If you love travel, any place you haven’t visited yet sounds good. But, if it’s an unusual destination, you’re likely to be even more intrigued. You’ll have stories that not everyone will be able to tell.
So we thought you might like a quick taster of five unusual travel-itch worthy destinations not to miss if you’re planning your next sojourn somewhere different.
Enjoying a trip with family can come with difficulties – how do you find something that everyone is going to enjoy (aside from maybe a cruise). But there are places that tick all the boxes and can be a huge hit with the whole family. Legoland Germany is one such destination. Situated near Munich, Legoland entertains adults and kids alike. It features typical theme park features including water rides and rollercoasters. But it’s main attraction is the millions of lego bricks depicting models of people, cars, buildings and animals. It is said that the park needed 50 million blocks to create its ambience.
The park features an underwater world that mimics the legendary Atlantis, thematic worlds filled with pirates, knights, European cities and a whole Star Wars Universe and much more exciting and riveting spots that will delight one and all. If you’re a Lego fan, or you use to be one when you were little, you’ll stare in wonder at what’s been built.
Giethoorn, the Netherlands
Giethoorn in Netherlands (about 90 minutes from Amsterdam) is so tranquil you’re likely to leave your visit here feeling quite zen. Geithoorn village is made of many tiny islands interconnected via canals and more than 180 wooden bridges.
Well known as Venice of Holland, Giethooren attracts travellers looking for a little relaxing water magic without the Venetian crowds. The best way to see it is to book a small boat cruise (think a cross between a gondola and marginally bigger than a canoe/not quite a tinnie for 2-3 people) with a local who can guide you and give you some local history and colour. There are also canal-side restaurants, museums and shipyards to explore as you go. If you’re more of a land lover, it’s an easy afternoon’s walk or cycle through the green marshland paths. If you’re a bird lover, there’s plenty to see there too. Or if you’re up for a visit in Winter, you’ll be able to skate along the canals.
Holy Trinity Monastery, Meteora, Greece
Want to feel like you can touch the sky, but keep your feet firmly on the ground? Visit the Eastern Orthodox Greek monastery, Holy Trinity. It has the most incredible (and unusual) setting. The monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site, is built atop a tall stone outcrop some 400m in the air. Why so high you might wonder? The monks believed that they would be closer to god (and you’ll get wonderful views of the valley below). Whilst there are several other similar monasteries in Greece, all built around the 14/15th centuries, Holy Trinity is the only one where visitors are allowed.
So how do you access the monastery? You can either take the road on the cliff behind the monastery and cross the cliffs via cable car, or if you’re up for the exercise, take the tunnels and 130 stone stairs. Think you’ve seen it in a movie? Yes, you’re right. It featured in James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only in 1981.
Still on a semi-spiritual note (and it’s only just borderline Europe – more Middle East), the sheer scale and colour of this one will take your breath away. It’s also said to improve your health if you’re up for ‘taking the salts’ via a toe-dip in Pamukkale’s thermal springs. Pamukkale, which means ‘cotton castle’ was once a holy city but is now one of Turkey’s the most popular tourist attractions. Also a world heritage site, the site features thermal springs and terraces made of bright white travertine (as in marble) and limestone filled with mineral-rich milky pools of blue/green. You won’t be able to access most of the thermal springs as many have a temperature ranges between 35 to 100 degrees Celsius. So you can only dip your feet in the shallow, cooler pools. Just a quick tip, if you’re going to visit, stay close by and visit in the morning. The crowds don’t arrive until after lunchtime. Oh, and you’ll need to be okay wearing bare feet so you don’t disturb the stone.
Not a fan of busier European tourist spots like Dubrovnik, but still want a truly spectacular experience? Visit Zadar, part of Croatia’s Dalmation Coast, another world heritage listed UNESCO site with natural beauties and outdoor adventures aplenty. Visit Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes and Krka national parks where you can hike, climb and in Krka, enjoy emerald green waters with a mass (and we mean mass) of waterfalls, seemingly everywhere you look.
Glorious natural sites aside, Zadar is also about soaking up an often quirky culture. According to famed film-maker Alfred Hitchcock, Zadar’s red sunsets are some of the most beautiful in the world to behold. You can watch them from the Monument to the Sun (what is, in essence, a solar powered disco floor that lights up at night). Or you can enjoy it as you sail back from one of the remote islands scented by pines. Or, and this really is quirky, enjoy ‘ocean music’ created by the Sea Organ that creates ‘music’ as the pipes under the promenade fill with water.
So there are a couple of destinations you might not have thought about before to think about. If you’ve ‘done’ the regular European destinations and want to plan your perfect trip somewhere a little different, we’d be delighted to help you create something that perfectly suits you or your family. You can give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, visit the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents via the form below.
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