So, I’m back with the next article, where all you lucky, lucky jet-setters of 2013 took off for your (what shamefully does feel like an age away now- we’re-back-to-another-half-term-of-cold) summer holiday. Now, admittedly this article will no doubt be shorter than the last (as often seems to follow with sequels) yet, don’t lose hope too quickly as what this article possesses that the last seemed to sadly lack is the all-important No.1 place: where the average person went for their 2013 summer vacation. Further, for all of you who are busy saving money for next summer's big holiday and using it as the only inspiration to get through the next wintery four months (yes, four) it will no doubt enrich your holidaying ideas and perhaps even allow you to see a place which you did not realise existed.. So, on this note, on with the show.
Often known as the ‘makeover of a cultured corner of Europe’ Slovakia comes in at number 4. Its beauty and natural tranquillity, two decades on from the Velvet Revolution, stand strong as if never hindered and it has galvanised to form one of Europe's fastest growing economies. Although once sadly known as the tourist industry’s ‘bargain ski weekends’ and ‘the odd good stag night’ capital, Slovakia has completely renovated itself and now stands tall against the haters. Indeed its complete image overhaul made it all the more fanciable for the 2013 summer holiday goers.
3. South Korea
Best for: events off the beaten trackWhen one looks at the title South Korea many things spring to mind. Top 3 as a holidaying destination might not. It would appear that admittedly without fanfare South Korea has slowly but surely become one of the best places to do not-your-average-day event.s With some of the world’s best hiking, golfing and fishing to offer, South Korea is most certainly a place to head to ASAP if you’re that kind of person, but be quick, no secret stays secret for long.
P.S…its worth having a bit of experience tucked under your belt. South Korea is certainly no place for the beginner.
Best for: scenic sights, way of life
Where to start? Stunning scenery. Tick. Heroic history. Tick. Villas for half the cost of Spain, Italy or France? Tick. All of this is only a slight insight into why Montenegro is becoming, and quickly may I add, the new 21st century Riviera. This I must admit is mainly because the 21st century holiday goer does not just want a place which makes them feel on holiday, they want their way of life to reflect this too. Additionally, it is rare to find a place these days that still lives in an age where life isn’t always ‘on-the-go,’ and where a glance out of your window involves the sight of rolling, green hills as far as your eye can see, instead of a new bustling A37, but yet, what stands most important, is that this utopia still maintains the feeling that you are actually living life rather than just watching it fly by, as often the given impression when you relax that little too much. Further, some parts of Europe were lucky enough to avoid the mass tourism surge that took place only about 20 years ago and affected all those places you used to know and love: Spain, the Algarve, Greece, yet Montenegro was one of these rare few which actually stood tall and did not let itself become consumed by commercialism. A true jewel of the Adriatic, with all the nature of Europe’s finest but with no line of mass tourism, Montenegro stands alone. In true words; ‘stand alone but ye shall not be lonely.’
1. Sri Lanka
Best for: ‘best price for the best that money can buy’
So, finally: Number 1. Sri Lanka. Commonly known as ‘The best that money can buy.’ Although certainly a country which has experienced every tragedy a country can face: endless tsunamis (although most notably the earthquake of Boxing Day 2004 which affected hundreds of thousands of families), civil wars, constant conflict and violence across land…(ok so I admit I’m starting not to sell this so well now - it does get better I promise), Sri Lanka has fought back. And hard. Now the bitter on goings are over, and they look as if to stay that way for a long time. With the economy back stronger than ever, the tourism industry booming and new visitors everyday fuelling the ever growing country, Sri Lanka is back in the game. Not to mention the quick and easy availability and readiness of flights to all over the world, all from the convenient hub of Bangkok, Sri Lanka truly is emerging as one of the World’s best quality locations on the world wide map to date. After all, everyone likes someone who kicks back from a hard time, and stands taller than ever. Everyone.