Our Top Travel Spots for 2024

New year, new dreams. We’ve compiled a list of the places we want to explore this year, along with our favourite stays in the area. So start packing those bags and come with us!

Tahiti, French Polynesia 

Within the 118 islands of French Polynesia, there is a remote oasis that we have only dreamed of having the opportunity to explore: Tahiti. This year, the home to the ‘deadliest wave in the world’ will be hosting the 2024 Paris Olympic Surf Competition. Around the island, there will be numerous celebration sites to watch this impressive event from Jardin de Paofai to Marina of Punui. There is no better place to be for a surfing fanatic than in Tahiti at the time of the competition, so naturally, there is no better place to be on our bucket list for this year. 

We admire Tahiti for all the more reasons than just their glamorous surf culture. One of which is their commitment to ocean sustainability. Coral Gardners, an ocean conservation group started by young surfers, divers, and fishermen founded in Tahiti’s sister island, is devoted to planting one million climate-resistant corals worldwide by 2025 due to the loss of almost half of these vital ecosystems. We love our oceans, our islands and all our water creatures - so Tahiti takes top spot on this list.

 Our favourite hotels:

Biarritz, France

You know it, we love it. On the southwestern coast of France sits an absolute diamond of architecture, cuisine, and surf: Biarritz. This luxury seaside destination with Spanish influence is one of our dream vacation destinations for this year, without a doubt. The coastlines feature a variety of sand beaches, surfing, and restaurants while the town showcases elegant, historic, and romantic architecture. From sunbathing at the Grand Plage to swimming at the Plage du Port Vieux, and even surfing at the Cote de Basques, we just want to do it all. 

The history of surfing in this town is what draws us in the most. Considered the birthplace of surfing, and now the surfing capital of Europe, we are enamoured by the saga of waves in this quaint city. Peter Viertel - the alleged pioneer of surfing in Europe - started his journey on the Cote des Basques beach on the set of the film adaptation of Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Even if you don’t surf, just sitting at one of the restaurant patios overlooking the surfers and beach dwellers is a sight we cannot miss. Above all, we're determined to get a spot in those striped sun-loungers this year. 

 Our favourite hotels:

    Byron Bay, Australia

    Since expanding our market to Australia, there have been a ton of spots we’ve been adding to our list, but Byron Bay stands out amongst them all. Located in New South Wales, this oasis is surrounded by rainforest and world-famous waves. Byron Bay is the ideal place for admiring surfers, a road trip along the seaside, or taking in the historic hippie and aboriginal culture that still saturates the area. You can literally do anything here - from horseback riding to whale watching. Chill cafes, beautiful beachfront bars, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities make Byron Bay one of our top scenes for visiting this year. 

    Amongst everything else, this surfer town is set to host the 2024 Australian Pro Adaptive Surfing Championship which will be the country’s first international event for surfers with disabilities. This event is hosted from March 17 to the 22nd and is a must-see competition. If that's not enough of a reason to visit, during the Australian winter from May to December comes the humpback whale migration which we are dying to see this year. It's the perfect place for any time of the year - and we just can’t wait to be there. 

     Our favourite hotels:

      San Sebastian, Spain

      We cannot wait to explore the town of sea and mountains, home to some of the best chefs in the entire world: San Sebastian. With views on all sides and unforgettable food experiences, there are no cons to this Spanish adventure. But what are we really there for if not the beach? San Sebastian is home to La Concha Beach, a 1350 metre strip of white sand beach nestled amongst the urban centre, which was recently rated the fourth best beach in Europe by Trip Advisor. 

      Rest assured, this small town has a vibrant nightlife and hardcore surf culture. Stroll from lively streets with music performances to Zurrolia Beach to find the surplus of passionate surfers. The final beach, Playa de Ondarreta, is a quaint stretch of sand that is nestled between beautiful gardens and lush greenery. There’s not a chance we would get bored here so it has earned its spot on our bucket list for this year. Just look at it!

