Australian tastemakers reveal their top bucket list destinations

If you’re anything like us, your travel bucket list grows as at an exceptionally rapid rate. Much faster than our “places we’ve been” list, sadly. Whether it’s a postcard-like travel image you scroll past on your Instagram feed, a wanderlust-inducing travel story in your favourite glossy, or simply a happy snap from a family member on vacation, our travel wish-lists are always on the rise. But what desirable destinations are on everyone else’s travel wish lists? We asked some of the country’s most admired tastemakers to share their travel bucket lists for yet another good dose of travel inspiration. Warning: Your bucket list is guaranteed to grow once again.

Paula Joye, editor, stylist and founder of TheJoye.com

Santiago and Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @shetravelsbarefoot.

Havana, Cuba. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @shetravelsbarefoot.

“I have such a romantic ideal of Cuba and the literature, music and art the cities of Havana and Santiago have created and inspired.

Havana is fast becoming a well-worn tourist destination, but I’m desperate to lose myself in the colour and architecture of its streets. I can almost taste the mojito in the palm-filled deco bar at the Hotel Saratoga.

Santiago in the east of Cuba is the heart of Afro-Cuban culture and surrounded by incredible nature. The dream would be to visit during Carnival of Santiago de Cuba held at the end of July every year.”

Road trip around Norway

Lovatnet Lake, Norway. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @himalayan_insta_travel.

Lovatnet Lake, Norway. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @himalayan_insta_travel.

“I have always been fascinated by Norway. I imagine it’s even calmer, cleaner and more refined than Switzerland. This is the country I would like to watch the Northern Lights from (which is also on the travel bucket list).

I would like to take my time and drive around this country. Norway is vast so I am going to need at least two weeks — I’d like a month! I’d like to cruise through the snow wall highways; drive to Kjeragbolten and Lovatnet Lake in Loen; ride the car ferries through the fjords; and end up at the Artic Circle where there is 24 hours of sunlight a day. I’m also going for the brown cheese, slated liquorice and sour cream porridge.”

Eat, Pray, Love in Sicily

Sicily, Italy. Photo courtesy of The Thinking Traveller.

Sicily, Italy. Photo courtesy of The Thinking Traveller.

“This is my bucket list destination in Italy. I want to rent a castle and learn how to make every single one of their native dishes. Unlike other regions, Sicilian food has influences from Arabia, Spain and Greek (going all the way back to invaders) which make its Italian cuisine different and the most delicious.

I will walk off all the food by exploring the pristine beaches that wrap over 1000km of the coastline and by visiting some of the important archaeological sites. Then there are the vineyards...”

Heleena Trahanas, co-founder of Alex and Trahanas + PR & Marketing Manager at Dinosaur Designs

Ischia, Italy

Ischia, Italy. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @ananewyork.

Ischia, Italy. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @ananewyork.

“I am intrigued by this untouched island which is a little less travelled — well, for now anyway. I’m curious to explore Capri’s less ostentatious neighbour and more mysterious sister. It has some of the oldest and best thermal baths in the world, uncrowded beaches, and Mezzatorre Hotel — the newest of the Il Pellicano Hotels to arrive on Ischia.”

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain. Photo courtesy of    See Mallorca   .

Mallorca, Spain. Photo courtesy of See Mallorca.

“The beaches look incredibly cute in Mallorca, like little hidden emerald gems. I love the look of the green painted wooden doors which float on Torrent de Cala Pi and Cala Llombards — location, location!”

Road trip through The Peloponnese, Southern Greece

Mystras, Greece. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @sacred__secret.

Mystras, Greece. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @sacred__secret.

“I’d love to experience Greece without the tourists by road tripping through the rugged landscape of the Peloponnese in Southern Greece. Discovering Laconia, followed by Koita in the Mani peninsula and finishing up in the ancient town of Mystras.”

Myra Perez, founder of My Violet

Japan

Fukushima, Japan. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @gaku_shimada.

Fukushima, Japan. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @gaku_shimada.

“I’ve dreamt of going to Japan ever since I watched Memoirs of a Geisha. There is a famous scene where Chiyo stands amongst the blossom trees and the wind is blowing gently and it looks like pink snow falling around her — I’d love to experience that!

As a florist, I’m positive that standing amongst endless rows of trees bursting with cherry blossoms would be magical. Sadly though, April happens to be one of our busiest times at work so I’m yet to find a year to make it over.

I’m also a huge fan of Japanese food, although I’ve heard its very different to what we have here in Australia and that sushi trains are hard to come by, which I find interesting. I’m eager to try all the different varieties of Japanese cuisine and Sake!”

Chile 

Santiago, Chile. Photo courtesy of    Discover Chile   .

Santiago, Chile. Photo courtesy of Discover Chile.

“Chile has a plethora of natural beauty, and as a florist, it’s a must on the bucket list. I feel travellers can get the best of all the seasons in Chile and I wouldn’t say no to sampling a few empanadas — just the thought of them now makes my mouth water!

I’m keen to see the snow-capped mountains of Santiago; trek the Andes; walk amongst the natural beauty of rivers and lush green terrain; and experience Patagonia’s marble caves.  And perhaps I’ll finish off with a swim in the crystal clear turquoise water.

Coupled with the exquisite environment, I think the Chilean culture would be also be highlight. Coming from El Salvador myself, the Central and South American music, dancing and food are already close to my heart and are part of me. I now want to see how the Chilean’s do it!”

Iceland

Iceland. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @untitledshot.

Iceland. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @untitledshot.

“Where do I begin?! The northern lights, sunsets at midnight… Just the thought experiencing of 24 hours of daylight blows my mind. I want to go whale watching and I want to see a Puffin! To me, the pictures I’ve seen of Icelandic glaciers look like enormous, glowing blue sculptures. 

I’m fascinated as to what Icelandic cuisine would consist of, especially considering that it’s such a remote part of the world. I’m curious to taste what the locals cook and eat daily, and am interested how they manage to farm in such harsh conditions, yet still produce such amazing quality. No doubt I’ll be eating a lot of oily fish dishes! I’m a big kid at heart — who doesn’t want to see where Santa comes from?!”

Romy Frydman, stylist, photographer and founder of Style Me Romy

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @itaydubnov.

Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @itaydubnov.

“This fast paced, live-every-moment city is where I’m planning to visit next year. If there's a beach and great company, I’m always at my happiest and I know a trip to Tel Aviv will be exactly that.”

Deià, Majorca, Spain

Deià, Majorca, Spain. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @bettinalooney.

Deià, Majorca, Spain. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @bettinalooney.

“I love the idea of Deià’s romantic landscape of olive, orange and lemon groves. The pretty, small coastal village in Majorca was also home to a number of artists and poets that I admire so it’s incredibly rich in inspirition and culture, too. I also just love anything Spanish.”

Florence and Tuscany, Italy

Florence, Italy. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @lorenzo_biag88.

Florence, Italy. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @lorenzo_biag88.

“Italy is a place I can never get enough of. This summer, I stayed at Conca del Sogno on the Amalfi Coast which was the most idyllic place. And now, I would love to see more of inland Italy. Tuscany, especially Florence, is at the top of my bucket list as I have never been before.”