Millennials are adventurers with a big appetite for the lesser-visited corners of the world, so let’s light up Instagram with these exciting holiday hotspots in 2018
After decades of civil unrest, the Colombian peace process is in full-swing and this gorgeous South American nation has emerged as a global tourist destination. Colombia’s biggest enticement is its majestic Andean peaks, pristine beaches, thickly canopied Amazon jungles and lively cities.
Top five things to see and do in Colombia:
- Join the locals and cycle around central Bogotá when the city is transformed into ciclovias (cycleways) every Sunday from 7am to 2pm.
- Visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, a massive underground complex carved entirely out of salt.
- Take a multi-day hike to visit the archaeological ruins of the Ciudad Perdida (‘Lost City’) which predates Peru’s Machu Pichu by some 650 years.
- Get wet and wild by taking dive trips into the waters of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve around San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.
- Tour the rolling hillsides of Zona Cafetera (Coffee Zone) and try varied and intriguing coffees along the way.
Fair warning: Colombia is a country with a high pulse; throughout your travels, prepare to meet friendly locals, drink lots of coffee, and salsa the night away.
Proudly boasting over 1,100 islands, spectacular walled cities and the legendary Dalmatian coast, Croatia is a paradise for Instagram users. Once you’ve explored the rugged mountains, vineyards and beaches, head to Dubrovnik and see the filming location for the fictional city of King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones”.
Top five things to see and do in Croatia:
- Explore the spectacular Lovrijenac Fortress and Trsteno Arboretum in Dubrovnik; both locations were used in Game of Thrones.
- Visit the ancient Diocletian’s Palace in Split and take a ferry to the gorgeous Hvar and Brač islands.
- Live like Robinson Crusoe in Kornati National Park, an archipelago of some 90 scattered islands and islets.
- Dive in the ethereal Blue Grotto of Croatia and explore the shipwrecks off the island of Vis.
- Supercharge your smartphone battery and take thousands of pictures in Croatia’s most famous national park, Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Pro tip: for Electronic Dance Music fans, don’t miss out on Ultra Europe, a weekend of music in the beautiful city of Split in July.
Small in size but big in character, this Mediterranean island is packed full of history and modern thrills to keep you active 24/7. Enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine and crystalline waters, Malta is a sunbathing and snorkelling paradise.
Top five things to see and do in Malta:
- Visit Valletta, the European Capital of Culture in 2018, and see its ornate churches, palaces and museums befitting a city with such an illustrious history.
- Be dazzled by the Blue Grotto of Malta, the postcard-perfect cave near the village of Zurrieq in southwestern Malta.
- Go clubbing in Paceville which is about 8km north of Valletta. With a vast array of bars, pubs and nightclubs, you’re never far from a good time in Paceville.
- Follow in the footsteps of medieval knights and visit the Mdina citadel with its extraordinary medieval and baroque architecture.
- Be awe-inspired by the megalithic Ggantija temples in Gozo, which are thought to be among the oldest surviving buildings in the world.
Mongolia is an intrepid traveller’s dream. From the sprawling Gobi Desert to the snow-capped mountains in Bayan-Ölgii, Mongolia rewards travellers with unspoilt landscapes largely unchanged since the age of Genghis Khan.
Top five things to see and do in Mongolia:
- Coincide your visit with Naadams which is held in July. Naadams is a nomad sports extravaganza featuring wrestling, horse racing and archery.
- Hunt for dinosaur fossils or go on a camel trek in the Gobi Desert.
- Explore the crystal-clear freshwater Lake Khövsgöl. Learn horse-riding on its sprawling meadows and hike its rugged pine forests.
- Chant with the monks at one of the ancient monasteries. Well preserved monasteries include Amarbayasgalant (near Darkhan), Erdene Zuu (near Kharkhorin) and Gandan (Ulaanbaatar).
- Stay in a ger (an authentic Mongolian yurt) in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where you can go rafting during summer and cross-country skiing in winter.
Sun-kissed Sri Lanka looks set to elevate its position itself as a millennial holiday hotspot in the Indian Ocean. Golden beaches caress the island’s warm waters, while ancient Buddhist temples speckle the interior. For millennials seeking inner peace, there may be no better nation to visit.
Top five things to see and do in Sri Lanka:
- Ride the waves in Sri Lanka. Weligama is an ideal surf spot for beginners while big swells around Midigama attract pro surfers.
- Go on a safari in Yala National Park, which has one of the highest density of leopards in the world.
- Kick back in picturesque Kandy and visit the impressive golden-roofed Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) which is home to the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha.
- Unblock your chakras on Sri Lanka’s many palm-shaded beaches. Bentota, Mount Lavinia, Hikkaduwa are popular choices.
- Ramble around coastal ramparts, colonial villas and atmospheric cobbled streets in the old fort of Galle.
Pro tip: Kandy hosts the annual Esala Perahera in July or August, a festival featuring parades of glittering elephants, dancers and drummers paying homage to the sacred tooth relic of Buddha.
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