Tim Chester, Web Editor: From the Turner Contemporary gallery to the proliferation of other indie art spaces, retro shops and cute cafés in the Old Town, Margate now offers much more than its beautifully dilapidated seafront. Dubbed “romantic, sexy and weird” by local girl Tracey Emin, this gem on the Isle of Thanet constitutes one of the highlights of the forthcoming Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex and Surrey for many good reasons.
Stephen Keeling, Author, The Rough Guide to Puerto Rico: It has the palm-smothered beaches, the year-round sun and as much deep-sea fishing, diving and surfing you can handle, but there’s far more to Puerto Rico. Much of the coast remains incredibly raw, lined with miles of untouched white sands. And the island’s rich stew of cultures has produced an exuberant array of festivals, tantalizing criollo food, the finest rum in the world and a dynamic musical tradition that gave birth to salsa.
Alice Park, Editor, Pocket Rough Guide Berlin: Berlin’s post-reunification reinvention is well known, but a couple of other East German cities have also transformed themselves. Leipzig has a thriving art scene, but the Saxon jewel is Dresden. The city has rebuilt its Baroque splendours, piecing together its former architectural masterpieces and becoming a confident, stylish city in the process. However, the big surprise is that its nightlife can rival the capital’s, its Neustadt bar scene is quirky and a lot of fun.
Alison Roberts, Contributor, Europe on a Budget: Encircled by handsome stone walls and piercingly clear sea, Dubrovnik boasts plenty of pluck beneath its lustrous exterior. With Croatia set to join the European Union in July 2013, prices in this already expensive city will rise accordingly; a savvy visit next spring would be well rewarded.
Olivia Rawes, Editorial Assistant: Long established as the cultural hub of eastern Slovakia, Košice has now received wider recognition as the European Capital of Culture 2013. Along with opening and closing ceremonies in January and December to celebrate the award, Košice’s annual White Night Festival on 5th October promises to illuminate the city at night, turning it into an interactive space packed with musical and light installations.
Andy Turner, Editor, The Rough Guide to Cyprus: More and more travellers are discovering Turkish-controlled north Cyprus’s wealth of ancient sites, trekking trails and pristine beaches, now within an easy day-trip from the south. Highlights include Kyrenia harbour, the fairytale Crusader castle of Buffavento and Bellapais village, once home to writer Lawrence Durrell.
Monica Woods, Managing Editor, Europe: Get away from the crowds and the gloom, both meterological and economical, to somewhere that's weathered a headline-hitting crash and havoc-wreaking volcanic eruption and come out the other side. Leave Reykjavík to the hedonists and opt for a natural high hiking through Jökulsárgljúfur National Park to see Europe’s largest waterfall, the jaw-dropping Dettifoss.
Lucy Kane, Travel Editor: Spring 2013 marks the opening of the all-singing, all-dancing ABBA Museum – dedicated entirely to the fame and fortunes of the 1970s hit pop group –
in the brand new Music Hall of Fame on Stockholm’s island, Djurgården.
Glittering costumes, instruments and personal mementoes will all be on show,
livened up with dancing holograms of the famous four and snippets of their
much-loved music, and adding to this great city’s considerable charms.
Shafik Meghji, Co-Author, The Rough Guide to Chile: One of the most distinctive cities in Latin America, with colourful houses draped across a series of steep, undulating hills overlooking the Pacific, Valparaíso has an edgy, bohemian atmosphere, character-filled cobbled streets, and wonderful turn-of-the-century architecture, plus some of Chile’s best restaurants and bars.
Jo Kirby, Publisher: Burning Man festival is legendary, but if the Nevada desert is too far to travel you can get a taste at Nowhere, its sister festival in the desert of northern Spain. Taking place in 2013 from 9–14th July, the same principals of gifting and self-reliance apply – plus a dedication to hedonistic self-expression like nowhere else on earth.
Los Monegros in Aragon, Spain © nito/Shutterstock