Telegraph Travel tip: “Spring and autumn are the most beautiful times for cherry blossom (April) and fiery changing of leaves (November), though these months are when Kyoto is busiest. To avoid crowds, try early autumn – or late spring.” (Trips of a Lifetime: telegraph.co.uk/tt-kyoto)
Perfect package: Original Travel (020 7978 7333; originaltravel.co.uk) offers a 14-day Japan in Style trip from £9,870 a head, with flights.
15. The Galapagos
Ecuador’s fabled archipelago is almost as glittering a prize in the Pacific for 21st-century travellers as it was for Darwin in the 19th – swaddled in a “Lost World” ambience where marine iguanas bask on rocks, and giant tortoises lumber across lonely landscapes.
Telegraph Travel tip: “Each month has its highlights. Green turtles begin their egg-laying in January, penguins play around Bartolomé from May to September, humpback whales arrive in June, peak pupping season for sea lions is August.” (Trips of a Lifetime: telegraph.co.uk/tt-Galapagos-Trip-of-a-Lifetime)
Perfect package: Journey Latin America (020 3131 8374; journeylatinamerica.co.uk) offers a 16-day Ecuador’s Highlands and Galapagos trip that costs from £6,024 per person, flights extra.
Even if only once in life, even the biggest beach-phobe needs to walk on a sliver of tropical beauty, and confront their preconceptions with soft powder under their bare feet. Plenty of Caribbean locations would work. The Seychelles’ second island certainly will.
Telegraph Travel tip: “Praslin’s Unesco-listed Vallée de Mai, home to the rare coco de mer palm, is a must-visit.” (Best for honeymoons: Maldives, Mauritius or Seychelles: telegraph.co.uk/tt-best-honeymoon-destination)
Perfect package: A seven-night stay at the five-star Constance Lemuria – pitched at the west tip of Pralin, on the white sands of Anse Georgette beach – costs from £3,400 per person, including flights and breakfast, with Scott Dunn (020 3131 8481; scottdunn.com).
17. The Aegean
If the Indian Ocean offers the loveliest alliance of glorious coast and calm blue shallows, Greece’s inter-archipelago sea is not far behind it. True, the shoreline can be a little more rugged and pine-fragranced, but a week spent by the Aegean, sipping €5 (£4.40) wine from unmarked jugs at a waterside taverna, is surely one of European travel’s simplest, and yet truest, pleasures.