If you’re anything like us here at SODS, you might be keen to holiday in unexplored parts of the world.
You want to see places that aren’t overflowing with tourists. Places that most people are yet to discover.
We’ve put together a list of the best kept travel destinations to visit in 2018 – check it out below, and get booking that holiday!
When people think of Central America, Honduras is unlikely to spring to mind, but that’s only because most people have never heard of it.
It’s a stunning tropical destination perfect for snorkelers and divers, and boasts the Caribbean’s largest barrier reef filled with marine life and stunning coral. If the beach isn’t your thing, there are also beautiful parks and a jungle to explore (with a super fun zip line running through it), bursting with waterfalls, wildlife and exotic birds.
If you’re looking for deserted beaches, untouched rainforests, and a vibrant local culture and cuisine – Spice Island will be right up your street. It’s simple to fly there or go via one of the many cruise ships which call at this Caribbean island. You’ll thank us when you step foot on one of the many stretches of white sandy beach!
Grenada is also home to the world’s first underwater sculpture park, and there are many hiking trails through the hills if you want to explore.
If beaches are your thing, then the “Rice Bowl of Cambodia” probably won’t tick your dream destination boxes, but if you love immersing yourself in culture then Battambang might just be for you!
You’ll find a number of Buddhist shrines, monasteries and temples here, plenty of scenic countryside which can be explored at its best on rented bicycles, kayaking on the river, and you can ride the Bamboo train through the jungle undergrowth.
You’ll have an unforgettable adventure here, and avoid the crowds at Siem Reap.
Fiji a leader in eco-tourism, and the perfect place for a wedding or upcoming honeymoon because of its gorgeous beaches, spectacular scenery, and luxury resorts (which are on the increase). You’ll find endless stretches of white sand, crystalline waters, and vibrant reefs along the coast, whilst inland you can enjoy the lush jungle, secluded waterfalls, and exotic wildlife.
Take an underwater dive, or hop on a boat to explore some of the remote secluded beaches and hidden bays. There’s plenty to see as Fiji is made up of 333 islands!
Ostuni, Puglia, Italy
Ostuni (often called The White City) is a town sat on a hilltop, comprising of a maze of streets, alleyways and staircases that you’ll have endless fun navigating your way through! You’ll find many boutiques, souvenir shops, and outlets where you can pick up some fabulous olive oil or delicious wine.
The sapphire seas are just five miles away if you want to take a day trip to the ocean. There’s also a 15th century cathedral which you can visit, which is situated at the highest point of the city.
Most people head straight for Havana when visiting Cuba, but this UNESCO-listed city is believed to be the nation’s most beautiful. You can admire the divine French and Spanish architecture as you roam through the city with a mojito in hand, soak up the colourful facades, and dance through the wide streets.
At the centre you’ll find a wealth of history, including a buzzing art scene where you might just catch a glimpse of local artists creating their magic masterpieces.
Zambia is actually one of Africa’s greatest safari destinations, and where the walking safari was originally birthed, but often gets overlooked. South Luangwa National Park and Liuwa Plain National Park are two of the best places to see a variety of animals and wildlife in their natural habitat.
You’ll be in good hands too, because Zambia has some of the most highly trained guides across the entire continent!
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
If you’re a keen photographer or you can’t get enough of nature – you will love this tiny historic village!
A must visit is Stari Most – a 16th century, Ottoman-style bridge and Mostar’s most famous landmark. It stretches 28 metres across the Neretva river, and connects the two sides of the city. While you’re there you might spot brave locals diving off into the cold water below (don’t try this because it’s actually pretty dangerous!).
The Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque is also a beautiful place to visit, and there’s plenty of inspiring street art to be found as you wander through the village.
Bergen is far less visited than Oslo, but is bursting with nature, stunning water views, and is perhaps the prettiest place in Norway.
This is the perfect city to explore on foot, as it’ll take no more than 20 minutes to get from one side to the other. There’s an enchanting Troll Forest, home to the powerful woodland beings known as “trolls” that are popular in Scandinavian folklore. Clamber up the mountain sides for spectacular views of the sea, and explore some of the wildest and loveliest fjords Norway has to offer.
Manono only got electricity throughout the island ten years ago, so if you’re looking for a holiday off the beaten track, this is the place for you! To get there you’ll have to cross the lagoon by boat from Manono-uta on the mainland.
The island is home to just four fishing villages, and the locals live in traditional open-air fales. It’s so quiet here because there’s no cars, and no dogs either (they’re banned). You can make your way right round Manono in less than two hours, and pass the marine-protected lagoon where you can snorkel or take a dip in.
The launch of UberBOAT’s on-demand transfers and private tours along the Dalmation Coast means that Croatia’s islands will now be much more accessible and inexpensive to reach than they were before 2018.
Šolta is a hilly island home to stunning nature all around. From pebbly beaches to lush green fields and jewelled waters. You can also walk around the medieval villages, which are famous for wine-making and family-run olive oil purveyors. One thing you must see is the sun setting at Maslinica bay, where you’ll also find many beach clubs, bars, and open-air restaurants to dine in.
Mauritius tends to be overlooked in favour of the Seychelles and the Maldives, but we have no idea why! As Mark Twain once wrote, ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius‘.
Head to Île aux Aigrettes – a nature reserve on an island off the coast where you can take a guided tour and gaze at Aldabra giant tortoises, ebony trees, wild orchids, and the endangered pink pigeon. Try some world-class rum over in Chamarel – a wonderful mountain hamlet. And the stunning beaches and turquoise waters are not to be missed. If you’re a keen surfer, the best spots can be found tucked behind Morne Brabant along the quieter southwestern shores; if not, stick to the northern and eastern coasts!
Andaman Islands, India
The Andaman islands are comprised of over 500 tiny islands located in the bay of Bengal, 850 miles east of mainland India. No commercial fishing is allowed here, which means the islands are surrounded by stunning coral, and only a dozen of the islands are actually open for tourism.
Chill out at the gorgeous beaches and soak up the dreamy turquoise waters, or head inland to explore the jungle and mangrove forest. Havelock is the most popular island thanks to its sublime beaches and glorious diving.