2020’s top destinations

The most exciting new flight routes, expert picks and travel anniversaries – here’s what should be in your diary for 2020


There’s nothing like the grey days of winter to inspire some holiday planning — and choosing one of 2020’s hottest destinations is the quickest way to brighten up a new year.

From the biggest travel trends to little-visited city breaks, here’s what should be inspiring your next 12 months of travel, with our pick of the places to see in 2020.

Celebrate Mayflower 400

Four centuries ago, The Mayflower made its pioneering voyage across the Atlantic from Plymouth to New England, setting sail on 16 September 1620. And over the next 12 months, the UK and USA are both celebrating the journey.

Illuminate in Plymouth kicked off events this year but there are 11 English locations taking part during 2020, including Doncaster, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, as well as Harwich in Essex, Southwark in London, Southampton in Hampshire, plus Dartmouth in Devon. There’ll be everything from exhibitions to heritage trails with a new app giving details of what’s on.

Across the water, there will be more celebrations in Massachusetts and Connecticut too, including a chance to see a replica of the original ship in Mayflower Sails 2020.

Walk England

More sections of the England Coast Path are set to open in 2020, part of the grand scheme to grant access to the country’s entire coastline. Once it’s complete, it’ll be the longest continuous trail of its kind in the world, stretching for almost 3,000 miles.

The new sections include England’s Creative Coast, linking artworks along the Kent, Sussex and Essex coastline, as well Cumbria’s Hidden Coast, with a 40-mile trail from Whitehaven to Millom including art installations and adventure activities.

Sustainable travel

This trend only gets bigger each year — 2019 saw the start of ‘flight shaming’ and more travellers are set to choose the train this year, especially for short breaks.

As overtourism continues to be an issue for many cities, there’s also a new focus on undertourism as more people skip the traditional escapes for less popular destinations.

And with the world’s oceans in the spotlight, countries making moves to cut down on plastic are getting a boost, while ghost-netting holidays for divers — removing nylon fishing nets and lines from the world’s seas – are a another new holiday option.

Where to go in 2020

Le Marche, Italy

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance painter Raphael, the region of Le Marche is Italy’s hottest spot this year, picked as one of Lonely Planet’s top regions to visit.

With the same picturesque hilltop towns as neighbouring Tuscany but without the crowds, there’s also tempting food plus gorgeous countryside and historic palaces. The city of Urbino will be leading the Raphael celebrations.


The Caribbean island has been making a name for its sustainable efforts as well as its gloriously turquoise seas — and the ban on all single-use plastics and non reef-safe sunscreens begins in 2020. 

Explore its national park, discover street art in San Nicolas and lounge on beaches galore too.

OR TRY: Costa Rica is aiming to become one of the first carbon-neutral countries in 2020, another temptation for visitors alongside its impressive wildlife and adventure experiences. Both make the Lonely Planet list of top 10 countries for 2020.

Rijeka, Croatia

Swap the crowded streets of Dubrovnik for the new European Capital of Culture (along with Galway in Ireland), Rijeka on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast.

Discover architecture from the Austro-Hungarian empire, the city’s castle and the Klimt-painted ceilings of the Croatian National Theatre, plus cultural events year-round. Called the gateway to the Croatian islands, it’s ideal to combine city with beach.

OR TRY: Marrakech has been named Africa’s first Capital of Culture for 2020 — there’s contemporary art at the 1-54 Marrakech exhibition this year.

Cairo, Egypt

Pharaoh fever has been striking London again with the new exhibition of treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb. And their eventual home in Cairo’s new state-of-the-art Grand Egyptian Museum is due to open in 2020, looking out onto the pyramids from Giza.

The new Sphinx International Airport, which has been running domestic flights in 2019, is also due to open fully in 2020. After flight restrictions were lifted in October by the government, UK airlines are also returning to Sharm el Sheikh too, if you’re combining culture and coast.

New flights for 2020

Sao Paulo

Virgin Atlantic’s big new route will be to Sao Paulo in Brazil, launching on March 29 from Heathrow. The country’s biggest city has a vibrant Jewish community but has often taken second place to Rio de Janeiro — with Virgin’s Dreamliners flying there in just under 12 hours, the country’s most stylish city is taking centre stage.


After the collapse of Thomas Cook, UK flight routes to Tunisia were limited to the capital — but easyJet will be filling the gap, with a new route to Enfidha-Hammamet from May 2.

Set between Monastir and Hammamet on the coast, it takes less than an hour to reach Tunisia’s beach destinations. Return flights cost less than £100, and you can also get to Tunis in under 90 minutes.

Riga, Latvia

The Baltic city of Riga is getting four flights a week from Manchester from March 29, with AirBaltic, Latvia’s flag carrier. Set on the Baltic Sea, the city has similar attractions to better-known Tallinn, including a medieval old town, art nouveau architecture and a pedestrian centre that’s easy to wander.

St Petersburg

Wizz Air ihas started new flights from Luton to St Petersburg for travellers tempted by the former Russian capital’s museums and palaces — or the Euro 2020 matches.

While UK travellers can’t get the city’s new free e-visa, Euro 2020 ticket holders are expected to be granted visa-free access (as with the Russia 2018 World Cup). Buying a seat for one of the matches might well be easier than the tourist visa application.

Terceira, Azores

Discover Europe’s westernmost point with a visit to the Azores, thanks to new weekly direct flights to Terceira from Stansted with Ryanair.

The second most populated of the Portuguese islands after Sao Miguel, Terceira has a historic centre recognised by Unesco - and the new direct route launching in March lets you skip the usual stopover in mainland Portugal.


Like this? Sign up for more with our JC Life newsletter

From fabulous recipes, to parenting tips;  travel and West End entertainment; insightful interviews and much more: there’s more to  the JC than news

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive