The best holiday destinations for 2022

Stewart Island, New Zealand

In a travel landscape where untamed terrains are prized just as highly as hot new hotel openings, New Zealand’s third island is emerging as a fresh sort of bucket-list destination. Stewart Island (otherwise known by its Māori name, Rakiura), sitting 30 kilometeres off the country’s South Island, is a languorous sort of place where life is lived to the rhythm of the sea and the pull of the moon. With a population of just 390 (and around 20,000 fluffy kiwi birds), it rarely feels crowded, but the scope for adventure is colossal; from kayaking and fishing, to gnarly trail running and diving spectacular underwater kelp forests.

As the southernmost Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world, Stewart Island is also one of the finest places to see the Milky Way and the Southern Lights (most vivid in moonless skies in June and July). Rakiura is actually translated as ‘The great and deep blushing of Te Rakitamau’ – an early Māori chief who failed to win the hand of a daughter from a high-ranking Kati Mamoe family. When he was spurned by a second daughter, Te Rakitamau blushed a bright fierce red. It’s said you can still see that blush in the island’s fiery sunsets and beguiling Southern Lights shows.

Beyond its starry credentials, the island is also establishing itself as a power player when it comes to sustainable produce. Māori have long used Stewart Island and its surrounding satellites to hunt and forage, and as strides are made in the farming of seaweed and pāua (an edible sea snail), local companies such as Gravity Fishing are pioneering responsible harvesting methods while supplying world-beating restaurants with minutes-fresh seafood.

Keep scrolling to see where we picked for 2021 and 2020

The best holiday destinations in the world in 2021

Chania, Crete, Greece

South Africa

Pulau Merah, Java, Indonesia

Charleston, USA


Costa Rica

Shetland, Scotland, UK

Oaxaca City, Mexico


The Berkshires, USA

East and West Sussex, England, UK

Dominican Republic, Caribbean

Helsinki, Finland

Amazon rainforest

Accra, Ghana

The Kimberley, Australia

El Hierro, the Canary Islands

United Arab Emirates

Melides, Portugal

Yorkshire, England, UK


The best holiday destinations in the world in 2020

Kyoto, Japan

Rijeka, Croatia


Rabat, Morocco

The British Virgin Islands

Frisian Islands, Denmark

Qingdao, China


Portland, Maine, US

Dakar, Senegal

Egadi Islands, Sicily

Paris, France

Siargao, Philippines

Galway, Ireland

Kangaroo Island, Australia

Salvador, Brazil


Plymouth, UK