Get ready for some travel inspiration because FlightNetwork just released their list of the World’s Best Journeys 2018 which was created in collaboration with over 500 of the world’s travel journalists, agencies, bloggers, and editors. Chosen by a panel of travel experts, the list has the top 50 trips transformative trips every traveler should experience in their life.
“This extensive collaboration produced the most thoughtful and detailed list of astonishing journeys – a list that will captivate and inspire travelers to embark on life-changing adventures now, and for years to come,” according to FlightNetwork.
The World’s Best Journeys 2018 span the globe, such as seeing the glaciers in Antarctica, going on a safari adventure in South Africa or traveling across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Within the list, you will be able to find the perfect dream vacation for you, as there is something for everyone. The ultimate travel bucket list has a good mixture of slower paced adventures such as sailing around the Greek Islands, and plenty of activities for thrill seekers such as trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp or cycling along the Death Road of Bolivia.
So, grab your passport, as these once-in-a-lifetime travel journeys are going to give you some serious wanderlust.
Plan the ultimate adventure by exploring Europe by train. With so many countries close together, booking a multi-day tour to explore Europe’s diverse cultures and landscapes will make for a trip you will never forget. Starting your journey in London, you will travel over 4470 miles aboard a train stopping at over 20 countries before reaching your final stop of Amsterdam. Some of the major cities you will be able to visit are Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Monaco, Rome, Budapest, Vienna, and Milan.
Relax aboard a sailboat as you travel down the mighty Nile. Cruising between Luxor to Aswan in Egypt you will be able to see the ancient landscape of monuments, pyramids, and temples that existed since pharaohs ruled the land. Today, Nile river cruises last on average three to seven nights where you will have the opportunity to exit the ship several times to explore the nearby sights. The best time to book your cruise is between October and April when the weather is not too hot.
Exploring the Patagonian Fjords located at the southernmost tip of South America shared by Argentina and Chile is the perfect spot to spend some time outdoors hiking and kayaking. A popular travel route is to begin at the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Andes. The giant glacier spans 121 miles and is still growing; nearby there are several excellent hiking paths. Two other must-try activities are hiking through Los Glaciares National Park to see the rugged mountains and glacial lakes, along with kayaking past Mount Fitz Roy and Upsala Glacier.
The trek to Mount Everest Basecamp has been luring adventurers for decades to get a view of the world's highest peak. The classic route to from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back is 40 miles each way and will require you to adjust to high altitudes. In Lukla, you will meet with your Sherpa guides, and the journey will take 14 to 21 days where you will ascent the south side of Everest in Nepal to the Mount Everest Basecamp at 17600 feet.
“Although arriving at Everest Base Camp is one of the best feelings in the world, getting there is the real experience. You’ll pass by gorgeous scenery and you get the chance to stay in Sherpa villages, where you’ll spend your nights eating homemade momos, and swapping stories with other trekkers around a potbelly stove and a hot cup of tea,” according to Kristy Alpert a freelance journalist for MSN and Fodors.
The Golden Triangle is India’s most popular tourist route connecting New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. The 447 miles journey between the three cities will have you seeing some of India's most stunning sights. In New Delhi, you'll be able to visit one of the largest mosques in India the Jama Masjid Mosque and Humayun's Tomb which inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal. Driving through the desert to Jaipur the must-visit sights include the Amber Fort and City Palace before finally arriving in Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal.
One of the best ways to explore Italy's northern Ligurian coast is by hiking along Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cinque Terre is made up of a series of five seaside towns Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso which are connected by a walking path. Along the hike, you will be able to experience spectacular ocean vistas, olive groves, vineyards, harbors, and the famous multi-color buildings. The entire trek will take around 6 hours to complete, but most tourists spread the journey over multiple days to allow for more time to stroll through each town.
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. The 151-mile drive spans between Torquay and Allansford in Victoria, Australia. The trip will take you past rainforests, lighthouses, Bells Beach one of Australia's most famous beaches, and famous landmarks such as the 12 Apostles. Along the route, it is possible you might be able to see local wildlife such as koala and wallabies! While it is possible to drive the entire Great Ocean Road in one day, it is best to allow at minimum three days to allow for time to enjoy the coastal sights and towns.
