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Bucket List Travel | Best Places to Travel in the World

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Wander-Must | Bucket List Travel for 2023

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What are the best places to travel in the world? Pique your travel desires with dreams of bucket list travel that you MUST visit in 2023.

The world is once again a traveler’s oyster, which means it’s finally time plan your ultimate bucket list travel. Take advantage of newly re-found freedom by indulging your wanderlust with a visit to some of the best places to travel in the world. From Peruvian mountain peaks, to Adriatic Sea-fronting beaches, we’ve gathered intel on some of the globe’s most sought-after bucket list travel destinations, each of which is guaranteed to refresh, rejuvenate and inspire. What are you waiting for? There is no better time to turn your travel dream into a travel reality.

CANOUAN ISLAND, CARIBBEAN

Mandarin Oriental Canouan Aerial

Photography courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Canouan

Described as the place where billionaires go to escape millionaires, Canouan (a Caribe word for ‘island of turtles’) is a mere 3.2 square mile island located in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Remote and luxurious, this aptly named island where the turtles outnumber humans is the ultimate hideaway; most have never heard of the tropical paradise that is quickly becoming one of the most sought after bucket list travel destinations in the world, thanks to its sumptuous full-service resort, the Mandarin Oriental, where A list stars can be found lounging poolside. 

Surrounded by Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada, the island features all of the welcome Caribbean clichés (think clear, turquoise waters, lush, green mountains, one of the largest barrier reefs in the region, and a luxury, super-yacht marina) and none of the annoying aspects (think crowds and hurricanes.) No expense was spared in the Mandarin Oriental’s impeccable detail. Elegant colonial style suites and Italianate villas are nestled along a white power stretch of Godahl Beach.

Mandarin Oriental Canouan Aerial

Photography courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Canouan

A collection of restaurants offers a variety of culinary options in settings that showcase stunning ocean vistas. A Balinese-inspired state of the art spa features the latest treatments. A large infinity pool overlooks the ocean. The water sports center features Hobie cats, wind surfers and kayaks, and a championship Fazio-designed golf course is the only 18-hole course in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service includes private plane charters from Barbados.

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CAVTAT, CROATIA 

Photography courtesy of Hotel Supetar Cavtat

Croatia is having a moment. It seems everyone is traveling to this Central European Riviera where pebble-strewn beaches and dramatic mountains and cliffs are complemented by a rich history in which the Romans, Byzantines and the Hapsburgs figure prominently. 

The most popular bucket list travel destinations within its thousands of islands are Dubrovnik (‘the pearl of the Adriatic’), the capital city of Zagreb, the romantic, Italian-esque Istria, cosmopolitan Split and the posh, jet-setter island of Hvar. Venture beyond these spots to discover lesser known Cavtat, a charming harbor town offering a relaxed pace and a stunning waterfront promenade lined with palm trees and outdoor cafes. 

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Poised to be the next “it” destination, Cavtat resembles a pre-crowded St. Tropez. With a lovely bay and beaches, and historical flair, Cavtat overlooks the picturesque waterfront and the beautiful baroque Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, home to valuable works by European artists. Nearby, Our Lady of the Snow Monastery is well worth a visit for its early Renaissance paintings. In the heart of Cavtat’s charming historic center is Hotel Supetar Cavtat. Housed in an original 1920s three-story private villa with an infinity edge pool, Hotel Supetar is a boutique retreat with 16 spacious, stylish and individually designed rooms with Mediterranean soul. 

The hotel features a cozy restaurant and wine bar, but additional Cavtat dining options include Bugenvila, a Dalmatian Coast culinary trendsetter and a favorite of visiting celebs and presidents, and Leut, where the day’s fresh catches are always on display.

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BORDEAUX, FRANCE 

Château D_Agassac

Photography by Dan Miller

Though a tenth of the size of Paris, Bordeaux features much of what makes the City of Light so beloved—architectural beauty, art, shopping and a cosmopolitan café society, all with the bonus of fewer tourists. This historic capital city of Aquitaine is often an afterthought for travelers. But for wine lovers, Bordeaux is the holy grail. No other wine region on earth is more recognized as a source for important labels. 

