5 Totally Underrated Holiday Destinations

Finally the days are getting longer, the weather is getting a little bit warmer and it’s time to start planning the ultimate holiday. Those months of dreaming of sandy white beaches, rolling turquoise surf and breezy soft swaying palm trees, while the brollie in your cocktail swirls slowly around the pineapple are about to come to life.

But where to go? What’s hot at the moment and most importantly where can you go where the prices won’t make your snorkeling goggles steam up completely? When it comes to the ultimate sunshine soaked breakaways, the usual suspects always seem to pop up, but there are some hidden gems this season that have been waiting for their little slice of fame. Here it is 5 totally underrated holiday destinations to consider this year:

#1 Phu Quoc – Vietnam

The breathtaking region of Phu Quoc, set right in the heart of the Phu Quoc National Park is not nearly as well known – if at all – compared to neighboring Phuket, but it is as beautiful, if not more so than its more famous counterpart. Free from massive modern resort development –for now – Phu Quoc is a magical island paradise, beautifully pristine and untouched.

Soft white cashmere sands, palm fronded beach fronts and mesmerizing turquoise waters sweep as far as the eye can see. A protected marine reserve is home to underwater palaces of intricate, delicate and bustling coral reefs, heaving with the most exotic marine life, brightly colored schools of fish, dolphins and other marine life. Perfect for snorkeling, exploring the reefs, walking along the beach and soaking up the sun in this unspoiled coastal haven. One can only hope it stays this way forever.

#2 Inle Lake – Myanmar

Inle Lake is incredible and no doubt, one of the 5 totally underrated holiday destinations to consider this year. Inle Lake in Myanmar  is slowly gathering some notoriety as being one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. Trapped in time, the local tribes living in and around the Shan State Mountain on the breathtaking lake have been going about day to day life as they always have done –mostly since the beginning of time.

Crops grow on floating garden beds on the lake, fisherman standing up with their legs wrapped around paddles rowing, bustling market trade on the river with wares being flogged in small jam packed channels with boats packed like sardines next to one another. Rugs and shawls being woven on looms made from bamboo and homes on stilts perched on the lake – their primary source of income and food – are just as it has been for centuries before. Fly into Yangon, Burma (Mynamar) and then take a connecting flight into the nearest airport before driving the hour to the rural area of the lake.

#3 Mumbo Island – Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi National Park is home to one small pristine island, and one of the most incredible secrets of the African country of Malawi. Mumbo Island is an isolated tropical island, offering visitors a once in a life time experience and what is considered to be the best fresh water dive and snorkeling site in the world.

It is completely off the grid and has never been inhabited at all, so it will be found in the exact state that nature intended it to be found. It is an entirely eco-friendly green camp, just one km wide in total and offers guests a rejuvenating and soul restoring experience in the magical tropical paradise in Africa.

#4 Trunk Bay – Virgin Islands

National Geographic has listed Trunk Bay as having the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it’s hard to disagree with them. It is the Virgin Islands National Parks most popular tourist attraction, sweeping over a whopping 60% of St John. And is the ultimate spring destination vacation – ideal for snorkeling, sun bathing, swimming and exploring the lush rain forests on land.

There is an abundance of coral reefs, teeming with marine life, just waiting to be explored underneath the never ending carpet of crystal clear, inviting turquoise waters. The rainforests are home to a thriving wildlife community, which includes bats – the only native mammal on the island. Cinnamon Bay nature trail is a popular draw card for visitors who come to camp and hike here.

#5 Mombasa – Kenya

On the eastern coast of the magical African country of Kenya, you’ll find the stunning city of Mombasa. A stark contrast to the heart of raw, wild Africa at its best – home to the Rift Valley and Hells Gate National Park, Mombasa couldn’t be more of a contradiction if it tried. Sweeping white powder sands, wind gloriously as far as the eye can see, mesmerizing azure waters lapping at the shore.

Palm trees rustle gently in the wind, the sea is pristine and you feel totally isolated on your magical island paradise retreat. It is only until you look up from your sunny nap, to see a lazy trail of camels meandering across the beach, and as you look further into the distance the iconically distinctive shape of the Kenyan Dhow – the traditional wooden fishing boat with its characteristic sails, gliding through the breeze ruffled waters – that you are reminded that you are in the middle of Africa.

Author Bio: My name is Kate Funk. I am a passionate traveller and English tutor online.