Kruger National Park is one of Africa's largest game reserves, where hundreds of animals make their home. Here you find a high density of wild animals including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, giraffe, zebra and buffalos. The classic safari lasts between 3-6 days where you will get to go up close to local wildlife in an open vehicle, learn about the culture of the Kruger Park region, and sleep in a traditional Tsonga-style huts. A variety of tours are available from group safaris to more luxurious and romantic private safaris with hotel lodging.
The French Polynesia Islands are one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. They are famous for calm aquamarine lagoons and white sand beaches. Located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, the easiest way to tour them is via a cruise so you can hop between islands. Starting your journey in the Tahitian town of Papeete, you will visit several islands including Bora Bora, Raiatea, and Tahaa. Adventure-seekers can enjoy snorkeling to see tropic fish and colorful coral, jet skiing, diving and fantastic surfing.
Witness the sweeping views while driving along Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The beautiful area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the architecture found in cities like Amalfi and Revello, and the diverse landscape. The drive takes approximately 2 hours starting in Sorrento if you drive directly to Salerno City, but you will want to allow time to stop and see the sights. The narrow roads will take you past turquoise water beaches, vineyards, cliffside villages, pastures, and towering mountains.
"It is perhaps the most beautiful 30-mile drive on the planet, with cliffs plunging to the sea, lemon groves high above, and historic Italian villages with great food and spectacular views,” said Lea Lane of Forbes.
The ancient Silk Road was the trade route that connected the east and the west. For the ultimate adventure, take an 80-day tour across seven countries. The epic journey is over 6000 mile and will have you traveling via jeeps, trains, and boats as you cross a diverse range of terrain from Istanbul, Turkey to Xian, China. As you journey across the Silk Road, you will want to keep your camera ready, as will you see beautiful landscapes and be able to visit amazing sights like the Palace of Khudayar Khan, the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, and the Terracotta Army.
Relax under the Tuscan sun by going on an outstanding road trip across one of the most beautiful areas of Italy. Tuscany is known for its beautiful countryside, producing fantastic wine, being the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, having breathtaking architecture, a rich history, and delicious food! The region is also famous for having seven UNESCO Heritage Sites, including Pisa, Florence, and The Medici Villas and Gardens. Starting your journey in the city Lucca famous for their well-preserved Renaissance walls, you can drive towards Montalcino stopping to see the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites and towns en route.
Discover the Amazon River by boarding an Amazon River Cruise between the bustling port of Manaus, Brazil to the Iquitos, Peru. Both cities are located in the Amazon Rainforest and are next to the Amazon River, and the journey between them will take several days. While sailing down the Amazon River, you'll be able to see piranhas, pink dolphins and enjoy bird watching. Depending on your budget you can either opt for sleeping in a hammock where you will be peacefully rocked to sleep or a splurge on a spacious private cabin.
A Fjord Cruise in Norway will allow you to witness the scenic beauty of the country, and if you are lucky, you might be able to see the Northern Lights! On the journey, you will sail past two of Norway's fjords the Naeroyfjord and Sognefjord, small fishing villages, cascading waterfalls, sparkling glaciers, and stunning mountains. “This fantastic journey allows exploring the unique and pristine beauty of Norway’s remote fjords and stunning mountains," said Ausra of Nordic Saga Tours.
The peak cruise season in Norway is from June through August, but cruises begin in May and run until September each year.
For the road trip of a lifetime, pack the car and explore the historic Route 66. The highway which is the most famous road in the United States has now been decommissioned, but you can still drive the 2400 mile route. Running through Chicago, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in California the drive can be done in two weeks if you only visit the most popular sites. Not to be missed landmarks on the journey are Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Grant Park in Illinois, the Ghost Town of Calico in Daggett, and the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa.
