Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Southern Albania (Northern Epirus)

World's top destinations for 2011

By A. Pawlowski, CNN
December 28, 2010
  • Travel experts name nine great destinations to explore next year
  • New York will be particularly memorable as it commemorates 10th anniversary of 9/11
  • Japan can be more affordable than you think; Norway is perfect for lovers of outdoors
  • Guatemala is "a bargain wonderland"; Bulgaria offers both great beaches and skiing

(CNN) -- Where on Earth will you find yourself in 2011?

Here's wishing it's somewhere unforgettable -- and the time to plan your journey is now, as the New Year brings the customary yearning for a fresh start and the promise of new people and places.

To set your itinerary in motion, we sought out recommendations from three travel experts: Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer's guidebooks; and Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour.

Here are nine of their top destinations for 2011:

6. Albania

The top pick on Lonely Planet's list of top 10 countries for 2011 may be a surprise for many people, but Albania gives travelers a taste of the Mediterranean without the crowds and the prices, Reid said.

The real rising destination is Gjirokastra, a city whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, he added.

"It's this cobbled town with Ottoman-era mansions," Reid said. "It's a very atmospheric place that has a lot of history."

With picturesque beaches, good food and a number of heritage sites, Albania won't be off the beaten track for much longer, Lonely Planet says in its review.


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