<p>The tropical Cook Islands topped the countries list for 2022</p>

The tropical Cook Islands topped the countries list for 2022

Lonely Planet names top 30 destinations for 2022

Hottest destinations selected for next year include Mauritius, Taipei and Kent

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 27 October 2021 22:01
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Specialist travel publisher Lonely Planet has named its top places to go for 2022, with the far-flung Cook Islands taking the top spot.

Topping the list of 10 best countries to visit next year, the South Pacific specks lie 3,232km northeast of New Zealand and 4,732km south of Hawaii, requiring at least a three hour and 45 minute flight from the nearest landmass.

They’re followed on the list by rather more well-trodden Norway and Mauritius, with Belize and Slovenia making up the top five.

Lonely Planet also publishes a Top 10 Cities and Top 10 Regions list each year - its top three cities for 2022 are Auckland, New Zealand, Taipei, Taiwan, and Freiburg in Germany.

Meanwhile, the top three regions named are Iceland’s Westfjords, the US state of West Virginia and Xishuangbanna, a prefecture in China’s Yunnan province (bonus points if you’d ever heard of it before today).

Unusual appearances on the list include Kent’s Heritage Coast, which includes St Margaret’s Bay, the White Cliffs of Dover and Folkestone, as well as Brisbane’s Scenic Rim and the low-tourism African country of Malawi, bordered by Zambia and Mozambique.

The Best in Travel list is formed by whittling down hundreds of nominations from Lonely Planet’s staff, contributors, bloggers and publishing partners, which are debated and chosen by a panel of travel experts.

“Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices,” says the brand.

“As always, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel delivers new takes on popular destinations such as Iceland, Norway, Slovenia and Dublin, Ireland, and unearths some of the gems on our doorstop like the Kent Downs Heritage Coast and arguably Germany’s most sustainable city, Freiburg,” said the brand’s VP of Experience Tom Hall.

Here are the top 30 destinations in full:

Malawi is an emerging spot for African tourism

Top 10 countries

1. Cook Islands

2. Norway

3. Mauritius

4. Belize

5. Slovenia

6. Anguilla

7. Oman

8. Nepal

9. Malawi

10. Egypt

The state of West Virginia, along with the city of Atlanta, flew the flag for the US

Top 10 regions

1. Westfjords, Iceland

2. West Virginia, USA

3. Xishuangbanna, China

4. Kent’s Heritage Coast, UK

5. Puerto Rico

6. Shikoku, Japan

7. Atacama Desert, Chile

8. The Scenic Rim, Australia

9. Vancouver Island, Canada

10. Burgundy, France

Taiwanese capital Taipei is a cosmopolitan, foodie choice

Top 10 cities

1. Auckland, New Zealand

2. Taipei, Taiwan

3. Freiburg, Germany

4. Atlanta, USA

5. Lagos, Nigeria

6. Nicosia / Lefkosia, Cyprus

7. Dublin, Ireland

8. Merida, Mexico

9. Florence, Italy

10. Gyeongju, South Korea

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