Looking to holiday somewhere a little different?  Here are some of the best places to visit that you might not have heard of before:

10. Vava’u, Tonga

Vavau is a beautiful place to travel Photo via Msdstefan 

Vava’u is a tropical paradise with deserted beaches, coral gardens and some of the clearest water the Pacific has to offer. Explore caves, coves and atolls or swim with humpback whales from June to November. Hire a boat and take in some of the best sailing in the Pacific or relax in Nei’afu’s Basque Tavern with Pacific-influenced tapas and cold beer.

Where to stay:
Mystic Sands offers waterfront rooms and famed Pacific hospitality.

9. Cartagena, Colombia

Photo of Cartagena ColumbiaPhoto via Norma Gòmez

Over the last few decades Colombia has been plagued by violence and drug cartels, but this is not the case anymore. It has now become a popular holiday destination and it has a lot to offer for travelers. Go salsa dancing until late, admire the elegant architecture, lounge and scuba dive on the Caribbean coast.

Where to stay:
Try the Hotel Casa San Agustin. Located in the walled Old Town, the San Agustin is a mixture of contemporary style and colourful Caribbean sensibility.

8. Huacachina, Peru

Huacachina Peru is an oasis in the middle of the desertPhoto via Diego Delso

This beautiful town is an oasis of green around a natural lake surrounded by a vast desert. It is not a very well-known tourist destination but it is being discovered by more and more people each year. While you are here you can enjoy dune buggy rides, sandboarding and other adrenaline adventures.

Where to stay:
Hotel El Huacachinero offers a great location and price with a nice swimming pool and a beautiful view of the dunes.

7. Punakaiki, New Zealand

Punakaiki or the pancake rocks is a magical place in New ZealandPhoto via Alan Liefting

Locally known as the Pancake Rocks, these rock formations are more of a feast for the eyes. Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks are an area of rock stacks and blowholes. Situated on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand in Paparoa National Park, there are many walks, horse treks and kayaking opportunities.

Where to stay:
Get a room at the Te Nikau Retreat near the beach. The retreat has a bakery with some of the best bread and muffins in the area.

6. Dal Lake, India

dal-lake_indiaPhoto via Basharat Shah

If you are in the Dal Lake in Srinagar offers views of the famed Pir Panjal mountains. Dal Lake was a favourite of George Harrison from the Beatles. Visit the floating gardens and markets or hire a shikara (water taxi) and go for a ride on the lake.

Where to stay:
Stay on one of the delightful houseboats left behind by the Raj.

5. Big Sur, California, USA

Big Sur CaliforniaPhoto via Dawn Ellner

Big Sur is over 90 miles of spectacular coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Take in the McWay Falls or wander around the misty redwood forests. Everywhere you go, you’ll bump into a view that will take your breath away.

Where to stay:
Rent a cottage on the coast on in a redwood forest and take in the view.

4. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

See the Strong Man games in Ulaanbaatar MongoliaPhoto via amanderson2

Looking for a holiday off the beaten track? Ulaanbaatar is for you. Ulaanbaatar is located on the Mongolian steppes in Genghis Khan country. Why not check the Naadam Festival in July when the locals battle it out in the fields of archery, wrestling and horse riding.

Where to stay:
The Khan Palace Hotel has some of the best service and restaurants in the area.

3. Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia

Kotu Kinabalu MalaysiaPhoto via Ariel Steiner

The UNESCO-designated Kinabalu National Park hosts the tallest mountain in South East Asia, Mount Kinabalu.  Located in the province of Sabah in Borneo, Kinabalu is home to over 4,500 species of flora and fauna.

Where to stay:
The Celyn Resort is close to the park and the natural hot springs and is the perfect place to organise your trip up the mountain.

2. Procida, Italy

Procida Italy is a great place off the beaten track to visitPhoto via Porfirio

Procida is a beautiful island off the tourist track in the Bay of Naples. It is home to hidden lemon groves, weathered fishermen and macaron-coloured houses. Take a swim in the turquoise waters or wander around Marina Corricella and watch the fishing boats come in with the day’s catch.

Where to stay:
La Casa sul Mare is an 18th century villa with balconies overlooking the sea.

1. Drâa Valley, Morocco

Draa Valley MoroccoPhoto via Magnus Manske

Beautiful lush oases line the Drâa Valley in central Morocco. Join a camel caravan, take a jeep tour or go to the Tinfou dunes. If you are looking for something a little different, check out the Musée des Arts et Traditions de la Valleé du Drâa. The museum hosts curiosities including a glass that supposedly shatters on contact with poison.

Where to stay:
Why not stay at the Bab el Oued, an ecolodge situated on the edge of the Maroc Oasis.

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