Spotlight on… hidden gems

Portugal, Tavira, Algarve, old and historical roman bridge

Lovely as the likes of the Canaries, Balearics and Mainland Spain are, folks nowadays are increasingly travel savvy. Always looking for the next adventure. The next place their friends might not have been.

The bucket-and-spade holiday will always remain a winner, but today’s traveller is on the lookout for something new, whether it be a weekend city break mixing with the locals or an escape to an undiscovered beach.

I’m being asked for unusual destinations almost every week now, so here are just few to consider for your next getaway…

Tavira – Portugal

Portugal, Tavira, Algarve, old and historical roman bridgeIf you are looking for Portugal before mass tourism and golf hit, it’s right here. Dubbed by many as Portugal’s prettiest town it’s certainly a gem to be discovered.

Tradition and authentic Portuguese charm ooze from Tavira. Set around a small working fishing port, there are plenty of tiny cobbled streets to wonder along and it’s a splendid base from which to explore what the coast has to offer.

Ilha De Tavira, or Tavira Island, lies just below Tavira only a few hundred metres from the coast and has some of the most amazing undiscovered beaches around. It’s also super easy to get to via a small ferry.

There are several shops, bars and cafés around and you could almost think you’d stepped back in time.

It really is a gorgeous town, littered with little gardens to sit and while the day away. Don’t forget your camera!

You can easily get there from Faro and transfers only take around 30 minutes.

Kas – Turkey

Harbour of city Kas (Kash) in Turkey and Greek island Kastelorizo

Nestled on the coast in between the large resorts of Marmaris and Antalya is the tiny fishing village of Kas, just down from the boutique resort of Kalkan.

Winding cobbled streets and traditional markets give this resort a real untouched feel. Kas actually means eyebrow and has this name because the town’s curved bay is shaped like an eyebrow.

Steeped in culture and surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges, this resort is also popular for trekking, scuba diving and sea kayaking.

Kas offers something a little different to the usual Turkish resorts. You can fly direct from the UK into either Dalaman or Antalya and transfers are very easy to arrange.

Zahara De Los Atunes – Spain

Beautiful beaches in Zahara De Los Atunes – SpainThis gem of an Andalusian village is well known in Spain for its outstanding beaches. Food is also a big deal here and you won’t be let down by the amazing choice of places to eat. Fish and local speciality tapas are the order of the day (and evening for that matter).

Chiringuito’s directly on the beach are super cool places to relax here, some as simple as a wooden shed with fresh fish cooked on a fire made straight on the sand.

Some say on a quiet day, going here is like going back in time. Ruins of the Castillo de Las Amadrabas are now used to store fisherman’s equipment.

It’s pretty good for sunshine too as it’s lucky enough to enjoy around 300 days of sunshine a year! Fab for a late summer breakaway!

To get here you can fly into Seville and transfer, alternatively – and a little further away – you could fly to Granada. Why not have a little stop off in Marbella en route? It’s around four hours’ away.

Tirana – Albania

Streets in AlbaniaThe capital and the largest city in Albania, this is fast becoming the place to go. With BA offering direct flights into the capital, its delights are more in reach than ever.

Colourful and trendy bars and boutiques are everywhere. Grand streets still have relics from the past, and it’s interesting to see how the capital has picked itself up from its troubled history.

Substantially lower in cost for shopping/eating/drinking than most places in Europe is part of Tirana’s huge appeal. And although it perhaps can’t offer the bright lights and big attractions of some other city breaks, it has undiscovered character and history by the bucketload.

If you want to head to the beach then Albania’s second largest city, Durres is for you. You can get there from the capital via minibus or train and there is plenty of beach to relax on as it’s around 6.5 miles long.

The whole world’s in your hands…

This is only a very small selection of the wonderful undiscovered places on offer. But no matter where in the world you fancy, there is always a small corner/city or beach hidden away from the crowds waiting to be explored.

So why not step away from the norm and try something different for your next break away?

Find out more…

  • Turkey. For tiny excellence check out the 18-bedroom Hotel SonneAnd for a hotel that feels like you’re staying in a Turkish home, try the Hotel Hideaway. Tranquil ocean views topped off with homemade organic Turkish cuisine.
  • Spain. For the best hotel in town check out the Avenida Playa. Or if you want to literally ive on the beach, the Gran Sol Hotel is for you.
  • Albania. If you want low cost and high end head for the Boutique Kotoni. For those on a budget, the Capital Tirana Hotel may be a better choice.
  • Portugal. If you’re looking to splurge then check out the Herdade de Corte, super traditional with an exclusive feel. . If you’re a lover of vintage then take a look at the Ozadi.

Or get in touch with me and I can share even more hidden gems!

Kirsty Fisher

About Kirsty Fisher

I’m a travel counsellor with over 12 years’ experience working in the industry, in both leisure and business. I have many customers who love to cruise – visit my website to find out more.