Up-and-Coming Holiday Hotspots: Five of the Top Trends for 2015

Are you looking for somewhere different to travel this year? Why not try an emerging destination? From Kazan in Russia to Manaus in Brazil, Holiday Lettings suggests some of the most up-and-coming locations to travel to in the New Year.

Ao Nang sand beach and huge cliffs

Do you fancy chilling on Koh Samui’s palm-fringed beaches or being swept up in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s vibrant streets? It would be entirely understandable as, let’s face it, sipping delicious coconut cocktails and drifting around picturesque floating markets are entirely excellent ways to spend your holiday.

Why not venture beyond the traveller’s well-worn path with a visit to Ao Nang? Prize yourself off the beach’s white sand to duck into the Pranang Cave and take in the offerings of incense and flowers. You can also fall under the charmer’s spell at the snake show or feed exotic fish and turtles at the Catfish Farm.

beautiful sunny day at Limassol

Cyprus is a holiday classic with something for everyone, from the famous culture of Paphos to the infamous nightlife of Ayia Napa. Soak up the rich heritage of sites like the eerie Tombs of the Kings or the tranquil Ayios Neophytos Monastery. Why not soak up the sun on one of the popular beaches like Nissi Beach too?

If you’ve not considered Limassol before, you’re missing out. Head to the historic heart of the city to absorb its abundant character. You can gaze up at the 14th-century castle and imagine the fierce battles waged there over the course of the island’s troubled history. For a particularly palatable way to engage with local culture, visit the nearby Cyprus Wine Museum or enjoy a large plate of mezze at a taverna or fish restaurant on the old harbour.

amazing opera house in Manaus

It’s not all about Rio. It’s true that the city’s spectacular setting and seductive samba beats are as intoxicating as a caipirinha cocktail shaken at its coolest party. However, it’s easy to let the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer put any other spot in the shade (literally, since it’s a towering 3m high) but it’s well worth visiting some of Brazil’s overshadowed delights.

Manaus is one of these hidden gems. Set in the depths of the Amazonian jungle, it makes the perfect starting point for your exploration, whether you want to canoe through a flooded forest or listen out for the call of howler monkeys. The city itself offers an opulent opera house for you to tour or a recreation rubber collection camp to wander around.

red beautifully restored Shurijo Castle in Japan

Kyoto’s ancient temples, Tokyo’s unrivalled shopping opportunities and Mount Fuji’s drama are tough acts to follow. Japan offers the traveller so much more, though, even in the least likely places. In the country’s southernmost prefecture, Naha’s cityscape may, on first impressions, not be as appealing (after all, it is characterised by traffic jams and high-rise apartments), but don’t let first impressions deter you from uncovering the city’s many attractions.

Visit the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum in the city centre for a fascinating glimpse into the area’s history. How about a stroll down the picturesque Shrikinjocho Stone-Path Road or a moment of quiet contemplation in the serene Fukushu-en Garden? For golden dragons and vast red wooden walls, step back in time at the beautifully restored Shurijo Castle. 

visit Kazan with its beautiful buildings

From Moscow’s glittering Kremlin to St Petersburg’s decadent winter palaces, you may feel like you already know Russia’s best sights. However, the world’s biggest country offers you infinite travel experiences. Why not trek up a glacier-tipped mountain or saunter along the shore of the planet’s oldest lake as well? You could also get to know some of Russia’s other cities such as Kazan where Europe meets Asia.

Wander along the River Kazanska as the sun sets and catch a glimpse of Kazan’s formidable Kremlin complex - don’t forget that you can visit its amazing collection of assorted monuments, ranging from mosques to museums too. The sumptuous Cathedral of the Apostles has beautifully vivid fretwork for you to admire. You could catch a quirky show at the Ekijat Tatar Puppet Theatre or capture a moment in time with the retro displays at the Museum of Soviet Life.

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Exploring the world’s most beautiful places is a tough job but somebody has got to do it! I’ve loved exploring since spending childhood summers in Newport, Rhode Island and Marstrand, a little island off the west coast of Sweden.

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