Best Hotels With Waterpark Destinations
Hotels With Waterparks
Find your next getaway
- Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Spa - Bali5,966Tanjung Benoa, Indonesia
- Bali Dynasty Resort Hotel3,893Indonesia
- Sea World Resort5,972Main Beach, Australia
- Hard Rock Hotel Bali8,743Indonesia
- RACV Noosa Resort1,591Australia
- Paradise Resort Gold Coast166Surfers Paradise, Australia
- Cambria Hotel & Suites Anaheim Resort Area260Anaheim, United States
- Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach3,337Broadbeach, Australia
- Water park hotels typically offer a variety of aquatic facilities, including thrilling water slides, relaxing lazy rivers, and exciting wave pools, as well as on-site dining options and comfortable accommodations for the ultimate family-friendly vacation experience.
- The world's biggest indoor water park hotel is Tropical Islands Resort in Brandenburg, Germany, boasting 66,000 m2 of slides, canals, and pools, as well as the world's largest indoor rainforest.
- Some popular outdoor water park hotels in the United States include a few of the Great Wolf Lodge locations, Kalahari Resorts, and Wilderness Resort, which offer thrilling water slides, wave pools, and relaxing lazy rivers for the whole family to enjoy. Worldwide, Acqua Beach Park Resort in Brazil and Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis in Dubai are a couple of the largest and most attended outdoor water park hotels.
- Yes, many water park hotels remain open during the winter season, offering indoor water attractions and heated pools to provide a warm and enjoyable experience for their guests.
- Popular themes with water park hotels often include tropical paradises, jungle adventures, and nautical or pirate-inspired settings, all designed to create a fun and immersive aquatic experience.
Discover the most popular destinations for the world's hotels with waterparks
- BaliBali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.
- PhuketPhuket offers a rainbow spectrum of spectacular holiday sights from blue lagoons and pink sunsets to orange-robed monks. Three wheeled-Tuk Tuks, taxis, buses and long tailed boats transport visitors between these marvels. Phuket's south coast offers its most popular beaches. The north is more tranquil. Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach are popular spots. Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options. Inland, forested hills, mountains and cliffs wait to be explored.
- SantoriniGlamourous Santorini is deliciously different. Geographical newness is in part to thank. The island’s popular black volcanic Perissa and Kamari beaches are big draws, as is its arguably most famous Red Beach near Akrotiri (which is the place to go for archaeology buffs). Santorini curves round a giant lagoon in the Cyclades islands, offering stunning views from sky-high towns, eclectic cuisine, lovely galleries, thriving nightlife and excellent wines.
- Phu Quoc IslandSoak up the sun and some Vietnamese culture on Phu Quoc Island, where white sands and tropical waters entice beachgoers from all over the globe. Snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing are the most popular water sports here, though jet-skiing, wind sailing and squid fishing—yes, squid fishing—are also at your holiday-making fingertips. Check out the early-morning Duong Dong Market for an authentic local experience.
- LangkawiForested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to tropical Palau Langkawi, the largest of the 99 islands in Langkawi archipelago. Known mysteriously as "Legendary Island" because of myths associated with its ancient geological formations, it drifts serenely alongside Malaysia in the azure Andaman Sea. Sample local cuisine at the night markets, hike to dramatic waterfalls or dive into an underwater marine park to take a guided glimpse at life beneath the sea.
- LombokIf it were located anywhere else in the world, Lombok would be on everyone’s bucket list. But because it’s just east of Bali, fewer people have heard of its secluded coves, endless string of cream-coloured beaches, and waterfalls crashing through its impossibly lush foliage. Fine with us, because that means it’s also less crowded. You can spot wild macaques in the trees of Baun Pusak or float with the green and hawksbill turtles around Gili Meno without feeling like there’s a line behind you. This Indonesian island has a high point that Bali can’t match: Mount Rinjani, an active volcano with a massive lake inside its caldera. An early morning hike lets you watch the sun rise over the sea.
- OahuSay aloha to tropical breezes, oceanfront luaus and iconic Diamond Head on Oahu, the most populated Hawaiian island. Follow in the footsteps of surfing forefather Duke Kahanamoku on Waikiki Beach, visit the royal quarters of Iolani Palace and tour Pearl Harbor. Sample hot malasadas (local doughnuts) and shaved ice while shopping for vintage floral-print shirts on Honolulu's Kapahulu Avenue. Get off the tourist trail with a hike to Makapuu Lighthouse on the South Shore. You can even learn to hula.
