That most eminent source of travel tips and information, The Lonely Planet, recently released its ‘Ultimate Travel List 2015’, a list of the top 500 destinations in the world.
500 destinations is probably beyond all but the most seasoned and financially ‘gifted’ of travellers and frankly we’re not sure how interested we are in the 500th most ‘must-see’ destination on the planet. The top 10 though, they’re sure to be interesting.
So which of these incredible sites can you see on a Newmarket Holidays break? Well you could start at the very top of the list; the incredible Angkor Wat, which is part of our 15 day ‘Follow the Mekong’ tour. Sitting surrounded by jungle in northwest Cambodia, Angkor Wat is reputed to be the largest religious monument in the world – though it is not alone in the jungle. The central wat is just one of many monuments, some of which have partially succumbed to the pervading force of the jungle and are now beset by enormous tree roots – a la the Lost City in Disney’s Jungle Book. A trip to Angkor Wat also offers the chance to experience the nearby Siem Reap with its melding of Chinese and French influences.
If your wallet has the fortitude, you could continue to tick off the world’s best sights with a cruise to number two on the list, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 1400 miles and boasting over 600 types of coral, the reef is uniquely bio-diverse, providing a home to numerous species of shark, dolphin, turtle and fish. The reef is considered to be at risk from rising sea temperatures and pollution; our advice is to see it while it is still in its prime and tread as lightly as possible while you’re there.
Back on dry land, join us for number four on the list, the Great Wall of China, as part of a 16-day ‘Highlights of China and Yangtze Cruise’ tour. Or choose number five with a hop over to India, to see the smaller, though no-less grand, Taj Mahal in the Indian city of Agra.
Those wanting a bit of dazzle with their springtime break should consider number six, the breath-taking Grand Canyon. 18 miles across at its widest point and some 277 miles long, the canyon is an incredible sight to behold. The sight is even better combined with a quick trip to the bright lights of Hollywood and Las Vegas – giving your trip that bit of sparkle.
Position seven is occupied by the magnificent Colosseum. The ancient stadium is estimated to have held up to 80,000 spectators at its peak. Completed late in the first century AD, the Colosseum is fast approaching is 2000th birthday – for which it is looking rather fine. Combining a visit to the world’s most famous stadium with an exploration of wider Rome and Pompeii, as on this eight-day break, offers great insight into the workings of both the Roman Empire and modern-day Italy.
Staying in Europe, number nine on the list is the continent’s finest example of Moorish architecture, Alhambra, located in Spain’s Granada. The Palace was originally constructed in 889 but was significantly renovated in the 1100s by the Emir of Granada. Today the enormous complex sits with the city at its feet on three sides, looking out towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains. See the beautiful Alhambra and its equally stunning backdrop on the ‘Seville, Granada and Classic Spain’ six-day break.
The top ten is completed as it started with another religious monument-turned-museum, in the form of Turkey’s Aya Sofya. The one-time Christian church, one-time Islamic mosque was the largest cathedral in the world for almost 1000 years. Today Aya Sofya, with its grand dome, is open to all as a museum. Though only considered tenth most worthy of a visit, the site is monumentally impressive and as deserving of your time as any other on the list. Visit Aya Sofya on one of our Mediterranean cruises.