From shrines and shinkansen in Japan to Sri Lanka safaris, these are our top bucket-list tour destinations of 2024, as chosen by our travel insiders.
With an unprecedented diversity of destinations and extraordinary experiences available to satiate your wanderlust in 2024, there’s never been a better time to tick off your must-visit list. We asked Joshua (Josh) Landy – Luxury Escapes’ Head of Tours and travel fanatic – for the lowdown on the world’s top destinations and where to visit in the next 365 days. From witnessing the spectacle of Egypt’s ancient pyramids to dogsledding beneath Scandinavia’s dancing Northern Lights, wherever you’re eager to explore, we have you covered.
Ready for your next adventure? Check out our handpicked tours.
Iberian Peninsula: Spain, Portugal & Morocco
Positioned at one of the great crossroads of history, Spain, Portugal and Morocco each offer a dazzling range of experiences for the intrepid traveller. “It’s never been easier to explore each magical destination than on a grand tour of the Iberian Peninsula,” says Josh. Flamenco and midnight tapas feasts await in Granada, Spain, while Portugal hides eponymous wine tastings galore in Porto and countless cruise opportunities down the lazy Douro River. Finally, Morocco gifts endless architectural beauty, vivid spice souks and unforgettable evenings in Casablanca, Fez and bustling Marrakech.
Ready to discover the best of Spain and Portugal? Check out this tour.
“There’s nowhere else like it,” says Josh, “especially in cherry blossom season.” The country is bursting with once-in-a-lifetime experiences; from Osaka’s neon-washed, food-filled streets to Sagano’s sprawling bamboo forests and Miyajima Island’s otherworldly shores, home to countless sacred deer. Whether it’s ancient shrines and manga museums in Kyoto, book-shopping and Michelin-star omakase in Tokyo or Hiroshima’s unbelievably beautiful Peace Memorial Park, Japan is like a Harajuku vending machine – overflowing with possibilities. Travel in spring to see the city parklands ignite in a wave of pink as hanami season descends and thousands carouse throughout the day in a boozy celebration of the fleeting impermanence of beauty.
South Korea & Japan 2024 Small-Group Highlights Tour with Internal Flights, Kyoto Bullet Train & Mount Fuji
Japan Small-Group E-Bike Tour with Shimanami Kaido, Sake Tasting, Washi Papermaking & Bullet Train Journey
China & Japan 2024: 18-Day Tour & Cruise Combo with Royal Caribbean from Shanghai & Roundtrip International Flights
Japan Highlights Small-Group Tour from Osaka to Tokyo with Guided City Tour, Kyoto Bullet Train & Handpicked Accommodation
Beauty of Japan Ultra-Lux Small-Group Tour with Traditional Ryokan Stay, Bullet-Train Journey, Osaka Food Tour & Kyoto Visit
Japan 2024 Gourmet Small-Group Tour with Multi-Course Dining Experience, Sake Tasting, Mount Fuji & Udon Noodle-Making Class
Ultimate Japan 2024 Small-Group Tour with Mount Fuji Stay & Kyoto to Hiroshima Bullet Train
Spectacle-filled days and soju-fuelled nights – South Korea’s astonishing blend of ancient tradition and modern innovation makes it an unrivalled tour destination. Famished foodies will adore Seoul’s culinary soul, backed by a seemingly endless parade of kimchi, tteokbokki and smoke-infused barbecue. “If you’ve done Japan, and you’re looking for more,” says Josh, “South Korea’s got to be on your list.” Don’t miss visiting the Imjingak Resort Unification Park for a unique glimpse into North Korea – from the park’s observation platform you can see the infamous ‘Propaganda Village’ ghost town.
Travel from Vietnam’s soothing south to its storied north and let the country’s rip-roaring spirit inspire you. It’s affordable, too, points out Josh: “There’s no better place to find luxury for less.” Explore floating communities and coconut groves in the Mekong Delta, wander through Hoi An’s lantern-strewn streets – steeped in history and offering some of the best banh mis in the world – and glide through the ethereal emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs and the occasional hardworking wooden junk boat.
Vietnam Small-Group E-Bike Cycling Tour with Hai Van Pass, Mekong Delta, Hue Imperial City Tour & Culinary Experiences
Southeast Asia Ultra-Lux Tour with Overnight Ha Long Bay Cruise, Angkor Wat & Siem Reap Temple Visits
Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights Tour From North to South with Ha Long Bay Cruise, Angkor Wat Visit & Mekong Delta Experience
Vietnam Highlights Tour with Ha Long Bay Cruise, Hoi An Old Town Visit & Mekong Delta Sampan Tour
Canggu may not come as a surprise (it's been hailed as Bali's hottest spot for a while now by those in-the-know) – but with increased interest from digital nomads and well-heeled travellers comes a slew of must-try restaurants and uber-chic beach clubs. Move over Seminyak: this southwest enclave is the new kid on the block when it comes to the island’s best dining. If the beach club life is calling you, check into COMO Uma Canggu, where laidback brunches and oceanside cocktails rule supreme.