- Cebu IslandFrom the cosmopolitan metropolis of Cebu City and the white-sand beaches of Mactan to the electric-blue waters of Kawasan Falls and the whale sharks of Oslob, it’s easy to see why Cebu Island is one of the Philippines’ top destinations.
- BoracayBoracay Island has reopened with new rules and regulations in place to protect the island from overdevelopment. Not all businesses were allowed to reopen. Please check with the Philippine Department of Tourism for details: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is a paradise for tourists seeking sunshine, beaches, and culture. Chania lies on the northern coast of Crete. It’s the second largest city on the island and is served by an airport. Upon arrival, hire a car and drive the 30 kilometres up to the White Mountains. This beautiful setting is perfect for relaxing or doing a spot of walking and is also a good base to explore the region’s attractions.
Chania is an old harbour town with a medieval heart and is worth checking out. The seafront quarter includes a little mosque which is a remnant from the 17th century when the Turks controlled the area. These days the mosque’s been converted into a very nice art gallery. Make sure you also check out the Archeological Museum which is full of Minoan artifacts, including a glass display packed with pottery bulls. These were found in a grave site and it’s believed the pottery bulls were included in the graves where sacrificing a live bull would have been too expensive!
Elafonisi features a beach that stretches for miles. The water is very shallow with white sand that gives it its wonderful green/turquoise colour; making it look like a Caribbean lagoon! There’s even an island that you can safely wade out to. Elafonisi is also very popular with the locals and can get very busy at weekends, so it’s best to go during weekdays if possible.
Crete has changed hands several times over the centuries and the Romans occupied it from the 1st century BC to 4 AD. As well as the ruins of the Roman buildings, there is an abandoned monastery which dates back centuries but was only abandoned in 1964.
Driving up the mountain road above Maheri, you’ll see signs for the ancient church called Agios Nikolaos. Along the way the chances are that you will encounter herds of goats, some with bells around their necks. They will determinedly clank their way past you and add a real wild charm to the holiday experience! Agios Nikolaos is nestled in a valley with huge trees in front of it and it is an enchanting place. The church is Byzantine and is famous for having very old frescoes, as well as a graveyard surrounded by rows of orange trees.
- Sentosa IslandSentosa is Singapore’s premier island resort getaway. This 500-hectare resort island is home to an exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats, and resort accommodations alongside lush rainforests and golden sandy beaches. Popular attractions among business and leisure visitors include Wings of Time – an award winning night show, the iconic Sentosa Merlion, as well as Madame Tussauds Singapore.
- MajorcaAttracting visitors from all parts of the world, Majorca is a dreamy island destination in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the southeast coast of Spain. There's something for every taste—beaches and coves, a spectacular mountain range, romantic fishing villages and a rustic countryside dotted with almond and olive groves.
- CorfuCorfu is studded with whitewashed houses, Byzantine churches, and the remains of Venetian fortresses and Greek temples. Wander the ancient streets of the Roman village of Kassiopi or explore the central Esplanade of the eponymous Corfu Town. For a DIY spa experience, lather yourself in mineral mud on the shore of the Canal D’Amour. Legend has it that the waterfalls of Nymphes used to attract the mythological beauties of the same name, who would flock to the village to bathe in the pristine waters.
- KósRelics ranging from ancient shrines to Venetian-style castles overlook swaths of golden sand beaches on Kos, a fertile island in Greece’s Dodecanese chain. Mega-resorts dominate the developed southern coast, while visitors looking for tranquility head to the quieter northern shores.
- RhodesThe largest of the twelve Dodecanese islands on the Aegean's eastern edge, Rhodes is also its most popular. The well-preserved medieval city of Rhodes sits at the north of the island of the same name. High rise hotels line the northern and eastern coastlines. Small villages and resorts dot the island's other shores. Whether your interests are beaches, bars or ancient sites, Rhodes offers an abundance of all three. Authentic Greece can be found in the hilly interior of the 50- mile-long island.
