The Most Exotic Places in The World: Part 1

In two articles, we will show you our choice of The Most Exotic Places in The World.

The hype and growth within the travel industry are the results of how easy galavanting has become. Many countries have visa-free agreements with each other, giving travellers the freedom to just buy a plane ticket and set off on a journey. Another factor that plays a major role in the growth of the tourism industry, is social media. Who doesn’t want to visit Santorini, after they have scrolled through hundreds of beautiful images on their Instagram feed? While we all love to travel and explore new places, we must agree that we all have one common problem: mass tourism.

From a locals’ perspective, while tourism is great for the economy, it also causes overpopulation, traffic, pollution, and increased prices of local goods and services. From a tourist perspective, can you really enjoy a place to the fullest when you are surrounded by hundreds and thousands of other travelers? Mostly not, which is why we tend to avoid ‘touristy’ destinations and look for tranquillity elsewhere.

In Part 1 and Part 2 we will take you to those most exotic places in the world and travel destinations. 

These are the hidden gems of the world, the pearls of traveling. 

Enjoy!

by Wanderlust Magazine Editor

Vanuatu is a Bislama-speaking South Pacific nation made up of about 80 islands, with a population of approximately 300 000 people. Other official languages include English and French. The islands that make up this tropical paradise are scattered approximately 2.5 hours North-East of Brisbane, Australia; and 2 hours North of Auckland, New Zealand.

Getting to Vanuatu is quite simple from countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Multiple airlines are flying frequently to the country’s capital, Port Vila, among which are Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, and Air Vanuatu.

Although this pristine island paradise remains somewhat untouched by the waves of mass tourism, Vanuatu has a well-established tourism sector that offers visitors an abundance of activities, and accommodation options varying from camping to luxury hotels.

If tradition and culture are your things, you can head over to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, in Port Vila. There you can learn about the country’s traditional indigenous cultures in all aspects, including sand drawing and ‘kastom’ practices. Go island hopping and learn about the local hand-made arts and crafts, that you can also purchase, or take some time to learn Bislama, the official language of Vanuatu.

If you love diving or snorkeling, look no further, as the country is ranked among the top diving spots in the world. Whether you wish to enjoy the beauty of the colorful coral or explore old shipwrecks, there is something for everyone. Enjoy some serenity on Pele Island’s white, soft beaches.

Vanuatu’s untouched nature offers some of the world’s best tropical trekking. Our most recommended is Dog’s Head Trek. This is a 2-day hike from the east coast of Malekula, over the mountains, and to the western village of Tenmaru. On your journey, you will meet two of the island’s main tribes, the Small Nambas and the Big Nambas. You can also learn about Malekula’s history of cannibalism, or freshen up in river pools hidden deep in the forest and far away from civilization. If the adventure bug has bitten you, you can sign up for a 3-day hike to climb Mount Garet where you will get to see bubbling lava and volcanic mud pools. There are also dozens of stunning 1-day hikes to choose from if you are on a time schedule. Vanuatu is truly an adventurers’ paradise.

It is no surprise that this hidden gem has made it onto our The Most Exotic Places in the World – Part 1 shortlist. For more details about this tropical wonderland, refer to the website below:

https://www.vanuatu.travel/en/index.php

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind – Napoleon Bonaparte

Saint Helena is a small island nation located in the South Atlantic Ocean, with a population of just over 4000 people. The island is best known for being the site where Napoleon was exiled after his defeat in 1815 and one of the most remote islands on earth.

Due to its geographical location, travel to and from Saint Helena may be somewhat challenging. However, with a little bit of planning, it is very much possible. Currently, there are flights from London Stansted to the island’s capital, Jamestown, operated by Titan Airways. After a long break due to Covid-19, Airlink is also set to resume their flights to Jamestown from Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.

On Saint Helena, you can find various accommodation options to suit your needs, from hotels and guesthouses to self-catering and bed and breakfasts. However, we recommend making your reservations prior to your trip to ensure availability.

Despite its’ isolation, this tropical paradise offers an abundance of fun activities that will make your visit worthwhile. Saint Helena boasts numerous cultural and historic landmarks, the most popular of which is Longwood House, the final residence of the history maker Napoleon Bonaparte.

If you wish to get a little wet, you can enjoy the warm and crystal-clear waters, and explore the captivating marine life and eight fascinating shipwrecks that lay beneath the surface. For those who prefer to be on land, there are several hikes that you can enjoy. Most popular of which are Diana’s Peak, also being the highest point on the island with 818m above sea level, and the Heart-Shaped Waterfall.

During your visit to Saint Helena, do not forget to make a pitstop at Plantation House and say ‘hello’ to Jonathan the tortoise, the oldest living land animal on earth today, at 190 years young! For more information on this island paradise, as well as travel, accommodation, and tour reservations, visit the official Saint Helena tourism website below:

https://www.sthelenatourism.com/

“The air quality in Greenland is among the best in the world”

by visitgreenland.com

Greenland and its untouched natural beauty is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Although it is the largest island in the world, its population is only 56 000 people. If you have never experienced Midnight Sun or Polar Night before, Greenland would be the perfect place to do so. A typical summers day in the capital, Nuuk, will give you approximately 21 hours of daylight, namely Midnight Sun. During the winter months you will experience Polar Nights with an average of 4H30Min of daylight in the more southern parts of the country, and no daylight at all in the north.

Greenland is one of three countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark and the Faroe Islands: the citizens of which are all Danish nationals. This makes travel between Copenhagen and Greenland possible, although flights are limited to four per week in the winter and ten per week in the summer. Icelandair also operates flights all year round between Reykjavik and different parts of the big island nation.

Accommodation options in Greenland are widely available, however, we do recommend early bookings to ensure that you get the best deal.

The arctic offers a different kind of natural beauty. From icebergs and glaciers to arctic wildlife and hot springs, in Greenland, you can experience it all. One phenomenon that should be on every traveller’s bucket list is Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. The best time to experience this multicoloured lightshow is between September and April.

If you think that beautiful landscapes are all that Greenland can offer you, you are wrong. There are countless activities that one can experience. Ski touring, kayaking, dog sledding, whale watching, and ice fishing, are only to name a few.

For help in planning your trip to Greenland, visit the official tourism website below:

https://visitgreenland.com/

Reunion Island is last but certainly not least on our list of The Most Exotic Places in the World – Part 1, and is located in the Indian ocean. Although it may seem though living in the shadow of nearby and more-popular, Mauritius, Reunion has just as much to offer, if not more. Traveling to this French-speaking island nation is possible from Mauritius, South Africa, Belgium, and France. Accommodation options are widely available all throughout the island.

Reunion is best known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, coral reefs, and its volcanic, rainforested landscapes. If you love hiking, there are countless trails to choose from all throughout the island, the most iconic of which is Piton de la Fournaise: an active volcano standing at 2632m (8635 ft). After a hike, freshen up in the warm Indian Ocean and enjoy a well-deserved rum cocktail, the Reunionese way! For more information about Reunion Island, click on the link below:

https://en.reunion.fr/

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