As with 2021, travel plans and exciting new adventures seem to be looking all the more realistic. Although Covid certainly hasn’t left us, borders have opened, processes to travel have been refined, and already thousands have reacquainted themselves with that unique feeling of visiting and experiencing somewhere new.
And whilst plans have had to have been put on hold, cancelled or cut short, as ever here at Not In The Guidebooks we have been scouring the earth for more offbeat destinations, local experiences and authentic things to do, to bring to you for your 2022 travel inspiration.
Here is just a selection of the new ground we have broken, of the new destinations we have on offer, so that you can get dreaming of that next big holiday that we all, by now, deserve.
Mexico isn’t just a country of stunning gold-sand beaches, steaming jungles hiding ancient, atmospheric temples, breathtaking mountains and volcanoes, and lonely cacti standing in endless desert. For all its aesthetic beauty, and there is plenty of that, it speaks volumes that Mexico’s main draw lies in its culture, its cuisine, and its people.
When you visit Mexico prepare for some of the best food you’ve ever had; barbecued fish from smoky shacks on the beach, guacamole made fresh from ingredients that are as local as they come, fiery salsas and tacos like you’ve never eaten before, all washed down with ice cold beer in buzzing street side eateries or overlooking burning sunsets beyond idyllic bays.
But whether it’s hiking in the Yucatan, discovering local traditions and culture in Oaxaca or drinking in the once-on-a-lifetime spectacle of the Day Of The Dead, the thing you’ll be most struck by, and the thing that will stay with you the longest, is the lasting memory of warm, open hospitality you’d struggle to match anywhere else in the world.
At the turn of the year, the minds of many of us turn to thoughts of white-sand beaches, azure seas and warm breezes, and nowhere will you find a greater abundance of all these things than in Greece. Throw in one of the most fascinating ancient histories on earth, evidenced by the crumbling yet beautiful temples, theatres and ancient cities dotted all over the landscape, and you have yourself an undeniably compelling travel destination.
But for those who look to get a little further off the beaten track, Greece can also be a country of great surprise and is full of local hidden gems. Quiet, family-run olive farms nestled in remote hillsides, beachside tavernas on small islands far from the crowds of tourists, and rustic villages where time seems to have stood still all await on an activity holiday in Greece.
After all, who hasn’t fantasised about escaping to Greece on an island hopping excursion in the Mediterranean, or exploring monasteries and capturing beautiful sunrises on Corfu, or tasting stunning seafood with crisp white wine, the smell of the sea wafting in on a warm evening breeze… just us?
A little emerald gem dropped in the midst of the sapphire Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a chance to enjoy some blazing winter sun and a unique blend of French, Creole, African and Asian cultures all on one island. A place many visit to simply lie on the beach or play golf, Mauritius has so much more to it if only you know where to look.
You can hike through dramatic coastal mountain ranges, swim under waterfalls, ride horses through lush forests, abseil and scramble your way through plunging canyons, taste local wine in gorgeous vineyards, and get to know the unique, authentic cuisine born out of a weave of multiple cultures and palettes.
One thing is for sure in Mauritius, if you’ve come expecting big beachside resorts and a commercial experience, you’ll get far more than you bargained for. And as you drink in an Indian Ocean sunset from your eco-lodge in the mountains, you’ll probably feel that warm, smug glow that you really have found yourself an experience most people know nothing of.