Most of us will be feeling tentative about travel even when restrictions ease. Based on the share of properties receiving one of Booking.com's Traveller Review Award in 2021, these destinations were recognised as the most welcoming places to visit when we can.*
Taitung County, Taiwan
Discover Taiwan's forest-covered mountains and white-sand beaches
The island of Taiwan, located just off China’s southeastern coast, should be top of your future travel wishlist for myriad reasons; firstly, its misty, forest-covered mountains, gorges, dormant volcanoes and white-sand beaches are mesmerisingly beautiful, so much so that they served as the inspiration for the landscapes of anime classic, Spirited Away. What’s more, the Taiwanese are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world, while the local food is a major reason to visit. Head to one of the island’s celebrated night markets to pick up street food like steaming bowls of catfish soup and towering piles of green onion pancakes. Discover Taitung County’s most highly rated stays.
The Prešov Region, Slovakia
Hike through the Little Carpathian mountains past waterfalls, castles and log houses
The Prešov Region in northeastern Slovakia is a relatively undiscovered European delight. Its pretty towns are connected by hiking routes that wind through the Little Carpathian mountains past waterfalls, castles and clusters of traditional log houses. There’s abundant skiing in winter, not to mention the year-round allure of the capital, Bratislava, sat astride the Danube. Discover The Prešov Region’s most highly rated stays.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Spot stallions galloping along the rugged shore of Nova Scotia's Sable Island
The remote and epic nature of Nova Scotia may appeal to travellers ever more after a year of being confined indoors – protected national parks abound here, including the pristine Sable Island, where you may well spot stallions galloping along the rugged shore and seals lounging on sandy beaches (note that you need to register prior to visiting the island). Discover Nova Scotia’s most highly rated stays.
Minas Gerais, Brazil
The vibrant city of Belo Horizonte (or ‘beautiful horizon’), named for its mountain views
The southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is a great place for some travel escapism once the world opens up again. It’s home to vibrant city, Belo Horizonte (or ‘beautiful horizon’), named for its mountain views but known simply as Beagá to the locals. Nowadays, it’s an urban centre defined by high-rises that might obscure the views from down below, but find a vantage point and you’re good-to-go. Plus, you’ll find more than enough beauty in terms of the city’s thriving food and art scenes; bar-hop your way around trying various tira-gosto (or bar snacks) and eat your way through the thousands of botecas (eateries), clinking cold beers with locals and trying the pork and fried potato balls served with pineapple and mint sauce. Discover the most highly rated stays in Minas Gerais.
Expect extraordinary vistas in Argentina's Chubut province
Spanning all the way from the Andes to the Atlantic coast, the extraordinary Argentinian province of Chubut is one destination to make you rediscover they joy of travel. The surreal natural surrounds comprise some of the grandest Patagonian wilderness, characterised by immense valleys, jade-green mountain lakes, snow-covered peaks, and seemingly endless, dusty desert steppe. Discover the most highly rated stays in Chubut.
Head into the mountains around Oberösterreich to see crystalline lakes (*sees*) and Bohemian Forest
The Austrian state of Oberösterreich is an underrated delight for anyone awaiting their next escape. The Alpine terrain is, of course, ideal for skiing but come summer, blossoms into a delightful hiking hotspot. While the hotels in the old spa town of Bad Ischl offer world-class pampering experiences. Don’t miss the captivating state capital of Linz, cut through by the Danube river and filled with baroque buildings. Or the chance to head into the mountains to see Benedectine abbeys, crystalline lakes (sees) and Bohemian Forest. Discover the most highly rated stays in Oberösterreich.
The island state of Tasmania has plenty to entice a broad range of travellers
The island state of Tasmania has plenty to entice a broad range of travellers, being noted for its superb wines, as well as its restaurants and cultural offering. But it’s probably the hiking and wildlife that most come for. Head to a wildlife sanctuary to see a number of endemic species including the endangered Tasmanian devil. The size of a small dog, the Tasmanian devil was once found across Australia but today can only be found here. Follow one of the numerous hiking trails through spectacular scenery featuring natural landmarks like Cradle Mountain and Wineglass Bay, where you’ll find blindingly bright white sand dotted with orange lichen-covered rocks and backed by aquamarine Tasman Sea. Discover Tasmania’s most highly rated stays.
Iowa, United States
Enjoy a lakeside beach picnic in this bucolic Midwestern state
To dip your toes into travel again, a visit to Iowa will ease you in pleasantly. This bucolic Midwestern state is overflowing with state parks promising peace, quiet and views of undulating hills, lakes, forest and jaw-dropping bluffs. Hire a car for an unforgettable road trip, try horseback riding, or simply walk along the lakeside beach before stopping for an easily-socially-distanced picnic on the sand. Discover Iowa’s most highly rated stays.
**Booking.com can reveal the most welcoming places in the world according to customer reviews, showcasing the best places to experience the best in hospitality and friendliness whenever it’s safe again to do so. These destinations topped the list with the highest percentage of total eligible properties winning a Booking.com Traveller Review Award 2021.