Unconventional End-of-year Holiday Destinations

When you think unconventional destinations, what comes to mind? Some wilderness or a remote island for some relaxation. If you feel like experiencing something new and unusual on your next vacation, then take a look at some of these destinations off the beaten track!

Moldova – Europe on a budget

Unconventional destinations

It’s the least visited of all European countries, (at least for now) which is surprising considering how many attractions you can find here. If you’re looking to avoid the bustling tourist crowds and enjoy some European culture on a budget, then Moldova is definitely the place to be.

The wine, cognac and local cuisine like brined cheese, stuffed cabbage leaves, pasta and pastries are exceptional, and affordable enough that you won’t feel bad about eating out every day. Churches, monasteries and Soviet-style architecture will delight fans of culture, and visiting the Milesti Mici is a must – it holds the world record for the largest wine collection on Earth!

Thanda Island – your private paradise island off the Tanzanian coast  

Unconventional destinations

If you thought only the rich and famous could enjoy a private luxury island, then think again! This stunning resort located in its own marine reserve in the Indian Ocean comprises one luxurious villa and two traditional Tanzanian Bandas – making it the perfect spot for that once in a lifetime retreat with family and friends.

Throw in some exceptional scuba diving, state of the art gym, spa and swimming pools, fine dining and even the opportunity to swim with a whale shark, and this is an opportunity not to be missed!

Lesotho – Africa’s Mountain Kingdom

Unconventional destinations

Essentially an alpine country, Lesotho holds the world title for the highest ‘lowlands’ of any country, and is even home to Africa’s highest pub! Landlocked by South Africa, the contrast between the two countries is striking. Lesotho is famous for pony trekking, stunning waterfalls, some truly breathtaking scenic drives, and even the chance to see real dinosaur tracks!

This is adventure country, where horse riding, trout fishing and 4×4 experiences rule the day. For those who’d prefer a more tranquil experience, swimming in the tranquil lakes, hiking to secret waterfalls, exploring ancient cave art and enjoying the national parks are just some of the experiences to be relished.

Isle of Mull Wildlife Experience – Hebrides, Scotland

Unconventional destinations

Home of the legendary White-tailed Sea Eagles, and featured in several BBC TV shows including Springwatch, Coast, and even the CBeebies programme Balamory, the Isle of Mull is its own private world away from the pressures of daily life. With wildlife such as red deer, otters, seals, Golden Eagles and Hen Harriers as well as countless other bird species, it’s the perfect place to escape the city.

Several experienced operators run wildlife tours of the island to share their intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna that live here. Walking and cycling are also popular activities, and children will love the Mull Aquarium or embarking on a pony trek!

Uruguay – South America in laid back style

Unconventional destinations

While it often gets overlooked for its more flamboyant neighbors of Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is just as spectacular a holiday destination – and offers many of its own unique attractions too.  Famous for its laid back pace and relaxed atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and let your hair down. The capital, Montevideo, is made for walking around in, and it’s not hard to while most of the day away just strolling about taking in the sights and the colorful Mercado del Puerto market.

The familiar South American beachfront and even the local version of Carnival have their place here too, and wine lovers will enjoy the region’s locally produced Tannat varieties. Interestingly, marijuana has been legalized (for locals, at least) in Uruguay since 2013, and though it’s not allowed to sell to tourists, you might be able to convince a friendly local to share!

Bhutan – Magic and Mystery in the Himalayas

Unconventional destinations

Frequently described as one of those places you need to visit at least once in your lifetime, things are just different in Bhutan! Famously, they place more emphasis on what is called the Gross National Happiness scale than their GDP – and this kind of philosophy is reflected everywhere you look. With a deeply ingrained Buddhist way of life and a focus on sustainable and culturally and environmentally sensitive tourism, you’re more than just a tourist here.

