Want to go off the beaten track for your next holiday? Here are some breathtaking locations that aren’t overrun with tourist traffic
It can be comforting to return to your favourite destinations on holidays, as you know they won’t disappoint. But there is nothing quite like landing in a new place. Here are some lesser known spots to add to your list.
If you love hiking…
The second smallest of the Canary Islands, La Gomera is an island of stunning natural beauty. When we think if holidays to Spain no doubt you’re envisioning packed restaurants and beaches and busy nightlife, but this island is free from the usual tourist trappings. When exploring La Gomera, you have no choice but to live as the locals do, and embrace the outdoors.
Visit Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for stunning walks. Make sure to visit the spectacular viewing point Abrante. When you want a break from island life, book a boat trip with Excursiones Tina. For four hours you can spot pilot whales and dolphins, stopping for swims and to enjoy lunch of fresh seafood grilled on the boat deck.
Stay at Hotel Jardin Tecina on the south of the island. The stunning Club Laurel restaurant faces out to the sea and it’s breathtaking.
You have to fly or take a ferry from Tenerife to get to La Gomera, and with flight times you might have to spend the night on Tenerife. Sandos San Blas near the airport in Tenerife is a really breathtaking place to stay, with the unique layout taking its inspiration from the natural landscape. It is a five star eco-resort, overlooking an environmental reserve.
If you like camping…
Forests cover about 50% of Estonia, so you’re going to discover lots of fun camping options. For a relaxed stay with an eco-friendly ethos, try Project Kodu in Lahemaa National Park. Located just over an hour from the capital city of Tallinn, you don’t have to travel far for an off-grid experience.
Glamp in bell tents with comfortable beds, surrounded by peaceful forest. Explore the nearby lakes and breathtaking landscape during the day, and at night, bask in the rustic outdoor spa. Take a naturally-heated bath or hot tub by candlelight under the stars, brave the heat of the traditional Swedish spa, or simply lay out on a comfortable water bed under the night sky. Enjoy healthy vegetarian breakfasts outdoors, and in the mornings, enjoy a gentle stretch with a yoga class in the large bell tent.
When you’re ready to head back to civilisation, Tallinn has a brilliant food scene. Tai Boh is a spectacular Asian fusion restaurant with outlandish decor and an excellent cocktail menu. Vegan Restoran V in the city centre does really elegant plant-based meals; over in the cultural district of Telliskivi, F-Hoone is hugely popular, and in the market, Balti Jaama Turg, the bao buns at Baojaam are a crowd-pleaser.
The city has a fascinating history and there are lots of excellent tours you can take. One not to miss is the KGB museum on the top floor of the Viru Hotel, which was once an actual secret KGB office, used to spy on the hotel guests.
For wine lovers…
The Alentejo region of Portugal is an expansive region of vineyards, olive groves and cork forests. It’s a place to switch off and enjoy a slower pace of life. Sustainability isn’t a buzz word here, it’s naturally the way of life.
Book in for a wine tour to learn more about the grapes that are grown here. It won’t take long to realise just how much there is to discover — the region can grow a huge variety of grapes, so there are wines to suit every palate. The food too is really special, from traditional meat dishes, gorgeous seafood and tasty pastries. At Monte da Ravasqueira, you can enjoy a very informative wine tour followed by lunch with a wine pairing.
There is a very laid back atmosphere here, but you can also find some luxury. Herdade da Malhadinha Nova is a stunning country house hotel, spa and vineyard, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. With a spa on site and a stunning pool, you won’t want to leave.