Kick back or kick out. Chill on a beach or hang out in one of the world's hot spots. Whatever style of holiday you prefer, there's no need to throw a dart at a map to decide your destination. We've scoured the continents to find the best of the best for every week of the year.
River deep, mountain high. While Africa's attractions include Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and cruising the Nile through Egypt, let's not forget other topographies such as the plains of Kruger National Park, South Africa, where you can try to spot the big five before they spot you. Sand and water traps: gaze at the ocean while enjoying 18 holes over dunes and valleys at Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort in Morocco. At Diani Beach on Kenya's coastline you can dive or snorkel alongside whale sharks, the gentle giants of the ocean, during their migration from February to April. For the ultimate in romance, Zanzibar's &Beyond Mnemba Island is a private hideaway for just 10 couples, with each beachside banda overlooking the atoll.
Get among the high rollers at this year's leading casino resort in Asia — the Galaxy Macau; or get away on a Japanese adventure holiday with canyoning in Minakami, skiing in Hakuba, or hiking in the Shirakami Mountains. Wakayama Adventure World is a mega theme park with a safari zoo, aquarium and amusement park, and the main feature — Panda Land.
If you love the journey as much as the destination, climb aboard the Indian Maharaja for its Deccan Odyssey, a week-long luxury train journey that makes its way through the vast expanse of north-western India, including the cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, and Mumbai. On-board facilities include a library, gym, beauty parlour and spa. For that other kind of training, Thanyapura is a health and sports resort set on 23ha in the middle of Phuket National Park on the Thai holiday isle. It offers a sports hotel, organic restaurant, medical and mind training centres as well as the chance to spot some of the world's top athletes and sports teams who often train here.
For a romantic getaway that's closer to home, The Remote Resort is only an hour's flight from Nadi. The Fiji resort has just seven luxury villas and, mere minutes from Rainbow Reef, features the kind of natural beauty that's only discoverable by diving or snorkelling. If you like your resorts to be eco-friendly, InterContinental's Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa won't disappoint. It offers everything you'd dream of in a coral islet, including over-water bungalows, while reducing its energy consumption by up to 25 per cent. If you'd rather a South Pacific sampler, Royal Caribbean International cruises depart from Sydney or Brisbane taking in a variety of ports in Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia as well as Loyalty Island, from seven to 12 nights.
Get more bang for your buck with a Norwegian Cruise through the Caribbean's sun, sand and surf — in under two weeks. A round trip on Norwegian Jade from Tampa, Florida, takes you to Cozumel in Mexico, George Town in Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios in Jamaica, Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic, Tortola in British Virgin Islands, San Juan in Puerto Rico, then Key West and back to Tampa. If you'd rather just head to this year's hottest Caribbean beach destination, the uncrowded beaches and vibrant coral reefs of Turks and Caicos Islands await — with their average 350 days of sunshine a year. If a sailing adventure is what you're after, the Antigua Sailing Week is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 and, as one of the globe's top three regattas, welcomes sailors from all over the world. Antigua and Barbuda is popular with yachties, due to its turquoise waters, steady trade winds, and natural bays and harbours.
Like many Mediterranean villages, Pissouri has an azure seascape, lush forests, and evidence of its former tenants — the ancient Egyptians and Romans. But this Cyprus hideaway also has Europe's best luxury accommodation, the Columbia Beach Resort, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property which offers cooking classes by a Michelin-star trained chef and a beautiful on-site chapel. On Europe's Atlantic coast there's the Algarve in Portugal, with golden cliffs surrounding equally golden beaches where you can take your pick of watersports as well as fresh seafood. There are also world-class golf courses, walking trails, and heritage treasures. For a top city break head to Lyon, France, to explore the streets of the Old City by urban tricycle, view Renaissance facades from a riverboat, or take Shanks' pony along the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Known as France's gastronomic capital, Lyon is renowned for its traditional bouchons — neighbourhood restaurants.
A different hit of culture can be found in St Petersburg, with the uber-modern Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, the State Russian Museum showcasing much of the nation's finest art, and stunning architecture like the Winter Palace and the ornate onion domes of St Isaac's Cathedral and the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood.
If you're keen to meet dolphins, whales or manta rays in the wild, let the warm waters of the Maldives lure you. For something more hands-on, a short boat ride from your resort will have you in open sea for big-game fishing; marlin and sail fish are common. Mauritius also has stunning marine life, either for watching or reeling them in, with barracuda, shark, and tuna added to the haul. Island-hop around the Seychelles and you'll get a great sense of the place, from Creole houses and artist studios to national reserves and marine parks with some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on Earth. If you're looking for an upmarket Robinson Crusoe experience, the private island resort of Constance Tsarabanjina in Madagascar is laidback and "barefoot chic", with an exquisite underwater world that is relatively unexplored. Ahhh, feel the serenity!
Nestled in the dunes of Dubai, Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa offers guests a traditional desert experience, with its Arabic fort setting in and around an oasis. It also provides the chance to try camel riding, a desert safari, and falconry. If you'd rather a mix of modern and traditional, Doha in Qatar has futuristic skyscrapers and other ultra-modern structures inspired by ancient Islamic designs, plus the Souq Waqif market, and Arabian horse and camel racing outside the city.
For luxury treatment, it's hard to beat Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, with spectacular views over the Arabian Gulf, private beach, and spa. Even for those who aren't staying on the island, there's the opportunity to take a seaplane over and back for brunch. If you want to be closer to the action, Rixos The Palm Dubai is only a short distance from shopping centres and landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building with its 555m viewing platform.
specialises in sending boats down rivers, like paddlewheelers on the Mississippi or more modern vessels on the Hudson River through New England. There are themed cruises like spotting wildlife on a Pacific Northwest and Alaska tour, or one of the Southeast cruises through the likes of Florida, Chesapeake, or the historic South. Little beats a Disney resort and spa for the family, other than being set in Hawaii, like
. Inspired by the natural wonders and rich traditions of Hawaii, there is an array of experiences like hula and lei-making classes, and island excursions for hiking and surf lessons that sit alongside the ubiquitous kids' club, waterslides and Disney characters.
At the other end of the scale, Lake Kora is an exclusive wilderness retreat that's set amid New York's Adirondack Mountains, featuring luxury lodges on more than 400ha of private wilderness that was once a private playground for American royalty, the Vanderbilt dynasty. Imagine a summer of boating on a private lake, leaping off docks, and dinners by the grand fireplace.
Central and South America
is the second-largest city in Colombia, and has transformed from its infamous drug and gang-ridden past into a vibrant destination offering a culturally rich vacation, which includes plenty of outdoor activities like hiking through lush jungle, zip-lining and horse riding. It also lives up to its three nicknames: City of Eternal Spring, City of the Mountain and City of Flowers. Discover Ecuador through a
: the nation's astonishing rail network runs along raging rivers, rocky ravines and mountain cliffs, offering one-day trips to Otavalo Market in the northern Andes, the Avenue of Volcanoes, and the hair-raising Devil's Nose with its 5000m drop, or a luxury three-night trip in the Tren Crucero along the Andes to the Pacific Coast.
If you're a foodie, it's time to fork up in Peru, the top culinary destination for 2016. This year three Peruvian restaurants made the '50 Best' list in British magazine Restaurant — Central (4th), Maido (13th), and Astrid y Gaston (30th), all in Lima. For a Mayan underworld adventure, the crystal museum of Río Secreto is a stunning underground river with thousands of dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. In Belize, Ambergris Caye is the largest island, and boasts the world's second largest coral reef system (after that other one across the ditch) as well as exotic creatures like monkeys, manatees and crocodiles.