As Winter begins to break, we are starting to see the first signs of Spring – the dawn chorus of birds trying to attract a mate, the first blooms of Daffodils, and maybe even a bee or two doing the early rounds – which means now would be a good time to start planning your Summer holiday for 2019.
This year might be the year that you want to try something a little bit different, to dive into new cultures and have new experiences. According to Booking.com, 52% of travellers want to have new experiences rather than buying trinkets and souvenirs.
But experiencing new locations is not just the domain of the young, mature travellers also want to experience holidays that are out of the norm. It might just take a little more planning – ensuring that you have the right sort of accommodation, access to any medicines and the right insurance
With all this in mind, we have 3 up-and-coming destinations to recommend for Summer 2019.
The charms of this fantastic little Mediterranean country have often been ignored, thanks in large part to its holiday-mecca neighbour, Greece. But 2019 could be the year when it finally comes into its own.
Albania has all the beauty that you expect from the Med, without any of the mass tourism traps that you will find elsewhere along this beautiful little part of the world. In Albania, you can find wonderful rolling beaches, good restaurants, and good people. The capital, Tirana, has a tumbledown charm that will please those people looking for something a little bit different, while if you heads into the mountains you can find wonderful Alpine villages to explore. For the history buffs, there is even plenty of Communist infrastructure left over to discover. All of this comes very cheap too, as you would be hard pushed to find a cheaper sun holiday in Europe.
Where should I stay: Ksamil is a picturesque little coastal village with secluded beaches. If you’re the type of person who loves sitting on a the beach and having a drink , then this is a peaceful spot to come visit.
This wonderful, exotic place is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the entire world. For more than 2500 years, it has been a centre of culture and trade, particularly benefiting as an important stopping point on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean.
Despite its storied history, it is not a place that attracts many visitors from this part of the world, although this may change. Uzbekistan has begun loosening its visa restrictions in an attempt to bring in business and tourism, which makes this a great time to visit and get ahead of the crowd!
In Samarkand, you will find enthralling relics of its history and culture. Of particular note is the Registan at the very heart of this ancient city. Here you will find the site of three madrasahs (Islamic places of learning), as well as an ancient mausoleum, and serene trading dome. The city is home to some fabulous medieval architecture and monuments, and sightseers will be in paradise as they view the beautiful mosaics and decorations that cover the ancient parts of this city.
Top tip: The best time to travel here is in September, as temperatures will remain warm but much of the visiting crowds have gone.
If you enjoy wonderful holidays that are slightly off the beaten track, then you should consider Georgia for your next holiday. It is a varied country, with deep and luscious green valleys filled with vineyards, to ancient watchtowers perched precariously along its fantastic mountain scenery. Whether you are the kind of traveller who wants to linger long over a bottle of wine, or you are more the adventurous type who wants to hike, cycle, ski or horse climb, Georgia has something that caters to all tastes.
Beyond its diverse and enticing landscapes, one of the highlights of any trip to Georgia is the hospitality shown by its people. The Georgian people’s legendary hospitality will want you explore and understand the country and its heritage deeper, so make sure to check out some of the local cuisine specialities such as tashmijabi (cheesy mashed potatoes), while you are there.
Top travel tip: While Tsibili offers plenty of attractions, there is a beautiful nest of hamlets in the Caucasus Moutains called Mestia. A short connecting flight from the capital offers you plenty of nature based activities, so it’s a trip for the true adventuring soul.