- Bintan IslandA popular destination for golfers looking for better rates and more accessible courses, Bintan is also a nice way to escape the bustle of Singapore. A ferry ride takes between one and two hours, depending on where you’re headed. From there you can relax on one of the beaches or head inland for hiking and ATV rides or take a ride at the elephant park. There are a couple of towns on Bintan, but the island’s natural beauty is what draws visitors.
- SicilyThe Mediterranean's biggest island is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Messina. A mountainous spot, Sicily's coast and its small islands sit at the foot of volcanoes, including Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano. The Greeks, Romans, Normans and Catalans all left their mark on the island in the form of Byzantine palaces, Gothic castles and Baroque flourishes in capital Palermo. Most larger towns offer interesting museums, but Etna and the Hellenic temples in Agrigento offer particularly unique sights.
- TenerifeStrongly influenced by the tribal culture of the Guanches (the original inhabitants), Tenerife was conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago. It's home to Mount Teide, Spain's tallest peak, and to the popular beach resort of Los Gigantes. Today visitors flock to Loro Park to see tropical birds, to Tenerife Zoo Monkey Park and to Parque Nacional Las Canadas del Teide's volcanic rock formations. Explore by car or with a "bono bus" ticket, which offers reductions on regular prices.
- GuamThe jewel of the Mariana Islands, Guam is a vivid tourist destination that offers peaceful white-sand beaches and fascinating dive sites. Entwine yourself with your paramour at Two Lovers Point or immerse yourself in local traditions at the Guam Beach and Culture Park. The caverns and coral reefs of the Piti Bomb Holes Reserve are the perfect places to get acquainted with native sea life. Dance off your day at one of Tumon’s lively dance clubs, or take in an exhilarating production at the SandCastle entertainment complex.
- LanzaroteIf your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.
- QueenslandSome of Queensland’s most remarkable sights require you to leave terra firma. Off its coast sits the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef. Snorkel and scuba among 1500 resident fish species, or sail through the Whitsundays’ white-sand atolls. Back on dry land, you’ll find tropical escapes in the Daintree Rainforest to the north, rugged outback to the west and alfresco dining on the Gold Coast in the south. South East Queensland boasts mountain views, vineyards and ‘river city’ Brisbane.
- Western AustraliaLeave the everyday behind, get away from the well-known and well-trodden, and reconnect with something unspoilt — even a little wild — in Western Australia. The country’s largest State, boasting the nation’s longest coastline and sunniest capital city of Perth (Boorloo), Western Australia is a place to recharge your spirit — outdoors in the fresh air and wide-open spaces, where it’s always summer somewhere. Experience otherworldly phenomena and majestic landscapes with supernatural contrasts of colour and texture. Awe-inspiring wilderness and boundless natural adventures await you in Western Australia.
- HawaiiFrom volcanic landscapes to hidden waterfalls… active adventures to an energetic nightlife… a holiday on the Hawaiian Islands offers infinite experiences in one destination. Each of the six major islands – Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii – has its own distinct personality, but no matter which ones you choose, you’ll discover endless opportunities for adventure, dining, culture and relaxation.
- CaliforniaCalifornia is a fertile, peaceful place where you’ll find a near-equal balance of vineyards and deserts, beaches and mountains, hippies and traditionalists. Catch an epic wave in Big Sur or swirl a glass in Napa Valley. Be dazzled by the Joshua Tree night sky or just star-gaze in Hollywood. Swish down the slopes of a Tahoe ski resort, or cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge with the top down and the music blasting. Above all, don’t forget to soak up some Golden State sunshine.
- FloridaNot just for retirees and theme park enthusiasts, the Sunshine State offers beautiful beaches, pristine diving conditions, and sizzling nightlife. Salsa the night away in a smokin’ hot Miami club, or swing away at one of Kissimmee’s many premium golf courses. An airboat tour of the Everglades is an unforgettable adventure – just look out for alligators! For the risk-averse, a lazy day spent on the soft sands of an Emerald Coast beach is as rejuvenating as a spa treatment.
Colorado is home to no less than twenty-six ski resorts such as those in Vail and Breckenridge; other winter activities include snowboarding, sledding, sleigh rides, snow hiking and snowmobiling. The state is blessed with national parks, grasslands and forests where in warmer weather you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking or rock climbing. Wildlife abounds, from bears to moose and raccoons to wolverines. More interested in local history? Head for either the Ute Indian Museum or the Koshare Indian Museum, and don't miss the forts such as Fort Garland and Bent's Old Fort. For a complete change, why not take a ride in a hot air balloon from South Park Valley or Boulder and admire Colorado's picturesque landscape from above?
