Recently, we covered the holiday destinations in Britain that you probably didn’t know about (link to “domestic holidays you didn’t know about” blog). Now, we’re back with more hidden gems, but this time we’re casting our net further afield to cover the rest of the world and bring you holiday destinations you probably haven’t thought about in Europe, South American, Asia and beyond.
Cat Ba Island, Vietnam 🇻🇳
Head to Northern Vietnam’s Cat Ba Island for some seriously impressive sights. Pick a hotel and then begin your adventure discovering jungles, caves and waterfalls on an island with beauty at every corner of this delightful island.
Bazaruto Island, Mozambique 🇲🇿
We’re feeling the island vibes at the moment, and Bazaruto Island in Mozambique will see you declare love at first sight. It’s known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” and is a little slice of paradise with its majestic landscapes sitting off the Limpopo River and the ocean. From dunes to corals to hammocks suspended in the middle of the blue sea, everything about Bazaruto Island is pure scenic bliss.
Tbilisi, Georgia 🇬🇪
Tbilisi is set in an enchanting valley filled with a postcard-perfect Old Town, eye-catching architecture, and an array of fantastic restaurants, cafes, and bars. The city is known as the beating heart of Georgia with its buzzing atmosphere and is filled with everything from hipster vibes to cosmopolitan charm. Make sure you visit the Narikala Fortress, an ancient landmark overlooking the city and the Mtkvari River.
Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia 🇲🇰
If you fancy holidaying around freshwater lakes, rolling hills, small towns and waterfront monasteries, then book your trip to Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia. There’s also a national park nearby where you can hike to the top of a hill and admire the views of North Macedonia, Greece and Albania.
Nantes, France 🇫🇷
Everyone talks about Paris and Nice in France, but try something a little different with a visit to Nantes. It’s a unique city with modern vibes and a visitor-friendly atmosphere. Check out landmarks like Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, a delightful 13th-century castle filled with history. Then there’s Passage Pommeraye, a shopping arcade that dates back to 1843.
Doha, Qatar 🇶🇦
Everyone books holidays to Dubai in the UAE, but Qatar showcases the best of the Middle East’s culture, architecture and urban buzz without the tourist fanfare. It’s more down to earth than Dubai, making it a great place to visit for an even more authentic Middle East experience. Spend time in the local souks and trendy museums before enjoying a great food scene in this stylish city.
Isfahan, Iran 🇮🇷
Each year, a growing number of holidaymakers visit Iran, and Isfahan is at the top of their list. While the country still isn’t your typical tourist destination, the city of Isfahan is a cultural centre and former capital of Iran. There’s everything from quaint boulevards to bazaars and crowded squares with people going to the Mosque of Imam, which features a striking blue dome that dominates the city.
The Kimberley, Australia 🇦🇺
The next time you take a trip Down Under, forgo Sydney and Melbourne for The Kimberley, one of the world’s largest and oldest landscapes. This will be a holiday like no other, and it’s just about as remote as they come. Here, you can hike through canyons, swim in freshwater pools set under waterfalls and walk along beaches with the whitest of sands. Pure bliss.
Matera, Italy 🇮🇹
Sure, you want to be a fashion icon in Milan or discover history in Rome, but why not give Matera a try? This ancient limestone village in southern Italy is a wonderful place to do a spot of hot air ballooning before visiting its caves to discover a truly unique place in the Mediterranean.
Northern Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has become an increasingly popular holiday destination. It’s a favourite with backpackers, who love to explore the beauty of the country. Our advice is to visit the northern part of Sri Lanka, a largely unexplored area with crystalline blue waters, scrumptious food and temples full of colour. Round your trip off with a visit to Jaffna, a vibrant city full of buzz.
Busan, South Korea 🇰🇷
Busan is a port city with a little bit of everything, from a bustling urban centre to mountains and beaches. It’s the second-largest city in the country behind Seoul, but as South Korea isn’t typically high up on tourist hotspot destinations, it remains largely untapped. Head to Busan for great seafood, natural hot springs and plenty of culture found in the city’s neighbourhoods, cafes and nightlife.
Costa Palmas, Mexico 🇲🇽
Spend some time in Mexico by visiting Costa Palmas. It’s a quiet, luxury resort with high-end hotels like the Four Seasons and Amanvari (just to give you an idea of the five-star expectations) set in Costa Palmas. Oh, and you’ll love spending time lazing the days away on the white sand beaches.
Roatán, Honduras 🇭🇳
Roatan is a picturesque island in Honduras and a place to go if you love diving and hiking. It’s filled with majestic beaches, coral reefs and beautiful jungles for you to visit. Honduras also doesn’t see as many travellers as other Central American nations, so hurry up and enjoy pure bliss on this island before Central America’s best-kept secret is out of the bag.
Holiday destinations you haven’t thought about
While it can be tempting to stick to the tried and tested holiday spots, why not plump for something a little different the next time you fly away? Any one of the places on our list will leave an impression, and you can beat the crowds and enjoy places that are off-the-beaten-track and just waiting to be discovered.