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The 9 coolest places to travel next year

Fascinating archaeological sites, world famous gardens and ancient ruined cities. Here's our top pick of the 9 coolest places to visit in 2015.

Fascinating archaeological sites, world famous gardens and ancient ruined cities. Here’s our top pick of the 9 coolest places to visit in 2015.

The specialists at Abercrombie & Kent love travel and are unapologetic about it. They know what to recommend for every type of travel including romantic breaks, adventure, new experiences, sampling different cultures and savouring foreign foods. Travel is their bag and they’ve combed the globe to come up with the top places and things you’ll want to see and do next. This is A&K’s Hot List for 2015.

1. Japan


Though steeped in tradition, parts of Japan are starkly new-age. The capital Tokyo is as modern a city as you’ll find with its skyscrapers, neon lights and fashionably dressed citizens, while travellers can still see a glimpse of its ancient culture with kimono clad folk and ancient Shinto shrines. Clean and efficient, everything in Japan runs like clockwork and it’s easy to get around. There’s incredible architecture, a fascinating history and world famous gardens, not to mention the poignant reminder of the 1945 atomic bomb at Hiroshima and cutting edge art installations on Naoshima Island, plus amazing hi-tech hotels and an extraordinary culinary tradition. Then there are those cherry blossoms…

A&K’s 10-day Classic Japan luxury small group journey is priced from US$8,995 per person with departures March to October. An exclusive hosted small group journey to Japan is also planned for November 2015. Details to be advised.

2. Jordan


Famously home to Petra and overflowing with an abundance of fascinating archaeological sites, Jordan has a colourful history and a warm and welcoming culture.

It is a safe and easy country to get around with good roads and excellent hotels. The food is mouth-watering with an abundance of Middle Eastern flavours and strong Bedouin influences. Its diverse attractions include old Roman cities and crusader castles, the dramatic landscapes of Wadi Rum and the unique wildlife of its nature reserves, and to top it all off the mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea. While an obvious cultural destination, Jordan also makes for an outstanding family holiday with activities aplenty from camel riding in the desert, exploring the ruins of Petra Indiana Jones-style, floating in the Dead Sea and learning to cook a Bedouin BBQ.

A&K’s Special Offer on the 7 day ‘Highlights of Jordan’ journey is priced from $3,040 per person (normally priced at $4,037) for travel until 30 May 2015.

3. Mighty Mekong

Mighty Mekong_KarryOn

One of the world’s great rivers, the Mekong runs from the high Tibetan plateau through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and into Vietnam where it flows out to the South China Sea. But it’s the stretch between Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and Cambodia’s Siem Reap which has A&K excited thanks to the recent launch of Aqua Mekong. Accommodating just 40 guests, this vessel has all the attributes of a sophisticated five star hotel with generous cabins, artisanal touches and contemporary comforts. The 7-night cruise highlights the striking cultural diversity of the waterway as well as its remarkable landscapes, stilt villages, incredible birdlife, wing tipped pagodas and remote Buddhist monasteries. Professionally trained river guides lead guests on daily expeditions aboard skiffs into the Mekong’s tributaries and on foot.

A&K’s 10-day ‘Journey on the Mekong’ itinerary is priced from $9,087 per person.

4. Melbourne to K.I. by Private Jet

World by Private Jet_KarryOn

An exclusive air tour incorporating three iconic Australian experiences in two states in one day is part of A&K’s 2015 portfolio.

Perfect for a special occasion or a milestone celebration, guests depart Melbourne’s Essendon Airport on board the Outback Jet flying over the Twelve Apostles, before touching down in Cobden just half an hour later. A tour of Port Campbell National Park’s extraordinary rock formations with an expert local guide is included before the aircraft continues to the multi-award winning Mayura Station at Millicent on South Australia’s Limestone Coast. Here guests are treated to a four-course lunch, showcasing the diversity of this premium beef product and each course matched with a museum release Coonawarra wine. On completion a short flight delivers guests to Kangaroo Island (K.I.) where a stay at the stunning Southern Ocean Lodge is recommended.

Call an A&K Travel Specialist to tailor your outback jet experience.