Scandinavia: Norway, Denmark and Sweden
“Scandinavia’s perfect for explorers,” says Josh. “It’s completely different from the rest of Europe and the perfect place to see the Northern Lights.” Here, the volcano-strewn wilderness beloved by Vikings stands almost completely untouched; forested islands are surrounded by deep seas hiding frolicking whales, mighty glaciers dominate the horizon and each breath of fresh air tastes better than the last. The cities are no slouch either – some of the world’s most acclaimed fine dining can be found in Copenhagen, and Stockholm’s photogenic nature is near legendary. Plus, you can get around in one of the most unique ways on earth: via dogsled underneath the Northern Lights.
Scandinavia Ultra-Lux Winter Adventure Tour with Aurora Glass Cabin Stay, Husky Safari & Northern Lights Excursions
Scandinavia Summer 2024 Small-Group Tour with Fjord Cruise, Scenic Train Journey & Guided Walks
Norway & Sweden Small-Group Summer Tour with Iconic Overnight Train Journeys, Glass Cabin Stay & Arctic Fjords
“North America’s got it all,” says Josh, and he’s right – there's a tremendous number of must-visit destinations in the USA alone (with flights available from October at not-to-be-missed prices). A song of ice and fire takes on new meaning in the USA: if kicking up a flurry of the white stuff is your thing, the skiing in Utah and Colorado is unmatched, while the sun-kissed Hawaiian Islands dial up the heat with incomparable hikes, surf and culture. If cosmopolitan life is more your vibe, discover the world’s greatest art museums, galleries and restaurants in the city where the lights never go out or dim down – New York City. For a wander on the wild side, find lady luck in the heart of the Mojave Desert with a trip to Las Vegas and dance and dine your way through New Orleans’ monumental Bourbon Street, pulsing with neon lights, music and French aesthetic. Whatever you’re after, North America more than provides.
Discover the USA
USA West Coast 2024 California Discovery Tour with Grand Canyon & Yosemite plus Tours of Hollywood, San Diego & San Francisco
Southern USA 2024 Sights & Sounds Tour with Graceland, Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry & Jack Daniel's Distillery
For many travellers, Sri Lanka’s mysterious jungle monasteries, sprawling tea fields and fascinating history place it firmly at the top of the list. “Loads of new, wellness-focused hotels have been built recently... it’s never been easier to tour Sri Lanka,” says Josh. Savour a truly secluded safari adventure among the sand-rimmed lakes of Wilpattu National Park, home to elephants, leopards and spotted deer, or strike out to Sigirya, called ‘Lion Rock,’ a truly awe-inspiring granite fortress built atop an ancient magma plug, originally home to ascetics and royalty.
Discover Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Small-Group Tour with Five-Star Accommodation, National Park Safari, Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Galle Fort Tour
Sri Lanka 2024 Bike Tour with Scenic Train Journey, Galle Fort & Yala National Park Safari
Sri Lanka Small-Group Authentic Gourmet Dining Tour with Colombo & Kandy Food Tours, Cooking Lesson & Tea Auction House
Sri Lanka 2024 Small-Group Wellness Tour with Santani Luxury Stay, Personalised Spa Therapy, Daily Yoga & Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sri Lanka 2024 Small-Group Tour with Luxury Stays, Gem Factory Tour, Tea Harvesting, Yala Safari & Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sri Lanka 2024 Small-Group Tour with Handpicked Accommodation, National Park Safari, Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Galle Fort Tour
The set-jetting trend (whereby travellers visit TV and movie locations) is really taking flight – and with a sequel in the works for Ridley Scott's epic Gladiator movie due for release in 2024, we're expecting a refreshed interest in all things Roman. While shooting for the movie is actually largely taking place in Malta and Morocco, where better to walk in the footsteps of real gladiators than the Colosseum? Happily, Qantas is set to reinstate its thrice-weekly direct flights from Perth to Rome in 2024, with CEO Cameron Wallace saying, "Our Perth to Rome route was one of the most popular across our international network last year and bookings show it's shaping to be that way again." Looking for an oasis in the city? You can't go past Six Senses Rome.
When will a safari to see the Big Five ever not be bucket list? If you want to walk on the wild side without compromising on luxury, look to the next-level safari lodges of Botswana. Properties here are as much as experience in themselves as the safari (case in point, Xigera Safari Lodge, whose 12 jaw-dropping suites feature freestanding tubs overlooking the plains of the Okavango Delta). Indeed, the price point is higher here than the likes of Kenya, but this is by design: fewer tourists mean a better experience both for visitors and the wildlife, which includes the highest population of elephants in the world.
See the world with Tours by Luxury Escapes: book a small-group adventure curated exclusively by the experts and unlock deeper travel experiences that exceed every expectation. Hurry, our 2024 dates are filling fast.
Need more inspiration? Read 6 Reasons to Tour Canada in Winter.