The Not Spots Guide

Kata Tjuta, Australia
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Take the road less travelled with Rome2rio

With popular destinations getting increasingly overcrowded, we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on alternative travel spots across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a quiet beach to relax or for a new spin on New York’s iconic skyline, these options will give travellers a new - and potentially more authentic – experience, without the tourist crowds. Click the locations on the map below to explore!

Art & Culture

01.
Austin, Texas → Omaha, Nebraska
Art & Culture
It’s almost impossible to look past Austin’s reputation as a North American creative hub, or indeed a global one. The city’s official slogan is ‘The Live Music Capital of the World’: downtown Austin has more licensed venues than anywhere else in the US; and each year, creatives and punters alike flood into the Texan capital for South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the world’s most FOMO’d-over music, art, and film festivals.

While Omaha can’t boast quite as many bars and pubs, nor an iconic arts festival on par with SXSW, Nebraska’s largest city is home to the ‘Omaha Sound’, a brand of indie rock pioneered by influential hometown record labels Saddle Creek Records and Team Love Records, who laid the groundwork for Omaha’s bustling and star-making music scene. Omahans are proud of their music-town status, packing the city’s numerous music venues and keeping up to date with the latest cultural goings-on through The Reader alt-weekly and Hear Nebraska.
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02.
Melbourne, Victoria → Hobart, Tasmania
Art & Culture
Melbourne has long enjoyed a proud reputation as Australia’s centre of arts and culture. With ample live music venues, playhouses, galleries, street art, public installations and creative spaces, there’s plenty to feast your eyes and ears on as you sip one of the city’s famous coffees – and Melburnians know it.

By contrast, the sleepy Tasmanian capital of Hobart keeps relatively quiet about its very active cultural scene, and it’s a city most travellers wouldn’t think to go to uncover Australia’s creative side. Arguably the centre of Hobart’s vibrant cultural scene is the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA), which houses more than 1,900 works in addition to hosting the annual MOFO and Dark MOFO festivals. Curated by Violent Femmes bassist (and Tasmanian local) Brian Ritchie, the twin festivals – one held in summer, one in winter – boast lineups comprised of some of the world’s best-known and boundary-pushing artists and musical acts.
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03.
Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro, Rio → Carnaval de Oruro, Bolivia
Art & Culture
If you’ve experienced Rio’s iconic Carnival, you’ll know there’s few sights (or sounds) on earth quite like it. You’ll also understand just what Carnival means to the Brazilian people: it’s a celebration of everything Brazilian, from their culture to their way of life. Millions of travellers have made the pilgrimage to Rio to experience the five-day spectacle, but considerably fewer travellers are aware of Bolivia’s equally vibrant, colourful and historic answer to Rio Carnival: the Carnaval de Oruro.

Taking place over nine days, starting the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, Carnaval de Oruro dates to the 17th century when Spanish settlers banned the traditional ceremonies of the native Itu people. Today, the Carnaval de Oruro is an homage to the Virgin of Candelaria, bringing together some 28,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians in at beautiful and spectacular celebration that’s an important touchstone of Bolivian culture.
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04.
Paris, France → Abu Dhabi, UAE
Art & Culture
Paris’ status as a global artistic and cultural mecca is impossible to overlook. In addition to its history as a playground for some of humanity’s most gifted and boundary-pushing creative minds – from Hemingway and Picasso to Coco Chanel and Miles Davis – Paris is home to some of the world’s most iconic works of art, many of which are housed at the equally iconic Louvre Museum.

But nipping at Paris’s Louboutin heels is Abu Dhabi. What the capital of the United Arab Emirates lacks in history, it’s making up in establishing some of the world’s most sought-after art collections and awe-inspiring galleries. It has its own answer to the Louvre, which houses works by da Vinci, Matisse and Van Gogh, as well as The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi, the high-tech Manarat Al Saadiyat, and the planned Zayed National Museum, which, when finally built, will be one of the most breathtaking museums in the world – and that’s before you check out the exhibits.
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Beach

01.
Greek Islands → Albanian Riviera
Beach
The sun-soaked Greek Islands have an unparalleled natural landscape that offers some of the world’s top kitesurfing, diving and rock climbing. And don’t get us started on the food, history, beaches or party scene. But the barrage of tourists over the decades has left its mark on the islands, with many small communities overrun for months of each year. Our recommendation: try the Albania Riviera instead.

