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Beautiful, Alternative Holiday Swaps For Tourist Hot Spots

Camogli, Liguria Italy

A Beach in Galicia, Spain

As I sit with coffee in hand contemplating my personal travel goals for 2020/2021 I am beginning to

wonder if I am just being cynical or if it will be possible to genuinely secure a holiday that meets my new found lust for space, privacy and under tourism.

It's a tough one because nowhere is secret and everyone wants to be in the same places at the same time and for obvious reasons. But can we really head away from the crowds and find a new way of travelling that thrills us in the way that our usual holiday hotspots do? As a travel planner, I get the same questions thrown at me on a daily basis, examples include "where is hot in October?" or, "what's the average rainfall in X?" In 2018, overtourism was one of the Oxford English Dictionary’s words of the year and was prompted by a number of destinations being totally hammered by visitor numbers. I mean who would want to be on safari where dozens of vehicles are all following the same game, or having to queue for hours amongst thousands of other visitors to see sacred, religious, or spiritual sites? Not a cat in hells chance, would I want to do this!

So what swaps would I make in 2021 And Beyond

The Costas For Galicia

Most definitely I would swap out Costa Del Sol for Galicia where there are wide open beaches and plenty of interesting activities and sights for all the family.

Swap The Maldives For The Virgin Islands

Close to half of Virgin Islands National Park is underwater and the snorkelling is rich and varied due to miles of Mangrove shorelines and seagrass beds which are teaming with marine life. Hike to plantation ruins to learn about a time when sugar dominated the island. Visit the ancient petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians.

Virgin Islands National Park

Swap Yellowstone National Park For St. Elias National Park

At 13.2 million acres, Alaska’s Wrangell–St. Elias is the largest national park in the United States—the size of Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined. With the second-highest peak in the country, one of the largest active volcanoes in North America, and a glacier larger than Rhode Island, it offers endless opportunities to explore. Find a base at one of the dozen remote backcountry cabins, bike the remote Nabesna Road, or float from Nizina Glacier Lake to the Chitina River.

Swap Yosemite National Park For North Cascades National Park

Located in the state of Washington just three hours from Seattle, North Cascades National Park offers visitors the most views of glaciers in the U.S. outside of Alaska. The North Cascades National Park Service is one of the world’s snowiest places but there still are stacks of year-round activities to occupy the active family, these include; river rafting trips, horse riding, backpacking, climbing, and hundreds of hiking trails. Experienced hikers are sure to walk side by side with glaciers.

Diablo Lake North Cascades National Park, Washington State

Swap Barbados For Belize

Belize is a place that you have to see right now, the exotic wildlife is supreme and it's barrier reef is the second largest in the World. As well as its incredible landscape and wildlife Belize is thought to be the epicentre of the Maya World, travel by horseback through lush jungle forest in search of lost Mayan cities including Xunantunich. If you love the thought of vacationing in Belize but fear you will miss out on a luxury hotel stay then plump for a room at Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn, which melds rustic Belizean decor with understated elegance.

Swap The Algarve For Comporta

I'd love to tempt you away from the busy tourist resorts of the Algarve to the delightful town of Comporta which is on the West Coast of Portugal. For a number of years, it has enjoyed a steady flow of celebrities, artists and alternative holidaymakers seeking a more laid back, casual vibe. Fans of Comporta include Philippe Stark, and Christian Louboutin to name but a few. Maybe it's the pretty low rise, beautifully designed boutique and eco-friendly properties which nestle seamlessly amidst the pine trees which is the pull? For me, right now all the hype surrounding Comporta is real. Its the complete package. I can't wait to explore the 20km of the beach by horseback and watch the children as they learn to surf. I get chills thinking about those pretty candy-striped beach huts and huge plates of giant prawns, all washed down with an ice-cold local wine!

Comporta Beaches West Portugal

Swap Positano For Camogli

If you have ever visited Positano in Summer you will know that it's crammed to the rafters with tourists and that's, not my scene! I love the Amalfi Coast but out of season. In the summer season for a similar slice of la dolce vita, I would head to the fishing village of Camogli, which is in Liguria. Just two hours from Milan or a flight into Pisa and a drive through the rolling hillside or beach towns of Tuscany. The lesser-known fishing town of Camogli is just as pretty yet you won't have to hustle for a spot at the restaurants. Situated on the Riviera di Levante not far from glittering Portofino, Camogli is characterised by its laidback vibe and sky stacked painted buildings which overlook the ocean.

Camogli, Liguria Italy

Swap Ibiza For Formentera

I would swap Ibiza for Formentera in a heartbeat. But that's because I'm a beach bum at heart and can't bare the thought of sharing my spot on the beach with fag smoking brits and bare-bottomed kids! I love children but just don't wish to share my space with someone else's little screechers. I did Ibiza a number of times in my 20's and 30's and still love it. But the beaches are a let down for me. Personally, in my 50's I would opt for Formentera which is just half an hour away from Ibiza by boat, but Formentera - the smallest of the Balearic islands - could not be more different from its brash, in your face neighbour. The downside is that there are limited hotels, (that's a plus and a minus I suppose but there are a number of nice villas. The general Island vibe here is laid back and elegantly casual. It's Formenteras pristine sand dune lined beaches that are the show stopper here, yet the islands whitewashed villages and ample olive groves set a scene that is reminiscent of Ibiza in the 1950's. Think yoga on the beach and endless, carefree days of eat, sleep, sun & repeat.

Formentera Beaches, Spain Balearic Islands

If you would like accommodation recommendations and support with itinerary planning to these and other similar areas then please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail or phone or chat.

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