The 2015 Cool List

Looking ahead at this year's top trends, we ask our experts what they think will hit the headlines in 2015.

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 4 Dec 2014, 10:53 GMT, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 15:02 BST

01 The visa

Mongolia has waived visas for UK visitors until the end of 2015, making travelling around its vast landmass all the more tempting. Take a trip on the Trans-Mongolian Express, from Moscow to Ulan Baatar to coincide with the Naadam Festival and be among the few non-natives cheering on competitors in the 'three manly sports' of wrestling, archery and horse racing.

02 The new flight route

Love Costa Rica but hate travelling via the US? This year you'll be better connected than before. Thomson Airways launches a new weekly service from Gatwick in November 2015, meaning Brits no longer have to schlep via Madrid or Miami.

03 The set-jetting

The Scottish island of Skye will be in the spotlight this year, as the location of the new Macbeth movie. Take a trip to this west coast outpost, an "otherworldy place", where, "you imagine witches could come out of that landscape," according to star Michael Fassbender.

04 The hotspot

The Cambodian city of Siem Reap is a popular choice for 2015 — the gateway for the temples of Angkor — according to travel trends research by Skyscanner into where us Brits have been searching for flights. Mykonos, Brazil and Nicaragua were also in the top 10 destination predictions, the latter fast being dubbed 'the new Costa Rica'.

05 The Forecast

Travelling to the Med? Book as early as possible. Chris Wright, MD of Sunvil Group, says: "Capacity to short-haul destinations will be tighter in 2015. Monarch Airlines is downsizing its fleet and operators — wary of overcapacity in 2014. The message is clear: book early to get the best choice of holidays."

06 The new train route

Hop on board the Eurostar for new year-round direct services from London's St Pancras to Marseille, and Lyon, from May 2015.

07 The anniversary

It's 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta. Explore key destinations with newly created Magna Carta trails across the UK. Or visit Salisbury Cathedral, home to four of the finest surviving examples.

08 The climb

This year is the 150th anniversary of the ill-fated first ascent of the Matterhorn. Climbers and walkers can overnight in their 19th-century mountain refuge, Hörnlihütte, this summer which is reopening after a year of renovations on 13 July, to mark the occasion. Walking trips with

09 The natural event

Svalbard and the Faroe Islands will be the only places on Earth where the 20 March total eclipse will put the lights out on land. Head to the frozen beaches and jagged peaks of the Norwegian archipelago for the most dramatic backdrop. 

10 The food festival

During this year's International Expo (1 May-31 October) Milan gets to flex its foodie muscles. The 2015 show will highlight the region's culinary excellence and shine a spotlight on the world's food fetishes — and shortages — plus unveil what, and how, we'll be eating in the future.

Read the complete 2015 Cool List in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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