To be seen in 2018

South AfricaSouth Africa

In the first of a series of articles, local travel advisor Jack Leaf offers his destination suggestions for the year ahead, including South Africa, Ibiza and a new, luxury, all-inclusive hotel in Corfu.

At this time of the year, when you are planning your holiday schedule for 2018, allow me – as an independent travel agent with 25 years of experience – to help you with some ideas.

The inauguration of the British Airways flight to Mahé at the end of March heralds the first direct flight to the Seychelles in over a decade, and I am certain it will prove to be a top destination in the coming year. The Seychelles is just seven degrees south of the equator, so the temperature is around 30°C all year round, with a mixture of sunshine and tropical showers. The region enjoys a beautiful climate all year and sea breezes can deal with much of the humidity.

I went to the new Nobu Ibiza Hotel in August 2017 and feel sure it'll be very popular for admirers of fine food in a design hotel environment. The charm of Ibiza old town is within walking distance. Don't think the mad clubbing of San Antonio Town; think chic and sophisticated, topped with exemplary service. I flew from London City Airport, so the entire door-to-door journey was hassle-free.

South Africa continues to be much in demand, and with the pound weak against the rand, it's great to see we still get a good exchange rate of 18 rand to the pound. I'm looking forward to joining a group of travel agents at the end of May to see what's new in Cape Town and along the Garden Route. The life of a travel agent is hard but it has to be done! Of course, the safari experience in South Africa remains second to none, and several regions are malaria free.

For those of you who enjoy a spa break or wine-tasting closer to home, I went to Le Sources de Caudalie, just outside of Bordeaux, last October and it was marvellous: luxurious accommodation in beautiful grounds, cycling to local wineries and even time in 48 hours to enjoy an electric tuk-tuk tour of Bordeaux city centre.

The best new hotel for summer family holidays is undoubtedly going to be the Ikos Dassia Resort, opening in May. It will be a luxury, five-star, all-inclusive resort on the Greek island of Corfu. Even those of you not keen on all-inclusive, this is going to be luxury all-inclusive, you really can't go wrong.

Finally, it's not too early to be thinking about your next Christmas or New Year holiday. In fact, early-bookers reap the greatest benefits these days. For guaranteed hot weather, I'll be packing you off to the Caribbean or Far East, but for the real winter Christmas experience, how about dog-sleighing to see Santa in Finland or quad biking to the Northern Lights in Iceland?

Jack is an independent travel advisor based in Snaresbrook. For more information, call 020 8989 6764 or visit

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