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!