- MinnesotaThe Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have the famous Mall of America and Walker Art Institute. Bluff Country to the south has water sports and cross country skiing. The Prairielands abound with lake recreations.
- MaineMaine has several unique regions, each with its own distinctive culture and activities. With miles of coastline, thousands of lakes, endless rivers and deep forests, visitors can find their perfect vacation spot, whether it's on a sandy beach, at a family campground or walking along Main Street in a bustling city or town. Maine is also known for abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in all four seasons, from swimming and boating in the warmer months to excellent skiing in the winter.
- VermontWith more than seventy-five per cent of its terrain covered by forests, Vermont is a state with wonderful scenery, in particular its autumn foliage. Its State parks with their mountains and forests offer endless opportunities for cycling, hiking, fishing, and in winter, skiing and snowboarding. If you are not the sporty type, Vermont has interesting historic sites as well.
- New York
New York is the ultimate city break destination as far as millions of tourists are concerned. There's fantastic shopping, wonderful restaurants, bars, theatres, museums and world famous landmarks. In the winter you can go skating in Central Park, in the summer you can hire a boat and go rowing on the lake. And all year round there's a great zoo.
Regardless of your family's interests, you will have no trouble filling a week's holiday in New York. The Empire State Building, the United Nations, Central Park with its wonderful zoo, Time Square and its various shops, the bright lights of Broadway and dozens of museums and art galleries. If you get even slightly bored, you can wander around Central Park looking for locations for famous scenes from films, and if you wander a little further you'll usually bump into a film crew. If you're interested in money saving, take care with sights such as the Statue of Liberty. You can spend a lot of money on a boat trip past the statue, but given that boats no longer land on Liberty Island, you might as well just take the Staten Island Ferry. It's free and you still get a great view. While looking at Liberty Island, many tourists will now also take in a trip to Ground Zero to pay their respects at the former World Trade Centre.
- New Jersey
Whether you are looking for sun-drenched beaches or outdoor activities in beautiful countryside, New Jersey has plenty to offer. Those who love the great outdoors should head for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which runs along the Delaware River for forty miles. Here you can go rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking or fishing, or simply admire the stunning waterfalls. There is a huge range of hiking trails to choose from as well as historic sites to visit. In winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing near Blue Mountain Lakes, and birdwatchers might be lucky enough to catch sight of bald eagles. If you are looking for a change, visit one of New Jersey's eleven lighthouses that are open to public, such as the one in Cape May. For art and history enthusiasts, New Jersey State Museum in Trenton has historic artefacts and American fine art from the nineteenth century to the present day as well as a Planetarium.
- Gold CoastSun-drenched and built for fun, Australia's Gold Coast hugs Queensland's southeast coastline with beaches, shimmering high rises, and epic surf breaks. Though it's hedonistic at heart, there's also plenty of opportunities for adventure and family-friendly attractions beyond its well-known party scene.
- DubaiDubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
- SeminyakSeminyak boasts some of the most glorious beaches in Bali. Be sure to catch the legendary sunsets and enjoy the tranquil beauty, and marvel at Balinese ceremonies on the beach, complete with gamelan players and offerings to the gods. Of course, don’t let the smooth sands and intricate cultural experiences distract you from spas and shopping! Sophisticated spas and high-end boutiques will entice you away from the waterfront—for a short time, anyway.
- Surfers ParadiseThe aptly-named Surfers Paradise is just that—a haven for those who pay homage to the gods of the sea by attempting to become one with the waves. The beach here is a golden stretch of soft sand that provides the perfect ambiance for a day of catching waves, catching a Frisbee or just catching some rays. Refuel at one of Surfers Paradise's 150 restaurants and cafes, or hit a Northside day spa to soothe your surf-weary muscles and smooth your sun-kissed skin.
- SanurThe postcard-perfect beaches of Sanur are truly idyllic, the realization of all those daydreams about Bali beach vacations. More laid-back than neighboring vacation destinations, Sanur is the type of place where hip Europeans who have outgrown the party scene come to recharge. Every year, the endless blue skies are peppered with flecks of vibrant color during the International Kite Festival.
