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by Wayne Goodwin February 06, 2020

Life is short and the world is wide. Which destination is next on your list to travel to in 2020? To help you decide, we've put together a list of our picks for the most exciting destinations for the dawning of the new decade. To create our list, we've collaborated with globe travelling experts far and wide, drawing on years of travelling experience. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and Go Wander!

The historic city centre of Český Krumlov is nestled in a bend of the Vltava River. | Photo by Vlad Kiselov

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Nestled along a bend of the Vltava River deep in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, Český Krumlov can often feel like you've accidentally stumbled upon a miniature model of Prague.

The streets are paved with cobblestones. The skyline is dominated by an imposing hilltop castle. perhaps most importantly, a charming old-town square orientates the city centre.

All things considered, this baroque beauty does a pretty convincing impression of the Czech capital. Visit in the off season though, and you'll notice one thing missing from the impersonation: Crowds.

While it's lively bars and backpacking hostels may attract hordes of visitors in the summer, you might be lucky enough to have the city almost to yourself in winter. If you do, it won't be a memory you quickly forget.

Why go now:In February of 2020, the city of Prague announced sweeping restrictions to combat the effects of overtourism. The net effect for tourists will be less available beds and higher costs. Český Krumlov offers a charming, affordable Czech alternative off the traditional beaten path.


Horsemanship plays a big role in the daily lives of the Mongolians still living a semi-nomadic lifestyle. | Photo by Myles Dunphy

Tstetserleg, Mongolia

To understand the beauty and remoteness of Tsetserleg in Eastern Mongolia requires a powerful imagination. You must be able to conceive of a place so wild and open that there are no roads. Instead, reaching your destination requires driving a 4x4 over endless grasslands. Or perhaps on horseback, sitting astride a powerful Mongolian pony.

Hiring a local guide and planning an expedition is easy, though communicating may not be. Though rest assured; if you don't know how to ride a horse you will quickly learn.

The semi-nomadic people of the Steppe believe in learning by doing, and you could soon be swept up onto horseback and galloping across the Mongolian steppe, spending your evenings tucked up inside a local family's yurt. Green pastures stretch into eternity, and the night sky is adorned with an impossible number of twinkling stars.

It may not be a destination for the faint of heart, but one thing is guaranteed; in a world that is awash with cookie-cutter travel experiences, Tsetserleg will deliver anything but.

Why go now: Word of the wonders on offer in this relatively untouched part of the world is slowly starting to spread about this. If you cherish authenticity, now is the time to go before the secret's out!


Stari Most is the centrepiece of historic Mostar. | Photo by Yu Siang Teo

Bosnia and Herzegovina

While often overlooked for it's glitzier neighbour Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina regularly surprises and delights first time visitors. Many people are aware of the conflict that took place here in the 1990s, but 25 years on this nation is one of Europe's most interesting and exciting destinations.

The historic capital of Sarajevo blends east and west, transporting visitors from Vienna to Istanbul and back again in a few footsteps. Blessed with a strong coffee and food culture, this is a city that your tastebuds.

Further afield, the town of Mostar is a must-see destination. It's famous Stari Most (old bridge) is a showstopper, and a summer visit isn't complete without watching young men dive the 24 metres into the rushing waters below.

Why go now: 2020 marks 25 years since the Dayton Peace Accords established relative calm in the western Balkans.


Galway, Ireland

There may not be a more charming city on Planet Earth than Galway, Ireland. Filled to the brim with restaurants, unique stores and a cozy pubs, the city centre is compact and easily walkable. While Galway is renowned for its music and culture, it's not hard to find the nearby countryside equally as mesmerising. Castles dot the emerald green hills, and sweeping bays greet the powerful Atlantic Ocean. A trip along the world famous Wild Atlantic Way is a must, with the soaring views from the Cliffs of Moher your reward at the end of the hair raising journey.

Why go now:Galways has been named as the European Capital of Culture for 2020. The city has an extensive list of cultural events planned to celebrate, with world class music, endless pints of Guinness, and a rollicking good time all but guaranteed.


Maldives

The Maldives are the epitome of an island paradise and a bucket list destination for almost everyone you know. Comprised of around 1,200 islands with white sand beaches, world class surf breaks, stunning reefs, diverse marine life, and a plethora of luxury resort with drool-worthy overwater bungalows - The Maldives looms large in the popular imagination as a once-in-a-lifetime destination at the edge of the world.

Why go now: Sadly, your chance to see this paradise may be fleeting. Scientists expect oceans to rise between 0.8 - 2.0 metres by 2100. If that proves to be true, than the islanders in the Maldives have real reason to worry. The average height of this country of coral beaches is around 1.2 metres above sea level, and the highest point in the entire nation is just under 2.4 metres.


A Moroccan oasis. | Photo by Sergey Pesterev 

Morocco

Morocco is beginning to make name for itself in the world of sustainable travel. With eco-friendly accommodation options, restaurants serving up local produce and a plethora of new surfing and yoga options, the new wave combines delightfully with the old soul of this diverse and beautiful nation.

Morocco offers a food and market culture to rival anywhere else in the world, with a warm, casual hospitality constantly in accompaniment. Between soaring mountain ranges, sweeping deserts, ancient cities and sweeping beaches, the backdrop to any Moroccan adventure is almost always breathtaking.

Why go now:Africa's first ever bullet train has just opened between Casablanca and Tangier. A journey that used to take 5 hours by conventional rail has been shortened to just 90 minutes, making an multi-city trip in Morocco more accessible than ever before.


Shades of turquoise and red as far as the eye can see greet travelers in WA. | Photo by Ben Carless

Ningaloo Reef, WA, Australia

Ningaloo Marine Park is a World-Heritage listed site found halfway down the West Australian coastline. The crystalline water harbours the world's largest fringing reef; a 260 kilometre long coral reef swarming with turtles, tropical fish, manta rays, humpback whales and the elusive whale shark. Nowhere on Earth do these majestic creatures reliably congregate in such large numbers as here, at Ningaloo Reef.

Why go now: While still relatively undeveloped, there are plans in motion for a $100 million dollar resort development on the Ningaloo coast - head there this year, before the bulldozers start rolling.


A cluster of 1500 islands deemed to have the richest marine biodiversity on the planet, Raja Ampat is a scuba diver's dream. | Photo by sutirta budiman

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The best scuba diving in Indonesia (and perhaps the world!) is found on the far eastern archipelago of Raja Ampat. This cluster of 1,500 islands sits inside the coral triangle, an area known to have the richest marine biodiversity on the planet. There are at least 1,500 known fish species, 537 known coral species, dozens of shark species (including the rare wobbegong), as well as numerous mammals like dolphin, dugong and sperm whale. Fittingly, this special region is commonly referred to as an underwater Amazon Rainforest.

Why go now:Previously, exploring the waters of Raja Ampat required you to charter your own vessel. Recently, however, this has changed as a variety of small ships are now offering weekly trips, making it even easier for travelers to see all that this beautiful region has to offer.



Wayne Goodwin
Wayne Goodwin

CEO and Founder of Evolve Travel Goods, Wayne is an environmental science teacher, lover of the outdoors, and a travel addict. He grew up in sunny Sydney, spending most of his free time exploring the Australian coastline for surf and camping spots. Now he lives and works overseas, teaching in international schools and using Evolve to show his students that sustainability and a thriving business can go hand in hand.


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