Sheltered from the package-holiday crowd by its relative inaccessibility (the easiest way to get to the Riviera’s unofficial capital of Sarande is to fly into Corfu and take a ferry), Albania’s southern coast has everything to rival its Mediterranean neighbours. Here you’ll find miles of breathtaking coastline, vibrant sunsets and golden beaches lapped by turquoise waters – with a fraction of the crowds and at a fraction of the cost. From seafood feasts in Ksamil to the UNESCO-listed ancient city of Butrint, this less-developed part of the Med has everything you need for a low-key, yet still-perfect, beach holiday.
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02.
Zanzibar, Tanzania → Pemba, Tanzania
Beach
Zanzibar’s very name evokes magic, mystery and the waft of exotic spices. Ancient dhows float in the endlessly-blue Indian Ocean and the maze-like alleys of Stone Town meander between grand palaces and bustling street bazaars. Visitors are lured by the island’s idyllic beaches and colourful reefs, and wowed by the legacy of its location as a cultural crossroads. But Zanzibar is far from being the only jewel in East Africa’s coastal crown.

Most people haven’t heard of Pemba, but this is Zanzibar’s smaller, greener and wilder little sister, located just 50km to the north. The handful of travellers that make it to this tiny island are rewarded by top-notch diving, historic fishing villages, unspoilt coastline and laidback locals. It’s rare to find such a beautiful spot still barely touched by mass tourism, but that’s what you’ll get here – along with millions of clove trees (which gave the spice island its nickname) and the Pemba flying fox, which is actually an endemic species of bat. If you’re looking for total serenity far from the bustling crowds of Zanzibar, this one’s for you.
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03.
Caribbean Islands → Colombian Islands
Beach
Sometimes you feel like getting away, but you’re not looking to ‘travel’. Instead of trekking and sightseeing, you just want to lounge in a hammock and enjoy a light read and maybe a piña colada or two. The most obvious choice for those who are looking to enjoy the beach or resort life for a spell is the Caribbean. Of course, the downside of making the obvious choice is that you’re not the only one who's made it – and the Caribbean is nothing if not a tourism hotbed.

The South American country of Colombia sits within both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, but unlike the Caribbean’s most well-known locales, Colombia’s respective islands don’t see anywhere near as many tourists. In fact, many of its islands are uninhabited. If you’re looking for a real island getaway, consider booking a trip to San Andrés or Isla Mucura. Remember to bring a good book and to switch off your smartphone.
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04.
Surfers Paradise, Queensland → Bill’s Bay, Western Australia
Beach
Just saying the words ‘Surfers Paradise’ instantly conjures images of pristine beaches and shimmering blue waters. Even if you’ve never visited the Gold Coast town known to Australians simply as ‘Surfers’, you can easily picture it. What may just be missing from your mental image, however, is the backdrop of towering skyscrapers and high-rise hotels, which are just as iconic as the town’s shoreline.

Surfers Paradise is beautiful, but it’s also busy, especially if you unknowingly booked your trip for November, when the town becomes the central hub for Schoolies – Australia’s answer to the US’ infamous Spring Break. If you’re looking to enjoy the best of Australia’s gorgeous beaches, without the high-rises or foot traffic, consider shifting your trajectory from Queensland to Western Australia, where the pristine waters and golden sands at Bill’s Bay are the jewel in the crown of WA’s Coral Bay.
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05.
Thailand → Sri Lanka
Beach
Is it possible for a location to simply be too beautiful for its own good? If so, the Thai islands would make a good candidate for such an accolade. Last year, the Thai government was forced to step in and indefinitely close off tourist access to Maya Bay, the stunning bay made famous by the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach. However, while its place in popular culture ensured an overwhelming stream of travellers, overtourism is not atypical for many of Thailand’s famed islands.

The tourist gridlock is likely why many travellers are starting to look further afield for their own slice of paradise. Sri Lanka is among the most scenic and relatively quiet alternatives, despite tragic recent events, and its beaches are just as glorious and Instagram-friendly as Thailand’s. Bentota is for all intents and purposes a postcard come to life, but if you’re looking for something a little more remote, consider the idyllic and virtually untouched Uppuveli.
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Adventure & Outdoors

01.
Iceland → Faroe Islands
Adventure & Outdoors
No-one is doubting the glorious beauty of Iceland. Certainly not the two million-plus travellers who visit each year to gawp at the staggering scenery, black-sand beaches and geothermal geysers. It seems that we’re obsessed by this otherworldly land, where people feast on fermented shark and believe in trolls and fairies – and, understandably, the locals are getting more than a little bit annoyed.

