If you’re anything like us, you’re looking to cram as much adventure into 2023 as possible.
Luckily, we’ve just released Best in Travel 2023 — a list of the best places to unwind, connect, eat, learn and journey around the world next year. And with 30 different destinations and experiences, there’s plenty to pack in.
So if you want to start planning a year’s worth of epic trips, find out the best time to visit these incredible places in 2023.
Where to travel in January
Start 2023 off right with a trip to summery Sydney, where you can see in the New Year with fireworks over the harbor. Linger for a few days and you’ll be in town for the kick-off of the Sydney Festival on January 5, which fills the city with weeks of cultural performances.
Or head to Jamaica, where hot, sunny days and music festivals fill the island with a fun-loving crowd. Rebel Salute, one of the biggest Roots Reggae concerts in Jamaica, is held on January 21 and 22, 2023. The Accompong Maroon Festival, where you can learn the island’s important history, is on January 6.
Find out more of the best places to go in January.
Where to travel in February
The massive region of Western Australia has a coastline dotted with stunning beaches and linked by epic drives. In February, kids will be back to school, ending the busy summer holiday period and leaving this expanse open to explore. The temperatures will be hot, so it’s the perfect time to plan a road trip.
If you’d rather embrace the northern hemisphere’s winter, head to Boise, Idaho. It’s the perfect base for cold-weather adventures with easy access to many ski resorts. Even if you don’t love the outdoors in winter, head to the Basque Block where you can experience the culture of one of the largest populations of Basque people outside of Spain.
Where to travel in March
The global excitement for Japan’s reopening made it clear that there’s never a bad time to visit. But March is a great time to see Fukuoka, on the country’s southern island of Kyushu. The city’s incredible food scene makes it a great place to experience year-round, but March will bring with it the incredible sakura (cherry-blossom) season.
In Montevideo, Uruguay, it’s the autumn grape harvest season, making it a great stop in March for wine-lovers. It will be less busy here now than in the summer months, but will still be warm enough to both enjoy the incredible coastline and cultural heritage.
Istanbul to Sofia train
Are you as interested in the journey as the destination? Plan a trip on an overnight train from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria. Head from the buzzing capital of Istanbul then get some rest as you head toward the Bulgarian capital. Or, March is still wintry enough that you can sneak in a ski trip in Bulgaria before rolling towards Istanbul while you sleep, ready to wake up and explore the beguiling city with slightly thinner crowds.
Find more of the best places to go in March.
Where to travel in April
Spring in Bhutan is dry and clear, which makes it the perfect time to stop and take in views of the snow-topped Himalayas. With the newly launched Trans-Bhutan Trail, this country is ready to be explored on this revived ancient trail. It’s both the perfect time for an outdoor pursuit and a great time to take in the many festivals held in April.
Jordan’s incredible beauty always shines, but in April the humidity and rainfall are low and the remnants of spring leave the central valleys lush and filled with wildflowers. You’ll also be able to explore ancient sites like Petra without the extreme heat of other months.
On the dramatically beautiful island of Dominica, with its black-sand beaches and deep jungle, it’s a great time for hikes and outdoor exploration. In April, it’s also the tail-end of the season when migrating humpbacks pass, and there are many more opportunities to spot wildlife, like sea turtles and dolphins.
Where to travel in May
While Greece’s islands may get more hype, it’s worth considering a trip to Northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula. Its narrow stretches of land reach out into the Aegean and provide plenty of beaches and beauty to explore. To truly unwind, visit in the shoulder season when there aren’t as many visitors and you can kick back with ease.
Malta is another incredible destination to take in on the European shoulder season. The days will still be warm (average highs reach 24C/75F) and sunny enough for a dip. Best of all, you’ll be able to explore Valletta’s winding streets or the islands’ coastlines without bumping elbows with other people.
Find out more of the best places to go in May.
Where to travel in June
June is a great time to visit Scotland as the notoriously rainy country sees dryer and warmer weather. Of particular interest is Southern Scotland, where the historic Common Ridings are held in June. During this equestrian festival, the streets of border towns are covered with bunting and riders set out to commemorate when, back as early as the 13th century, their ancestors patrolled these borderlands against raiders.
If you want a Mediterranean summer holiday without the crowds, look to Albania. This underexplored country will provide history, culture and mountains — and you can relax on beaches that are as beautiful as those in nearby Italy, but without the crowds.
