Where: Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city after Moscow.
Why: Saint Petersburg is a site of epic European revolt and intrigue. Whilst the historical narrative still spills out into in the streets into bars, through sumptuous palaces and elegant parks it resides cheek by jowl with cutting edge contemporary culture in this majestic city.
Highlights: The Alexander Nevsky Monastery, State Hermitage Museum, Mariinsky Theatre
When: May to September is best, with White Nights the peak. Winter is cold and dark, but beautiful. Go in early May and September to avoid the crowds.
Why: Iceland is weird, wild and wonderful: otherworldly landscapes, enormous glaciers, thermal baths, waterfalls, volcanoes and a buzzing city life.
Highlights: Gullfloss waterfall, Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Aurora Borealis.
When: In summer, the sun is out at midnight and the temperature is warmer. For hiking, the best season is July and August February, March. September and October are typically best for the Northern Lights.
Why: You can’t help be mesmoized by the fusion of Mesoamerican cultures that contributed to making Mexico world’s greatest civilizations. From Ciudad Juárez to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc to the misty highlands of Chiapas you’ll fall in love its coasts, jungles, volcanoes and cities, not to mention the delicious food!
Highlights: Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City, Yaxchilán, Chiapas
Why: The vast, isolated country of Egypt in the North Eastern corner of African is central to studies of the world’s oldest civilisations. With Ancient Greeks and Romans visiting to awe a the pyramids and the French and British looting Egypt to fill their museums, you could say Egypt is the oldest tourist destination on earth.
Highlights: Travelling down the Nile by Felucca boat, The Valley of the Kings, Aswan, Cairo, The Sphinx, Luxor we could go on!
When: Temperatures are generally high, particularly during the summer months from May to August, when the sun can be very strong through the heat is more dry than humid.
Why: Early Christian places of worship lie atop classical ruins next to Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains, neighbourhood trattorias, artisan shops and plenty of places for an aperitivo.
Highlights: The creepily fascinating tucked-away Christian catacombs, The Colosseum, beautiful San Clement, The Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and of course everyone goes to the Spanish Steps
When: Aside from the sweltering summer months, there is no bad time to visit Rome. October to April is a delight, particularly when the tourist throngs that swell the Vatican have dissipated. Spring and autumn are the busiest tourist seasons. Winter, from mid-January into the first week of March can also be a great time to come if you’re lucky with the weather.