Do you really want to spend all that money, and time and effort planning, to go away to a place where you’ll be surrounded almost exclusively by English speakers? English pubs? English everything? If you’ve got that wanderlust then satisfy it properly and step out of your comfort zone- here are just 5 of the best holidays you mightn’t have known about…
5. FAROE ISLANDS
An archipelago north of Scotland, The Faroe Islands is a country belonging to the Kingdom of Denmark, halfway from Norway to Iceland (2 places we’ll cover in a minute). If you choose to adventure there, it will take you only 180 minutes on a plane from London, and you can expect to encounter breath-taking natural rock formations, undisturbed fishing villages and even wild Puffin colonies. It will be cold, yes. It will be hard to get signal, yes. But you can rest assured you’ll never have had quite as peaceful a holiday.
Carrying on the colder climate theme, Iceland’s volcanically active landscape is punctuated by both lava fields and glaciers simultaneously. Being that is characterised too by temperate climate and its hot springs and geysers, you needn’t spend much time being very cold. Iceland is also one of the best places in the world for whale watching!
3. BORNEO RAINFOREST
The third-largest island on Earth, Borneo, spans Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and is home to a 140 million year old rainforest. You can see Orangutans in their natural habitat, palm civets and tarsiers, and an array of endemic bird species living amongst the centuries old 60 metre trees.
2. LOFOTEN ISLANDS
Back over to the Arctic Circle, and you’ll find the largely undiscovered Lofoten Islands in Nordland, Norway. From there you can observe the Northern Lights, and in summer even the Midnight Sun. A quick image search will probably have you sold. There are seals, killer-whales and sea-eagles to see, as well as the famous Lofotr Viking Museum. The Guardian newspaper recommended Lofoten as one of the best places on the planet for kayaking, you can see the island from afar with a yacht charter, or get up close with some climbing and mountaineering; you could stay forever and be short of new experiences.
Hands down the best and most underrated destination. Some people I meet have never even heard of Croatia being an option. Croatia’s Adriatic Sea contains over 1000 islands with stunning white beaches and glass-like clear water. The Dalmatian coast stretches all the way from Zadar in the north, to Dubrovnik in the south, and has dozens of beautiful national parks on the way. You could be relaxing on paradise island beaches one day, and be only a short drive from miles of forest and dazzlingly blue waterfalls. There’re quiet old towns that put you in mind of Italy, and grand old castle battlements that attracted tourists long before Game of Thrones began to film there. As a seasoned traveller I implore you to give it some thought, I defy you not to have the best holiday you nearly didn’t know existed.