If you’re not the kind of tourist who is looking for a run of the mill beach holiday or a standard ski trip then you join thousands like you on the hunt for something a bit different for your trips abroad. Whether you want to climb mountains, sunbathe on deserted beaches, see the ice sheets of Alaska gliding majestically by, or immerse yourself in hidden ancient civilizations, these top 10 most unusual travel destinations should provide some serious inspiration.
The four islands that make up this small archipelago in the Indian Ocean lie around 240km east of the Horn of Africa and are a unique travel destination, having once been described as ‘the most alien place on earth.’ Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms in the world and a third of the plant life here is not to be found anywhere else – the umbrella shaped dragon’s blood tree alone is worth the visit.
The wildlife in Madagascar is some of the most fascinating in the world and the Indian Ocean island has an incredible biodiversity that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. If you’re looking for stunning rock formations, breathtaking beaches and sandstone ruins to explore in relative peace and quiet, this is the place to come.
Lovers of the outdoors will find a trip to Alaska a fulfilling experience, as there is a huge amount to see and do here, from hiking and fishing, through to skiing and dog mushing. If you really want to see the sights in style then Alaska cruises are the perfect way to do it, as all the best local highlights are included in the itinerary and the logistics are completely taken care of (see Royal Caribbean for more details of their Alaska cruises)
Formerly dismissed as South East Asia’s quiet backwater, Laos has been growing in popularity thanks to many largely undiscovered areas, a unique culture and friendly people. Whether you want to go white water tubing in Vang Vien, take a cargo ship down the Mekong River, or stumble across a giant golden stupa in the almost deserted capital city, there are many unique experiences awaiting the adventurous traveller here.
The Rock Islands Southern Lagoon are a haven for divers, with an abundance of marine life waiting below the waves. The site was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 and is made up of numerous beautiful coral reefs, marine lakes and limestone islands that are a unique experience for keen divers.
A former soviet republic with extensive natural gas reserves might not sound like an ideal travel destination, but this fascinating country has much to offer. One of the most famous sights here is the ‘Gates of Hell,’ a burning crater that has been alight since the 1960s when engineers found a natural gas emitting cave – they set the gas alight hoping it would burn it off but the gas has been aflame ever since.
Belize is off the coast of central America is home to many wonders of the natural world, as well as an abundance of cultural hot spots. Whether you want to explore the Mayan sites or dive in the fascinating ‘blue holes’ in the ocean just off the coast, this is a unique travel destination.
China is such an enormously diverse country that virtually any part of it will provide the backdrop for a pretty unusual trip. However, in Huizhou you will find something really out of the ordinary – a picturesque Austrian town called the Hallstatt project right in the heart of the Chinese countryside. If that’s not a unique sight to behold then we don’t know what is.
9. Makepeace Island
This is one for those who have several million burning a hole in their pockets, as the island is co-owned by bearded billionaire Richard Branson. The private spot on the Noosa River in Australia can sleep up to 22 people within its heart shaped boundaries and has its own spa, pool and outdoor cinema.
A south American gem, Bolivia has many unusual sights, from the buzzy cities to the stunning wilderness. The Salar de Uyuni is the biggest salt flat on earth and a must see on a visit here as it looks like a giant mirror, reflecting the sky back as far as the eye can see.
These fascinating locations should provide more than a little inspiration for those seeking out unusual travel destinations. From undiscovered oceans to awe inspiring man made creations, the opportunities for adventure and discovery in our world are plentiful.