Lonely Planet has named its top destinations to travel to in 2022.
The travel guide book experts have crowned the Cook Islands in the South Pacific as the number one country to visit next year.
The remote island nation is followed on the list by Norway, known for its dramatic glaciers and home to the world’s first energy-producing hotel. Ranking in third is Indian Ocean holiday hot spot Mauritius, which recently reopened to international travellers.
Egypt also comes highly recommended by the guide book publisher. The country squeezed into the final position on the top 10 list of the best countries in the world and is known for its ancient ruins, historical sites and captivating marine life in the Red Sea.
The top 10 countries to visit in 2022
- The Cook Islands
The tiny Cook Islands archipelago was crowned the top country to visit in 2022, winning praise for eco-initiatives including the Marae Moana, the world’s largest marine protected area. Lying half way between New Zealand and Hawaii, the country also offers travellers amazing diversity across all 15 of its islands.
Lonely Planet said that its “diverse landscapes framed by the remote expanses of the world's biggest ocean promise active adventure, cultural interaction and culinary delights”.
As travel slowly starts to recover from restrictions put in place during the global pandemic, next year could be a big one for those struggling to contain their wanderlust.
Top 10 cities in the world: Auckland is No 1
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Taipei, Taiwan, province of China
- Freiburg, Germany
- Atlanta, US
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Lefkosia, Cyprus
- Dublin, Ireland
- Merida, Mexico
- Florence, Italy
- Gyeongju, South Korea
For anyone craving a city break, Lonely Planet has also named the top 10 cities in the world with New Zealand's Auckland ranking in the No 1 spot.
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, a ranked in second place, while Germany’s Freiburg in the Black Forest ranked third.
Iceland's best-kept secret leads top 10 regions
When it comes to the best regions to travel to, Iceland’s Westfjords, which is home to coastal cliffs, red-sand beaches and thundering waterfalls, took the top spot.
This was followed by West Virginia in the US and Xishuangbanna, a prefecture in China’s Yunnan Province known for its nature.
The UK made it into the top 10 regions list with Kent's Heritage Coast ranking fourth, and the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was listed in fifth.
'Lonely Planet's top 10 regions for 2022
1. Westfjords, Iceland
2. West Virginia, US
3. Xishuangbanna, China
4. Kent’s Heritage Coast, UK
5. Puerto Rico
6. Shikoku, Japan
7. The Atacama Desert, Chile
8. The Scenic Rim, Australia
9. Vancouver Island, Canada
10. Burgundy, France
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists are formed by whittling down hundreds of nominations from staff, contributors, bloggers and publishing partners, which are then debated and chosen by a panel of travel experts.