If the start of a new year didn’t bring any New Year’s resolutions your way, perhaps you’ll resolve to travel more after reading our list of up-and-coming places to travel in 2012. These emerging hotspots are often not thought of as popular travel destinations but are making their way to the top of the list as ravaged countries make a come-back and innovative boutiques and tours take hold at other locations.
Here are some interesting travel destinations for 2012:
Matera: If you like medieval architecture and learning about ancient history, then you won’t want to miss a visit to Matera, Italy. This little-known city boasts hundreds of cave dwellings dating back to the eighth century. Some of the dwellings are available to stay the night and are most coveted by guests. Whether or not you are a self-proclaimed foodie, the local cuisine also takes its cues from recipes passed down for centuries. To give you an idea of the antiquity of the area, this city is where the movie “Passion of the Christ” was filmed because of the ancient buildings that are commonplace in the area.
Istria: Who needs a trip to Tuscany when you can go to Istria, Croatia? Istria offers fewer tourists and you get more bang for your buck, wherever you go! Immerse yourself in countryside with miles of vineyards and picture-perfect scenery. Enjoy incredible seafood, pizza and pasta dishes topped with truffles – a delicacy for which Istria has become famous.
Rwanda: Have you ever been on a safari? Rwanda offers tourists a way to see endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Get a guided tour through the thick bamboo forests and views of gorgeous mountains, valleys, rivers and villages. Safari-focused tourism, which is affordable and doesn’t harm the environment, is leading the country’s comeback after genocide that happened over 20 years ago.
Wales: Rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and a trail along its entire coast are just a few of the reasons to visit Wales – the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The country offers 600 castles, eats for even the most finicky of foodies and plenty of charm and breathtaking views of a glistening countryside.
Do you have an out-of-the-way hotspot that we missed? Don’t forget to share it with us by leaving a comment and recommendation for our readers.