This year is the year of alternative travel destinations! More and more people decide to explore places that are not usually on most popular destination lists. There are lots of advantages: there are no herds or tourists, historic sites are usually well preserved and nature is mostly unspoilt. Here are our favourite alternative places to explore.
Tip: if you want to discover more about off the beaten track hotspots, have a look at this interactive map by Schofields! It features some fantastic destinations, with amazing pictures and a bit of information about each hotspot.
Aquaba is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for an alternative destination with lots of different aspects. It’s Jordan’s only coastal city, with sandy beaches, colourful reefs and sunken ships that will transport you years back in time. Aquaba’s old town has more history to offer, with archaeological remains from centuries ago.
The city of Aquaba is part of Jordan’s Gold Triangle, together with Petra and Wadi Rum. Aquaba is a great base to explore these other two. If you are more of a laid-back traveller you don’t have to worry either, as Jordan gets plenty of relaxed travellers like you. Enjoy a drink by the pool in the sunshine and if you’re feeling up to it, explore the local cuisine at the food stands in the marina.
If you are exploring Iceland this year you are in for a magical treat. This island is full of dramatic landscapes and fascinating culture. You will most likely start your holiday off in Reykjavík, the capital. A quirky city with fun bars and cafés, and a good place to start off your tour of the Golden Circle. This takes you past amazing waterfalls, geysers and more fantastic scenery.
Of course a night hoping to see the Northern Lights is inevitable, as well as some whale watching and tasting the local produce. Of course this includes mostly fish, but are you brave enough to try hákarl – feremented shark? If you are visiting Iceland between April and August, you will have a good chance to see puffins. These fantastic, adorable creatures settle down in Iceland in the summer months.
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Visiting a lesser-known destination is always a good idea for those who want to go off-the-beaten path and be surprised at what they’ll find. Romania’s capital Bucharest is a city of contrasts: communist architecture mixes with Western skyscrapers and French-inspired villas from the 1900s. In contrast, the cities of Brasov, Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca have a strong medieval feeling and are perfect to set up base and go on tours in Transylvania. Romania’s Carpathian Mountains offer dramatic landscapes and are perfect for hiking. They’re also known as Europe’s last wilderness reserve, home to the largest brown bear population.
Romanians are hospitable people and they enjoy sharing a rich meal with guests and sharing stories. What’s Romanian food like? Simple and delicious, made with home-grown products from locals’ backyard as small-scale agriculture still exists. So there are many reasons to consider Romania for your next holiday!
Of course most of the Mediterreanen can hardly be called ‘alternative’. But the island of Corsica is a fantastic destination where you won’t find herds of tourists (yet!). The landscape of the island is incredible diverse, ranging from sandy beaches and glistening blue waters to rugged mountains and valleys. Also, it is no surprise that the island is popular amongst hikers, who try out the 180-kilometre-long trail from the north to the sound of the island.
Don’t let this put you off if you are more of a relaxed traveller. Corsica is known as a ‘laid-back’ retreat, with it’s indulgent food and drinking culture. Try a local Pietra beer and enjoy a chilled afternoon at the beautiful Pinarello beach. Tip: Corsica is quite hard to explore without transport, so you might want to consider renting a car.
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Where will explore next?