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Countries to visit.

Countries to visit

There’s a whole world out there – put these inspiring destinations at the top of your travel wish list. Chosen by Peter Greenberg, travel editor of CBS News and presenter of The Travel Detective, Simon Calder, journalist and senior travel editor of The Independent, High Life contributor Mark Jones and Alain de Botton, philosopher and author of The News: a User’s Manual.

Australia

Australia

Australia remains top of the wish list for 2014: vast, diverse and endlessly surprising, it’s hard to get enough of. The landscape is harsh, but sublime, as well as awe-inspiring. A trip into the great red desert restores perspective like few other places.

Find out more about Australia

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Greece.

Greece

Greek tourism has survived the country’s economic storms well, and new hoteliers, chefs and winemakers are attracting a fresh breed of traveller. Try Mykonos and Santorini – the most spectacular of the Cyclades Islands.

Find out more about Greece

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Malta.

Malta

Once perceived as blue-rinse territory, Malta has the weather and DJs of Ibiza, without the price tag. There are huge open-air clubs and Ministry of Sound and Creamfields both rock up to Maltese Music Week.

Find out more about Malta

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UK.

UK

The world’s greatest sporting event in 2014? North of the Equator, there’s only one contender: Glasgow, for the Commonwealth Games. Scotland’s biggest city has the chance to put Edinburgh (host in 1986) in the shade.

UK and Ireland Travel Guide

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South Korea

South Korea

For too long overshadowed by the achievements of its neighbours China and Japan, the time has come to discover South Korea as a tourist destination. It has beautiful landscapes and a people of unrivalled generosity.

Find out more about South Korea

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Nicaragua

Nicaragua

It’s a race between here and Colombia for the ‘sublime-Latin-American-country-putting-troubled-recent-history-behind-it’ vote. Nicaragua gets it because they are beginning to make cigars to rival Cuba’s.

Top city breaks.

Top city breaks

With the world’s eyes on Rio for the football and exciting culture hubs growing all over the world, a city break is a must for 2014. Chosen by architect Zaha Hadid, The Sunday Times’ travel editor Stephen Bleach, critic and author of The Golden Door: Letter to America AA Gill and High Life contributing editor Jane Dunford.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

This is Rio’s time in the spotlight, as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games loom. Rio juxtaposes seascapes and peaks, modernity and history, urban forests with crowds on the beaches.

Find out more about Rio de Janeiro

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Austin

Austin

The self-proclaimed ‘live music capital of the world’ (home to the SXSW festival) has transformed from sleepy state capital to international trendsetter. It even has its own Grand Prix, yet retains its quirky character.

Find out more about Austin, Texas

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong

With last year’s Asian debut of Art Basel and a growing crop of Western gallery outposts such as White Cube, Gagosian and Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong is now one of Asia’s most important cultural hubs.

Find out more about Hong Kong

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Istanbul

Istanbul

Turkey’s awhirl with the competing forces of democracy, Islam, capitalism and rampant economic growth. You can feel all that energy in Istanbul – the tensions and contradictions lead to tremendous creativity. One to watch.

Find out more about Istanbul

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Johannesburg

Johannesburg

Cape Town’s got the natural beauty, but Jo’burg is buzzing with the most exciting live music scene in southern Africa. There’s also a burgeoning art scene and foreign investment has brought some world-class hotel openings.

Find out more about Johannesburg

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Mumbai

Mumbai

All the best bits of India rolled into one, Mumbai is the place where India’s dreams are tied up, and home to some of the world’s best street food. To watch the world whizz by, there’s no place like it.

Find out more about Mumbai

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Tokyo

Tokyo

In preparation for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the city has begun to realise plans that express Japan’s capabilities and optimism. These projects will reflect the very Japanese belief that progress and tradition are not conflicting ideas, but can coexist – as seen in the new National Stadium in Tokyo.

Find out more about Tokyo

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Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

It’s building the Louvre and the Guggenheim, and world-class hotels and restaurants are popping up everywhere. Abu Dhabi is also a great jumping-off point for the incredible Musandam peninsula, a short drive away.

Find out more about Abu Dhabi

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Skiing.

Skiing destinations

The ski scene has its own trends, and 2014 is no exception with destinations from the classic to the curious. British Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott picks the slopes she’s excited about.

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

Four years ago, Whistler hosted the last Olympic and Paralympic Games. The hundreds of kilometres of undulating terrain are still hard to beat.

Find out more about Whistler Blackcomb

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Flaine, France

Flaine, France

Massive developments in ski-lift infrastructure mean even more of the Alps are accessible. And with the connection to the Haute-Savoie, you can ski endless days on different terrain.

Find out more about Geneva, gateway to Flaine

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Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko, Bulgaria

While the Olympians are on the epic slopes of Sochi, head east to Bulgaria. The mountains, a drive from Sofia, are inspiring and daunting in their size.

Find out more about Bansko

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Nevis Range, UK

Nevis Range, UK

Despite the success of the past few winter seasons (people were still skiing there in June last year), Scotland remains a forgotten snowy haven with great off-piste back corries.

Find out more about Glasgow, gateway to Scottish skiing

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Verbier, Switzerland

Verbier, Switzerland

Come the end of the ski season 2014, Verbier will be the place to be for die-hard ski fans and party animals alike.

Find out more about Geneva, gateway to Verbier

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Gulmarg, India

Gulmarg, India

I’ve heard that this part of the Himalayas is great for those seeking adventure somewhere different. There’s a gondola, which takes you up to 4,000m, and the back country terrain is fantastic for experienced skiers.

Find out more about Delhi, gateway to Gulmarg

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Space.

And if you’ve just got back from space…

Canadian astronomer Commander Chris Hadfield spent five months on the International Space Station and made headlines with the viral YouTube video of him singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity; here, he shares his travel to-do list for 2014. His book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is out now.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean

The waters that surround the Bahamas stand out from above like nothing else on Earth. A wonderfully elegant example of how many shades of blue are visible within our spectrum.

Find out more about the Caribbean

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Central Australia

Central Australia

From space, there is no terrain more rugged, battered and beautiful than the Outback. When you fly over, you can see every colour and hue imaginable, reflecting against the hull from below.

Find out more about Australia

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Canada’s Rocky Mountains

Canada’s Rocky Mountains

After losing eight per cent of my bone density due to weightlessness, it was best to take a break from skiing. I’m looking forward to hitting the slopes in 2014, when my hips can handle it.

Find out more about Canada

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