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Find your top luxury travel destination for 2020

Let Oroko guide your travel plans for the year ahead

Luxury tour operator Oroko Travel has revealed its travel destination hot list for 2020, and trust them, you won’t want to miss them. That’s because Oroko is Ireland’s luxury travel specialist who has put great thought into tailoring the perfect holiday for all sorts of travellers.

“Our biggest market is family travel, but solos, couples and honeymooners all come to us. They often start by saying they’re not sure where they want to go so we tease out where they have been before, what kind of holidays they like, the activities and experiences they enjoy, and we put together a holiday just for them,” says Ruth Kavanagh, Oroko’s marketing manager.

She says if you think you’ll save money by doing all this yourself online you’re wrong.

“People think they’ll get the best rates by booking direct, but because we have built up partnerships with properties around the world, our customers get better prices and better value by coming through us. We know this because we stress test all our prices ourselves online.”

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Oroko’s team has also physically experienced every property it recommends.

“Because our travel specialists have been to the resort, you’ll know it’s tried and trusted,” says Kavanagh, who points out that although an Oroko holiday is perfectly packaged for you, it’s far from a package holiday – it’s bespoke.

Dubrovnik

Top of Oroko’s hot list for 2020 is Croatia’s Dubrovnik, according to Aisling O’Carroll, Oroko’s Europe specialist. She recommends The Sun Gardens, just outside the city.

“I was there in August. I’ve been everywhere but was blown away by it. It’s one of the best family resorts in Europe. Dubrovnik is fantastic too, of course, and the weather is fabulous, but the resort is just so well set up for families. You could stay for 14 days and do something completely different each day. The food is amazing and the staff outstanding.”

Halkidiki

Next up for her is the northern Greek destination Halkidiki, an hour and a half’s transfer from the city of Thessaloniki, which has direct flights from Dublin. The region might just be Greece’s best kept secret, with some of the country’s best beaches, says O’Carroll, who recommends the Eagles Palace, a five-star luxury resort as a great place to stay.

“Again it’s really well set up for families and of course the Greeks rival the Italians for their friendliness and customer service, which is why it’s a place our clients come back raving about, whether they are families, couples or solos.”

One of the big pluses here, alongside its great location and beautiful beaches, is a half-board package that allows you to “dine around” its five restaurants.

Puglia

Her third top pick for 2020 is Puglia in southern Italy.

“It’s just so different to the north of Italy which everybody already knows,” she says, pointing out that there are direct flights from Dublin to Bari, an easy distance away from sites such as Matera, a UNESCO heritage city.

She recommends staying somewhere like Hotel Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, which, like most of old Matera, is built into the caves. Don’t miss the chance to visit Polignano a Mare either, “it’s like the Amalfi coast without the crowds. It’s where they do the Red Bull Cliff Diving and is just gorgeous,” says O’Carroll.

The nearby city of Lecce is “the Florence of the south”, and she recommends the urban resort La Fiermontina in Lecce.

Oroko long-haul specialist Mark Glynn has visited 80 countries and counting – he’s just back from Zambia and by the time this appears he will be revisiting South Africa. Like all Oroko travel specialists, travel is his life’s work and he brings that invaluable firsthand experience to clients.

Namibia

Top of his hot list for 2020 is Namibia, a country that can provide savannah plains, giant sand dunes and impressive coastlines all in one holiday.

“South Africa is still booming and is of course fantastic, but Africa offers so much more,” he says. “If you want to get away from the crowds and want instead to see loads of wildlife and enjoy adventure activities, head for the Serra Cafema, a luxury wilderness safari camp and one of the most remote destinations in all of Africa, right on the border with Angola. It’s an opportunity too to meet the Himba people of the region, and have an authentic local experience.”

Drive from there to Etosha National Park, a mountain reserve, and “you’ll be doing your own game drive – how awesome is that?”

Namibia also offers visual feast experiences such as a chance to visit Sossusvlei, with its high red dunes, and the white clay pan of Deadvlei. “It’s a vista you’d see on an Apple MacBook screensaver, except in real life.”

The very best way to see it is not onscreen, or even from the ground, but “floating above it in a hot air balloon in the early morning.”

Indonesia

Namibia shares Glynn’s top spot for 2020 with Indonesia, an amazing country which too many travellers associate only with Bali. “All of Indonesia is amazing, from Sumatra and its orangutans to the stunning island of Sumba and to Java, the cultural heartland of the country.”

An Oroko trip will help make sure you see the best any destination has to offer. In Indonesia one of Glynn’s own most memorable experiences was a visit to the country’s iconic Kawah Ijen volcano. “It’s one of the few blue volcanoes in the world – and you can go right down into it,” he says.

Inspirational travel has never been so accessible!

For more inspiration, follow Oroko on Instagram @oroko_travel