To encourage people to develop more diverse travel habits, we suggest they look east to the Faroe Islands. These 18 less-visited islands huddled in the North Atlantic Ocean offer similarly dramatic scenery, with lush, verdant hills, craggy mountains dripping with waterfalls, and atmospheric beaches flanked by sheer cliffs. Travellers will be greeted by friendly locals and vibrant art and music scenes. And perhaps the best part? You won’t even have to eat rotten shark: the tiny Faroe Islands are renowned for their cuisine, and even have their own Michelin-starred restaurant.
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02.
Machu Picchu, Peru → Choquequirao, Peru
Adventure & Outdoors
The fabled Inca citadel of Machu Picchu makes a regular appearance on travel bucket lists for good reason: hiking the Inca Trail to the ancient city is once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, the ever-growing crowds have led to increasingly restricted access to Peru’s most famous ruin, which was never meant to host thousands of people each day. Although you’ll still be able to visit by booking a timeslot in advance, consider visiting Peru’s lesser-known ‘lost city’ instead.

The Inca ruins at Choquequirao are even bigger than its more-popular sibling, with a towering citadel swathed in cloud and tumbling terraces sprawled over multiple mountain slopes. The site, still only partially cleared, is buried deep in the jungle, meaning the only way to currently get there is via a challenging four-day return hike. This is true adventure and authentic exploration at its best; be sure to go before the proposed cable car to the site is built, when numbers will undoubtedly soar.
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03.
Kenya → Zambia
Adventure & Outdoors
Kenya’s Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most popular game reserves. It’s perhaps best known for the Great Migration between July and September each year, when the savannah becomes a moving carpet of more than 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles migrating from Tanzania in search of green pastures. Wildlife is abundant at other times too, and sightings of the much-heralded Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) are common.

While Zambia might not have the game-sighting clout of Kenya, this is an excellent alternative safari spot, with a network of wild, game-rich national parks threaded with rivers and waterways that attract outstanding birdlife. South Luangwa National Park is famous for its walking safaris, providing up-close encounters with big game as well as smaller creatures, while the scenic Lower Zambezi is a vast and wild national park where the mighty Zambezi River calls out for boat or canoe exploration.
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04.
Grand Canyon, Arizona → Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Adventure & Outdoors
Look, we’d never tell you not to go to the Grand Canyon. There’s a reason it’s one of the world's seven natural wonders, with 5 million-plus visitors each year. Whether you’re staring into the abyss from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, photographing picture-perfect Horseshoe Bend or mesmerised by the spectacular Havasu Falls, a visit to this immense canyon and its 2 billion-year-old rocks is pretty much unsurpassable.

What we do want to do, however, is tell you about another very special Arizona site, just a few hours’ drive to the east. Canyon de Chelly National Monument may fly under the radar due to its bigger and better-known cousin, but in this cherished homeland of the Navajo people, intrepid travellers will find soaring sandstone walls, scenic overlooks and Ancient Puebloan ruins. And whether you explore the 83,000 acres of wild landscape on two wheels, two feet or horseback, you’ll be wowed by the unique glimpses into Native American life.
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05.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland → Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Adventure & Outdoors
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s greatest ecological marvels. However, a perfect storm of overtourism, climate change, coral predators, and local industry is having a devastating effect on the health of the reef and is putting its future at risk.

Whilst there is nothing quite like the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is lucky to be surrounded by beautiful coastline. It’s also home to many small towns that would more than welcome the economic boon that tourism, when done sustainably, can bring. Consider The Basin, located on Rottnest Island in Western Australia. While not as well known as Surfers Paradise or the Reef, it’s a beach paradise and underwater playground plucked straight from the dreams of those looking for an Australian getaway.
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History

01.
Uluru, Australia → Kata Tjuta, Australia
History
Uluru is one of the world’s largest monoliths and an enduring symbol of Australia, rising dramatically into the desert sky from the dusty plains. Taller than the Eiffel Tower and nearly four times the height of the Statue of Liberty, it’s an incredible sight to behold. But what if we told you that just 25km west of Uluru is another sacred site that soars even higher – but less people know about?

