Looking for the next “it” destination? You might be searching on the wrong continent.
The travel industry, like any other, is subject to trends that tend to dictate consumers’ choices more than they really should. One year, all of Williamsburg is on the same plan to Tulum; the next, everyone’s headed to Reykjavik. Every destination has its wonders, but there’s no need to follow the crowds. Here are four places to explore before all their unique wonders appear on the cover of Du Jour.
Worried about political tensions between Iran and the US? Many Iranians are encouraging Americans to come experience Iranian hospitality. Among the can’t-miss destinations are the many ancient ruins, including Persepolis Gate (pictured), the Grand Bazaar of Tehran, the Emerald Mosque in Shiraz, the entire city of Isfahan, and no matter the location, delicacies such as caviar and tender saffron-rosewater rice.
Where to stay: If you’re traveling through the Isfahan Province, try the well-reviewed Saraye Ameriha Boutique Hotel. In the Tehran Province, stay at the Tooba Hotel, which received a perfect 5 stars on Google.
Sri Lanka hasn’t been making much news lately…and that’s a good thing. The once-tumultuous island formerly known as Ceylon is famous for the tea plantations in its mountainous inland region, but it has a lot to offer any visitor. From churches and Hindu temples to national parks, museums, and wildlife — not to mention the two-thousand-year-old ruins of Sri Lanka’s ancient capital. There’s an incredible variety of cultural activities to partake in, and the local dishes, heavy on coconut, spice, and seafood, are worth writing home about. The ocean sunsets (see featured image) alone have us searching for flights.
The kingdom of Bhutan regulates tourism to maintain a “high value, low impact” tourism industry. The goal is to preserve the pristine environment of the country, which is a biodiversity hotspot, while also helping develop the local economy. Visitors can enjoy hiking and birdwatching in one of the many national parks, enjoy the spicy, flavorful cuisine, try out spirituality and wellness activities, and witness the celebrations for religious festivals.
This small African island nation, known as Cabo Verde in the national language of Portuguese, may be obscure to American travelers, but it’s got the natural beauty, nightlife, and laid-back energy of artsy tropical destinations like Goa, India, or Chiang Mai, Thailand. Cape Verde’s vibrant music scene has produced internationally renowned artists like Cesária Évora and is still exciting today.