10 up-and-coming destinations for 2016

By , 17th December 2015

Wondering where you’ll be heading in 2016? Well we’ve been through our search data to reveal the ten up-and-coming destinations for 2016, all increasing in popularity over the last twelve months. First, we looked at the 200 most searched-for overseas destinations during 2015, then, we compared to searches made during 2014, and selected ten destinations with the highest increase in hotel searches.

New Year is a great time to plan for the year ahead and to explore places you may never have thought you’d see. So why not take a look and be the first of your friends to go.

1. Lapland

Lapland

The Northern Lights over Lapland. Photo by: Chris (CC BY 2.0)

Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region. Apart from being the prestigious home of Santa Claus and his elves, Lapland is the ideal location for winter sports such as skiing, ice fishing, and husky sledding.

When you’re not trying to catch a glimpse of the ever-elusive Northern Lights, you can cosy up in some of Lapland’s romantic hotels or even explore the region in summer when the Midnight Sun helps create a nature-filled wilderness.

Like the idea of romance in the snow? Check out our Winter Honeymoon Hotels.

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2. Havana

havana

Centre-town Havana. Photo by: The Social Notes

Everyone is talking about Havana and it is no surprise to see this destination experience the second-largest increase in hotel searches. A time capsule that’s just beginning to open to the outside world, Havana’s old town is full of decadently crumbling relics of the roaring twenties and the years of Hemingway.

1950’s Chevrolets chug by, Salsa music bursts from every doorway and the people are friendly and full of life. Havana is an assault on the senses and you will leave with a new lease of life.

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3. Lake Buena Vista

Walt Disney world

Walt Disney World. Photo by: Joe Penniston (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Maybe you haven’t heard of this destination but it’s actually the address for Walt Disney World in Florida. The lake originally named Bay Lake was renamed by Walt Disney to reflect the Californian Disney Headquarters in Buena Vista.

Disney World is enjoying something of a renaissance in recent months and has gone from kitsch to cool. With the new Star Wars movie bursting onto our screens this month, there’s never been a better time to visit Walt Disney World and be with the Force.

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4. Stuttgart

Stuttgart Schloss

Schloss Solitude. Photo by: barnyz (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Pour yourself a glass of wine and plan a trip to Stuttgart. Not only is the city one of Germany’s oldest and most picturesque, but it is also surrounded by the country’s best vineyards. Whether it’s sampling some of the region’s best wines, biking through the hills or taking a cruise, Stuttgart has something for everyone. Located next to the Black Forest, there’s also ample opportunity for long hikes, Black Forest Gateaux and a trip to the spa.

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5. Las Palmas

Gran Canaria

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Photo by: El Coleccionista de Instante (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Practically the capital of winter sun, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria is said to have ‘the best climate in the world’ due to year-round warm temperatures. But if lying in the sun isn’t your thing, then the Atlantic-facing beaches get some great waves for surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing.

The flight takes around four hours from the UK and with budget airlines flying regularly, combined with the affordable island accommodation, Gran Canaria has all the ingredients for a perfect sun-soaked holiday without breaking the bank.

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6. Saint-Tropez

st Tropez

Saint Tropez. Photo by: Frédérique Voisin-Demery (CC BY 2.0)

Located on the South coast of France, Saint Tropez is the Grande Dame of chic. Europeans have been flooding to this seaside resort for centuries to enjoy the sea air, beaches and the charm of Southern France’s joie de vivre.

Whether you are there for yacht-spotting and celebrity sightings or to enjoy the cobbled streets and coastal paths, Saint Tropez doesn’t disappoint and offers fine wine, gourmet eats and chic boutique shopping. For those who enjoy views of the French countryside, the Eurostar now has services from London to nearby Marseille and Nice.

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7. Agios Nikolaos

the lake agios nikolaos

The Lake, Agios Nikolaos. Photo by: Jack Cousin (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The coastal town of Agios Nikolaus on the Greek island of Crete is bordered by azure water on three sides, making it the perfect beach getaway. The town is medium-sized but has a small town feel, with everything accessible by walking.

Built on the ancient city of Kamara, Agios Nikolaos was first colonised as far back as the Bronze Age. There’s much to do in the nearby area, including scuba diving, a nine-hole golf course or visiting some of the surrounding villages each with their own unique charm.

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8. Puerto de Alcudia

Mallorca, Puerto de Alcudia

Puerto de Alcudia. Photo by: PhotomagBen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Billed as the most popular place on Mallorca for family holidays, Porto de Alcudia is a beach resort with over 10 km of beach. The town has an attractive harbour, filled with anything from tiny fishing boats to monstrous yachts, and is surrounded by swish bars and great seafood restaurants.

The streets are woven around a system of canals that lead to an inland lake, adding a romantic charm to the town.

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9. Varadero

Palm trees and beach, varadero

Royal Palms and white sand in Varadero. Photo by: lezumbalaberenjena (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Another entry in the top ten from Cuba and just a two-hour journey east of Havana, Varadero lies on a spit of pure white sand. Expect beaches of snowy-white, royal palm trees, salsa and drinking out of a coconut in your swimsuit.

Varadero has plenty of all-inclusive resorts that will leave you wanting for nothing, and with day trips to Havana, the Zapata Swamp and Valle de Viñuales, it’s a good base for your Cuban adventures. Varadero is Cuba’s tourist hub and one of the biggest resorts in the Caribbean, so you expect modern amenities and friendly, experienced staff at all the resorts.

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10. Marseille

cathedral de la major Marseille

Cathedral de la Major. Photo by: Ralf (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Eurostar now goes direct from London to Marseille, making this French resort even more accessible – so it’s no surprise to see this popular city making our top 10. France’s largest Mediterranean port and the second largest city after Paris, Marseille has lots to offer, from a rich and ancient history to a burgeoning hipster culture.

The city is looking in especially good shape after a stint as European Capital of Culture in 2013. In the summer, travellers can enjoy large doses of sun, sea and sand, while cultural sites such as the famous striped Cathedral de la Major and the ancient neighbourhood of Panier are popular year-round.

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Let us know where you’re planning to go in 2016, in the comments below!

Lead image by: Neal Wellons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)