Could Ed Sheeran’s Castle On The Hill be inspired by San Marino’s mountainous forts?
Or what if Coldplay’s Paradise was a tribute to exotic lands in Seychelles?
How about One Republic’s Secrets being a take on Sierra Leone’s hidden beaches?
Find out the answer in this week’s World Travel Guide.
141. San Marino
This mountainous, landlocked and microscopic country is not the first destination that comes to mind for your travel plans. Held together by medieval walls, the San Marino’s capital is where most of the fun is held.
Also known as San Marino, this city homes the ancient Guaita fortress that offers 360° views of the surrounding hilly terrain. Likewise, our World Travel Guide picks Monte Titano as another great spot to catch the best views of this micronation. However, if castle on the hills are not your cup of tea, simply swing by any of the city’s plethora of museums.
142. Sao Tome and Principe
Africa’s second smallest country floats off the Gulf of Guinea. These two islands are also one of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2019. For first-time travelers, head straight for the capital city, at the north of the Sao Tome. Oozing with an old school-like charm, this mini African Havana is the epitome of laid back travels.
Next up, our World Travel Guide picks the lush surroundings of the Obo National Park for ecotourism enthusiasts. The mangroves and savanna areas also adds to the appeal of this hikers favorite. However, the pick of the bunch here are the beaches, with Praia Banana staking claim as the best of the lot.
Powder white sands are shaped like the fruit, and the sapphire waters make for the ultimate beach retreat. Additionally, when you’re south of the island, pop by the Roca Agua Ize and marvel at the origins of the country’s famed cocoa production.
143. Saudi Arabia
The birthplace of Islam is not the usual destination on your travel bucket list. However, it’s time to change that. While Mecca is the calling card for rich tales of the Prophet, Medina comes in a close second. This city homes the mightily impressive Al Masjid an Nabawi and the striking Green Dome which rises above the tomb of the Prophet himself.
However, the main gateway to Saudi Arabia’s great cities lies in Jeddah. The city’s cosmopolitan vibe helps it stand out, thanks to its bustling souq, stunning skyscrapers and world-class resorts. Meanwhile, for a step back in time, our World Travel Guide recommends the UNESCO-listed rock art. Set in the Hail region, here’s where Arabian ancestors left fascinating traces of their passage.
Senegal is considered ‘soft Africa’ to many, but not for our World Travel Guide. And Dakar is a testament to this, as the day’s dust, chaos and markets burst into glitter, elegance and exclusive clubs come nightfall.
Additionally, the Grande Mosque is one of the main features of this town, along with the tangerine colored exteriors of the House of Slaves. As for cultural enthusiasts, The Musee Theodore Monod and Village des Arts showcases one of the most extensive collections of ethic costumes and works of Senegal’s finest artists.
However, if the energy of this vibrant capital is too hot to handle, escape to the peaceful town of Ile de Ngor. This tiny island has a collection calm beaches and legendary surf spots. If you can’t seem to get enough of this town, simply opt to spend a night in any one if its beautiful guesthouses and dream dancing the night away to beats of the mbalax.
This Balkan gem is as close as you can get to the road less traveled, when it comes to European destinations. However, there’s plenty to see and do in Serbia, and Belgrade is the best place to kick start your trip.
The Belgrade Fortress is the most prominent site in the city, with over 100 bloody battles fought in this imposing landmark during the Celtic and Roman days. But this city has successfully shunned its traumatic past with a series of impressive museums and exuberant nightlife, with Samavala giving Ibiza a run for its money.
Serbia’s wilderness is also the stuff of dreams, with the Tara National Park being the top attraction. Here, treat your eyes and lenses to majestic ravines and canyons, especially at the Drina River. The emerald water cuts its way through vertigo-inducing cliffs to form one of the most scenic spots in the Balkan region for our World Travel Guide.
This is paradise. Scattered across the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is literally heaven on earth for our World Travel Guide. First and foremost, Mahe serves as the main entry point to this gorgeous archipelago. This island accommodates the town of Victoria, where bright, creole-inspired buildings and market are in abundance.
However, the pick of the bunch here is the Beau Vallon. This stretch of land has the island’s best beaches and snorkeling spots, alongside luxury resorts for those who can’t seem to get enough of this jewel.
Additionally, for more glorious white sand beaches, explore Denis. This private island is where you can dive in turquoise waters, snorkel among sea turtles and explore the world’s rarest species of birds. Are your bags packed yet?
147. Sierra Leone
Welcome to West Africa’s secret beach destination. Freetown holds the soul of this off the beaten path getaway and it has something in store for every traveler.
Here dense forests, towering mountains, white sand beaches, and thundering waves slowly entice travelers from far and wide to crack open fresh lobsters, camp in virgin rainforests and fall asleep in hammocks under swaying palms. And that sounds pretty dang good to us.
Next up on our World Travel Guide series, join us as we eat to our heart’s content in Singapore’s hawkers and take on charging bulls in Spain’s streets.