(CNN) — A lot of end-of-year traditions are a little different in 2020.
The annual “Where to Travel” lists revealed by big-hitter adventurers National Geographic and Lonely Planet are no exception.
Faced with a world where travel is often currently difficult, inadvisable or impossible, the publishers’ 2021 lists — both released Tuesday — have gone for a more ruminative approach.
Rather than an invitation to throw your sarong in your case and hotfoot it to the airport, the lists are intended to serve as inspiration for future adventures, whenever they may be.
Here the reader will find stories describing “conservation successes, preservation achievements, cultural resilience, and tales of communities overcoming daunting obstacles to thrive despite the pandemic,” says National Geographic in a release.
Greece has opened its first underwater museum off the coast of Alonissos. Attendees can explore the remains of an Athenian merchant ship by sea or by virtual reality.
The sustainability category celebrates six superlative destinations across Europe, Africa and the United States.
Florida’s Space Coast is honored in the Family section, as well as the nearly completed England Coastal Path, which at 4,500 kilometers will the be the world’s longest seafront walking trail.
Located in the Danakil Depression, Erta Ale is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
Massimo Rumi/Barcroft Media/Getty Images
Asia and Oceania are under-represented on the list overall, but it recovers some ground in the culture/history category, with three destinations selected.
The picks include Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, which played a strategic role in World War II, and Gyeongju, an ancient capital in South Korea that is so teeming with artifacts it’s known as “the museum without walls.”
“While the pandemic has brought journeys to a standstill, it’s not quieted our curiosity,” says George Stone, executive editor of National Geographic Travel, in a release. “The world is full of wonders — even when they’re hard to reach.”
A diver explores the coral reefs around Lord Howe Island.
National Geographic’s Best of the World 2021
New Caledonia, France
Gabon, Central Africa
England Coastal Path
Space Coast, Florida
Indigenous British Columbia, Canada
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Katmai National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Isle Royale, Michigan
Cerrado savanna, Brazil
Lord Howe Island, Australia
New Mexico, road trip
Bitoria-Gasteiz, Alava, Basque Country, Spain
Gyeongju, South Korea
Tonglu, Zhejiang Province, China
This story has been updated to reflect the addition of Alaska’s Katmai National Park to National Geographic’s list.
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