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Where the National Geographic Traveller (UK) team are travelling to in 2020

The National Geographic Traveller team are always dreaming about where next to head next. Here are the destinations heading up our wishlists for 2020.

Published 19 Feb 2020, 14:54 GMT
The wishlist of the National Geographic Traveller team
The wishlist of the National Geographic Traveller team for the new year features destinations far and near, from St Petersburg to Snowdonia.

From its literary greats — Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy — to fine art at the Hermitage, ST PETERSBURG has always held an allure for me. Peter the Great’s ‘window to Europe’ has achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site status and its Venetian-style canals, grand architecture, heavyweight cultural institutions, numerous palaces and cathedrals, and White Nights Festival make it hard to resist. But there’s a modern Russia to discover here too, in this former imperial capital.
Pat Riddell, editor

Lebanon’s arty capital, BEIRUT, with its hip enclaves and tasty Levantine restaurants, has charmed travellers for decades. But now that the FCO has lifted restrictions on travel to more of the country’s interior — home to mountain trails, wineries and Roman ruins — I suspect the country is poised to hit the big time. A whole bunch of British tour operators are starting or relaunching tours for 2020, and I’m jumping on the first one I can.
Amelia Duggan, acting deputy editor

I'm dreaming about walking the trails of Japan's southern KYU.SHU ISLAND, alternating between steaming onsens and traditional ryokans. I'd then island-hop south west to the Okinawa peninsula. There are some interesting new initiatives there to help the diving industry become more sustainable and to protect the area’s unique blue coral. From there, I’d head on to remote, jungly Iriomote Island. 
Sarah Barrell, associate editor

I’ve never been to Greece, so this year my sights are set on taking in some of the CYCLADES by boat after the summer crowds have gone. Choosing them, however, is harder than I thought: I’m tempted by Tinos for its food, Naxos for long afternoons on the beach, and Syros — even just for that dramatic view of the town of Ermoupoli tumbling down the hillside as the ferry nears the mainland.
Connor McGovern, assistant editor

SNOWDONIA is on my radar this year: I’d like to escape to a treehouse, cottage or campsite for a few nights and break up long hikes with stops for a local ale in cosy pubs. Scrambling up Mount Snowdon to see views out to Ireland from its peak is also on my list, as is a trip to Foragers Gin distillery and bouncing on trampolines in an underground cave system at Bounce Below — although possibly not in the same afternoon.
Tamsin Wressell, assistant editor 

I was a teenager when I first pored over photographs of Central Greece’s METEORA rock pillars, holding aloft a number of Byzantine monasteries like castles in the sky. More recently, I read about the network of monopatia — monks’ footpaths — that knit together the precipitous wider landscape fringing the Pindos mountain range. It’s a place of wildflower-filled meadows, fissures and hollows adorned with macabre painted frescoes, ancient cave dwellings and gorges.
Nora Wallaya, online assistant editor

A couple of years ago, while kayaking off the Isles of Scilly, I was joined by some inquisitive seals. They entranced me, and ever since I’ve wanted to visit the NORTH NORFOLK coastline, home to England’s largest population — in 2019, rangers at Blakeney Point documented a record 3,012 seal births. Pups thrive on the county’s wild, secluded beaches, where winds whip at marram grass and it’s possible to walk for miles without passing another soul.
Charlotte Wigram-Evans, content editor

Ethiopia’s capital, ADDIS ABABA, is home to a thriving electronic music scene that I’d love to discover. Ethiopiyawi electronica is a propulsive mixture of traditional instrumentation and vocals with hard electro beats. I’d check out some of the artists like Mikael Seifu or Ethiopian Records, doing their thing in the local bars and clubs. And while I’m there, I may as well eat my body weight in injera bread, too.
Zane Henry, project editor

This year, I want to go dancing in HAVANA. The Cuban capital is synonymous with the sensuous rhythms of salsa — and although I plan to do plenty of that, I also want to find out about the other genres that originated here, too: such as the rumba, cha cha cha, conga, danzón and mambo. I want to unravel the history of each one, one carefully choreographed step at a time. 
Farida Zeynalova, assistant editor, National Geographic Traveller Food

A friend and I have just booked flights for a week-long road trip around UTAH — somewhere we’ve both been desperate to go for years. We’ve planned our route around the ‘Mighty 5’ national parks, where we’ll drive through some incredible scenery — including the unique rock formations — and hike a different park each day. We’re also hoping to do a spot of kayaking and spend a few nights camping.
Nicola Trup, deputy editor, National Geographic Traveller Food

I’m hoping to travel through northern NORWAY, starting in Tromsø and ending in the breathtaking Lofoten Islands. I’ll be crossing my fingers that I see the Northern Lights, but I’m mostly looking forward to a bit of an adventure, rather than spending my annual leave horizontal. Give me dog-sledding, give me hikes in the snow, but also give me a glass of wine by a fireplace, because I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Lauren Gamp, designer

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