and colourful markets. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, awaits you in the northern reaches of India’s highlands, and its mountain trails offer an alternative to the Nepalese Himalayas. Marvel at the impressive Leh Palace and enjoy a sunrise visit to Thiskey Monastery. Get adventurous when you travel to Mashobra, where bicycles, paragliders, quadbikes, rafts and even skis can take you through this mountainous region at whichever pace is right for you.


There’s more to this fascinating country than sacred Angkor Wat and sense-saturating Phnom Penh. Battambang is an artistic haven blessed with early 20th-century French colonial architecture and a creative buzz. In the remote north-eastern region of Ratanakiri, known as the Jewel Mountains, adrenalin adventures abound. Around Sihanoukville, there’s a heavenly choice of palm-shaded bays and tropical islands where the slow pace of life will effortlessly entice.

There’s no better way to peel back the layers of myth and mystery that surround Cambodian’s ancient past, or understand its tragic recent history and glorious present, than to take a tailor-made tour. Scratch beneath the surface of Anghor with an expert guide to reveal its ancient wonders. In Phnom Penh the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge contrast strongly with its cosmopolitan cafés. Reach the verdant hills, surging waterfalls and minority villages of remote Ratanakiri and chill out on the serene beaches of Kep and Sihanoukville.


Argentina is having a moment. On the continent, all eyes and expectations are turning southwards. 2018 will see Norwegian Airlines opening a subsidiary flying domestic and regional services in Argentina’s interior, opening this destination like never before. Explore Argentina and get to know the distinctive neighbourhoods of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and take in a dramatic tango show at the esteemed Esquina Carlos Gardel. Explore the country’s spectacular Lake District. Stay at a wine resort and savour the flavours of Malbec. The highlights of your holiday will be a trip to thundering Iguazu Falls, one of the most dramatic sights in South America.

TASMANIA, Explore a vast open wilderness

In recent years Tasmania has gladly shed its slightly twee island image. The emergence of a swathe of innovative restaurants and chic resorts and hotels has done wonders for the island’s reputation. This glorious wilderness off the southern coast of Australia retains its empty roads, clean air and pristine beaches, but otherwise, modern Tassie is all-change.

Wild and beautiful landscapes, a rich history and a relaxed island lifestyle, these are the ingredients that make a Tasmanian holiday so special.

Separated from mainland Australia by the 240-kilometre stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land apart. Hobart, the state capital, is the second oldest city in Australia. It sits on the banks of the glassy Derwent river with lofty peaks of Mt Wellington rising up in the background. There’s plenty to see including Salamanca Markets and the Cascade Brewery and the waterfront is a favourite spot for many. A self-drive Tasmania tour is a great way to get to know the island. Dense rainforests, mountain peaks, and great lakes are all easily accessible by car. You do need to drive a few hours to get between the main attractions but it’s well worth the effort. Other places to take in include the white-sand beach at Wineglass Bay and the world's best little town, Strahan. Tasmania is great to visit all year round, but if you are looking for slightly warmer trip then December to February is the best time when temperatures reach the balmy low 20s.

NASHVILLE, Honky tonks & rock ‘n’ roll discover

Nashville has a big hit on its hands. Long known for the Grand Ole Opry, the stomp of cowboy boots and the twang of steel guitars, in recent years Nashville has shaken off its good-ol’-boy image. The city’s pulse is beating to a new stylish and eclectic rhythm.

A deep South self-drive is a great one for music lovers. In Atlanta you can visit the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and learn about the Civil Rights Movement in the Sweet Auburn district. Next head to Birmingham for the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and carver Theatre. Swing by Tupelo to see where Elvis was born, before a couple of days soaking up some sultry Memphis blues. Next head to Nashville where you can stop by a honky tonk for some live music. Finish up in the Great Smoky Mountains and make a visit to Dollywood.

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