We all know its good to get away – but what about going somewhere that is a little bit off the beaten track. Here is a list of 10 uncommon holiday destinations that we have put together. Hopefully they might inspire you to take that crazy holiday you have always wondered about!
A trip to Transylvania should be on your mind if you wish to visit the home of Dracula, originally known as “Vlad the Impaler”. Due to the rise in popularity of movies such as Twilight and programs such as Vampire Diaries and True Blood, this has become a much more popular holiday destination in recent times, as would be vampire hunters discover this region. Attractions include Bran Castle and Dracula’s tomb.
Antarctica is one of those places that many people will never get to visit. It is that elusive 7th continent! It is the most southern place on earth and also the coldest. There is no international airport, there are no native people and there is no formal government either. The way most people experience this place is by Cruise ship, but some get to take a few short plane connections and actually step foot there. When there, a popular experience is to walk among Emperor Penguins that can reach 4ft and weigh 100 pounds. The scenery is breathtaking and this would be a once in a lifetime experience, where you can see whales, sea lions and seabirds in their natural habitat.
If you fancy yourself a conspiracy theorist or alien researcher then this could be a great place to visit. In the 1950′s it was said that an alien craft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Apparently the Military took the bodies of the little green men back to Area 51, a secret military base nearby. At the time, the government claimed the “UFO” was just a weather balloon. However recently a former CIA agent, Chase Brandon, said that he saw a file that revealed it was an alien craft. You can make up your own mind!
In Roswell you can visit many museums and alien themed shops. They also have a large festival in July that is apparently very worthwhile.
Chernobyl in Ukraine is known for having one of the worst nuclear disasters of all time. In 1986, a cooling system failure led to the leak of high levels of radiation and the subsequent evacuation of 50,000 people. You can get tours of the Chernobyl power plant and the nearby deserted town of Pripyat, but visitors must take precautions in relation to the levels of radiation that may still be present.
Siberia is a huge region comprising of almost all of North Asia and central and southern Russia. In fact, 77% of Russia’s territory is classified as Siberia. Even though so large, this area only houses about 28% of the Russian population. Siberia gets frightfully cold in the winter and extremely hot during the summer. It is the area in Asia that is least visited by tourists, perhaps due to its remote territories and climate. If you are travelling alone it is recommended to have at least a basic comprehension of Russian, as most museums and hotels do not speak English. The appeal here however is that Siberia is said to have excellent scenery, friendly inhabitants, up and coming restaurants and hotels, as well as great rafting, hiking and mountaineering.
Travelling to North Korea should be carefully considered. You are not allowed to travel freely and you must be accompanied by a local guide at all times. You will be shown around by the guide and you will see what they want you to see. As a foreigner, you are not officially allowed to handle the state’s currency, so as a result, your food, accommodation and other needs are all provided for. Everything is all sorted out as a package deal prior to your visit and you actually spend little or no money while you are there. If you spend money the more touristy shops tend to take foreign currency.
You will be shown various war memorials and museums whilst you are there and no doubt be subjected to the propaganda of the region. It is a good idea to listen to your minder and not stray, as there can be severe penalties if they suspect you are up to something they do not approve of. For example, drugs carry the death penalty. You are allowed to take photos, but they must be inspected by your minder, who is a government official, to make sure that they portray the state in a good light. Do not expect sun, sea, sand and freedom here, but if you are genuinely interested in how this communist state survives then this could be a fascinating trip.
If you wish to experience tropical jungle conditions then this travel destination may be for you. The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, spanning over 1.4 Billion acres. Over half of it falls within Brazilian territory, but it also spans other South American countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia and Columbia.
If you like beautiful scenery then this is the place for you. However, you will also have to be a fan of animals. 10 % of the worlds known species live in the Amazon Rainforest. It is home to millions of birds and over 2 and a half million different types of insects. Dangerous animals such as cougars and anacondas reside here too.
A cruise down the river is a popular way of experiencing this place, but it is advisable to try to get a tour deep within the forest to take full advantage of the experience. Hiring a local guide is a sensible move however!
This country is very sparsely populated and some say it is one of the last unspoiled lands on earth. The Mongolians have many cultures and traditions, however they are a kind natured people and do not tend to mind of foreigners break certain customs.
There is little available land for producing steady crops and as such over 30% of the countries population are nomadic or semi-nomadic. You have large mountain ranges to the north and west of the country and the large Gobi desert to the south. If you like the free outdoor lifestyle, you may just fall in love with this place. You can take horse treks either into the mountainous regions where nomads and herders usually roam, or head into the Gobi desert. You will experience no real land constraints and not much human activity at all -apart from bumping into the odd nomadic travellers.
The Komodo islands are off the cost of Indonesia and the main attraction is the Komodo National Park. This is where you will find the Komodo Dragons. These ancient reptiles span 2-3 meters and weigh about 100 pounds. They can be very dangerous to humans, especially when they are hungry. They can run fast in short bursts, faster than humans and swim faster too. Their bite is poisonous and you would have to have medical treatment if bitten. Their jaws are powerful and can cause great damage just from the bite.
However, if you respect them and stay with the park guide, a trip to the Komodo National Park can be a brilliant adventure. You are provided with a y-shaped stick when you arrive at the park office and this can be used for hiking but also a last line of defence if the dragon comes for you.
Lapland – where Father Christmas is said to have hailed from. Indeed it is a magical land and a great place to visit. Right from when you step off the small aircraft and the airport give you an extra snowsuit to borrow for the week, you know this will be a trip like no other. Temperatures can easily get to -30 degrees which is why they provide this service.
There are many activities to experience, from husky snow rides and observing the northern light shows, to staying a night in an ice hotel and doing a spot of skiing.
The hotels here are of a good standard and most apartments will have their own sauna, which is why visiting this little hot room is almost considered a national pastime in Finland. Bear in mind alcohol is expensive here, but the food is great. If you do not feel too saddened at the thought – reindeer meat is a delicacy.