This year, take the road less travelled and make plans to visit lesser known destinations that are no less impressive and beautiful.
For an unforgettably unique and original holiday, here are seven underrated destinations for 2016, as picked by guided holiday company, Trafalgar.
The Seto Islands, Japan
The Seto Inland Sea lies between the green mountains of the island of Shikoku and the coast of the mainland Honshu, where Hiroshima sits. The sea is home to as many as 3,000 islands and islets with five of them forming a trail between Shikoku and Honshu. They are connected by the Seto Island Bridge which lets you travel across the remote islands with breathtaking views of the sea.
A rural town nestled in the green hills of Panama, Boquete is a coffee lover’s paradise as the area is known for its coffee plantations. Here, visitors get a first-hand look at how their favourite drink is made. The indigenous Ngobe-Bugle live off the plantations, picking ripened coffee berries to be made into beans. From the town, you can also explore the surrounding mountains.
Terra Nova National Park, Canada
With 400 square kilometres of forest, meadows, ocean inlets and a coastline marked by rocky cliffs and beautiful bays, Terra Nova National Park is the perfect destination for the nature lover. Located on the east coast of Newfoundland, escape into nature to explore and discover the various flora and fauna in the untouched wilderness.
El Cajas National Park, Ecuador
For a taste of adventure, the El Cajas National Park in the Ecuadorian highlands is home to rare wildlife like the giant humming bird and the elusive puma and is the site of ancient Incan ruins. Located at an altitude of between 3,100 and 4,450 metres above sea level, the park boasts a stunning landscape of forested mountains, valleys, glacial lakes and lagoons.
The historic commune of Rocamadour looks like a scene straight out of a fairy tale, sitting on a sloping, forested cliff face overlooking a tributary of the River Dordogne. Its monastic buildings are a revered pilgrimage site where historic sight like the wooden Black Madonna carving can be seen. If you’re feeling peckish, be sure to try the region’s goat’s cheese, named after the commune, and local organic walnuts.
Connemara, lying on the west coast of Ireland, is marked by mile after mile of rugged landscape. In this beautiful countryside, visit the quaint, windswept coastal town of Clifden which looks out across the Atlantic Ocean and small surrounding islands, or the Kylemore Abbey, founded by Benedictine nuns.
Lake Orta, Italy
Lake Orta, Italy – Take in the rustic landscape of Lake Orta, Italy, known as Cinderella to the local villagers for its beauty. – Pic courtesy of Trafalgar, January 27, 2016.
Lake Orta may be the least known among northern Italy’s great lakes, but its surrounding mountains and woodlands has earned it the name Cinderella from the local villagers. The rustic surroundings and Romanesque and Baroque architecture of the lakeside village makes it the choice pick for those in the know.
If you’d like to visit these underrated destinations, Trafalgar offers a series of guided tours. Visit www.trafalgar.com for more information.