So, it’s pretty safe to say the last few years have not turned out how we thought they would. We’ve been working from makeshift desks in our kitchen, homeschooling our kids (we were not prepared for that!) and actually considered taking up crochet to pass the time…
Now that things are slowly starting to get back to a version of normality, we’re all going to be booking holidays like there’s no tomorrow – and really, really enjoying ourselves! So, we thought we’d deliver a dose of travel inspiration for 2023 holidays, because we all deserve a little something to look forward to. A soirée in the French Riviera, perhaps?
A chic seaside town on France’s Basque Coast, Biarritz is a magnet for surfers, art lovers and foodies. Go for coastal walks in the hunt for hidden sandy spots and dramatic cliff scenery, ride the waves at Europe’s first-ever surf beach, Côte des Basques, or go for a historic wander around the museums and heritage buildings of this charming town.
This region of France has always been a firm favourite with our customers, and it’s easy to see why. Château-studded hills, picturesque fortified towns, quality wine-growing regions, and lush forested interiors make it a real beauty. Foodies will appreciate the fresh, local produce and history buffs will enjoy soaking up tales of the region’s past.
This classy and sophisticated region of France is the perfect place to spend the summer. Stroll along to local morning markets for fresh pastries, frolic through lavender fields, and indulge in the mouthwatering gastronomy by the harbourside. History and art lovers aren’t forgotten, as the region is home to iconic art collections and some of France’s most famous prehistoric cave paintings.
Stylish, cosmopolitan and effortlessly elegant – everyone needs to spend a holiday in the French Riviera at least once in their lives, as it makes you feel just a little bit like an A-Lister. The coastline is fringed by a collection of chic coastal towns where you can dine alfresco on a sun-soaked terrace, spend your days by the beach, and rub shoulders with the glamorous as you sip champagne while watching the sunset.
Home to some of the best beaches in Greece, this mountainous peninsula on the mainland flies gloriously under the radar due to many people escaping to the nearby islands. Forested hills, ancient monasteries and rustic stone houses make this a truly authentic escape. Spend your days kicking back on a secluded, sun-baked beach, drive along the coastal roads to explore charming local villages, or soak up the spirit and atmospheres of the local restaurants and bars. This is where you come to rest, relax and recharge.
An island of historic treasures, a lively town centre, and wild scenery, Kos is way more than fine sand beaches and electric blue waters (although we wouldn’t say no to spending our whole holiday lazing on said beaches). Boasting a rich history, visitors have a selection of monuments to visit, such as Asklepion, Neratzia Castle and Antimachia Castle. Or if you’re looking for somewhere to kick back and watch the world go by, you can do that too.
Magical lochs, rugged wilderness and dramatic coastlines – the landscapes of Scotland offer an endless amount of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into sailing, hiking, kayaking or abseiling, you can find all manner of activities to get stuck into. That’s not to mention the rich history living in the walls of its medieval castles, ruins and city streets. Cosy up in a local pub, go shopping in one of the cities, or just soak up the views from the hot tub at your holiday home.
Chocolate-box villages that wouldn’t look out of place in a children’s storybook, the Cotswolds is a rural idyll in the south of England set in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With quaint and cosy pubs, walking trails winding their way through undulating countryside, and quintessentially British tea rooms, it’s a great place for a family holiday.
Colourful and chaotic souks, an ancient and bustling Medina and diverse landscapes – trek in the mountains, walk with camels in the desert, or find yourself in the midst of grand palaces – Marrakech has got it all going on. Although there’s plenty of hustle and bustle, you can still find tranquility in the beautiful local Riads or hammams.
Where boho meets Turkish tradition, this white-washed seaside town is steeped in history, dating as far back as the Lycian times. When you’re not wandering the bougainvillaea-draped old quarter or taking a boat trip across the Med, you can explore ancient Lycian cities, tombs and the amphitheatre. While away a lazy morning feasting on a Turkish breakfast in a local café, before heading to the beach or discovering crumbling ruins.
Experience the Croatia that’s not in the travel guides. This heart-shaped peninsula promotes the local way of life, away from the tourist-laden pockets of the country (if you venture further than the coastline, that is). The foodie heart of Croatia is alive and well here, with white truffles, fresh seafood and award-winning wines featuring heavily on the menu. Hilltop villages are surrounded by beautiful countryside, and the national parks are great for a day out cycling or walking with the family.
Set in the gorgeous, sun-soaked Paphos, this stylish retreat is ideal for those looking for everything in one place. Five-star hospitality, tranquil beaches, a spa and an award-winning golf course mean you can spend your hours relaxing and recharging or getting stuck into daily activities. There’s an incredible kids club to keep the young ones entertained while you enjoy some much-needed me-time next to your private pool and in the evening, come together as a family for alfresco dinners as you gaze into the sunset. Bliss.
