Want to escape from the dreariness and rain of London? Plan your next vacation now! We’ve given you a short list of places you might not have thought of as your primary destination.
EL SALVADOR – BRAZIL
Capital of the State of Bahia, Salvador is a booming city that is modernizing by creating subway lines while keeping its authentic charm.
A city of festivities and culture if you are planning your holiday here, don’t miss taking the elevator that connects the upper city to the lower city for extraordinary views.
Moreover, it is by supporting Brazil with ecotourism that you will be able to help against massive deforestation. Helping local producers will be the first step towards their independence from mining companies. The fires have made the headlines, these parts of the world should not be neglected but on the contrary, help them to protect the biodiversity of the region.
KANGAROO ISLAND – AUSTRALIA
Since we are in the business of helping those parts of the world that have suffered, as you know, Australia has suffered enormous losses in terms of wildlife recently. Even if it is essential to remember that ⅓ of the total area of this island has been burnt by fires, you will still be able to enjoy the turquoise waters, limestone cliffs, eucalyptus forests filled with Koala and even more wild landscapes for a guaranteed change of scenery. Also nicknamed Noah’s Ark, this island is home to many animals as beautiful as each other. It is important to keep the local businesses in these areas that have suffered from fires to help them rebuild the natural heritage of the island. You will be able to stay in beach houses and admire the spotted penguins while watching the sunset.
GALWAY – IRELAND
In a very different vein, the Capital of Culture 2020 Galway is energising itself by testing new artistic projects in pubs, so on the beaches, you won’t be disappointed by this trip. Margaret Atwood will even be there for International Women’s Day in March. A major centre for gastronomy, Galway’s most prominent chef JP McMahon is the driving force behind the annual Food on the Edge festival which explores the future of food. Galway also hosts the world’s oldest oyster festival with its World Oyster Opening Championship. Food, oysters, local wines, seaweed shortbread, smoked fish, cheeses – the perfect place for a peaceful and enjoyable holiday.
SIARGAO – PHILIPPINES
After a lot of frenzy around Bali, it seems that Siargao hasn’t said his last word. A tropical drop-shaped island in the southwest of the Philippines attracts surfers from all over the world thanks to the legendary Cloud 9 wave.
Immaculate beaches, mangrove forests, coconut groves – who wouldn’t want that? Indeed, tourism is booming even though the island is 10 times smaller than Bali, it doesn’t prevent you from feeling out of time. You will come across scooters with surfboards ready to stop at any time to run in the water. A place where modernity and globalization have not had its time, you will feel closer to nature and find human roots that you had forgotten. Before the island used to host 2 flights a week, now it’s 12 flights a day so it’s time to go and discover its riches before the big hotel chains and tourism make its effect.
EGADI ISLANDS – SICILY
These are 5 isolated islands made up of white sandy beaches and ruins of the Egadi Archipelago. Between paradise and history, these islands are a good alternative to the famous Aeolian Islands usually covered by tourists.
Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo, Formica and Marrone are the small islands you need to know. The biggest of the 5 is Favignana, it is butterfly-shaped and has a unique landscape of bamboo, foliage, mountains and beaches, enough to be in paradise. Levanzo is the smallest but not the least, with its small whitewashed houses surrounding the harbour. If you are a diving enthusiast this is the island for you, you can discover the remains of a Roman shipwreck accompanied by amphoras and pottery of all kinds. You can also discover the Grotta del Genovese which contains art figures dating back to the Palaeolithic. If you prefer hiking, then head towards Marettimo, considered the ancient homeland of Ulysses, where you will discover Norman castles and Byzantine churches.
PORTLAND – MAINE – USA
In a very different register, this port city (not to be confused with Portland, Oregon) is a perfect place in terms of gastronomy for seafood lovers you will not be disappointed. You will be able to taste the local bluefish and world-class seafood, but there are also very good kosher deli meats and sushi bars. So many possibilities hidden in small trendy trucks, new restaurant openings are also very frequent. If you want to enjoy delicious food and a relaxing holiday, this is the place for you. If you miss the beach don’t worry, 15 minutes away by ferry you will find resorts where you won’t miss a thing. Don’t miss visiting Deer Isle made up of spectacular old granite quarries. It’s also the best place to enjoy a lobster, moreover, you will surely meet very few people.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Having suffered from hurricanes this destination has suffered a 90% loss of tourism in recent years thanks to reconstruction the islands are experiencing a renaissance. Made up of a school of fish with astonishing colours and pearly bays, be it Oil nut bay or Guana Island, they contain considerable treasures. Luxurious villa complexes with hanging pools, seven caramel-coloured beaches – paradise are here. Following the damage caused by the hurricanes, the association Seed of Love is rebuilding the natural heritage little by little and is recruiting volunteer tourists to help them plant trees and other plants vital to the rebirth of the islands.
Panama is full of beautiful places, ruined Spanish forts, islands, coffee farms, forests and all this in absolute calm because the influx of tourists has not yet reached the region. Very private islands that can accommodate about 18 people, residence in the middle of the rainforest you will feel cut off from the world. Diving activity, paddle, Seabob, sunbathing on the beach in complete privacy, the dream vacation par excellence. You will find one of the largest coral reefs in the Pacific and therefore many marine species that you have never seen before.
On Islas Secas, all energy is generated by solar energy, 100% of food waste is recycled or composted, wastewater is reused for irrigation, no plastic, no pollution on the horizon for a responsible holiday in the respect of nature. And Panama’s other islands are also very environmentally friendly and will be more so in the years to come.
RIJEKA – CROATIA
The third-largest city in Croatia near the Dalmatian Islands is a mixture of monuments, beaches, street festivals etc. Nicknamed the Red Rijeka and home to the very first rock’n’roll club in Croatia and probably the very first in Europe.
Enjoy the vaults of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the fish of the day from Konoba Na Kantunu while the tourists crowd in Split and Hvar.
Also named 2020 Capital of Culture alongside Galway, tourism will soon be flocking to Rijeka. The city was the starting point for emigrants to America at the beginning of the 20th century.
KYOTO – JAPAN
Very different from other destinations, the city of Kyoto is a mixture of past and present. Futuristic railway stations and modern glass complexes but not only that, you will also find peaceful gardens and centuries-old Shinto shrines.
As the host city of the 2020 Olympic Games tourism will soon be pouring into Kyoto and hoteliers are already preparing for the occasion by increasing the number of rooms.
Enjoy the peace and quiet of the meditation gardens and admire the view of Mount Hiei before sampling the local produce.
Which destination appeals to you the most? Discuss this during your language exchange on our Studenz website in the language exchange section.
Written by: Lisa Lambert, Staff Writer