Every year ushers in a new hot spot that is soon flooded by tourists elbowing their way to get the perfect Instagram picture. If you are a discerning traveler who likes to be the first on the Instagram travel trend, here are 6 spots you need to visit before they become a common fixture on everyone’s social media feed.
Until recently Kalba has remained relatively unknown as a destination entirely, but this Gulf of Oman wonder is beginning to excite nature lovers. You’ll discover old Mangrove tree forests, spot rare species of birds like Arabian Collared Kingfishers, and swim clear waters with turtles. The first eco-friendly hotel can also be found in the region, the Kingfisher Lodge by Mantis. Every aspect of it has been carefully designed with the environment in mind from eco-tent materials to biodegradable amenities and restaurants serving local organic produce.
If you’re looking for Zen then look no further than Nikko. Up in the hills and north of Tokyo, it is full of majestic sights including the Tshogu Shrine, one of the most lavishly decorated shrines in the world, and Lake Chuzenji, a gigantic water of serene beauty which you can paddle boat in or enjoy on the banks with a picnic. The local speciality dish is yuba buckwheat soba noodles. Yuba is a tofu skin and this is cooked with handmade buckwheat soba and mountain vegetables in a hearty broth.
Annecy is a jewel nestled away in the south-east of France, sitting pretty on the tip of a glorious lake with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. It’s emerging as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe, with couples flocking to sail across the lake, stroll through fairytale buildings and enjoy warm croissants fresh out of the bakery. The nightlife has hit the international spotlight recently too, be sure to check out the winner of the 12th Havana Club Cocktail contest– Annecy’s hidden gem, La Queue du Coq.
Once named the best island in the world, Boracay suffered from over-tourism over the years and in 2018 was shut down by the government for a six-month repair and restoration project. You may have been put off by horrific images that dominated the headlines, but the island has finally reopened with newly enforced rules and even a visitor cap. Expect the idyllic island it once was returning to its former glory in 2019. Luxury resorts lined with palm trees worth a stay include The Lind and Movenpick which has a private beach.
Dallas has steadily raised glam stakes for Middle America. You have Bullion sending waves worldwide with unforgettable dining spearheaded by Michelin Star-awarded Chef Bruno Davaillon, and classic hotels like the Adolphus serving A-List clientele, not only with luxury accommodation but also afternoon tea fit for a king. Noteworthy sights include The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Broadway-quality Dallas Summer Musicals (Book of Mormon, anyone?), and sports games. Cheer on Dallas Mavs (basketball), Dallas Cowboys (American football) or Dallas Stars (hockey) at the grand stadiums. Remember to pick up a Hopdoddy en route – the best burger in Texas.
Unspoilt beaches, historic towns and fairytale castles; Speyside is a Scottish gem that has been a retreat for British royalty for years. The Tulchan Estate is a 120-year-old Victorian hunting estate in the Cairngorms and has previously played host to the likes of King Edward VII and King George V. In recent year, it has opened its gates for guests to enjoy 22,000 acres of outdoor pursuits including salmon fishing, Roe-deer stalking, pheasant shooting and hiking across the picturesque glens, woodland and open moorland. When you’re tired out you can return to your lodge for home-bred Aberdeen Angus and Wagyu beef paired with a stiff drink. That’s the way to do Scotland.