Located in Eastern Europe, Croatia has more than a thousand islands which are surrounded by the bright blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. The drive along the breathtaking Adriatic Highway in Croatia is a particularly wondrous drive that allows you to see the vibrant blue waters as you follow the Southern Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. Departing from Dubrovnik, the route along the Dalmatian Coast will have you traveling past gorgeous sights including the Dinaric Alps, seaside villages, beaches, Roman ruins, and Medieval castles.
The awe-inspiring whitewashed villages and azure waters of Greece attract travelers from all around the world. Sailing the Greek Islands is the best way to explore the country and see many islands including, Mykonos, Hydra, Aegina, and Sifnos. Traveling by sailboat, you can easily island hop around Greece to explore the ancient ruins, try the local cuisine, learn more about the local culture, see the famous sunsets, and go for a walk along the white sand beaches.
The Camino de Santiago is a hiking trail that crosses several European countries and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The most popular of the modern-day pilgrimage routes is The French Way which is nearly 500 miles long and goes from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago in northwestern Spain. The walk takes anywhere from 30 to 35 days, with you walking on average 15 miles per day. The stunning trek leads you over the Pyrenees mountains, along with the countryside and nearby villages.
Taking a cruise to Alaska is one of the most relaxing ways to visit Alaska, the largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state. Often sailing on small ships with fewer than 100 passengers, Alaska expedition cruises offer a more intimate cruising experience than typical Caribbean cruises which can have thousands onboard. Most cruises to Alaska begin in Vancouver, Canada, and the journey is 7 to 10 days round trip. While sailing, you will witness vast natural beauty as you see the rugged wilderness, natural parks, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, 1000 foot waterfalls and crystalline lakes.
Adventures will adore driving around Iceland’s Ring Road. The drive will take you around the entire island where you will be able to see many of Iceland’s natural attractions. Beginning in Keflavik, the 827 mile route has 12 stops on the drive where you will see the stunning Dettifoss waterfall, Lake Myvatn (a geothermal hot spring), Vatnajokull (Europe’s second largest glacier), the South Coast villages, the East Fjords, Hvannadalshnukur (Iceland’s highest peak) before reaching the capital of Reykjavik.
The Pacific Coast Highways is famous for being one of the most scenic drives in the world. The highway runs north-south along the shoreline of California, and the route takes about 15 hours to complete. Starting in San Francisco and ending in San Diego the 590 miles drive will take you to some of the most famous cities and towns in California including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and San Diego. Along the route, you will pass forests, beaches, saltwater marshes, and metropolitan cities.
Machu Picchu is the most famous ancient Inca archaeological site in the world and the best example of Inca civilization. Located high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2007 was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The hike takes on average four days traveling the Inca Trail where you can enjoy panoramic views of Sayaqmarka, Qunchamarka, Phuyupatamarka, and Patallaqta before reaching the wondrous Temple of the Sun.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest train journey at 5,771 miles. The classic route takes seven days and crosses seven time zones! The trip starts in Moscow and ends in the port city of Vladivostok near the border of China. Via train, you will travel through the beautiful Russian countryside, next to picturesque mountains, and past the world's largest freshwater lake. There are two ways to travel the Trans-Siberian Railway either you can take the direct train, or buy a ticket that allows you to make stops along the way so you can visit different Russian cities en route.
The Galapagos Islands are some of the most famous islands in the world. Charles Darwin’s visit to the islands has a resounding impact on the formation of his theory of natural selection and evolution. Roughly 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the remote volcanic islands can be reached via booking a cruise of the islands. Famed for animal and bird watching, here you can find creatures that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world such as the Galapagos Land Iguana, Darwin’s Finches, Blue-footed Boobies and Sally Lightfoot Crabs.
The spellbinding journey to Antarctica requires you to travel 600 miles of ocean between Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica. “The fact that seemingly infinite otherworldliness actually exists on this planet is mind-blowing,” said Abbie Kozolchyk of National Geographic.
Only accessible from November to March, Antarctica can be reached by an expedition ship where you will see massive glaciers and uninhabited frozen plains. The journey often takes between 10 - 30 days, passing the Drake Passage and the South Shetland Islands before reaching the Antarctic Peninsula.