Five offbeat destinations to visit this summer

Chuck the oft-visited destinations this summer and take the lesser trodden path. These destinations may not be as popular but are definitely worth discovering.

WALES
LOCATION– England
MUST VISIT PLACES– Snowdonia, Aiberdeen, Llandudnos.
PACKAGE PRICES–     Customised packages available

Often, I am asked my favorite travel destination and I invariably reply, ‘’Wales”. Having lived in Wales for six months, I can safely reckon that every single day in this outdoor paradise is like a picnic party.  This British countryside promises endless hours of outdoor joy midst the charm of unspoilt bounty of nature. Revel in the beauty of rolling meadows, gorgeously lush landscapes, merrily grazing sheep, rivers gushing through the hillocks and boats sailing by. Dip your feet in the lucid lakes, enjoy caravan outtings and soak in the beauty of nature like nowhere else. Explore the seaside town of Aiberdeen or climb up the mountains and gaze at the steam engines in Snowdonia or simply laze by the riverside in Llandudnos. And don’t forget to taste the delicious scones with your tea. And of course, the historic castles are sure to take your breath away.

KAZAKHSTAN
LOCATION– Central Asia
MUST VISIT PLACES- Almaty, Karkaralinsk, Shymbulak, Lake Borovai
PACKAGE PRICES STARTING – AED 2500 per person

If you doubt the offerings of this lesser known ex- Soviet delight, think again! With the proud ownership of some of world’s largest oil reserves and the famed Bykanur Space Cosmodrome, this country is gaining brisk momentum in tourism sector as well. I have lived in this Central Asian country for more than three years and have experienced the beauty of this lesser known CIS country like an insider. This upcoming neighbor of the well -known Georgia and Armenia, offers a host of delights for travelers. The capital city, Almaty is a charming city surrounded by mountains. Medeo is a picturesque valley located 15 km above Almaty that boasts of world’s largest speed skating rink. Karkaralinsk is a wonderful place for weekend getaway and trekking. Throughout the country of course, be prepared to be greeted by die-hard fans of Indian cine-star Raj Kapoor and Seeta and Geeta (Hema Malini)! And don’t forget to taste the Russian soup ‘Borshe’ and pancakes called ‘Blinni’.

SALALAH 
LOCATION– Oman (near Yemen border)
MUST VISIT PLACES – Mughsayl beach, Anti- gravity Hill, Frankincense Farms
PACKAGE PRICES STARTING– AED 1700 per person

If you are a monsoon buff and unable to make it to India to soak up the rains, Salalah is a veritable option. This lesser visited paradise of Gulf is an ideal place to engage at a slower yet sweeter pace if you don’t want o fly out of Gulf. Dubbed as the hill station of Oman, Salalah is best visited during khareef (or rainy) season in August. Take a respite from the skyrocketing temperatures on the coconut-fringed beaches of Arabian Sea; stroll through the banana plantations or explore century old frankincense trees. The beauty of fjords merging into the seas is a breathless sight by itself.

ROMANIA
LOCATION– South- East Europe
MUST VISIT- Bucharest, Constanta, Sinaia Brasov, Piona Brasov, Danube Delta
PACKAGE PRICES STARTING– 3000 AED

Romania may not have found a flourishing space in itinerary packages as yet, but it offers a truly immersive experience to the discerning traveler. Its unique sights include the mysterious Dracula Castle and the second largest administrative parliament building in the world after Pentagon. Also, the Danube Delta (near Caspian Sea) is included in Unesco’s World Heritage list as one of Romania’s leading attractions. Culture lovers have  lots to indulge in the rich folklore and quaint villages. Enjoy some ‘me time’ on its secluded beaches in Constanta. The unspoilt natural attractions of Sinaia and Piona Brasov will surely take your breath away. Immerse in the beauty of its monasteries and churches or simply enjoy a chilled- out evening on the shores of River Danube.

  MAURITIUS
LOCATION-
An island country located off the south- east coast of Africa.MUST VISIT PLACES– Troux au Cerfs (volcanic crater), Valley of Colours, Port Louis.
 PACKAGE PRICES STARTING– AED 3800 per person

The fact that Mauritius is located in the southern hemisphere makes it highly conducive to Gulf tourists seeking respite from the sultry temperatures. With mercury hovering around twenty degrees, it is extremely pleasant time to laze around the amazing beaches and explore the turquoise waters of Indian Ocean. Mauritius is a popular haven for water sports lovers. From wakeboarding to kite- surfing, surfing, stand up paddle- boarding, there is much to keep the aquatic bug alive in you. Play around with the colourful fish through sea walks, under-water scooters and scuba diving. And of course, get enchanted by a ship wreck or the beautiful corals through the windows of a submarine. The aquaphobes also have host of things to do like ziplining, botanical gardens, bird parks, etc.


                                                           

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About the Editor
About the Editor
Bandana Jain
Bandana Jain is a seasoned lifestyle and travel journalist for the past two decades. Also a blogger, she loves pursuing modelling as a hobby. She has also ventured into the realms of anchoring and public speaking. When she is not pursuing any of the above, you can find her chilling by the beach or in park with her favourite cup of masala chai. Travelling is her passion, creativity her morale booster and enriching conversations give her the necessary thrust in life.

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