Rough Guides have just announced their latest list of must-see destinations in time for 2018. There are a lot of familiar places but a fair few that might be something of a surprise and here are just a few of them.

  1. Djibouti

Making the top 10 in spite of a rather sketchy human-rights record is Djibouti which is located on the horn of Africa. In addition to the torturing, discrimination and human trafficking, Djibouti’s media is very much state-controlled with no private radio or TV stations.

Lonely Planet told us: “The inclusion of Djibouti in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 does not represent an endorsement of any political or cultural practices within the country. Lonely Planet’s philosophy is that responsible, independent travel can enhance tolerance and understanding. By visiting a country, travellers can support local businesses and speak to locals without being complicit with a government or their actions.

“When outlining the reasons for selecting Djibouti in this year’s list, we have highlighted some of the positive experiences on offer to travellers, but ultimately the decision to visit should be an individual one and our role is, and will always be, to provide independent and accurate travel information to inform that decision.”

  1. Lanzarote

Lanzarote also made the list which may be less surprising. However, the fact that it came into the best value category is somewhat surprising. A popular destination with its black lava rock formations but “affordable” would not be one of the first descriptions that springs to mind.

While Lonely Planet says the island has “well-developed infrastructure that makes it a doddle to find affordable lodgings, food and car rental.”

  1. Canberra

Canberra doesn’t get the pulse racing when you think of Australia, usually, that is left to Sydney and Melbourne but Lonely Planet has ranked it at number three in the top cities category. They said: “Criminally overlooked Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city. National treasures are found around almost every corner and exciting new boutique precincts have emerged, bulging with gastronomic highlights and cultural must-dos.”

  1. Coventry

If you have ever been to Coventry, this one will come as a shock too! Much of the city was destroyed during World War II. There is not much classic culture in Coventry but with the city named the UK’s City of Culture for 2021 maybe that will change.

  1. Boise

Another city that was a surprise is Idaho’s state capital, Boise. Boise made it onto Travel and Leisure’s “top 50 places to travel to in 2018” list. How you ask? Apparently, it has an “invigorated downtown” with the newly opened Inn at 500, a 110-room boutique hotel with a superb on-site restaurant, Richard’s. The city also has a thriving craft-beer scene and burgeoning wine industry.

  1. Tunisia

After the terrorist attacks of 2015, it is perhaps surprising that people are being encouraged to visit the North African country. Travel restrictions have been eased and the country could once again become a popular tourist destination.

Rough Guides said: “Efforts by the Tunisian government to strengthen the protection of tourist centres is evident: there’s an increased police presence and an overall heightened sense of security.

“And, in July 2017, the Foreign Office eased its advice against British tourists travelling to Tunisia, including in relation to the capital Tunis and major tourist sites, such as Carthage, the Bardo Museum, the beaches of Hammamet and the idyllic island of Djerba.”

  1. St. Helena

The island is now accessible by plane with the first commercial flight landing earlier this year. However, crosswinds and turbulence may be enough to put most travellers off!



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