If the thought of popular holiday destinations such as Bali, Thailand and Hawaii send you snoozing then you’ll love these unconventional travel destinations that are off the beaten track.
Despite being completely off the grid, these remote locations often void of phone reception and Wi-Fi connectivity will have you mesmerised in wonder and awe at the incredibly diverse landscape, culture and history this world offers.
Book in your holiday leave, wipe the dust off your passport and get ready to switch off your mobile and explore an untapped corner of the world!
Pronounced ‘wa-ha-ka’, Oaxaca is nestled in the south of Mexico offering city and coastal scenes for those who want both adventure and retreat.
Travel Blogger Ash-lea Gazzola gives us the lowdown. “Oaxaca City and the state it’s located in are truly magical. It is home to a vibrant culture, traditions, art, ancient textile techniques, mezcal, the pacific coast and of course an amazing culinary scene.”
Ash-lea suggests that travellers should hit Puerto Escondido to camp out on the tropical beaches, see the Sierra Norte Mountains and stay in an isolated log cabin perched amongst the clouds and keep venturing down the south coast of the Pacific Ocean stopping by Casa Wabi to view the architectural buildings amongst nature.
“If you’re an inner hippy, head even further down the coast where you’ll reach the very minimal townships of Zipolite and Mazunte. It’s perfect for those who love surfing and yoga.”
If you’ve already seen the sights of Tokyo or Kyoto and want to know more about Japanese culture and history, consider a Tohoku tour to explore the spirit of samurai and magnificent temples whilst basking in the pristine nature.
Famous for rice, sake and whisky, this tour throughout the northern region of Japan highlights the Nikka Whisky Distillery, Oirase Gorge, Lake Towada and the Risshakuji Temple in Yamadera hidden away in the mountains.
This unique excursion wouldn’t be complete without seeing the ancient shrine of Shiogama and savouring fresh sushi in between sights. Take a cruise in Matsushima AKA ‘Little Kyoto in Tohoku’ to see the spectacular bay of islands close-up and wander the beautiful gardens at the Entsuin Temple.
Traditional tea rooms, castles, festivals and historical sites make up this jam-packed tour filled with seasonal experiences that are richly scenic and spiritual.
“This 14-day tour to less travelled places shows the beautiful landscapes of this region in Japan,” says Japan Explorer tour operator, Damian Jones. “Japan will not let you down. It is full of charms such as the stunning scenery, four clear and distinct seasons, culture, food and wonderful Japanese hospitality.”
Many busy workers seeking to escape the 9-5 rat race are signing up to health retreats in remote locations. If health and fitness travel is your thing, consider Wildfitness Zanzibar as your ultimate health and fitness travel destination.
Sheltered in natural surroundings, Wildfitness is located on the south-east side of Zanzibar in Chwaka Bay. This charming hideaway has bright, well-lit rooms with private balconies overlooking crystal clear turquoise waters, white sandbars and dense jungle forests. Accompanied with the breath-taking views of this stunning natural environment is a rich diversity of marine life, perfect for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. The Jozani Forest, birdlife and other small wildlife make up a holiday that is both peaceful but also productive.
With a strong emphasis on nature, this wellness experience offers education in being fit and healthy. The philosophy of wild eating, wild moving and wild living all underpins the notion that you can have time off, relax and unwind all whilst achieving your personal goals such as getting fit, losing weight or detoxing.
Samantha Lippiatt, Director of Health and Fitness Travel further adds, “When you have nature, you have a gym and that’s what Wildfitness Zanzibar is all about. Whilst the outdoors offers a daring challenge for anyone looking for a combination of nature, thrill and adventure, you will not be short of luxury and comfort.”
Swedish Lapland, Sweden
For an arctic destination offering a polar experience weather-wise, head to the northern region of Sweden in winter.
Travel Blogger Zoe Macfarlane says you can pack a load of activities into a short amount of time in what could be one of the most underrated vacations people can take.
“In five short days I went reindeer sledding, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing and enjoyed a beautiful spa in the mountains. I also stayed in quaint cabins nestled among the reindeers in the middle of nature and saw the infamous Northern Lights!”
The Swedish Lapland is also bursting with local produce such as lingonberries, freshly caught whitefish and of course, the finest roasted coffee that is typical of local Swedish culture.
For a true winter Christmas experience with snows, sleighs and all the trimmings, why not consider celebrating this festive time of year among merry locals at Camp Ripan, home to the great outdoors and warm winter nights by the fire.
Known for its geological wonders and crisp mountain air, Belogradchik presents many rock formations and picturesque horizons boasting caves, peaks, canyons and sandstones.
A hiker’s paradise and located in the north-western part of Bulgaria, Belogradchik is about as remote as you can get with the region overflowing with archaeological sites, museums and cultural centres recounting Thracian, Roman and Bulgarian history.
The Belogradchik Rocks are one of the most significant attractions in the town with cultural traditions including painting expositions, sculptures, wood carving and international festivals, national songs and dances.
Lonely Planet Writer Anita Isalska tells us why it’s her top pick. “Bulgaria sees saw-edged canyons and mountains spear the clouds. Hiking in this Balkan country, you can witness astonishing geological variety from blue-hued caves, peaks pushing almost 3000m high and sandstone pyramids straight out of a Salvador Dalí painting.”