Find out more of the best places to go in June.
Where to travel in July
Nova Scotia, Canada
Sure, it’s the summer high season in Nova Scotia in July, but even at its busiest, this gorgeous slice of Canadian coast is never oppressively busy. The warm days and sunny weather will make it a gorgeous time for a road trip and the summer months bring with them plenty of festivals, events, and cèilidh (traditional Irish and Scottish dances).
In Zambia, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the cooler and drier days to enjoy a walking safari. On these epic adventures, you can follow an expert guide between lodges and camps, taking in the incredible surroundings and connecting with nature and wildlife in a new way.
Find out more of the best places to go in July.
Where to travel in August
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The summer high season is the driest time in Kuala Lumpur — though you should still always expect some rain and definitely humidity in Malaysia. It’s never a bad time to sample the city’s incredible flavors and cultures, but August ends with Hari Merdeka, Malaysia’s National Day, which is celebrated with parades and events.
If you’re ready for some outdoor exploration, but don’t want the crowds of many summer destinations, then consider Alaska. The long days and warm weather mean you’ll have maximum time to take in the sweeping mountains and stretching coastline of this northern state. Wildlife is active and everything is open, from shops to visitor centers.
Find out more of the best places to go in August.
Where to travel in September
Guyana, with its deep rainforests and coastline where sea turtles nest, is extraordinary for outdoor adventure. The country has multiple rainy seasons that impact the coast and interior of the country at different times of the year — however, September is one month where most of the country is dry, making it easy to travel into the depths of the lush rainforest.
The inland region of Umbria, known as Italy’s green heart, is perfect for a visit at the start of fall. The crowds will thin and leave you with more space to explore the cobbled alleys of Perugia in search of art and culinary delights, or you can head into the countryside to relax and enjoy some of the country’s best foods.
Where to travel in October
In October, spring arrives in South Africa, and travelers will get to enjoy the warming weather and delights of the country before the summer tourists arrive. It’s also a great time for whale-watching along the coast.
The south of France beckons travelers year-round, but the perfect time to visit Marseille is in September when the city is quieter but the sun shines brightly on this gorgeous bit of coast. While it’s still balmy, you’ll appreciate being out of the hottest weather if you plan on an active adventure.
New Mexico, USA
If you’re looking to visit New Mexico, try October to skip the oppressive heat and use the sunny but mild days to explore this region’s historical riches, Native American roots and cool capital of Sante Fe. October is also when the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is held — an event you won’t want to miss.
Find out more of the best places to go in October.
Where to travel in November
Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester may not be the warmest come November, but this ultra-cool city offers up plenty to do for music-, football- and history-lovers any time of year. Mid-month, Christmas markets will open to bring a bit more joviality to the city.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
For warmer climes, look to Raja Ampat, a region that makes up 600 of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands. It’s home to an epic underwater world — the most biodiverse marine region on earth. In November the waters are calm, and visibility is at its best so it’s the perfect time to go underwater and see it for yourself.
Or explore a section of Central America that more people should visit: El Salvador. See Maya relics, volcanic scenery and historic towns as the dry season starts in November. There’s also incredible beaches with some of the best surfing spots in the world if you’re keen to hit the water.
It’s also a great time to visit Accra. The Ghanaian capital is full of buzzing nightlife, but once you’ve had your fill, it also provides access to the best of West Africa: rainforests, beaches, coastal towns and more.
Where to travel in December
Parque Nacional Naturales Colombia
End the year with a trip to Colombia’s national parks for a hiking adventure. It’s dry everywhere except the Amazon, and the Andes will see sunny and warm days. The Caribbean coast will be beautiful — but busy — so book ahead.
If you’re looking for something more relaxed, why not try Lima? The new year will bring Peru’s low season; the rain in the rest of the country from January to April keeps away trekkers that flock to the country to hike to Machu Picchu. If you head there in December you can enjoy a slice of the shoulder season. Unlike the rest of Peru, Lima is nearly rain-free year-round — meaning those content to enjoy the capital will be rewarded with hot weather, clear skies, beautiful sunsets, and cevicherias busy with locals.
If you want to lean into the charm of December, why not head to Dresden? This cool German city is undergoing plenty of urban renewal, and December means you can enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets. In fact, it’s home to Striezelmarkt, recognized as the first Christmas market, which has been running since 1434. Grab a glass of gluhwein and go!