Montenegro is slowly becoming a sought-after destination, and the Bay of Kotor (aka Boka) is leading the charge. Breathtaking scenery surrounds the bay, which is scattered with medieval towns, monasteries and incredible national parks. It’s a breath of fresh air from the usual beach escape, and if you’re an adventure sports lover, architecture nerd, foodie or photographer, the Bay of Kotor is your Nirvana.
A low-key alternative to its Balearic neighbours, Menorca is all about the beach days. Its 216 km-long coastline is punctuated with hidden coves, long sandy stretches, Blue Flag beaches, and volcanic scenery. White-washed villages, picturesque cities and Bronze Age sites add to the charm of this Biosphere Reserve island (awarded by UNESCO in 1993) – it’s a great place for a family holiday.
You might have heard a lot about Lisbon city, but what about its coastline? Pristine national parks, surf beach havens, and vibrant seaside towns dot this captivating side of Portugal. But it’s not all about the beaches – head further inland and you’ll find historic, quirky Sintra with its brightly coloured palace, or the hidden Neolithic ruins of Adrenunes.
Set in the ‘boot’ of Italy, this sun-baked region stands out for its unique, traditional Trullo houses that are scattered across its scenic, rolling hills. The UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello has a fairytale-like feel, the dramatic rocky coastline of Salento wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard, and the quaint town of Lecce (dubbed ‘Florence of the South’) is well-known for its Baroque architecture and foodie hotspots.
A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s no surprise that Croatia’s Trogir is oozing in natural beauty. Once ruled by the Ancient Greeks, and subsequently the Romans, this pretty island city’s fascinating history is proudly displayed through its architectural delights.
But it’s not all about cathedrals and fortresses. If beach days are more your vibe, the dazzling Trogir Riviera will treat you to quaint, shingle beaches, warm waters and beachside bars. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly spots for swimming with little ones or lively stretches offering bars and restaurants, there’s something for every type of Trogir holiday.
This paradise-like jewel in the heart of the Arabian Sea was just made for Instagram. Crystal-clear, vivid blue water and sugar-white beaches are fringed by luscious palm trees giving off serious tropical vibes. There’s nothing that screams luxury holiday quite like a trip to the Maldives. We are waiting for the opportunity to soak up the sun and drink cocktails out of a coconut… yes, that is our dream right now.
Vibrant, energetic and passionate – these are just some of the ways to describe the culture and the people of Mexico. With fiery cuisine, fiesta-filled calendars, and charming towns, cities and villages, you’ll never be bored on a trip to Mexico. Whether you’re looking for a creative art scene, interesting architecture, sleepy beaches, or luscious jungles, you’ll find this country is full of soul, with plenty to satisfy your appetite.
A picture-perfect island that’s quintessentially French, Ile de Ré is an idyllic place to escape the madness. Home to the cobbled town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve wandered straight into a fairytale. Boutique shops, elegant cafés, attractive courtyards and bustling local markets – this region is a fave for Parisians. Cycling is the perfect way to explore the island, and a great way to spend time with the family.
You may recognise its world-famous Navagio Beach (aka Shipwreck Beach) from your Instagram feeds, but there’s much more to this cove-studded island than meets the eye. Traditional rural villages amongst hilltops and forests, limestone cliffs flank white sand beaches, and lively evenings filled with music and cocktails. A trip to this beautiful Greek island is the perfect way to ease your stresses, and the colourful marine park is ideal for a spot of scuba diving or snorkelling.
Newbie holiday destinations for 2023
Our amazing team of destination experts are always looking for new places to add to our list, and we’re particularly excited about these additions. We have a feeling people will be going all out in 2023 and we can’t think of anywhere better than…
This Italian isle and its impossibly clear blue waters could easily be mistaken for somewhere in the Caribbean! Sardinia’s craggy coastline interspersed with stunning white sand beaches provides ample exploring opportunities from above the water if you are keen on sailing, or below the water if a scuba excursion takes your fancy.
Spain’s northwestern province is unfairly overlooked as a holiday destination, but that rather works in its favour. You’ll get to experience its stunning coastline, pretty towns and villages, fascinating historic sites and unparalleled cuisine without the throngs of tourists that head elsewhere in Spain every year. Don’t miss the fabulous Cíes Islands, a short boat trip from Vigo, with its picturesque dune-backed beaches and forested hills begging to be hiked.
So there we have it, our list of 23 destinations to put on your radar for 2023. Where takes your fancy the most? Villa holidays are perfect when you’re looking to stay somewhere with the whole family because you get the privacy and independence of your very own home-from-home that you can truly relax in (and with Oliver’s Travels, our places have plenty of space for even the biggest of groups!)
If you need help in planning your holiday, don’t hesitate to reach out to our free concierge service.