       Our favourite hotels:

        Madagascar Despite being the third largest island in the world, Madagascar is still ill-explored despite its serene water views and ravishing jungle exploration off the Eastern coast of Africa. The country is a mix of everything we love - beach and wildlife - all nestled in beautiful oceanside resorts. A wonder of wildlife, with flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world, Madagascar is high on our list for our new year travels. Crystal waters and lush baobab forests offer immense relaxation and uncharted sightseeing that we can only dream of.

        We all associate the place with the fan-favourite cartoon movie but this island has more significance in our hearts than just that. The surfing scene, for example, is booming off of the southwestern coast. These vast beaches, often only accessible by boat, can offer secluded experiences that we all need as crowds are more prominent than ever. Lucky for us, during the summer vacation season comes the migration of humpback whales, above all sights to see. We’ll save this spot for a relaxing oceanside trip rather than an action-packed travel itinerary as most areas throughout the island are quite remote. Nonetheless, that won’t stop us from exploring all it has to offer. 

         Our favourite hotels:

          Urla, Turkey

          We are always seeking a cultural exploration on top of our coastal destinations, but why not both in one? Urla is a quiet coastal town on the Aegean coast famous for its wineries and art scene. Not only is it a peaceful seaside getaway but also an intense cultural experience with upscale cuisine and wineries that allow us to adventure through taste rather than sight. The town is nestled amongst lush forests and rolling hills with the Inland scene housing Sanat Sokagi, a cobblestone allyway with quaint eateries and local artists selling all things unique from visual art, pottery, jewellery, and antiques. 

          Heading towards the Aegean reaches the coastal part of Urla, called Urla Iskele, with vast and beautiful beaches that we are just itching to tan on. The beach features cozy ocean-front patios to enjoy one-of-a-kind meals while soaking in the sunsets. Did we mention there’s surfing? Turkey definitely doesn’t come to mind when you think of surfing spots, but we are keen to check it out this year. 

           Our favourite hotels:

            Azores Islands, Portugal

            In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, far off the coast of Lisbon, lie the Azores. After our beloved photographer, Any Ha, did a trip down to these islands, we were instantly inspired (Check out his Excellent Adventure). Crater lakes, dormant volcanoes, lush cliffs, and private beaches make this spot a must-see for us. There are a total of nine islands, with São Miguel being the hub amongst them. Between all the islands, there are hundreds of beaches to explore, from Santa Barbara where the surfers hang out to Vila Franca to swim in a natural volcanic crater. 

            The beaches are enticing but what draws us there are the infinite historical and cultural sights. These islands nestled in the Atlantic ocean have a rich volcanic, natural and cultural history. The architecture and design are reminiscent of a myriad of ancient origins. We can choose to stay in authentic mosaic of ceramic-tiled fishing town cottages and immerse ourself in rich art and lifestyle on the surrounding islands or lounge in a 5 star hotel that overlooks the various wineries. It is the experience we’ve been waiting a lifetime for. 

             Our favourite hotels:

            Guancalito de la Isla, Nicaragua

            For a more rugged adventure with a rich history, we landed on Guancalito de la Isla, on the shores of Nicaragua. The Pacific coast of Nicaragua is lined with surf beaches of all wave levels with a surplus of must-see spots. About an hour north of the most famous surf beaches is Guancalito de la Isla, with luxury resorts lining the coastline. Treat yourself to a variety of activities including surfing, paddle boarding, golfing, tennis, and yoga. Even participate in the beach’s turtle release to help fight against the endangerment of sea turtles like the Olive Ridley and Leatherback. Want more recommendations? Check out Michael Libis' adventure in Nicaragua on our blog. 

            The hotels here are like no other on our bucket list - with private luxury community resorts lining the coastline, surrounded by thick jungles. The Guancalito is the definition of a private paradise while still immersing yourself in emerald beaches and rich Mayan culture. No matter where you look, all decor and design are authentically Nicaraguan, from Flor de Caña rum cocktails to Chorotega (an extinct indigenous tribe native to Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua) inspired artifacts scattered throughout the beautiful haven. It’s not a popular destination, but we hope it make it one this year. 

             Our favourite hotels: