The Best Places to Visit in Early 2023

Gethin Morgan

Content Editor

You’ve probably already started on your plans for travel in 2023. You might have already booked a trip. Well, whether you’re starting from scratch or know exactly what you want, we’ve put together a guide to the places you need to visit in the early months of 2023.

Planning something big? Read our article on why people are joining the bucket list travel trend.

Vietnam

From the iconic vistas of Halong Bay to the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, there’s good reason that Vietnam is such a beloved destination. But this country is so much more than a one-page travel brochure. Its unique culture, incredible natural beauty and hearty cuisine are endlessly rich and full of surprises. Take the charming village of Na Chao, the street food scene in Hue, or Lan Ha Bay – Halong’s lesser-explored sibling, with all the beauty and less of the tourism, plus incredible white sand beaches.

We have a number of 12-day Vibrant Vietnam trip departures throughout February, March and April 2023. Join us for the complete Vietnamese experience, blending famous must-sees with hidden gems. From Halong Bay to Lan Ha Bay, Hanoi to Hue and Hoi An – this is how to do Vietnam right.

Iceland

There’s one major reason that the early months of any year are the best time to visit Iceland – the Aurora Borealis. Your best chance of seeing the Northern Lights is usually between January and March when the nights are long. It’s also not quite as cold as many of the other aurora destinations at this time of year, and even though it’ll still be very chilly, you can always dip into a naturally heated hot spring.

Our five-day Volcanic Iceland trip is a great way to see the Land of Fire and Ice. We’ll take you snowmobiling across a glacier, around the Golden Circle, to black sand beaches and spectacular waterfalls, as well as a trip to Blue Lagoon. Read a first-person account of our Iceland trip, which featured a pretty dramatic sighting of Aurora Borealis.

Turkey

Avoid the crowds of peak season and make Turkey your first destination of the year. From the chaotic wonder of Istanbul’s bazaars to the incredible coastline of the Turkish Riviera, via valleys, canyons, underground cities and so much more, we’re backing Turkey to be a popular pick for 2023.

We have several dates departing in March for our Majestic Turkey trip, which starts in Istanbul and ends on the beautiful beaches of Antalya – with highlights on the way including a hot-air balloon ride over the unique rock formations of Cappadocia and the otherworldly sight of Kaymakli Underground City.

Costa Rica

This time of year is perfect for visiting Costa Rica, when the weather is at its driest and warmest. The Central American gem has been a trendy travel destination for a few years now, but don’t worry – you haven’t missed the boat. Costa Rica’s rainforests remain full of incredible wildlife, its volcanic landscapes are as awe-inspiring as ever, and those beaches are still the envy of many a tourist board.

Our eight-day Costa Rica trip has a bunch of departure dates in February and March, so you can join us for sloth spotting, hot spring hunting and a cup of volcanic coffee in 2023. See you there!

Kerala

This tropical coastal region is our favourite part of India right now, and the winter season is when the climate is at its most pleasant – so why not make it your first stop in 2023? The Keralan countryside is something to behold, from the pretty tea plantations of the Cardamom Hills to Kumarakom’s serene backwater canals. This is a vibrant green paradise ripe for exploring off the beaten path.

Our nine-day Captivating Kerala trip departs in March, starting with a sunset cruise in Kochi and ending on the waters of Kumarakom, with a traditional cooking class and an Ayurvedic spa en route.

Jordan

Get your year off to a truly epic start with a visit to the cinematic desert expanses of Jordan. Visit the remarkable ancient city of Petra, check out the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, and explore the bright orange stretch of Wadi Rum, the otherworldly desert that has become Hollywood’s go-to alien planet. This Middle Eastern gem really is unlike anywhere else on earth.

Join us in February and March for our eight-day Discover Jordan trip, an authentic, immersive Jordanian experience which will have you sampling Arabic street food in Amman, snorkelling in the Red Sea, floating in the Dead Sea and sleeping beneath the stars in Wadi Rum.

Peru

We can’t talk bucket lists without talking about Peru. Machu Picchu is quite understandably one of the most visited places on the planet, but this fascinating South American country has plenty more to offer. There are more spectacular Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley, as well as natural wonders like Colca Canyon and Piuray Lagoon – and then there’s the modern civilizations, like Cusco and Arequipa, peppered with pretty buildings, picanterias and vibrant cultural and culinary scenes.

Our nine-day Ancient Peru trip has a number of departure dates across February and March, so you can kick off your year of travel with us by ticking a classic destination off your list. You’ll cook up local dishes in Cusco, paddleboard around Piuray Lagoon, spot condors on a spectacular Colca Canyon trek and eat your way through Arequipa’s best picanterias. And yes, of course, you’ll see your fair share of famous ancient ruins.

Can’t even wait until February or March? Read our list of the best places to visit in January 2023.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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