nemo’s 2023 Bucket List

nemo travel bucket list 2023

What’s going to define your travel story in 2023? Whether you’re planning that dreamt-of honeymoon trip, or a bucket list family escape, our travel experts are here to help and have picked their top bucket list suggestions for 2023 (wouldn’t get that on, would you 😉). Get ready to explore Ella’s rolling tea plantations, vibe with the cultural intensity of Jordan and discover a couple of exciting newcomers landing in the nemo destination collection. Attention grabbed by a particular one? Hit the ❤️ on the top right of each trip to start building your very own nemo bucket list. Let’s go!

James’ Top Pick: Wadi Rum, Jordan

For travellers who fancy disappearing off the map into a desert that feels like you’re on Mars. The Wadi Rum is the perfect destination for adventure seekers, photographers and nature lovers, or romantics wanting to escape the cliché European weekend breaks! This is escapism at its finest.

📍 Where to stay? Sahara Rum Camp – This stunning private camp is accessible only by camel, where dinners are cooked in a sand oven and savoured under the stars. A very special spot.

🌄 What to do? We can get you access to the only hot air balloon in Jordan, so you can see the moon-like landscapes from the best vantage point there is… you won’t find that on, either!

➕ Add to my bucket list... the wonders of Petra & Wadi Rum

This trip is perfect for a 5-day adventure with Jordan being just a 7-hour flight from the UK. You'll explore the Rose-Red City of Petra and glimpse the famous, candlelit spectacle, before venturing into the Wadi Rum's Mars-like lands for a desert adventure like no other.

5 days+
From £1000
Beth’s Top Pick: Ella, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is back open for business, yet remains blissfully quiet… now’s the time to explore before the rest of the world returns for more! Perfect for honeymooners or families undecided about their desired level of adventure, this breathtaking region has all the best parts of Sri Lanka rolled into one. Think jungle-fringed mountains, thundering waterfalls and those Insta-famous arches. Culture, romance and adventure, without the post-pandemic crowds? Sounds like the trip for us! 

📍 Where to stay? 98 Acres Resort & Spa – this stunning pad offers insane countryside views and is close to ancient local temples, tea gardens, and hidden hiking trails. It’s also just a short stroll to the railway station… will 2023 be the year you book that toy train ticket through Ella’s rolling tea plantations?

🥾 What to do? Walking boots at the ready, Ella’s tucked-away villages make the ideal base from which to hike and we’ll let you in on our favourite, lesser-trodden routes that afford next-level views.

➕ Add to my bucket list... a toy train trip through Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's variety is what makes it such an incredible place, and this multi-stop trip has something for everyone and is the perfect option for honeymooners seeking a blend of adventure and beachside bliss. Winding its way North to South, this journey ticks off the best bits of this wonderful little island.

10 days+
From £3500
Venetia’s Top Pick: South Coast, Iceland

Iceland’s south coast is the stuff of bucket list dreams and works well for both family adventures and romantic escapes. It’s also a great year-round destination (think lush hikes in the summer and snow-capped adventures in the winter months), that’s far enough away to feel like a real adventure but with a short enough flight time to maximise those out-of-office hours. It’s even doable over a long weekend, for those time-pressed travellers – we’ll make it work for you! This region offers an astonishing myriad of waterfalls, glaciers, milky-blue lagoons and iconic black-sand beaches.

📍 Where to stay? UMI Hotel – where minimalist design meets Iceland’s rugged wilderness, UMI is set on a stunning private stretch of black sand beach and offers amazing opportunities for Northern Lights sightings come nightfall.

🌈 What to do? Fancy taking things back an aeon or two? Pack your waterproofs and opt for one of our guided walks around (and behind!) the magnificent Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls for a thrilling immersion into the south coast’s rainbow-tipped geology. 

➕ Add to my bucket list... an Icelanic Road Trip

Soak up Iceland's most iconic sites on this self-driving tour that takes you through tectonic plate fissures, walking behind waterfalls and experiencing eerie black sand beaches.

5 days+
From £1500
Tom’s Top Pick: Masai Mara, Kenya

Perfect for a first-time Africa trip or for safari nuts who’ve seen it all, the Masai Mara works equally well as both an amazing honeymoon destination and that bucket list family trip. After his years spent managing safari lodges, Tom could wax lyrical about the Mara’s wildlife-peppered plains and cliff-teetering hideaways, but we don’t want to spoil the awe-inspiring introduction that’s best enjoyed first-hand. Add one of our Masai trips to your nemo bucket list and he’ll reveal his favourite hidden gems in the region, getting you away from the crowds and into the wilderness alongside our exceptional local guides.

📍Where to stay? Angama Mara – Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air’, this once-in-a-lifetime lodge is the epitome of safari luxury. We’d suggest combining it with a more rustic bush camp stint in Northern Kenya for an amazing, well-rounded safari adventure. 

🎈 What to do? If you haven’t already guessed by now, hot air balloons are one of our favourite experiences and the Masai Mara is one of our world-top places to enjoy this airborne spectacle. It’s an incredible experience year-round, but if you’re in the region from July to October you’ll have the chance to glide over the plains with the Great Migration below… simply unbeatable. Check out the pic that Tom took from his balloon vantage point when he worked there!

➕ Add to my bucket list... Attenborough adventures in the Masai Mara

Our top pick for romantics seeking a truly wild adventure and a touch of beachside luxury in an area of the world our nemo team know exceptionally well. Immerse yourself in tribal culture, let your Samburu and Maasai guides show you the landscapes they call home, and relax on the Kenyan Coast's sugar-white sands in the perfect romantic finale.