Kata Tjuta is a spectacular and mysterious collection of 36 massive rocks that was also formed around 300 million years ago and is a place of great cultural significance to the indigenous Anangu people who have inhabited the area for more than 22,000 years. While Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park sees more than 300,000 visitors each year, only a handful of that number make it beyond the iconic red rock to Kata Tjuta, despite it being so close and soaring an additional 200m. Explore the enigmatic, otherworldly place on a 2.6km walk between two of the largest domes, or hike the more demanding Valley of the Winds trail, which takes you in and around the giant ochre-coloured ‘marbles’ on a 7.4km loop.
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02.
Petra, Jordan → Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia
History
The vast Nabataean Kingdom, which once spanned from the Arabian to the Sinai Peninsulas, was founded by a nomadic Bedouin people who became wealthy from trade on the Incense Route. Their capital city was the legendary Petra, Jordan’s most famous tourist attraction, where they carved elaborate buildings, temples and tombs out of solid rock.

But lesser-known is another of their architectural legacies: Saudi Arabia’s hidden desert settlement of Madain Saleh. Located about 350km north of Medina, this was the Nabateans’ second-largest city – and now a Unesco World Heritage Site – where monumental tombs are carved into the sandstone cliff faces and covered with intricate inscriptions and petroglyphs. Few tourists make it to this once-thriving city, much of which is still covered by sand. But its sheer remoteness means it’s not only stunningly well-preserved, but you can explore the silent site without any crowds.
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03.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota → Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota
History
There are few sights more quintessentially American than Mount Rushmore. Located in the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota, the iconic sculpture features the likeness of four of the US’ most admired presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Even if you can’t name the leaders themselves, chances are you’d recognise them as ‘those guys carved into the mountainside’.

However, if you are planning a trip Stateside, consider giving Mount Rushmore a miss in favour of the more recent but equally powerful Crazy Horse Memorial, a monument to the iconic Native American leader that’s still under construction in the Black Hills (technically, Mount Rushmore is incomplete, too). Mount Rushmore, while certainly eye-catching, has something of a sketchy past, and the Crazy Horse Memorial offers visitors a chance to learn more about the history of the First Nations peoples.
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Architecture

01.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates → Muscat, Oman
Architecture
Dubai is a remarkable feat, not just an incredible city. You’ve probably seen the many before-and-after photos circling around the web comparing the barren, featureless desert it once was to what is now a bustling economic centre crowded with skyscrapers and twinkling lights. There’s certainly plenty to see in Dubai, but unless you’re travelling for business instead of pleasure, we recommend giving the modern architectural triumphs of Dubai a miss in favour of something that combines old and new and offers a far slower pace.

Located a one-hour plane ride from Dubai is the Omani capital of Muscat. Oman is often overlooked by travellers heading to the Middle East, which is a shame, as it’s home to some of the region’s most beautiful and eye-catching architecture, with each structure bearing its own singular style you can’t see anywhere else. The interior of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is somehow even more awe-inspiring than its breathtaking exterior, and the Royal Opera House is a must-see even if you don’t intend on catching a show.
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02.
Prague, Czech Republic → Sighișoara, Romania
Architecture
Europe is packed full of architecturally glorious cities, and the charming city of Prague – known as the City of 100 Spires for good reason – is one of the greatest. Here you’ll find history at every corner as you wander past bustling squares, Gothic churches, grand monuments and elegant bridges. But don’t forget that Europe has plenty of smaller, less visited – but just as incredible – architectural delights.

One of our favourites is Sighișoara. In a region fuelled by myths and legends, this place is straight out of a fairy tale. Located in Romania’s Transylvania region, the Unesco-protected fortified old town is a dreamscape of medieval splendour, a rainbow of pastel-hued houses, a tumble of church spires and a maze of cobblestone lanes, all tucked within the ancient city walls. Be sure to climb the Clock Tower for exquisite views over the city that is said to be the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula.
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03.
Barcelona, Spain → Bilbao, Spain
Architecture
Barcelona is synonymous with Antoni Gaudí, the Spanish architect whose distinctive buildings can be seen all over the city. Whether you’re at the unfinished masterpiece that is La Sagrada Familia or strolling around the enchanting Parc Guell, chances are you’ll be among the crowds of tourists craning their necks to get a glimpse of the unique, nature-inspired architecture in the Catalan Modernism style.