The name derives from ‘a bord de l’eau,’ meaning ‘along the waters,’ and to explore its right and left banks (as delineated by the Gironde Estuary and the Dordogne and Garonne rivers) is to delve into historic deliciousness. While a visit to the destination-worthy La Cite du Vin (an interactive museum about the world of wine) is indeed a goal, go a step further with a more immersive and expert-led experience. 

Bordeaux

Photography by Dan Miller

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours’ Bordeaux Affair cruise is an all-inclusive week-long escapade through the best of Bordeaux. Featuring tours of Medoc, St. Emilion, Blaye, Cadillac, Sauterne and more, Scenic offers the opportunity to e-bike through some of the most famous vineyards in the world while sampling the vinous offerings of many a majestic chateau. The cruise also allows plenty of time for exploration of its port city. Don’t miss the 18th-century Jardin Public and its 27 bucolic acres containing an arboretum, a library, a botanical garden and a museum of natural history. 

And just across the historic Pont de Pierre bridge (commissioned by Napoleon and inaugurated in 1822), you’ll find the inspiring, alternative urban community of Darwin where ecological innovators congregate in artistic harmony. 

SAN SEBASTIÁN, SPAIN

San Sebastian City View

Photography courtesy of Donostia San Sebastián Turismoa and Akelare

Food is an art form in San Sebastián, where Michelin stars are nearly as numerous as those in the night sky. This Basque region’s culinary craft is creatively displayed within its colorful and creative pintxos. Meaning ‘small snack,’ there is nothing miniscule about the culture surrounding the Spanish gastronomic mainstay.

Within the narrow and picturesque cobbled streets of San Sebastián’s Old Town, guests amble from one bar to another in search of convivial sustenance. Two pintxos and a glass of cider or wine, and it’s on to the next. Those seeking Michelin greatness can’t go wrong at the three-starred Akelarre where Executive Chef Pedro Subijana has helmed the kitchen for nearly 50 years.

Photography courtesy of Donostia San Sebastián Turismoa and Akelare

Take advantage of the full experience with an overnight stay within one of Akelarre’s 22 luxuriously appointed rooms. The elegantly minimalist Relais & Chateaux hotel hugs the cliffs and offers dramatic coastline views. Back in the town center, a stay at Lasala Plaza Hotel’s La Concha Suite delivers panoramic views of the skyline and La Concha Bay. Beyond cuisine, San Sebastián is known for its art and culture; open air sculptures surprise and delight, and its annual film festival features star power that rivals Cannes. 

Active visitors find plenty of motivation in the miles of sea and bay front walking paths, while surfers flock to Zurriola Beach, and swimmers and kayakers dot the calm waters of La Concha Bay.

MACHU PICCHU, PERU

Machu,Picchu

Photography courtesy of Shutterstock

Those fortunate to have visited the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu claim it as a life-altering experience. To catch the sun rising over Huayna Picchu as morning mists reveal the beauty of the Sacred Valley is spell-binding. This amazing, pre-Columbian, urban creation of the Inca Empire is one of the planet’s greatest architectural and artistic achievements. 

Built in the 15th century and abandoned just a century later, it wasn’t until 1911 that the complex was discovered by a world enchanted with the mountain slopes, peaks and valleys that surround 200 structures—giant walls, terraces and ramps, all seemingly cut naturally into the landscape. 

Machu,Picchu

Photography courtesy of Shutterstock

Despite the globe’s ongoing curiosity, many of Machu Picchu’s mysteries remain unresolved, such as its exact role in the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of farming and astronomy. At nearly 8,000 feet above sea-level, in the middle of tropical mountain forests, it’s not exactly easy to get there, but those who make the journey believe in its power to transform. While it’s possible to plan a do-it-yourself journey, the best way to experience the region is via a guided tour. 

Companies such as Abercrombie & Kent or Tauck take the guesswork out of sometimes confusing logistics to provide not only luxe accommodations, but also insider access to Incan scholars and cultural activities, food tours led by local chefs, and expert guidance through necessary elevation acclimation.

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