Where in the world should you go next year? Our in-house travel experts,
including Lonely Planet cofounder Tony Wheeler, have chosen their top 10
countries for next year based on scores for topicality, excitement,
value for money and…that special X-factor. Here they are, in order of
rank, from Lonely Planet’s latest book: Best in Travel 2011.
Not so long ago, when the Balkans were considered an ‘only for the
brave’ travel destination, only the bravest of the brave trickled into
Albania. Since backpackers started coming to elusive Albania in the
1990s, tales have been told in ‘keep it to yourself’ whispers of azure
beaches, confrontingly good cuisine, heritage sites, nightlife,
affordable adventures and the possibility of old-style unplanned
journeys complete with open-armed locals for whom travellers are still a
novelty. Sick to death of being dismissed with blinged-up crime-boss
clichés, Albania has announced ‘A New Mediterranean Love’ via its
tourist board. The jig is almost up – Albania won’t be off the beaten
track for much longer.