With stunning mountain landscapes, incredible native wildlife, meditation retreats, Buddhist monasteries and temples, museums, religious festivals and unbelievable craft work. This is a place utterly removed from the struggles of everyday life back home. Mountain trekking is a popular activity for those who are fit enough, are you lovers of all things hot and spicy?  Will relish the country’s traditional cuisine where chilies are treated more like a vegetable than a spice!

Off the beaten track

Whether you’re seeking sun, sea and sand, mountains and mystery, or simply getting closer to nature. We hope our lit of unconventional destinations has inspired you!



Leave a Reply


  1. Kristine Nicole Alessandra VA
    January 21, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    Bhutan is a dream destination for me. I frequently google photos of their monasteries perched high up on the mountains. The landscape is so majestic!

  2. January 21, 2018 / 6:15 am

    Is it bad that I have only heard of two of these places?? I need to get out more!!

  3. January 20, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    Moldova and Thanda Island look like 2 places I would love to go and visit, but had never thought of going to. I was aware of Moldova as a country but I know nothing about it, but it is very intriguing after you writing your post

  4. Kita Bryant
    January 20, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    I have always wanted to see some parts of Asia. I need a trip there.

  5. Sara Welch
    January 20, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    This is a really great list. I would love to go to Scotland.

  6. January 20, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Those all sound awesome! I haven’t been to any of these… I mean, I’ve only been out of the USA once to go to Alberta and once to go to Tijuana… I need to travel more.

  7. January 20, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Uruguay sounds like a lovely destination. I had a friend who visited that country and raved about her wonderful experience.

  8. January 20, 2018 / 1:24 am

    Can I choose them all please, what some absolutely amazing ideas for places to go to. I love they aren’t they normal holiday destinations people pick out.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:21 am

      Exactly why I love them all too

  9. January 20, 2018 / 1:02 am

    I want to experience Africa. I can totally use a vacation now. Somewhere warm and filled with adventure.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:23 am

      I know what you mean, being born in Zambia I know most of the African destinations are must see and I can not wait to visit some of these places

  10. chubskulit
    January 19, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    My husband has been in some parts of Africa and he said it is beautiful out there. Hopefully he could visit again with us in tow.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:28 am

      I hope you all get to visit one day as a family, your husband is right, there are many parts of Africa not shown in the media that are truly incredible

  11. Jen At Dapperhouse
    January 19, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    Oooh! The Isle of Mull Wildlife Experience sounds great. I have never been to Scotland either so I would love to experience life and wildlife over there.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:29 am

      I have been to Scotland a number of times but always for church so never got to explore much of it and have it on my bucket list.

  12. Food Travelist
    January 19, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Can’t believe I haven’t been to any of these places! They all sound amazing. I’d travel to any of them holiday time or not.

  13. January 19, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Wow, these places are gorgeous! What great vacation spots, that are totally nothing I would have thought of!

  14. Doria Miyata Murphy
    January 19, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    OMG I love this! We take a trip (well all year long, but specifically in December as well) every year for the holidays and we like to try new places, so this list is great!

  15. January 19, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    We just got back a few weeks ago from our family vacation to Florida and we are already dreaming of where we want to go next. Will have to show this post to my hubby and see what he place caught his attention.

    • January 20, 2018 / 9:31 am

      I bet it was an incredible family vacation to Florida, I would love to visit one day too

  16. Candy Kage
    January 19, 2018 / 2:20 pm

    Afraid I probably won’t ever has the opportunity to visit most of these places. Wonderful you have the opportunity to travel and explore.

  17. Sarah Honey
    January 19, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Lesotho, Africa would be some place I would love to visit with all the outdoor activities to do. My son would absolutely love to see real dinosaur tracks.

  18. Alli Smith
    January 19, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    I would love to take a European vacation and visit Moldova. I don’t like crowds so this would be a beautiful place to visit. All of these vacation spots look dreamy!

  19. January 19, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    These all look like some stunning destinations! One day I do hope I can travel more. Scotland is a place I’d really like to return to. I was there years ago.

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