6 Unusual Holiday Destinations You Might Not Have Considered

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by; And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

September 2017 • Jules Verne

6 Unusual Holiday Destinations You Might Not Have Considered

If you, like Robert Frost, are looking to take the road less travelled then you have come to the right place. When deciding where to travel with Jules Verne, the world is your oyster. With over 70 countries in our portfolio, there are a myriad of options to explore. Here our experts share some of their favourite unusual holiday destinations for you to consider for your next trip: 

Lithuania

Tucked in the north-west corner of Europe you will find the Baltic nations, the southernmost of which is Lithuania. This oft-forgotten country is a delight for those looking for unusual cultural and historical holiday destinations. The capital Vilnius offers a great deal to amateur historians including the largest Old Town in Europe, which enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. Here you will uncover cultural gems unseen by many. Explore the narrow winding streets and discover cosy cafes, airy galleries and restaurants where you can sample delicious national specialities.

Those with an interest in architecture will enjoy the proliferation of Baroque architecture, with its imposing facades and dramatic use of light and space. Other cities and towns across Lithuania also have much to offer architecture enthusiasts. Trakai for example, which stands on the shore of one of Lithuania’s many glittering lakes, is home to a fascinating 14th-century castle. The sight of the orange roofs shining in the sun across the water is sure to be a highlight of any tour of the region.

Suggested Tour: Discover the history and architecture of the Baltics on our Baltic Capitals tour.

Albania

The Balkans are another region of Europe that are often overlooked when considering a holiday. Albania is an excellent choice for those looking for an unusual travel destination – its relative remoteness and isolation give it a unique character, as well as an unspoiled feel. The coastal regions are stunning, but where Albania starts to offer a truly different holiday is when one starts to travel inland to uncover the hidden gems among the rocky mountains.

Once you have torn yourself away from the beaches you will discover castles, forts, archaeological wonders, monasteries, and ancient bazaars. Some of the more surprising destinations include Bunk’Art - a nuclear bunker built directly into the hillside in Tirana, which now houses a modern history museum and exciting contemporary art.

Suggested Tour: Immerse yourself in Albanian culture and history on our Classical Tour of Albania, which takes you on a 7-night romp through the depths of the country while leaving time to enjoy the seaside regions.

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan formed part of the Soviet Union until the 1990s and are perhaps the pinnacle of unusual holiday destinations. Kazakhstan alone is the size of Western Europe and contains a multitude of landscapes - from mountains to lakes, to remote steppes. The area is rich in mineral resources, which has led to rapid economic expansion in recent years. This is a location that is sure to confound expectations at every turn.

Located in central Asia, south of Russia and northwest of China, the region has a unique culture that you will be unable to find elsewhere. For centuries, Kazakhs have been herders, and so the local cuisine centres on the animals they raised; horses, sheep and camels, which provided everything from dairy products to meat to transportation. Although it was suppressed under Soviet rule, the country is Islamic, and the culture has been influenced by the Turkic nomadic lifestyle; the traditional dwelling is the yurt.

Suggested Tour: Our new Peaks and Petroglyphs tour allows you to explore both of these enchanting countries, their natural history, culture and their ties to the Silk Road; the major trading route that was the source of the area’s wealth for centuries.

Jordan

Many people might not consider the Middle East when deciding on their next travel destination. However, we urge you to include Jordan on your shortlist; this fascinating destination makes for a once-in-a-lifetime trip that is sure to be unforgettable. What makes Jordan such an awe-inspiring country is the depth of its history; discover ruined roman cities and desert citadels as you explore the bountiful points of interest. For those with an interest in biblical history, you can visit locations mentioned in the Bible throughout the country.

Aside from the historical and cultural points of interest, there is also a great deal of natural history to explore in Jordan. Although there are arid deserts as you might expect from a Middle Eastern nation, the landscape is much more varied than this; expect rugged, rocky, mountains and sparkling waters, particularly on visits to the Dead Sea and Red Sea. However, spending time exploring the Desert Castles deep in Jordan will afford plenty of time to marvel at the red, dusty sands that you might associate with the region.

Suggested Tour: Take your time to explore on our 9-night Discover Jordan tour, which includes two full days to visit the wonder of Petra, as well as free time to float in the Dead Sea. With so much to see you may choose to extend in Aqaba to make the most of your stay.

Burma

Indochina is an increasingly popular holiday destination. However, unlike many of its more popular neighbours, Burma hasn’t seen the meteoric popularity that we might associate with the area. This might be in part because of the isolation that the country experienced; Burma’s borders only opened up to tourists relatively recently. Also known as Myanmar, the country has experienced a turbulent history, particularly in the last few decades, which led to this isolation.

Today, however, the richness of the history of this remarkable country is one of the main draws for travellers. The fascinating archaeological finds and amazing architectural delights are plentiful across the country. In Burma you will find the same things that will draw you to the rest of Indochina; delicious foods, vibrant cultures and a tropical climate, but without the droves of tourists.

Suggested Tour: On our Burmese Days cruise, you will be able to see the length of this captivating country from the comfort of a colonial style steamer. Immerse yourself in the history and culture with our exclusive special events.