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2013: top 13 travel destinations

You have a lot to look forward to in 2013 with our list of top 13 travel destinations.

world Updated: Dec 30, 2012 14:55 IST
Sneha Mahale
Australia-beaches-reopen-after-red-algal-bloom
Australia-beaches-reopen-after-red-algal-bloom

You have a lot to look forward to in 2013 with our list of top 13 travel destinations.

Kangaroo Island, Australia
Meet native animals in pristine natural settings here. This place is easily accessible from Adelaide. Watch sea lions at Seal Bay and thousands of New Zealand fur seals playing in and around Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. Guided tours provide visitors with a unique opportunity to walk among the seals and sea lions on the beach.
Visit in: All year

The next vacation you plan need not have you heading to tried and tested destinations like Singapore, London or Kerala. The world isn’t that small and 2013 could be the year you discover the globe-trotter within you. “Indian travellers are evolving. They no longer look for only a holiday, they want new experiences. They want to be the first to discover new destinations and talk about their discoveries,” says Vishal Suri, deputy chief operating officer, Kuoni India.

So we got together with Suri, Sheema Mookherjee, publisher of Lonely Planet India, and Raghav Khattar of January the Fourteenth to pick the top 13 spots to visit.

Cardiff, Wales
It is a city of contrast — it is young and vibrant, yet it has a 2,000-year-old castle at the centre. But the highlight of the summer here is the Cardiff Festival, which celebrate its 27th anniversary this year. Events include the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival and The Admiral Cardiff Big Weekend, which features music, street entertainment, fireworks, and a light show across the bay.
Visit in: June and July

Santiago, Chile
The city is bisected by the Mapocho River, which gently weaves through from the east to west. Santiago thrives on artistic enthusiasm and flaunts an equally booming culinary, entertainment, art and architectural canvas. The city also offers
exhilarating possibilities like trekking, climbing, skiing, kayaking and wine tours.
Visit in: December to February

Reykjavík, Iceland
This city is alive with cosy cafés, world-class restaurants, fine museums, galleries, state-of-the-art geothermal pools, a kicking music scene and super stylish bars. Add to this the dramatic backdrop of snow-topped mountains, crisp pollution-free air and moody
volcanic surroundings, and you’ll agree that there’s no better city in the world.
Visit in: September to January

Klein Karoo, South Africa
Also known as Little Karoo, this region of the Western Cape is home to many attractions for those who choose to drive along the region’s scenic Garden Route. On the list — Cango Caves; ostrich riding; Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, which is home to the rare and endangered Cape mountain zebra, leopards and honey badgers and the Little Karoo wine route.
Visit in: April to September

Carinthia, Austria
With ski resorts nestled on every mountain top, Carinthia is best known for uncrowded slopes and après-ski, where you don’t have to take out a second mortgage just to buy a beer. The region dilutes the proverbial Austrian efficiency with some Mediterranean laissez-faire. Check it out, while peace and quiet reigns.
Visit in: June and July

Mustang, Nepal
Lo Manthang, or Mustang as it’s usually called, has been dubbed ‘little Tibet’ or ‘the last forbidden kingdom’. Until 1992 nobody from outside was allowed in; for a while after that it was opened up to a few hundred people a year, and these days anyone can enter, though the pricey trekking permit keeps the numbers under control.
Visit in: September to November and March to May

Waikato, New Zealand
The Alexander family farm was spotted by Sir Peter Jackson in 1998 during an
aerial search for film sites for The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. Mature pine trees in front of a picturesque lake, perfectly resemble the Shire as described by author JRR Tolkien. It became the famous setting for Hobbiton and was rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit Trilogy to remain a permanent tourist attraction.
Visit in: November to April

Satpura Tiger Reserve
This tiger reserve has matchless scenery and a wide array of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, various deer, wild dogs and gaur. It is easily accessible from Bhopal and Jabalpur.
Visit in: October to April

Tawang
A trip to this final frontier on the Indo-China border really tests your resolve, but you will be rewarded with beauty unparalleled if you make it here.
Visit in: November to January

Kashmir
With its gorgeous valleys, snow-capped mountains, rivers and alpine meadows, Kashmir is truly heaven on Earth. The Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh add to the glitter of this breathtaking location.
Visit in: Year-round

Sunderdhunga Valley
It literally means the ‘valley of beautiful stones’. This trek also offers spectacular views of the Maiktoli Glacier and other surrounding peaks.
Visit in: May to June and September to October

Palpung Sherabling Monastery
An exclusive six-day retreat to the Palpung Sherabling monastery near Dharamshala takes place in October and lets you a shift to a more spiritual way of being through Tibetan Buddhism and meditation.
Visit in: October. Log on to www.hayhouse.co.in for details.