But Barclona is not the only Spanish city that has architecture at its core. Head to Bilbao in northern Spain’s Basque Country, and you’ll be following in the footsteps of the millions of travellers who have flocked here to see the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao since it opened in 1997. Despite the museum housing excellent permanent collections and rotating exhibitions, it’s the iconic curved titanium structure that has put this industrial port city on the global map. Get unparalleled views of the fabled exterior on a boat trip along the Nervión river, which runs through the city.
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04.
New York City, NY → Chicago, Illinois
Architecture
Although many cities around the world have tried to copy New York’s iconic skyline, none have managed to surpass it. From the 102-storey Art Deco Empire State Building to the curiously shaped Flatiron Building (taking the in the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central Station along the way), New York’s architecture has a place in most peoples’ hearts – and in countless movies.

But did you know that Chicago was where the world’s first skyscraper rose up, or that the city has its own Architecture Biennial, the first of its kind in North America? The Windy City claims some of the world’s most inventive modern architecture, and can count many notable architects among its alumni, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. It was even home to the tallest building in the world (the Sears Tower) – until that accolade was taken by Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers. Get amongst it on an architectural river cruise or walking tour.
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Food & Drink

01.
Italy → Macedonia
Food & Drink
From pizza to pasta to pesto, Italian food has been tantalising tastebuds around the globe for centuries. Whether it’s spaghetti carbonara in Rome or osso bucco in Milan, there’s no doubt that Italy has one of the most popular and widely adopted cuisines in the world. But for those who love to eat, there’s another European cuisine you need to try.

The small, landlocked country of Macedonia (now officially called the Republic of North Macedonia) punches far above its weight when it comes to food. The mountains, lakes and fertile lands produce an unparalleled range of organic fruit, vegetables and herbs, while the country’s Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences are spiced with Italian, German and Balkan flavours, all washed down with excellent local wine. Feast on pastrmajlija, a uniquely Macedonian version of pizza, kjebapchinya (grilled meat and onions) and tavče gravče (a chunky bean stew) – all of which will surely be made from scratch, with love.
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02.
The Malt Whisky Trail, Scotland → Whiskey Trail, Ireland
Food & Drink
Single malt-lovers likely don’t need to be told that Ireland gives Scotland a run for its money when it comes to producing and distributing the phenolic amber liquid. Ireland is home to several iconic whisky brands, perhaps none more renowned than Jameson. And yet most whisky aficionados head straight for Scotland's Speyside, home to some of the world’s most famous distilleries, when looking to make a pilgrimage to the ‘home’ of whisky.

However, if you’re partial to Irish whisky (or simply looking for bragging rights), consider the Irish Whiskey Trail, which is comprised of several distilleries, including the Jameson, Teeling, and Walsh Whiskey distilleries, as well as the Irish Whiskey Museum, where you can learn all about the history of whiskey.
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03.
Dallas, Texas → New Orleans, Louisiana
Food & Drink
Take a glance at any list of the best barbecue joints in the US and you may or may not be surprised to find many of them reside in Texas, with the northern metropolis of Dallas especially prominent. From brisket to beef ribs, Texas barbecue is famed for its mouth-watering presentation and an unmistakable smokiness that will linger in your clothes for days after you’ve finished licking your fingers.

That said, New Orleans has seen an explosion of barbecue joints in recent years. From humble food trucks and pop-up eateries through to established restaurants like the New York Times-approved Central City BBQ and the annual Hogs For a Cause festival, the barbecue train has well and truly arrived in the Big Easy, fundamentally changing a rich culinary scene that was traditionally centred on seafood.
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04.
Buenos Aires, Argentina → Lima, Peru
Food & Drink
There’s plenty to love about South American cuisine, and the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires is a hub of culinary delights. Buenos Aires is famed for its asado style of barbecued meat, which has a long and rich history, predating even Brazil’s churrasco style, which in recent years has become relatively well known in the West. The style consists of simple selections of meat cooked over hot coals and paired with wine and salad.