- NoosaNoosa is a world-famous surfing destination, known for its expansive beaches and colourful bays. Hike across Noosa National Park's cliffs and forests, canoe through the Noosa River Everglades, kayak across the open sea or just bask in the sunshine on golden sand that stretches and sparkles for miles. A day trip to nearby Fraser Island, a World Heritage Site where lush rainforests mingle with dry sand dunes, is a unique experience not to be missed.
- SingaporeSingapore is known as a bustling metropolis that also happens to be one of the cleanest and safest cities of its size in the world. (Just make sure you heed the local laws—something like spitting in the street might merely be considered rude in your hometown, but here, it carries a severe penalty.) You'll find historic sites like the Thian Hock Keng temple, superlative shopping (including gargantuan malls) and numerous beaches.
- BrisbaneAustralia’s third-largest city, Brisbane is the hub of Queensland culture, offering a peek at the past and a glimpse into the future. Visit the historic Windmill and Old Commissariat Store, built by convicts in 1828, or fast-forward to the present (and beyond) with a trip to the new Gallery of Modern Art. Mingle with locals atop Mount Coot-tha, cruise the Brisbane River to South Bank’s sandy beach on the City Cat and make sure to fill the cuteness quota at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, home to koalas and kangaroos.
- CairnsCairns is the perfect city for merry revelers, passionate divers and adrenaline junkies, offering booming nightlife and heart-pounding adventure amid a vibrant, tropical setting. This friendly Queensland city of 130,000 is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown and the rest of Cape York Peninsula. Embark on an eco-adventure or take a dip in a lagoon pool before hitting the town to unwind and shake what you’ve got Down Under.
- PatongParty-hoppers flock to the wide and whimsical sands of Patong Beach. Mere minutes from the glittery chaos of Patong's many nightclubs, bars and discos, the golden beach is ideal for sunbathing, jet skiing, kayaking and parasailing. Lovers of leisure can spend the day relaxing on a sunbed under a colorful umbrella, lingering over treats from one of the vendors who stroll the sands.
- KutaKuta boasts the best beaches in Bali, a five-mile stretch of clean sand that is a magnet for surfers and sunbathers. When that golden sun goes down, the animals come out—the party animals, that is. Kuta nightlife is almost frantic, as global tourists bounce from restaurant to nightclub in an effort to soak up the Kuta experience like a well-dressed sponge.
- Nha TrangNha Trang is best known for its beautiful sandy beaches. But visitors will also find amusement parks, mud baths, golf, and the historic Po Ngar temple complex, as well as a variety of hotels and restaurants. Adventurous foodies can sample bun cha ca, a soup made from sailfish and jellyfish.
- OrlandoFrom the Magic Kingdom to magical spa treatments, Orlando sparkles with the promise of adventure. Spend a day exploring the world-famous Disney theme parks or screaming your head off on a Universal Studios roller coaster. For a less adrenaline-pumping afternoon, enjoy the quiet natural beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens or enjoy a seaweed scrub at a luxury day spa. Savor fresh and local ingredients at one of Orlando’s James Beard-nominated restaurants.
- UbudThe village cluster of Ubud is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage and soak up the ambiance of one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy star in the island's distinctively firm massage treatments. Ubud is also the vivacious centre of Bali’s arts scene, home to a small treasure trove of museums and galleries. Monkey around at nearby nature reserve Monkey Forest Park, home to hundreds of mischievous long-tailed macaques. Don’t miss the valley of tomb cloisters at Gunung Kawi.
- PattayaA visit to Pattaya is a wonderful way to explore the beaches along the Gulf of Thailand. Relaxed and family-friendly Jomtien Beach is a hot spot for watersports and seaside massages. The giant Buddha of Wat Khao Phra Bat keeps watch over the city, and the wooden Wang Boran Sanctuary of Truth pays homage to Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture. At night, tons of bars and strip clubs attract an adults-only crowd.
- AnaheimKnown as the home of “the happiest place on Earth,” there’s more to Anaheim than thrilling theme parks. Bring your appetite to the Anaheim Packing District and Centre Street Promenade for some eclectic eateries and award-winning craft breweries. Explore the latest exhibits at the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Centre. Enjoy live music at the all-new House of Blues, now at the Anaheim GardenWalk.