5. Mongolia – a last frontier

Mongolia Steppe_KarryOn

Mongolia is vast, remote and strikingly beautiful, where nomads still eke out a living on the steppe as they have for centuries passing down from generation to generation age-old practises of horsemanship, herding and hunting. There are exclusive adventures aplenty. The thrilling Golden Eagle Festival occurs annually in in the far west of the country, where Kazakh horsemen demonstrate their skills with the prized Golden Eagle over two days of celebration and competition. There are opportunities to bed down in a traditional Mongolian ger in the Gobi Desert, admire ancient petroglyphs at the Flaming Cliffs, hike through rugged canyons in the foothills of the Altai Mountains, explore vast sand dunes on the back of a Bactrian camel as well as marvelling at Buddhist monasteries and experiencing warm Mongol hospitality.

A&K’s 10-day hosted journey ‘Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival’ itinerary departs 27 September 2015 with prices from $5,995 per person.

6. Peru


World famous for its ancient ruined cities, its music and its Spanish influences, Peru can now add food to the long list of highlights.

Voted Best Culinary Destination in South America, Peru can also claim Lima as the continent’s culinary capital. Sophisticated and inventive, the Peruvian culinary scene is one of the world’s most exciting and with A&K guests can experience the country’s remarkable local produce, scour markets with a chef and be part of a cooking class as well as tasting local specialities like ceviche, tiradito, tamales, anticuchos and lomo saltado. Peru also has a vibrant restaurant scene and is home to some of the world’s most influential chefs including Virgilio Martinez and Mitsuharu Tsumura whose establishments in Lima and Cusco A&K recommends for visiting foodies.

A&K’s 9-day ‘Taste of Peru’ journey is priced from $8,140 per person.

7. Skeleton Coast

Skelton Coast_KarryOn

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Kaokoveld and Damaraland to the east. It gets its name from the whale and seal bones that once littered the shore during the whaling era, although more recently the skeletal remains of the shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks and fog are present.

The Bushmen of the interior called the region “The Land God Made in Anger” due to its inhospitable climate and terrain, but today there’s a welcoming respite at the new Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp which straddles the Palmwag area. And the iconic Skeleton Coast National Park in one of the most remote areas of the Kaokoveld. Accessible by light aircraft only, this stylish tented camp has a stunning location with views to die for.

A&K’s 8-day ‘Sossusvlei & the Skeleton Coast’ itinerary is priced from $6,427 per person.

8. Spain


Sun-drenched landscapes, vibrant, buzzing cities, mouth-watering food and remarkable treasures of art and architecture, Spain is a gem of a place. Learn to dance the flamenco in Seville, sample sherry from a bodega, admire astonishing architecture in Barcelona, explore World Heritage sites, tour its taverns for tapas, wander through charming Andalucian villages and explore the golden beaches and islands on its Mediterranean coast or surf its Atlantic shores. From north to south you’ll be dazzled by its magical appeal.

A&K’s 10-day ‘ Connections Spain: Seven Cities’ itinerary is priced from US$6,395 per person.

9. Travel with the Tribe

Travel with the Tribe_KarryOn

Time spent with family has never been more important and on holiday those precious moments are even more fulfilling when away from day-to-day demands.

Taking the stress out of travel is what A&K does best and for parents and grandparents travelling with youngsters, A&K has hand-picked destinations which are fun, safe and educational and for the first time are offering small group journeys for families. The Luxury Small Group journey portfolio features five-star accommodation and a Young Explorers Guide with destinations including India, China and Costa Rica. For those on a tighter budget, there are Connections Family Journeys with upscale hotels, a slightly larger group size and destinations including Italy and Spain. Tailor-made family journeys are another A&K speciality, with safaris in Africa on offer, a trip through Vietnam, a journey to Australia’s Red Centre, an adventure in Croatia, a cruise in the Galapagos and much more.

A&K’s 10-day ‘Family Galapagos Luxury Small Group Journey’ is priced from US $8,295 per adult and US $7,495 per child.

Tour dates: 10 – 22 January 2016

Price: Twin share per person: $9,975, Single supplement: $5,185

Have you made any travel plans for 2015 yet?