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Uncommon Vacation Destinations - Try Something New!

Have a great adventure! Make a plan this year to visit somewhere new, exotic, lesser known. Here’s a list of more unusual travel destinations to explore and enjoy.

Bhutan – Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation located in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Its landscape ranges from subtropical plains and forests in the South to subalpine forests and snowy mountains in the North. Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist country and is known as the last stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism. All International tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a license Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners.  Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. Visit their tourist bureau here:  http://www.tourism.gov.bt/   See our travel guides here.

Canary Islands – The Canary Islands are a group of Spanish islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. Spanish is the national language but English is widely spoken due to the large number of British visitors coming to seek the sun. There are plenty of resorts for pampered beach vacations and also more natural locations to explore the volcanoes. I indulged in the lovely selection of peridot jewelry (my birthstone) made from the volcanic rock on Lanzarote. See our travel guides here.

Madeira – Madeira is a group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic north of the Canaries. It is a bit rustic, quite hilly, and bathed in the gorgeous colors of the flowers. It is best known for its namesake wine. When I visited (years ago) it was pouring with rain. We discovered the practice of riding a wooden toboggan down the cobblestoned hillside, a bit risky in the rain but fun nonetheless. I loved the linens in the shops and the Madeira cake – mmmmmm. I wish I had purchased more of both to bring back home. See our travel guides here.

Montenegro – Montenegro, named for its black mountains, is a mountainous country on the Adriatic Sea in Eastern Europe.  In the morning you can wake up along the beautiful Adriatic coast, have lunch on the banks of Skadar Lake, and enjoy an evening walk in the mountains. American citizens are not required to obtain a visa to enter Montenegro. They may stay in Montenegro for up to 90 days. See our travel guides here.

Samoa – Samoa is made up of a group of islands in western Polynesia, quite far south of Hawaii, west of Tahiti, and northeast of New Zealand. The eastern islands of Samoa became American Samoa in the early 1900’s and the western, larger islands became German Samoa, just called Samoa. US citizens do not need a visa for stays of 60 days or less. Natural wonders to visit include the Alofaaga blowholes and the Afu Aau Waterfall, both in Savai’I, the To Sua Ocean Trench in Lalomanu, and the Piula Cave Pool in Upolu. Our Samoa travel information is here.

Senegal – Senegal is an exotic country on the western coast of Africa. You’ll need to be a bit of an adventurer and a hardened traveler to visit Senegal. A tourist visa is required to enter but it can be obtained after your arrival. You should have a yellow fever vaccine before you travel there and be sure to check the CDC website to see if there have been any Ebola incidents (so far none). Dakar is the capital and it has an ancient Medina district as well as an esteemed museum of African art. The dry season runs from December to April. See our travel information here.

Seychelles – The main attractions in the Seychelles are the many glorious beaches, followed by the beautiful coral reefs and nature reserves. The Seychelles is an archipelago of over 100 islands in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, northeast of Madagascar. The majority of the population (and resorts) are on the granite islands of Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette Island and the Inner Corallines. Ownership was disputed between Great Britain and France before they gained independence in 1976, so many place names are French or English. See our travel guides here.

Suriname – Suriname is a small country in northeast South America covered with tropical rainforests and Dutch Colonial architecture. Come here to experience white water rafting and diverse cultures from the mountains to the shores. Paramaibo is the coastal capital and Dutch is the official language. Their national tourism foundation is found here: https://www.surinametourism.sr/. After exploring this website, Suriname has made it onto my bucket list of places to travel. See our travel resources here.
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