So, you’re on the hunt for unique travel experiences? Don’t worry, the world is full of wonder. This list alone will whisk you from the snow-mantled mountains of the Bhutanese Himalaya to the steaming hot springs of Iceland, the see-through waters of the Maldives to the moss-caked forests of New Zealand. It’s bursting with inspiration and once-in-a-lifetime experiences you certainly won’t forget in a hurry…
Hot air balloons and cave hotels in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a jaw-dropping part of Turkey. Dashing through the inland plains and plateaus of the country, it’s famed for its curious geology. That means rock stacks, hoodoos, and more canyons than you shake a shisha pipe at.
Unique travel experiences in these parts aren’t hard to come by. Take hot air ballooning. It’s surely one of the best ways to take in the majesty of the region. You’ll be lifted a whopping 3,000 feet above the dusty gorges, where 360-degree panoramas of wild Anatolia unfold all around.
Back on solid ground, Cappadocia also offers up some intriguing cave hotels. Dating back to the Hittite and Byzantine periods, they are one-of-a-kind structures carved straight into the rocks.
Skydiving and desert safaris in Dubai
Dubai looks like a UFO planted in the middle of the Arabian Desert. Its skyscrapers and sprawling shopping malls might be what take the headlines, but you can also chase some unique travel experiences…
On one end of the scale, that means skydiving over the metropolis. It’s a freefall at a whizzing 120 miles per hour. You’ll be launched from 13,000 feet up to fly straight back to earth, watching the shimmering beaches of the famous Palm Jumeirah island hurtle towards you.
Something a little more relaxing awaits those who venture to the shifting sands of the desert. You can organize two-day excursions that involve rich cultural encounters with the nomadic Bedouin people. You’ll stay in tents under starry skies and listen to folk tales in the company of camels and a crackling fire.
Surfing and diving in the Maldives
Whoever said the Maldives were just for honeymoons? Not a chance. This long string of islets and atolls in the Indian Ocean is fast becoming and adventure mecca. For lovers of H2O, there are travel experiences of a lifetime on the menu…
For one, the Maldives is now a major surfing destination. Islands like Kandooma and Thulusdhoo offer up peeling barrels that are perfect for intermediate riders and pros. What’s more, you’ll be surfing atop pristine reefs in water as warm as a bath.
Don’t forget to strap on the tanks and dive under, either. The Maldives are one of the world’s great scuba meccas. Regular sightings on diving outings include whale sharks, multi-colored brain corals, moray eels, turtles – the list goes on!
Mesmerizing spas and gasp-inducing landscapes in Bhutan
Bhutan might just be the last great frontier of the Himalaya. It’s a land of carved summits and gurgling rivers that’s truly untouched and unknown…Unique travel experiences aren’t hard to come by in these parts. Simply pulling on the hiking boots means exploring hidden paradises like the Paro Valley, where rice paddies cascade next to great dzong monastery-fortresses high on the cliffs.
Alternatively, you could channel a little of that Bhutanese serenity by escaping to a faraway mountain spa. Find them dotting the foothills of the Jigme Dorji National Park, offering hot-stone treatments and mystical massages in the shadow of icy glaciers.
Hot springs and the Northern Lights in Iceland
The Land of Fire and Ice is somewhere that’ll have you gasping at every bend in the road. Look one way and you’ll see the roaring Gullfoss Falls crashing over clefts in the rock. Look another and there’s the shimmering tongue of the Svínafelsjökull glacier. And that’s just the beginning!
For a truly unique vacation experience, why not combine Iceland’s legendary hot springs with the Northern Lights? The Blue Lagoon comes up trumps on the spa front. It’s a flooded lava field heated by the island’s geothermal waters. For seeing the lights, try to visit between October and March. Oh, and choose an igloo hotel with a glass roof! They’re amazing places.
Encounter indigenous Maori culture in New Zealand’s Rotorua
Sublime New Zealand is riddled with unique travel experiences. Simply stepping out into the mighty mountains and sheer-cut fjords of South Island should be enough to get the goose bumps pricking up. But there’s something special up in North Island, too…
Make for the geothermal fields and ancient lake of Rotorua. The place is considered a hub of traditional Maori culture. The surrounding Waimangu Volcanic Valley is a land of steaming fumaroles and travertine terraces once held sacred to the indigenous NZ people. After that, be sure to drop into Tamaki Maori Village for an evening of folk dances, storytelling, and culture.
Whisky tasting and the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland
Prepare to be wowed by the raw and rugged depths of the Scottish Highlands. They host some of the UK’s most dramatic scenery, but they’re also whisky country…
To taste the best of the Scotch, it’s a good idea to add the Isle of Skye, the Cairngorms, and Glencoe to the itinerary. They have hearty distilleries like Dalwhinnie and Talisker, each with wonderful tasting packages.
Venture deeper into the Highlands and you enter the home of Loch Ness. One of Scotland’s most famous lakes, it’s right at the end of the Great Glen. Unforgettable days there can be spent looking for the monster who’s said to lurk below the surface!
Walking Jamaa el Fnaa and the medinas of Morocco
Jamaa el Fnaa is the great plaza in the heart of Marrakesh. It’s like something plucked from One Thousand and One Nights; a haze of snake charmers, performing monkeys, spice sellers and tagine kitchens that’s bound to overwhelm the senses.
But that’s just the beginning in a city that’s filled with unique travel experiences. Dive into the maze of souks and shops behind the square and you’ll be immersed in one of the world’s great bazaars. It’s a place where the camera will keep a-clicking, where lanterns swing overhead and hawkers tout everything from carpets to shisha pipes.
Venture to Latvia’s Gauja River and see remote Baltic beaches
Think beaches, think Greece and Thailand. But for a unique vacation experience, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Cue Latvia’s untrodden Baltic coast. The best part of it runs from the Estonian border to the edges of Riga, unfolding in a patchwork of wild pine, spruce, and aspen that occasionally dips to a lonely pebble cove.
Behind the shoreline is the hidden haven of the Gauja River valley. Now a national park, it offers a chance to escape Europe’s busier corners and immerse yourself in nature. A long-distance hiking path links up the whole thing. Trek it to see deep caves, carved sandstone gorges, and lookout points where there’s not another soul in sight.
Kayak with whales and icebergs in Newfoundland
There’s no doubt about it – Newfoundland is one of the most incredible parts of Canada! As it crashes into the North Atlantic, it fragments into a wonderworld of vast bays and twisted cliffs, all haloed in spruce woods for as far as the eye can see.
It’s also one of the rare corners of the globe where you can hop in a kayak and encounter both icebergs and whales in a single day. The jump-off point for all that is the little port town of Twillingate. The surrounding fjords can be filled with ice and snow until the summer months. Just be sure to keep the eyes peeled for humpbacks and orcas as you go!
We hope this list of unique travel experiences in truly incredible places has tickled your wanderlust a little.