Known as the Tibet of Japan, the remote Iya Valley is tucked away in the mountainous interior of Shikoku, the least visited of the country’s four main islands. Tourism to the region took a leap forward when it hosted the World Rafting Championship in 2017 — putting its turquoise Class Four rapids firmly on the adventure-travel map. New ziplines and hiking trails are sprouting up in the canyons, while upgrades have been made to accommodations in the area’s traditional thatched-roof farmhouses, or minkas. Chiiori House is the most luxurious; the property also maintains an excellent portfolio of more affordable options. —Adam Harney Graham


Readings indicate that the seafloor off the French island's eastern shoreline is sinking at a rate of approximately 0.4 inches per month. — David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "French Island Might Be Sitting On Top of Gigantic Underwater Magma Shift," 20 Mar. 2019 Video from the scene showed black smoke still rising from the island more than an hour after the crash. — Jeffrey Collins, Fox News, "New military jet crashes, pilot ejects in S Carolina," 28 Sep. 2018 The Cambridges reportedly embarked on their trip to Mustique, a private island in the Caribbean, in mid-July after a fan spotted them at an airport in St. Lucia. — Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Is Back From Vacation with a Fresh Tan," 8 Aug. 2018 Both men saw their chance of the big time after Japanese forces attacked Shanghai’s Chinese districts in 1937, leaving the international concessions as islands in a sea of panic and devastation. — The Economist, "A gripping tale of Sodom sliding towards its bloody end," 12 July 2018 Higgins arrived on the island from Nevada in March without much Spanish, but brought 40 years of management experience. — Fortune, "Puerto Rico's Bankrupt Utility Has No Leader After Pay Scandal," 12 July 2018 The heavily forested Prince of Wales Island near the southern tip of the Alaska Panhandle is the fourth-largest island in the U.S. — Time, "All 11 People on Board Survived Alaska Plane Crash, Coast Guard Says," 11 July 2018 This island is the homeland of jamu, a traditional system of health and beauty treatments based on botanical ingredients. — Jennifer Goldstein, Marie Claire, "How To Spice Up Your Skincare Routine," 18 Jan. 2019 The little island of 23 million people off China’s coast is of great importance to Beijing. — Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump’s China strategy is the most radical in decades — and it’s failing," 18 Sep. 2018
Those with a predilection for high-thread-count sheets will soon be able to luxuriate at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, a ritzy boutique property with Carolina charm. In the meantime, discerning visitors can bunk at the swank Westin Poinsett, a historic hotel that was rescued from the wrecking ball in the late '90s, laying the groundwork for Greenville’s great Southern revival. —Rachel Tepper Paley
While São Paulo’s concrete sprawl doesn’t offer the verdant beauty or mythic beaches of Rio de Janeiro, its thriving art and food scene has in recent years transformed what was once just Brazil’s financial capital into its cultural epicenter. Stroll the city’s gritty alleyways and avenues to see where celebrated street artists Os Gemeos and Eduardo Kobra got their start. São Paulo’s Art Biennial, which is second to Venice’s in longevity, kicks off in September 2018 and showcases contemporary talent, both international and homegrown. For a truly immersive experience into Brazilian fare, don’t miss Alex Atala’s D.O.M., named one of the best restaurants in the world. Atala champions native ingredients — from priprioca root to ants, often foraged from the Amazon region by the chef himself — and weaves them into his inventive dishes. The arrival of luxe hotel brands is another signal of the city’s burgeoning cosmopolitan status. The prestigious Oetker Collection, with only nine other properties (in glitzy places like Seychelles and the Côte d’Azur), recently opened Palácio Tangará, a gorgeously appointed mansion set in leafy Burle Marx Park, a welcome oasis from the city’s high-rises. The Four Seasons will also debut a new property in mid 2018, marking the brand’s first foray in the country. —Karen I. Chen
Over the past few years, South Korea’s Gangwon Province has shed its sleepy past and come into its own as a prime winter-sports destination — a transformation that will take center stage during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (February 9–25). Ahead of the big event, the region will debut a new high-speed rail line that will whisk travelers from Incheon International Airport to the resort town in just 70 minutes, making it easier to access the Taebaek Mountains’ panoramic pistes and tourist-friendly attractions. Powder hounds will want to lodge at the InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort, which commands a prime location at the foot of the Alpensia ski slopes, steps from two Olympic-class runs, and is one of a handful of hotels built for the games. Break from all the outdoor action at the Ocean 700 indoor water park, complete with wave pools and tubing rides. —Talia Avakian
U.S. travelers have historically overlooked Mauritius in favor of other Indian Ocean destinations like the Seychelles and Maldives. That could all change, though, now that this remote, idyllic island some 1,200 miles off the African coast has become easier to reach. A flurry of new airline services launched at the end of 2017: KLM began servicing Mauritius from Amsterdam, and British carrier Thomas Cook Airlines introduced biweekly flights in November. Upon arrival, travelers can take in dreamy lagoon views from the newly reopened One&Only Le Saint Géran, fresh off a multimillion-dollar renovation. Every room and suite now has a private terrace or balcony, marble baths with cascade showers, and sophisticated teak, stone, and leather accents. Guests can also look forward to updated dining experiences — like lunch spot La Pointe, which grills fresh-caught seafood over firewood and coconut embers, or open-air restaurant La Terrasse, which offers Mauritian specialties. Unchanged at Le Saint Géran is its aura of exclusivity, thanks to the resort’s unique position on a private peninsula jutting out from the island’s eastern shore. —Melanie Lieberman
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