If you are thinking about a holiday for 2014, you may be looking at taking a long haul trip. We have chosen seven long haul destinations that we think would be great to visit in 2014.
The start of any visit to Thailand should be Bangkok, a modern city with a long heritage. Following this, the Northern Provinces are ideally suited to trekking and somewhere like Chiang Mai is a good place to start.
The most developed and well-known beach resorts are at Phuket and Ko Samui. However, the Krabi Province has some beautiful and relatively unspoiled beaches such as Ko Phi Phi and Ko Pha Nagan. The best time to visit is between November and February when you are likely to avoid the rain and when the temperatures are not too hot.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and since the 1990s has become popular with tourists. Western Cuba is an exciting area to visit and encompasses the capital, Havana, a cosmopolitan city with great nightlife. In addition, there are the hills of Pinar del Rio, the centre of the country's cigar industry and Varadero, a popular beach resort.
Other places worth visiting include Santa Clara, home to a mausoleum containing the remains of Che Guevara and the coastal city of Santiago de Cuba, as well as Trinidad, which is a World Heritage Site. The best time to visit is between December and April, to avoid storms and hurricanes, as well as the hot summer months.
For most people a trip to Mexico involves going to Cancun, an American style resort on the Yucatan Peninsula, which offers beaches and activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving. However, this area of Mexico is also home to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, which are a 'must see' on a visit to this country.
If you choose to do some travelling around, Mexico City, including a day trip to the ancient city of Teotihuaccn, is somewhere not to be missed. The west coast of Mexico has popular beach resorts such as Acapulco but also less well-known places, including the fishing town of Zihuatanejo with its stunning beaches and the town of Puerto Escondido, popular with surfers and those wanting an exciting nightlife. The climate in Mexico varies depending on where you go. The Pacific coast has a Mediterranean type climate whilst other areas are sub-tropical.
Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a popular destination. Despite all the development, the Bastakia Quarter contains many old buildings and streets, which are home to art galleries and cafes. For a modern shopping experience, visit the Mall of the Emirates, which includes an indoor ski slope.
Dubai has some public beaches such as Al-Mamzar or beaches that charge a fee such as the Jameira Beach Park. You can also visit the desert on a four-wheel drive safari. The best time to visit is during the winter months when the temperature is pleasant and dry.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, Cape Verde is an island country that is becoming a popular holiday destination. The main destination for tourists is the island of Sal and the resort of Santa Maria. This busy resort has long, white, sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife. It is a superb location to try out water sports such as diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing and fishing, as well as to see wildlife such as dolphins and turtles.
Other places worth discovering are Espargos, the capital of the island and also Palmeira, a fishing village that is home to the island's port. The best time to visit Cape Verde is during the summer when it is warm and dry.
Florida is a great destination for couples or families. If you are a family with children, the resort of Orlando, home to many theme parks, is the place to visit. If it is something more cosmopolitan you are looking for, Miami is the perfect place, with beaches, shopping malls and a vibrant nightlife.
For somewhere more relaxing, try the beach resorts of Naples and Clearwater. The climate in Florida means that spring and autumn are probably the best times to visit, avoiding the very hot or changeable weather.
Australia is a popular destination with many things to see and do. Brisbane is on the east coast and is the capital of Queensland. Attractions include the Alma Park Zoo and Mount Cootha. Melbourne is also popular with tourists and has museums and art galleries as well as hosting many sporting events.
Sydney is Australia's largest and oldest city and is home to landmarks such as the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as well as art galleries and museums. The vastness of Australia means a variety of climates. However, to avoid the very hot weather, it is probably best to visit in the summer months.
Whilst we appreciate that there are many long haul destinations to choose from, hopefully the suggestions above will have given you food for thought and will inspire you to look at these places as potential holiday destinations for 2014.
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