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The 10 holidays to make 2024 a year to remember

Cherry Blossom Festival at Kamo River in Kyoto
Japan's pillowy blooms are the stuff of social media legend - The Image Bank/Getty

From the most in-demand beachfront escapes to the cheapest holidays of 2024, some holidays are destined for sell-out success in the coming year.

We’ve spoken to hotels, travel companies and tour operators to find out which trips you should book immediately in order to avoid disappointment. So grab your bank card, get online and book yourself an exciting holiday (or two) for the year ahead.

Sporty celebrations in the South of France

Though 2024’s Olympic celebrations will shine a spotlight on Paris, other parts of the country are playing a part too. Marseille is readying itself for football and sailing – but with very limited seats available, tickets are hard to come by. Official hospitality partner On Location still has some space in late July and August, including a two-night stay at the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port, as well as tickets to a football match and skiff race, from £3,535pp B&B.

Marseille, France
Marseille is a prime place to watch sailing events - Alamy

On the Whale Trail in New Zealand

This country is ramping up its car-free credentials with the opening of two new walking and cycling trails during 2024. The Kawatiri Coastal Trail takes in a dramatic stretch of the west coast with views of the lofty Paparoa Range as well as seal and penguin colonies. Meanwhile The Whale Trail will trace the migration route along 210 kilometres of South Island coast by autumn 2024. Pure Trails’ West Coast Wilderness and Kawatiri Trail cycling trip is fully booked for March, but there’s one more departure in May 2024. From £1,350pp full-board including bike hire but excluding flights.

Romance in the ‘new Bali’

The Indonesian government identified the beach-heavy region of Mandalika on Lombok as one of ten “new Balis” a few years ago, in an attempt to introduce visitors to lesser-visited parts of the country. Since then, Lombok’s airport has had an upgrade and now boutique hotels are opening up along the sand. Unlike the old Bali, this region is still a relative secret but it won’t be for long – travel deals site Holiday Pirates has picked Lombok as one of its hottest destinations for 2024. Tui has a week at Pullman Lombok Mandalika Beach Resort, from £1,232pp room only including international flights.

Lombok island
The island of Lombok is is still a relative secret – for now - Moment/Getty

Filmic wanders in the South West

Gillian Anderson’s forthcoming film The Salt Path will shine a light on the 630-mile South West Coast Path, which stretches around the UK’s most southwesterly points on a trail from Minehead to Poole. Based on the novel of the same name, it’s the true story of a couple who journey along it after becoming unexpectedly homeless and facing a devastating medical diagnosis. Expect the kind of soul-stirring West Country landscapes that make you want to head off immediately. Self-catering properties in the area book up fast, but Luxury Coastal still has some summer availability at a three-bedroom apartment with incredible sea views near the path at Penlee Point in Cornwall, from £2,339 per week.

Hiking in Devon. England. UK
The West Country is filled with beautiful landscapes to discover on a hike - The Image Bank/Getty

Cowboy country in Texas

Fort Worth may be America’s fastest growing city but its frontier outpost past is much in evidence. Though it abuts the more staid Dallas, this is a place where you can still catch Friday night rodeos at the Cowtown Coliseum and tour local saloons – but more contemporary hotels and attractions are adding a cool slant too. Surrounded by the theatres and museums of the Cultural District, just-opened Bowie House comes with sumptuous rooms, Bricks and Horses restaurant serving steak straight from the ranch and weekly live music from local musicians. Book now before the (gold) rush. Doubles from £480 per night; British Airways and American Airlines fly direct from London to Dallas Fort Worth.

Cowhands drive a herd of Texas longhorns
Experience cowboy culture on a trip to Texas - The Image Bank/Getty

A bargain break in Portugal

Faro offers the best value in the world for a holiday according to Skyscanner, with airfares having dropped 24 per cent between 2022 and 2023. Bargain prices usually lead to a swift uptick in bookings according to its global travel expert Laura Lindsay, so lock in your trip now before demand and costs go up. A week at 3HB (the only five-star in town) during May half-term costs from £887pp room only for a family of four with easyjet Holidays, including flights.

Lagos beach in Algarve Portugal
Enjoy bargain breaks and almost year-round sunshine in Portugal - Moment/Getty

Cherry blossom in Japan

Spring’s pillowy blooms are the stuff of social media legend but, following a large increase in tourists to Japan, they’re becoming harder to view. Many operators have stopped selling trips to see them during 2024, according to James Mundy of Inside Japan. However, the company has new small group tours in blossom season with limited availability, including a 14-night Majestic Japan trip with time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakone National Park and Kanazawa, known for its incredible Kenrokuen garden. From £7,300pp including sightseeing and some meals but excluding flights.

The Kamo River in Kyoto in spring
The Kamo River in Kyoto in spring - Moment RF

Indian Ocean idyll

Sri Lanka is on every long-haul tour operator’s hot list and, as demand intensifies, more hotels are opening in unexpected areas. From Uga Riva, a boutique hotel in an old manor house that once welcomed Gandhi, to Kayaam House on a stretch of golden beach in Tangalle and the luxe villas of Kotiyagala in Yala National Park (due to open in March), these special places are destined to fill up fast – tourism was up 153.5 per cent year on year in November 2023 according to tradingeconomics.com. Red Savannah (01242 787800, redsavannah.com) has nine nights in Sri Lanka from £6,225pp including flights and most meals.

Photography in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is on every long-haul tour operator’s hot list for good reason - Getty/E+

Alone time in Morocco

After 2023’s tragic earthquake, many tour operators have released new packages to bring visitors back to Morocco – and solo trips are having a moment. Specialist operator Flavours has just launched holidays to the country but they’re already selling out. Get one of the last places on its week-long Marrakech itinerary in April or November, which includes cooking classes, yoga and pilates as well as time exploring the city. From £2,199pp full board, excluding flights.

woman relaxing in riad while on vacation in Marrakech
Solo trips are having a moment in Morocco - Digital Vision/Getty

Double the fun on the Athens Riviera

Long popular with Athenians themselves, the stretch of coast extending south from the city is now firmly on the tourist map thanks to a flurry of new hotel openings, hip suburbs such as Glyfada and a handy tram line linking the area to Athens’s monuments. From summer 2024, visitors can stay at 91 Athens Riviera, a new glamping resort in chic Voula. With just 28 very luxurious ‘tents’,  it’s bound to be a sell-out success.

People on the Glyfada beach in Athens, Greece
The Athens Riviera is a worthy alternative to the islands - master2 / Alamy Stock Photo

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