- DohaThe shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the country's population as well as expatriate communities from a range of origins. Shopping abounds in the city's plentiful malls, while the Corniche impresses visitors with picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbour. Doha boasts myriad cultural facilities, including the futuristic Education City and the National Museum.
- Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam's bustling largest city sets the cultural and economic pace for the country. The former Saigon boasts charming French colonial architecture and wide boulevards, usually thronged and choked with traffic. Taxis are an option for seeing the sprawling city. The War Remnants Museum shows the Vietnam War through Vietnamese eyes. Don't miss the impressive Jade Emperor Pagoda. Go to the frenetic Ben Thanh Market for food, flowers or frogs. Tour through the Mekong Delta, past rice paddies and houseboats.
- MacauFormerly administered by the Portuguese, this high-energy city on the South China Sea is world-famous as a gaming destination and has also begun attracting visitors with an increasing array of shows, entertainment, and nightlife. The city's historic center, with its rich blend of Chinese and European architecture and culture, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- AustraliaAustralia is as varied as it is enormous-- it is home to thriving cities, vast wilderness, and earnest, friendly people. Sydney is for sophisticates, with its famous opera house and annual Sculpture By the Sea outdoor art exhibits. Port Douglas makes a great base for snorkeling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, and quaint lighthouses keep vigil along the beaches of Byron Bay. Melbourne is a hub of rousing cricket activity, and the limestone pillars of the Pinnacles Desert are a natural wonder.
- ThailandThailand is a country of many contrasting facets, with glorious beaches as well as forests, jungles and mountains. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe or explore the wildlife, a family holiday in Thailand will never be dull.If you're looking for seaside relaxation, visit the beaches and bay of Hat Karon in Phuket with sand dunes and palm trees. The island of Ko Tao has coral reefs and is the place to go if you want to learn to dive, but you can also go mountain biking or just sunbathe on the beach. The Royal Barge National Museum in Bangkok houses several barges built for Thailand's kings; the beautifully detailed carving is quite breathtaking. Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park in Chiang Mai has a wealth of flowering plants and ferns as well as three hundred species of birds. If you're in the mood for a quiet spot, try the town of Sangkhlaburi; from there you can set off on an elephant trek or jungle tour. For mountains and forests, visit the north-western province of Mai Hong Son.
- VietnamThe jungles and monsoon forests of Vietnam are diverse ecosystems that are alive with unique wildlife. Trekking is a popular activity here, particularly the mountains of Sapa and the primeval landscape of Cuc Phuong National Park. For a more urban escape, take a guided food tour of Ho Chi Minh City, making sure to squeeze in visits to the historic Hoi Truong Thong Nhat palace and the intricately adorned Emperor Jade Pagoda.
- MalaysiaMalaysia is a beautifully complex vacation destination, a land where ancient rainforests give way to multicultural city life. Capital city Kuala Lumpur is visually defined by the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, while in charming Melaka the vibe is more quaint and historical. Many of the country’s national parks offer opportunities for fantastic whitewater rafting, and the exclusive Sipadan dive site (off the east coast of Borneo) is among the best in the world.
- JapanIn the Land of the Rising Sun, ancient temples sit alongside neon wonderlands and shinto shrines offer pockets of peace amid metropolises. Add tea ceremonies, snow monkeys, sushi, kimonos, and karaoke to the mix, and you’ve got one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
- MexicoWith 26 UNESCO-declared world heritage sites, charming colonial towns and dozens of thrilling cities, there's plenty to explore in this country of 109 million. Outside the cities, stunning Pacific beaches, stark deserts, mangrove swamps and swimming holes provide all you need for a relaxing, romantic or adventurous vacation. Captivating, cosmopolitan and chaotic Mexico City and the 32 states offer an incredible abundance of experiences, from laid-back and leisurely to upbeat to adrenalin-charging.
- PhilippinesWith more than 7,000 islands consisting of rice paddies, volcanos, mega-metropolises, world-class surf spots, and endemic wildlife, the Philippines is one of the most dazzling and diverse countries in all of Asia. Not to mention, it’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, too.
