Is any place really unknown? It’s time to discover the undiscovered. Remember the thrill of finding a hidden restaurant before it popular? Become a traveler not a tourist. Remember the thrill of finding a hidden restaurant before Michelin did? Checking into a new hotel that hadn’t yet been widely reviewed or noticing an emerging fashion designer on your shopping escapades? Encountering new and/or undiscovered destinations is part of the thrill of traveling, especially for avid sojourners who’ve seen plenty of cities in their time. Paris is romantic, Cape Town gets our hands dirty and Brazil’s charms never seem to fade; but there are many more places to be unearthed. Here are four destinations worth discovering this year:
Move over Monte Carlo, Porto Montenegro is the new “it” destination among wealthy travelers. Known as “Boka” this nautical playground is located in the port town of Tivat, which lies in a bay on the Adriatic Sea. Easy access from the Dubrovnik airport transports you to a land of yachts, beaches, nightclubs, medieval villages, five-star hotels and for the gambler in you, casinos! Be sure not to miss Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage site with fortress walls and limestone cliffs. Active travelers can even stay in shape by climbing the 1,380 steps to the city’s Castle of San Giovanni. For accommodations, the Regent Porto’s rooms offer contemporary spaces with a sense of place and is one of the city’s best hotels.
If power magnates and non-stop partying is your thing (clubs stay open until 6 a.m.) head to Baku, the largest city and capital of Azerbaijan located on the coast of the Caspian Sea. Aspiring to blend the jaw-dropping architecture of Dubai with the elegance of Paris, Baku is a curious blend of a city. Beyond the glass towers, you can still meander the maze-like streets of its old city, stroll its Grand Boulevard and stay at the Four Seasons. Don’t Miss the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe on June 20 or the Gabala International Music Festival from July 23 to August 1.
Why Malta? Because it’s a Mediterranean playground with a superb climate, great beaches, a golden-walled old city and dramatic coastline. There are three inhabited islands to explore: Malta, home to buzzing Valletta, its capital and a UNESCO World Heritage city; Gozo, more tranquil with its dramatic coastline, great diving and megalithic temples; and idyllic, car-free Comino, which has one hotel and few residents. Stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valletta with views of the old city (only a five-minute walk), and spend your afternoons lounging by its beautiful pools. Follow in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who spent their honeymoon shooting their latest film By the Sea in Gozo. The destination was also featured in The Whale and The Da Vinci Code. This year the 8th annual Isle of MTV music festival taking place on June 28 with headliners Wiz Khalifa, Steve Aoki and Jess Glynne.
Known for its gorgeous beaches and lush tropical hills, Langkawi is brimming with uncharted beauty. Part of an archipelago comprised of 99 largely-uninhabited islands off the coast of the Thai/Malaysia border, Langkawi is the largest and most popular isle. You can easily combine a trip to Kuala Lumpur for your city fix, and then hop on a one-hour flight to this tropical paradise. With a 10-million-year-old rainforest in its backyard, and the Datai Bay as its front, The Andaman resort is a great property for immersing yourself in your surroundings. The five-star hotel offers a world-class spa, golf course, private catamaran, jungle trekking, cooking classes and amazing food. Just remember to close your terrace door when leaving your room or cute monkeys may make themselves right at home.