As the world becomes more interconnected, distances grow shorter and travel becomes an increasingly attractive way to spend your hard-earned savings, it’s little wonder that so many holiday destinations seem to have been frequented by just about everyone you know. Set the trend and enjoy a unique vacation marked by a particular theme of your interest.
Be a travel trendsetter with these six unforgettable themed holidays around unique destinations.
Go site-seeing on an ancient exploration holiday in Croatia
When you think ancient exploration, typically the destination of choice would be Rome, Egypt or perhaps Peru, right? You’d be surprised how many ancient jewels are stitched in Croatia’s glorious crown, unless of course you’re well-versed in Ancient Rome’s conquest of what was then known as the Roman province of Dalmatia (which included much of modern Croatia, as well as several other Balkan states).
For the best historic ruins in this up-and-coming destination, head to the pristine city of Split. Its Old Town contains the remains of Roman emperor Diocletian’s palace, which was so unbelievably enormous that it was converted into a city after his death.
Less egotistical historic sites include the Pula Amphitheatre, at the tip of the Istrian peninsula, which is like a smaller, better-maintained version of the famous Colosseum, which today hosts concerts as well as an underground exhibit on ancient Croatian history.
Watch out Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore: this boundless Asian metropolis packs a punch. With a population of over 10.5 million, Seoul is an epicentre of Asian culture and commerce, offering a distinctive and surprisingly un-Westernised local atmosphere that combines cutting-edge technology with tranquil ancient traditions. Ancient palaces and temples adorn the city centre, hinting towards the city’s grand history, while futuristic architecture shows off its contemporary significance on the world stage.
Infrequently visited by Western tourists though loved by its resident expats, Seoul’s prime districts include Hongdae, with a thriving urban arts and indie music culture making it a great place to visit at night, and of course, glitzy Gangnam, whose skyscrapers and high class lifestyles were forever immortalised in a certain viral music video.
A pint or two: Pub crawl holiday around London
Pubs and London may not be the furthest apart of mental connotations, but we’re betting that you’ve never thought of travelling around the English capital with an itinerary specifically determined by its best pubs, right? Ranging from the historic to the quirky to the gourmet to the musical, London’s pubs provide a snapshot of the city’s diversity and a great way to delve into its cuisine, music and even folklore.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, believed to have been frequented by a certain Charles Dickens, stands on a site that has hosted pubs since 1538. An allegedly haunted pub, Spaniards Inn, lies in the pretty Hampstead Heath area, while a fictional character is memorialised in the kitsch yet fun Sherlock Holmes Pub, not far from the Thames.
See sublime coastlines during a beachside holiday in Sri Lanka
Along with bustling cities, ancient ruins and dramatic mountain vistas, the under-rated island of Sri Lanka excels in the coastline department, offering a beach to suit every taste. Upmarket travellers will appreciate Bentota on the west coast with its stylish resorts and Aryuvedic treatments available, while further down the coast the beaches of Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna buzz with entertainment and dining options galore
Arugam Bay on the east is a haven for backpackers, surfers and party animals. Further north, the coastal city of Trincomalee, bouncing back from a period of suffering during the country’s recent civil war, boasts some of Asia’s best-regarded beaches: think coconuts and palm trees, ridiculously white sand and clear blue waves. Sri Lanka is also one of the best countries in the world for whale and dolphin watching.
Slopes, ski and so much more: a skiing break in Niseko, Japan
It might not yet have the glamour of the Alps, but Japan’s Niseko ski area is the next big thing in ski holidays. Its well-renowned powder snow is a delight for any skis, and the variety of alpine terrain throughout the area – as Niseko consists of four connected resorts, all of which are easily accessible with a lift pass – makes it ideal for skiers of all skill levels. Why battle the crowds on the slopes elsewhere when you can try this little-known yet exceptional ski destination and take your own Holiday
Linda Campbell is a media student and avid traveller from Sydney. She’s currently planning a trip to Sri Lanka; after that, she may explore options for a holiday in Niseko, Japan.