When you come to weigh your options for your next overseas break, then you might find yourself drawn to the same handful of popular destinations. A weekend in Paris, or the Amalfi coast, or the Caribbean, might all hold their own recognisable charm. The same might be said of a river cruise, which will take you through the best of what Europe has to offer.
This is all very well and good for most holidaymakers. But there’s something to be said for venturing from the beaten path. The world is filled with natural treasures, and many of them are worth seeking out. By going to a more obscure destination, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds, and get an experience that’s more authentic – which is to say, one that isn’t tailored with tourists in mind.
If you’re thinking of a driving holiday, where you’ll be putting in plenty of miles, then your mind might not immediately leap to the sun-baked Middle East. But Oman offers everything you could want from a road trip: long stetches of uninterrupted highway, flanked by sweeping deserts and soaring mountains. The security situation is favourable, too.
This east-Asian paradise has several things going for it. For one thing, it’s affordable – once your flights have been covered. For another, it’s beautiful, especially in the country’s north. There, you’ll find a wealth of stunning national parks that don’t attract much in the way of tourist traffic.
One of the reasons that Bhutan remains an obscure holiday destination is its geography. It’s a very small state, nestled in the Himalayas. As such, it’s perfect for those looking to hike up mountains to reach tiny little shrines, or to sample a cuisine which is unlike any other, being based on the unique local produce.
If you’re considering a Caribbean break, then this central American nation might not be the first destination you think of. But that’s because you might not have considered (or even been aware of the existence of) the three small islands that make of the Honduran Caribbean. The Bay Islands Department comprises Utila, Roatan, Guanaja, alongside a few others. They’re perched just alongside the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which makes them perfect for those looking to enjoy a snorkelling holiday.
This little archipelago sits just off the west coast of Senegal. Each island offers something just a little bit different from the next, which means that you can put together a fantastically diverse holiday with just a little bit of work. Make a point of visiting Boa Vista, which is among the more remote wildernesses, and the home of many sea turtles. Perfect, in other words, for those with an appreciation of the unspoilt natural world.