Many of us have missed out on planned holiday escapes while stuck in lockdown. From cocktails on a luxurious beach to sightseeing on a boat, the feeling of being on holiday is unmistakable. Now is the perfect time to create your post-lockdown travel wish list, give your mind something positive to focus on whilst you plan your next holiday. There are many hidden gems around the world which you should have on your radar, each providing stunning landscapes and activities for you to enjoy with loved ones.
To make your upcoming holiday the best one yet, the experts at Baltic Travel Company have rounded up the 10 destinations you have to consider.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Located in the south end of the Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is home to the most beautiful of desert landscapes, sandy beaches, and blue seas. Los Cabos offers a great balance of nightlife, art, sunsets, and outdoor adventures. It is well known for admiring grey whales from the months of November to March. In Mar de Cortes you can enjoy the magnificent wildlife or enjoy a dinner tour experience on a private boat while getting involved in kayaking and snorkelling during winter months.
Insider tip: Visit Los Cabo’s most iconic area, La Marina, filled with seafood restaurants and cantina bars, it offers a great view of the marina at Puertos Los Cabos.
Val di Vara, Italy
The Val di Vara is the largest, yet least populated, territory of the Cinque Terre area, which makes it a hidden gem of Italian excellence. It offers a historical background like no other, through this organic valley many artisanal and craftmanship activities spread placing it on the map as a landmark of northern Italy. The views are filled with unspoilt nature and the Vara Valley winds across the Vara River with ancient castles and villages scattered alongside.
Insider tip: Walk the Bardelloni, the ancient suggestive mule tracks from the mountains to the sea.
Gothenburg is an exciting city in Sweden with a historical past and sophisticated city present. It was once a seaport on the west coast of Sweden and now has beautiful views. Dutch-style canals are lined with cafes, market halls and restaurants, each filled with Nordic cuisine and fresh seafood direct from the North Sea. Gothenburg is famous for antique shops, art shops and historical buildings, which can be found on the cobbled streets of the Old Town and Haga quarters.
Insider tip: Visit Feskekorka, located in central Gothenburg. It is a historical seafood market dating back to the 19th century known as the Fish Church due to the resemblance of a Gothic-style church.
Korcula is the sixth largest island in Croatia and is named as mini-Dubrovnik due to the thick walls from the water which surround the town in a circle. The beaches in Korcula are small, made up from small pebbles and can be found just outside the port; the views are stunning and small docks are available to sit at so you can enjoy and take in the beauty of the clear water and old town scenery.
Insider tip: Local Korcula wine is called ‘Grk’ and named after the type of grape, every restaurant on the island is home to the local drink. The best place for wine tasting and enjoy the views of Korcula wine is Winery Grk.
Balaclava is a young resort located in the northern part of Mauritius. Balaclava is perfect for those travellers who want to relax on a peaceful beach and listen to the beautiful waves of the Indian Ocean and enjoy a swim in the picturesque ocean. This place will appeal to people who enjoy a relaxing holiday but also ones that love unusual excursions. Tours are very popular here; you can watch the turtles in crystal clear waters and dive into the water to discover hidden beaches of Mauritius.
Insider tip: Local tropical forests are home to many rare birds which can not been seen anywhere else on the planet. Ornithologists come here to photograph the rare pink pigeon and paradise flycatchers.
Negril is a town in western Jamaica, known for miles of luscious sandy beaches and clear blue crystal waters. The biggest attraction to Negril is the incredible stretch of white sand beaches, it is home to of the longest beaches of all of Jamaica, ‘Seven Mile Beach.’ In terms of food, you will not go short here! Throughout Jamaica you can find jerk chicken slow roasting on a grill and Negril is true to this tradition, what makes this extra special is that you can enjoy the local cuisine in one of the water restaurants.
Insider tip: Head to Rick’s Café situated on a tall cliff in the ‘West End’ part of the town to watch the brave cliff-jump into the warm Caribbean water.
Galway City, Ireland
Galway is a harbour city of Ireland’s west coast and resides where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is known as Ireland’s most charming city due to how welcome and accessible it is. It is very scenic and filled with independent shops and traditional restaurants that showcase ever-growing collections of craft beers. The city is filled with historic tales as every new modern building has centuries old stories behind them.
Insider tip: Visit McDonagh’s for one of the best fish and chips in Ireland, four generations make this a popular choice for crispy battered cod and thick cut chips.
Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile. Named one of South America’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan city destinations, Santiago has breath-taking views of mountains in the country’s central valley. The city is equipped with historical buildings such as the impressive cathedral ‘Plaza de Armas.’ If you are a shopping fan, visit the stalls in the fantastic La Vega, a vibrant fresh food market where you can stock up on exotic fruit and vegetables.
Insider tip: Try a ‘mote con huesillo’ from a street vendor. It is a traditional, sweet soft drink made from wheat and peaches which gives you a buzz of energy.
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and is home to beautiful views. Naxos is still unheard of to tourists despite being just an hour away from popular hotspot Mykonos. The island holds Byzantine history, fresh local delicacies, and unusual hilltop shops. The best place to start is by visiting the old town ‘Chora,’ the busy seafront promenade has local shops and restaurants which you enjoy while watching the incredible evening sunset views.
Insider tip: A historic hilltop castle ‘kastro’ regularly holds orchestral performances inside the castle grounds – a hidden gem!
The beautiful French city of Bordeaux is less hectic as Paris but just as special. The city is packed full of authentic French restaurants and cafes, not to mention the stunning Garonne river. It has both culture and history, but the main aspect is the prestigious vineyards – Bordeaux is famed for the precious taste of their wines. Vineyards are located all around the city, on both the right and left bank of the Garonne – so the selection is huge. The elegance of Bordeaux has drawn in crowds for centuries through the gothic architecture, unusual tourist spots and friendly locals.
Insider tip: Head to the Place de la Bourse, this is where the famous ‘water mirror’ resides. Set beside the River Garonne, the 2cm-deep pool on a large slab creates a one of a kind mirror reflecting the historical buildings and summer landscape.