While we are facing more Covid doom and gloom at home, museums, hotels and institutions overseas are still planning for brighter days in the future, with the promise of many exciting new openings, poised to welcome us when we are ready to travel.
Rather than dwell on the current state of affairs, start dreaming and plotting holidays for when – hopefully – travel will seem more straightforward again.
Raising a glass to fine wine
Catching up with France, Spain and Italy, Portuguese wine has been gaining recognition in the last few years. The latest project to celebrate the Iberian country’s greatest grapes is the Palácio Ludovice Wine Experience Hotel in Lisbon, opening on January 15. Gazing above the rooftops of the Chiado neighbourhood, this former private residence of João Federico Ludovice, architect to King João V in the 18th century, will feature 61 rooms. The hotel’s bar, with a signature floor-to-ceiling counter and a wine cellar, will stock vintages from Portugal’s seven key wine growing regions.
-From €208/£177 per night with breakfast. Visit palacioludovice.com
Exploring America’s past and present
Highlighted by Lonely Planet as one of the top cities to visit in 2022, Atlanta is buzzing with world-class restaurants, nightlife and entertainment. Discover why the state capitol has earned its place in history by visiting museums such as the Atlanta History Center, Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. New attractions include immersive laser projection show Illuminarium, currently recreating an African safari, and Centennial Yards – a 12 million square foot complex of restaurants, shops and hotels.
-America As You Like It (americaasyoulikeit.com; 020 8742 8299) offers a 10-night Georgia fly-drive from £2,120 per person, including return flights from London, car hire and room-only accommodation.
Cruising with a conscience
Showcasing a shift towards more sustainable travel on the high seas, Havila Voyages will operate the most environmentally friendly vessels along the iconic Norwegian coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes. Fitted with the world’s largest battery packs, the ships are capable of sailing quietly and emission free through fjords and other vulnerable areas for up to four hours – recharging at numerous ports along the route, using clean hydropower.
The 12-day voyages will pass through four UNESCO Heritage sites and cross the Arctic Circle twice, with excursions including a whale safari, king crab fishing in a frozen fjord, dogsledding in the Arctic wilderness or snowmobiling across the North Cape Plateau.
-Best Served Scandinavia (best-served.co.uk; 0207 664 2241) offer the 12-day full-board trip from £1,950 per person, including flights from Heathrow, airport transfers and one night’s pre and post cruise accommodation. Departures February 11 and 22, 2022.
Expressing a creative streak
Testimony to Tallinn’s growing reputation for cutting edge arts, Estonia’s capital will host the 2022 European Design Festival in June. Held virtually for the past couple of years, the event features exhibitions, talks, design walks, workshops and conferences – although there are plenty of good reasons to explore the city at other times of the year too.
Head to Telliskivi Creative City, a former industrial complex transformed into an artistic hub, with vibrant, and often thought-provoking, street art, cool hang-outs and trendy stores.
-Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.co.uk; 0117 453 4203) offer three-nights’ B&B at the Hotel Telegraaf, Tallinn, from £470pp including flights and transfers.
Celebrating a great civilisation
A story that sparked a thousand Indian Jones fantasies, the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb marks its 100th anniversary in 2022. English archaeologist Howard Carter broke through a mud brick wall to find the intact resting place of the boy king, surrounded by 5,000 artefacts. However, the death of several people involved in the expedition led many to believe he had disturbed a pharaoh’s curse. A century on, interest in Egypt is still strong – especially with the opening of the highly anticipated (and repeatedly delayed) opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Designed to give travellers a better insight into the country’s complex past, Exodus have a launched a new 13-day tour accompanied by Egyptologist, filmmaker, photographer and RCGS Explorer-in-Residence, George Kourounis, travelling from Alexandria to Abu Simbel.
-From £2,069 per person excluding international flights. Visit exodus.co.uk or call 0208 772 3802.