So it may come as a genuine surprise to learn that it’s in fact the Peruvian capital of Lima that could be singled out as the best food city in all South America. Anyone who’s travelled to Peru can tell you about the zesty and colourful cuisine of its capital, but there’s harder evidence, too. Lima has not just one, but two top 10 entries in 2018’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking, taking out even traditional culinary heavyweights like Paris, New York and London.
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05.
Tokyo, Japan → Hakodate, Japan
Food & Drink
Japan is in the middle of a tourism boom, with the country not long ago setting itself a target to hit 20 million overseas visitors by the time it hosts the Olympic Games in 2020. They managed to hit their target five years early. In 2017, almost 30 million travellers flocked to Japan to enjoy the spoils of its rich history, unique culture, and of course, its incredible and delectable cuisine.

Much of that travel activity has been focussed on Tokyo, Japan’s iconic capital and home to many of its most famous eateries, such as the three Michelin-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro. In fact, most travellers don’t even consider extending their quest to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island that’s home to Hakodate, otherwise known as the ‘City of Gourmet Food’ and a mecca for fans of seafood, sushi, shio ramen and Japanese desserts.
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Road Trips

01.
Route 1, Iceland → Trollstigen, Norway
Road Trips
Route 1, or the Ring Road, is one of very few road trips you can do in Iceland. Luckily, what you lack in choice you gain in epic scenery. As you drive the days-long, 1,300km loop around the country, you’ll pass majestic lava fields overlooked by snow-capped mountains, and burbling geysers and glacial lakes. The route winds around most of the country’s landmarks, which is another reason why it’s so popular with travellers.

By contrast, Norway’s Trollstigen (The Troll’s Road) keeps its achievements closer to its chest. Just a fraction of the distance of Iceland’s Route 1, this superbly scenic stretch of mountain road packs a huge amount into its short length. Thrill-seeking travellers will squeal in awe as they corkscrew around hairpin bends, past glaciated valleys and emerald-green fjords, up vertiginously steep inclines into the lofty mountains. This is one to put on your bucket list
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02.
Great Ocean Road, Australia → Great Coast Road, New Zealand
Road Trips
Australia’s Great Ocean Road is named one of the world's most scenic coastal drives for a reason. Carved out of the cliffs by returned soldiers after World War One, the route meanders along the country’s stunning southern coastline, taking in deserted beaches, iconic surf breaks, windy coves and misty waterfalls. End your journey at the craggy limestone spires of the 12 Apostles, stopping for a refreshing swim in summer or for whale watching in winter.

Lovers of sublime scenery and epic road trips should also look east, to New Zealand, where the similarly named Great Coast Road runs for 100km between Westport and Greymouth along the South Island’s wild west coast. Flanked by ocean and mountains, the route takes in driftwood-dotted beaches, native bushland and rocky outcrops. Be sure to stop at the limestone landscape of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks, where blowholes and a surge pool are summoned to life by the winds.
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03.
Amalfi Coast, Italy → Algarve Coast, Portugal
Road Trips
Stretching 50km along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula, taking in grand villas and terraced vineyards, whitewashed houses and lemon groves, the Amalfi Coast is a Mediterranean-lover’s dream. There are many ways to experience this sublime part of the world, but none quite like a road trip along its vertiginous coastal highway. We recommend visiting in spring or autumn to avoid the star-struck summer crowds honing in on the coastal towns and island outposts.

But Europe is riddled with gorgeous Mediterranean coastlines, so there’s no need to follow the hordes. One of our (many) favourites is Portugal’s Algarve Coast. Hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean on two sides, this region might be famous for British package holidaymakers, but away from the resorts you’ll find historic castle towns, charming fishing villages, sandy coves and sun-soaked islands. Surfers will love the wild western beaches, while inland brings rolling fields and rural restaurants.
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04.
Pacific Coast Highway, California → Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Road Trips
North America is definitely not short of road trips, and one of the most iconic must be the Pacific Coast Highway, which hugs 900km of California coastline and takes in such delights as San Francisco, wine country, seaside villages and surf spots, all the way to San Diego.

If you’re looking for more gorgeous coastal views from the comfort of your car, why not add the Cabot Trail to your road-trip bucket list? This multi-day drive that encircles Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, has all the ingredients for an equally epic journey, taking in highland scenery, rugged coastline, colourful fishing villages and dense forests. Keep an eye out for migratory whales – and be sure to stop along the way to further explore the island on foot or by kayak.
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