Do you feel like it’s time to discover somewhere new in 2016? If you have the need to travel coursing through your veins, you may want to consider somewhere completely different this year, rather than going for a safe bet and booking somewhere you’ve been before. You never know, it might be very rewarding.
Below we have compiled a list of great alternative holiday destinations; ones that might not immediately stand out but with a bit of digging, will reveal themselves to be hidden gems. It might be the varied cultural influences, fascinating architecture, food & drink or even the people, but you are bound to experience something completely different, making 2016 a year to remember.
Cartagena – Columbia
If you find yourself in need of a hot summer holiday, but also wanting a bit of cultural enlightenment, there won’t be many who could resist the charms of the inspiring city of Cartagena. Also known as the Walled City due to 6.8 miles of wall built by the Spanish, Cartagena was founded in 1533 and is understandably classified as one big world heritage site.
The city boasts amazing architecture, countless museums, various festivals dedicated to film and music, as well as great opportunities for scuba diving and sailing. Whether you’re looking for a place to honeymoon, or just a place to have a wonderful holiday, Cartagena is a unique destination that will leave a lasting impression.
Riga – Latvia
For a perfectly positioned destination that has access to a vibrant city, has local white sandy beaches and even forests on the outskirts, you can’t get much better than Riga. As the capital city of Latvia, it is a large cosmopolitan city that will treat visitors to exceptional bars, experimental restaurants, and stunning gothic architecture. Not only that, it was named as the European capital of free wifi in 2014, with 3 free wifi hotspots per square kilometre along with many hotels offering the same, so navigating the area is a breeze.
Known as the ‘northern capital’ of Portugal, Porto will come as a delightful destination for foodies, wine connoisseurs, and those with an eye for architecture. Fundamentally, the city has historic roots that stretch back to pre-Roman times, with certain portions of area categorised as world heritage sites and are open to exploration.
But Porto also has a modern twist, as it has been home to a lot of modern developments such as a metro and glass-fronted buildings. This mixture of time periods ensures that Porto is a destination that is ripe for discovery by any traveller.
Kyoto – Japan
Unlike the bustling cityscapes of Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama, Kyoto is a step into the intriguing history of ancient Japan. With an abundance of fascinating temples and alluring architecture (including the Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion) to wow you into submission, it will quickly become clear that Kyoto is a beautiful, serene part of the world.
Despite the retention of traditional values, Kyoto has also embraced the new by having access to the bullet train, which means that if you would like to go exploring further, the rest of the country is within easy reach.
Cape Town – South Africa
Defined by the breath-taking backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town boasts natural splendour in abundance, but there is more to the city than what meets the eye. Cultural and religious diversity in the city has led to a unique fusion of flavours inspiring restaurants, bars and even street art. Along with botanical gardens, white sandy beaches and local whale watching, you won’t get bored with the amount to discover in Cape Town.
Dublin - Ireland
As much as a holiday can be thousands of miles away, an often overlooked alternative is Dublin, which is so close and yet such an amazing place to discover. Ireland’s capital is most favourably known for the Guinness storehouse, but in 2016 they are celebrating 100 years of independence, meaning there will be celebrations and events taking place, with an emphasis on the history of the city.
From the medieval and Georgian architecture to the exceptional food and enchanting markets, Dublin is a marvellous adventure to embark upon. Also, given the right location you are travelling from, you could even take the ferry over!
If you have a great alternative holiday destination to share, please do! Get in touch with us on our Facebook page and let us know what adventures you’ve been on. Remember that wherever you go in 2016, always travel in style and book an Executive Lounge.