20 places to travel to before everyone else does
(& what you need to do there!)
If you have been bitten by the #wanderlust travel bug you will agree that there is no experience quite like travelling to open up your eyes and mind to the wonder of our world - that is until you find yourself weaving through overcrowded streets of fellow tourists and unable to make a restaurant reservation at the cities' best eats. The overpopulation of travelling hotspots has resulted in the emergence of a new trend among travellers in 2018; young people are ditching the stock-standard holiday locations in preference of lesser known (but equally amazing) cities and places.
Contiki asked 1,800 travellers where they would most like to travel to this year and have revealed their 20 best picks; think colourful Moroccan streets and otherworldly mud pools. And while of course discovering some of the world's best kept secrets is deeply fulfilling, there is also a satisfying smugness that comes with travelling to these relatively untouched destinations before everyone else does. Check out the full list (& what you need to do there!) below.
See - Maligne Lake. With its startling blue water, this is one of the most photographed places in the world, and for good reason.
Do - Ride the rapids on a white-water rafting trip.
Eat - Poutine! A hearty dish of French fries, fresh cheese curds, and brown gravy.
See - The eerie, derelict Great Train Graveyard.
Do - Create your own unique and fun photos at the largest salt flats in the world.
Eat - Snack on as many baked salteñas filled with meat, vegies and olives as you can.
See - The ancient Roman baths.
Do - Go boating down the River Avon to see Bath from the waterways.
Eat - Hit the pubs! Traditional English fare doesn't get any better than from a ye olde pub.
Pondicherry, Southern India
See - The colourful and charming streets of this French colonial settlement.
Do - Head to the beached for a spot of surfing.
Eat - Try French inspired pastries from Eat My Cake, a not for profit café that supports local women.
Geiranger Fjord, Norway
See - Boyabreen Glacier.
Do - Depending on your skill level, hike up one of the many mountains and walkways in the area.
Eat - Besides the obvious choice, salmon... try Norwegian waffles - heart shaped and served as a snack, they can be topped with jam, brunost (tastes like a deeply savoury dulche de leche) or both!
See - the stunning vista of Lady Bird Lake (BYO bike!).
Do - Take a dip in the natural swimming hole, Hamilton Pool or spring fed Barton Springs Pool.
Eat - You haven't lived until you've feasted on Texas BBQ.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
See - The pastel houses that fringe the coastline of the island like marshmallows.
Do - Visit the seaside town of Portree and hike Ben Tianavaig.
Eat - Cullen Skink, a tasty rich fish broth found all over the highlands and best served with a seaside view.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
See - The beachside town Sayulita.
Do - Jungle Ziplining on Mexico's longest and fastest lines.
Eat - Tacos from one of the many street trucks.
See - The stunning Punalu'u black sand beach.
Do - Go wildlife snorkelling by day and sunset cruise by night.
Eat - Poke Bowl. This 'new' food trend has been served in the Hawaiian Islands for centuries.
Khao Sok, Thailand
See -Take in the majestic limestone mountains rising hundreds of meters above the turquoise waters by boat.
Do - Spend the night in a floating river hut over Cheow Larn Lake.
Eat - The unique 'dry' curry, Kua Kling.
See - Mt Vesuvius (don't worry, the volcano is dormant).
Do - Watch the sunset over the sea while sipping local wine.
Eat - Renowned for its seafood, a Sorrento specialty would have to be Spaghetti e Vongole (spaghetti with clams).
French Riviera, France
See - Find a spot by the sapphire waters and take in all the glamour of locals and visitors alike.
Do - Shop for lavender and honey at the local markets.
Eat - Croissants and snails... but not together.
Rotorua, New Zealand
See - The epic geothermal mud pools.
Do - Treat yo'self to a hot spring spa or muddy beauty treatment.
Eat - A traditional Hāngi dinner where food is cooked in a pit oven using heated rocks.
See - Costume spotting with Harajuku Girls.
Do - Refresh your inner child and MariKart your way through the streets of Tokyo in Mario carts and costumes.
Eat - Somewhere totes kawaii like a Unicorn or Sailor Moon Café.
See - The winding streets of the Albaicín.
Do - Visit the Alhambra hilltop fort, the views and Moorish design is next level.
Eat - Tapas of course, but for a real treat try the ice cream at Heladería Los Italianos.
See - Epic waterfalls, black beaches and the famous Selfoss geyser.
Do - Rent a bike and explore the small town, bonus points for every pony you spot!
Eat - Hot dogs!
Lake Titicaca, Peru
See - The floating Uros Islands.
Do - Ride in style on a traditional reed boat.
Eat - Cuy, also known as guinea pig. It's a traditional dish in Peru and worth a try.
See - The crystal waters of Lagos.
Do - Head to the Benagil sea cave by boat to explore and swim on the stunning sunlit dome.
Eat - Fresh olives, seafood and one of Portugal's divine orange wines.
See - The Fisherman's Bastion, a stunning, all white, neo-Gothic building with soaring towers.
Do - Rest your weary bones in the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.
Eat - Chicken Paprikash, as the name suggest it's heavy on paprika but also heavy on that warm fuzzy comfort feeling.
See - The Bahia Palace, an ornate 19th century palace with plenty of Insta-worthy Moroccan tiled walls.
Do - Practice your bartering in the bustling and vibrant souks.
Eat - A slow-cooked, zesty tagine washed down with some mint tea.
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