1 week+
From £2500
Sarah’s Top Pick: Taormina, Sicily

Sicily is the place to be for shoulder-season sunshine, and Taormina is Sarah’s top pick for an out-of-season escape. With its winning combination of wow-worthy views, sparkling waters and incredible cuisine, Taormina ticks many travellers’ boxes, from multi-generational families to serenity-seeking couples and work incentive retreats. It’s a real Sicilian delight, which you’ll know if you’re as obsessed with ‘White Lotus’ as we are.

📍 Where to stay? Hotel Villa Carlotta – An aristocratic 1860 Sicilian villa lovingly converted into a luxury boutique hotel, with all the earthy tones and sea-glancing views the romantic inside you could wish for.

🧑‍🍳 What to do? Follow in Tucci’s footsteps and immerse yourself in traditional Sicilian cuisine, learning from local ‘nonnas’ as you whip up recipes passed down through generations in a mouthwatering cookery class. 

➕ Add to my bucket list... A slice of Sicily and Salina

Explore the dramatic landscapes of Mount Etna and hop on a ferry to visit the charming isle of Salina before heading to the classy hilltop town of Taormina. Not enough? Build your itinerary and add more destinations to create your dream Sicilian getaway.

5 days+
From £800
Sophie’s Top Pick: Tbilisi, Georgia

For the budget-conscious traveller who doesn’t want to scrimp on the sense of discovery, Tbilisi is the place to be – particularly in spring, when the rainy weeks have passed, and the weather is warm and sunny. This forward-thinking capital was moved even higher up our radar after Sophie returned raving about its eclectic myriad of experiential offerings, from a buzzing techno scene to outstanding architecture and a general ‘European cool’ vibe. For travellers who’ve visited Venice and frequented Paris’ boulangeries, Tbilisi (and Georgia in general) should be the next spot on your city-hopping bucket list.

📍 Where to stay? Stamba – this oh-so-trendy spot has already caught the attention of travel’s top publications with its dynamic design and incredible restaurant and bar. This is the place to be in Tbilisi. 

🍽 What to do? Get your bearings with an in-the-know local and explore the Old Town; these cobbled streets hark back to ancient Eurasian crossroads, lined with countless cafes to try the local cuisine… and wine! Thirst quenched, it’s time to hop in the cable car and giddily gaze at the bird’s eye view of the ancient city below.

Culture and Cuisine in Georgia

A culture-rich route through the highlights of Georgia, combining eclectic city life, ancient monasteries and awe-inspiring landscapes with gourmet delights and vineyard rambles.

1 week+
From 3000
Laura’s Top Pick: South Luangwa, Zambia

Laura recently returned from a two-week stint in the Zambian wilds with tales of wilderness adventures to match Attenborough’s. For the young and adventurous, safari experiences in South Luangwa (which range from riverbed lunches to night drives and sleepouts) are intimate and thrilling, rarely will you encounter another jeep of wildlife enthusiasts. But it won’t be like this for long, as in-the-know adventurers turn their eyes to Zambia’s myriad offerings. Now’s the chance to explore this incredible country before the rest. 

📍 Where to stay? Puku Ridge – With permanent beds set up on the roof of each room, you can choose to sleep under the stars any night you feel like and retreat to the luxe interiors when the noises of the Zambian night get a little close for comfort. 

🐘 What to do? Walk between the safari camps. You’ll pack up and set off from one lodge shortly after breakfast with just your water, binos and camera whilst your luggage gets sent ahead by jeep. This beautiful, long walk is a superb chance to learn about the indigenous wildlife, as your expert guide reveals the secrets of the South Luangwa flora and fauna. Simply unforgettable. Mid-way through, you’ll arrive at a surprise bush lunch (for Laura this was set in a shallow river, so they sat with their feet in the cooling waters as their lunch was cooked alongside) after which you’ll make the final short stretch into a beautiful camp, where everything’s waiting for the start of your next stay.

➕ Add to my bucket list... a walk on the wild side in Zambia

Home of the walking safari and the mighty Victoria Falls, Zambia is a fantastic safari destination that gets you right off the beaten track and into the wildlife-filled wilderness where you'll sleep in luxurious lodges or out under the stars.

1-2 weeks
From £3800
Beatriz’ Top Pick: Alentejo, Portugal

Just a couple of hours south of Lisbon lie the captivating landscapes of Alentejo. Lushly dotted with olive groves, beautiful mediaeval villages and vineyards as far as the eye can see. This is the perfect place for foodies and wine lovers, with the plus of being known for having around 300 days of sun per year. It’s one of our top minimoon destinations for good reason. Here, mellow days here are spent cycling around ancient estates, swimming languid laps in your chosen bolthole’s outdoor pool and dining al fresco whether on a picnic rug or an appropriately rustic farmhouse table covered with delicious local produce. This is a land that lends itself in its entirety to slow travel, and we’re absolutely obsessed.

📍 Where to stay? After a lifetime of living and over two years of working in the region, Beatriz has curated a wonderful collection of Alentejo recommendations. One of her favourites is Montimerso SkyScape Country House, a dream-like escape that capitalises on the spectacular surroundings, this eco-retreat also offers a stunning infinity pool and plenty of space for nature walks.

🌌 What to do? Alentejo is renowned for having the clearest skies in Portugal, perfect for an after-dinner astronomical observation – we’ll hook you up with one of our residencies’ in-house astronomers who’ll take you on a tour of the night sky.

➕ Add to my bucket list... road tripping Portugal

Explore a different side of Portugal on this off-the-beaten-track minimoon adventure. Combining beautiful countryside and coastal landscapes with city breaks - this romantic itinerary gets you on the road through breathtaking vineyards and right into the heart of Portugal.

5 days+
From £1250