Top destinations for 2015!
Every year brings with it the search for somewhere new, something new to pique the interest of that year’s travellers. Whilst increasing globalisation means that there are few places that are truly ‘undiscovered’, there are still locales that are either the road less travelled or are due their time in the sun. Be they the new ‘in destinations’, old locations given a new lease of life by the release of a major blockbuster or simply a new airport enabling travellers to have easier access – unless you are the most jaded of travellers, there is bound to be something you haven’t seen or experienced yet.
At the start of each year, travel carriers scramble to put together the list of ‘hot’ destinations that people will want to visit for their well-earned break for the year. Tripadvisor, an online review website, carries a staggering 200 million reviews from travellers around the world with 125 contributions being added every minute. So there are plenty of ways to find somewhere new and if what’s on offer is going to be good for you.
The Flexicover Team
has assembled some possible hot spots for you to try out this year.
Skellig Michael, Ireland
Located eight miles off the coast of County Kerry, this remote and dramatic island is due to get some serious exposure later this year. That’s because this UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to a well-preserved monastery built between the 6th and 8th centuries, acts as the backdrop for some scenes in the hotly anticipated film Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. The monastery (considered a unique example of an early religious settlement) includes the remains of six stone beehive cells and two boat-shaped oratories situated on the edge of a cliff 200m above the sea and is reached via a staircase carved by hand from solid rock. With the film due for release this December it might be worth heading there soon to really take in the dramatic, windswept sights before the masses descend!
Saint Helena, British Overseas Territories
If you like your travel at a leisurely pace, then a visit to the remote island of Saint Helena is for you. That’s because after arriving in Cape Town, South Africa, travellers must spend five days on the world’s last British Royal Mail ship, RMS St. Helena, to reach their destination. The second-oldest of the UK’s remaining territories is one of the most populated in the South Atlantic, probably best known for being the place where Napoleon was exiled and imprisoned from 1815 until his death in 1821. Bird watching is a popular activity among visitors, particularly since the island is very important for conservation and ecological research due to its high biodiversity. However, the trip is due to become far less time consuming as an airport is due to open in February 2016, with weekly flights from Johannesburg.
The pre-Incan fortress of Kuelap (rediscovered in 1843) offers visitors an amazing glimpse into the life of an ancient civilization. Not only is it South America’s largest pre-Columbian era stone-built city but it’s three times older than its ‘sister city’, Machu Picchu. Kuelap consists of more than four hundred buildings surrounded by walls up to 19m high and is situated on a mountaintop 3,000m above sea level, overlooking the Utcubamba Valley in northern Peru. Getting there currently entails a steep 9km hike but since the breathtaking venue receives around 40,000 visitors each year, it definitely seems worth it. And numbers are expected to rocket due to a new cable car (scheduled to open in early 2016), making one of Peru’s most important archaeological sites far more accessible.
Also known as Mar Dulce (‘Sweet Sea’) or Lake Nicaragua, this is Central America’s largest freshwater lake with a diverse ecosystem and over 400 islands to explore. Whilst the lake has a history of piracy on its open waters, the draw these days is in the striking landscape, such as the San Miguelito wetlands, and the fact you can find traditionally saltwater species like sharks, sawfish and tarpon living in the waters. However, in December 2014 work commenced on the Nicaragua Canal, four times as long as the Panama Canal, aiming to connect the Caribbean and Pacific and environmentalists are concerned that this will adversely affect the isthmus’ sensitive habitats and cloud Cocibolca’s waters. This is probably one destination to visit sooner rather than later.
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Known also as Mosi-oa-Tunya (‘the smoke that thunders’), the world’s largest curtain of falling water is situated on the Zambezi River, straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. First seen by a European in 1855 (David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary/explorer), a new international airport, named after the falls (opening September 2015) will start bringing more to marvel at this magnificent natural wonder. The sheer drama of the area makes it a huge tourist draw as the river crashes through gorges, past dividing islands and sends spray up to 400m in the air… and sometimes nearly double that during the flood season! Three nearby national parks and the chance for the adventurous to go swimming near the edge of the falls adds to the attraction.
Wherever your travels take you this summer, at Flexicover Direct, we are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away, making actually taking the break you need just that much more possible.