- GreeceGreece is one of those rare places where ancient history is still very much a part of modern life. Visitors are as much drawn to the country’s epic intellectual history as its beauty and charm. Make time for the iconic features of the Acropolis of Athens, which include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Mythology buffs will appreciate Crete, Olympia, Samos, and Naxos for their mythological significance. For a peaceful beach holiday, the island of Santorini is perfect.
- SpainFrom sun-drenched archipelagos and bustling urban cities to snowcapped mountains and semi-arid deserts, Spain epitomizes geographical diversity. As the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, this vast country offers some of Europe’s most dramatic landscapes, as well as some of its tastiest cuisine.
- CambodiaSet your own pace by cycling through Khmer ruins at Angkor Wat or pedaling the banks of the mighty Mekong. Trek off the beaten path on eco-adventures through the Cardamom Mountains, southern tropical islands or crater lakes of the remote northeast. Add urban adventure and hire a "motodop" taxi in Siem Reap.
- FranceThere's much more to France than Paris—from the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the lavender fields of Provence, and the French Riviera's celebrity-studded beaches. World-famous gastronomy and fine wines provide the perfect complement to the country's alpine views and architectural masterpieces.
- TürkiyeRisen from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, Türkiye is a land of cities and countryside, of ancient ruins and contemporary culture. Splash around the mud baths of Dalyan or scramble around the volcanic rock of Goreme. Visiting gorgeous Istanbul, of course, is a no-brainer. Whatever you do, don’t ever, ever skip coffee and desserts: enjoying flowery Turkish Delight and achingly flaky baklava is like a holiday for your taste buds.
- CroatiaCroatia has had a turbulent history but is establishing itself as an exciting destination great for all the family. Among other things, you may not be aware that the small Central European country pioneered fountain pens and invented the necktie. Aside from the pub trivia side of things, however, Croatia is a fantastic country steeped in history, and benefiting from the hot summers and mild winters of a Mediterranean climate.
- Sri LankaKnown by a flotilla of aliases, the Resplendent Isle is one of gorgeous beaches, tea plantations and ancient cities. Scuba dive, visit an elephant orphanage and a lagoon of singing fish, explore dense jungle, shrines and temples. Situated just 20 miles off India, the island formerly known as Ceylon is home to 20 million people and eight World Heritage sites. The country's long, brutal civil war ended in May, 2009, bringing peace, stability and a revival of tourism.
- PortugalPortugal’s Mediterranean charm is most prominent on the golden beaches of the Algarve; in the wilderness of the Azores islands; among the vineyards of Douro Valley; and on the cobbled streets of Lisbon and Porto, where old-world culture meets cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.
- SingaporeAs Asia’s undisputed capital of cool, Singapore’s street food, luxury lifestyle options, and sci-fi–like architecture entrance visitors from the very beginning. Top attractions such as the futurist feel of Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands casino symbolize the nation’s state of affluence.
- South AfricaFrom the verdant Garden Route to the sub-tropical coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s landscapes are as diverse as its attractions. There's something for everyone, whether you want to sip sauvignon blanc in Stellenbosch, explore Johannesburg, or spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park.
- ItalyFrom the silvery crests of the Alps to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Italy’s beauty is unparalleled. A visit could mean marveling at the Colosseum after a tender plate of pasta, or drifting lazily down a canal, your belly full of local Sangiovese. Explore Tuscan vineyards and olive groves or drool over boutiques in fashionable Milan. Look for mermaids from the cliffs of Sorrento or nibble on Parma’s famous cheese and prosciutto. Anywhere you choose, the country will captivate you.
- South KoreaWhile only 60 years ago South Korea was considered a developing country, it’s now one of Asia’s economic and cultural leaders. Super-chic Seoul combines modernism with ancient history; coastal Busan serves up rugged beach spots; and Jeju Island wows with volcanic landscapes and towering mountains.
- EgyptAn enigmatic treasure trove of almost unimaginable archaeological and cultural riches, it's hard not to think of Egypt without imagining the Sphinx, the pyramids at Giza, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the Nile. As well as being the world's largest open-air museum, Egypt also offers a slew of luxurious Red Sea resorts, many within reach of spectacular snorkeling, diving and windsurfing. Whether you see it by riverboat, from camelback or from just above the coral, Egypt's sights are unforgettable.