5 mins

Secret's out! Your biggest (and best) travel secrets of 2019 revealed

Your 2019 secrets are in – and we’re ready to spill them! From road-trip romps to stranger sittings and finding hidden roadside beaches, here are your top discoveries from your travels...

Traditional ceremony in Nagaland, India (Shutterstock)

Secret destinations

Life’s a beach on the Akamas Peninsula in Cyprus (Shutterstock)

Life’s a beach on the Akamas Peninsula in Cyprus (Shutterstock)

Once, I was driving to the Akamas Peninsula, atop cliffs that watch over the Mediterranean Sea below, when the road dropped sharply down the hill. Nestled in the middle of the bend was a beach, standing empty in the September sun.

I stayed there alone all day, enjoying the silence, until chiming bells interrupted the peace. It might not be pretty, but it’s peaceful; the beach is my beach and continues to be mine each time I visit.

– Richard Lewis

Main Street, Solvang, California (Shutterstock)

Main Street, Solvang, California (Shutterstock)

“On a road trip from San Francisco to Hollywood, we unexpectedly came across this lovely area called Solvang – we could have easily been in Denmark.

With its picturesque windmills and fancy Danish-style restaurants serving smorgasbord, one could be forgiven for forgetting that this was still California.

Try to investigate all the areas you travel through and always keep your eyes peeled!” 

– Sharon Emery

Discovering Ikaria (Catherine Thorp)

Discovering Ikaria (Catherine Thorp)

“Ikaria is totally unlike other Greek islands and is full of character and quirks. You can go on some amazing gorge walks, trek untrodden hillsides and explore the bay of Nas.

It has a magical other-worldly feel, and there are the remains of a temple at the back of the beach. Legend has it that Icarus fell into the sea here!” 

– Catherine Thorp

New approaches to age-old favourites

Sledding at sunset (Shutterstock)

Sledding at sunset (Shutterstock)

We went to Lapland a few years ago and went tobogganing down a nearby hill when it was dark and everyone else was at dinner. You’ll have the whole place to yourself and, if you’re lucky, you may even see the Northern Lights.

– Madison Heath

Kayaking on Lake Garda (Nicole Woods)

Kayaking on Lake Garda (Nicole Woods)

In Italy, we found a hidden cave in a waterfall. But you have to kayak across Lake Garda for 45 minutes to get there!

– Nicole Woods

A guide who will make all the difference

A headhunter in Nagaland (Marie-Laure Stone)

A headhunter in Nagaland (Marie-Laure Stone)

Sange, the owner of Holiday Scout in Arunachal Pradesh, organised a month-long photography trip in Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in India.

He’s a great travel companion – he took us to faraway villages meeting little-known tribes, where we met elders in tribal dress, practicing shamans and hundreds of men pulling at a huge stone.

– Marie-Laure Stone

New ways to rest your weary head at night

Watching the suns set from a tent (Shutterstock)

Watching the suns set from a tent (Shutterstock)

”Camp outside of designated areas – we’ve asked landowners if we can pitch a tent if we leave no footprint, offering a small stipend for the time.

I’ve met some wonderful people doing this, and sometimes I helped out with a bit of farming.”

– BA Turpin 

Housesitting with friends (Shutterstock)

Housesitting with friends (Shutterstock)

”Try house-sitting. You can stay in large houses in exotic destinations entirely for free.

Most homeowners simply ask you to walk their dog or feed their fish. There are many pet-free properties too.

It’s the perfect way to save on costs in expensive destinations, or to stay closer to locals in quiet villages. There’s something for everyone!” 

– Claire Jarratt

Fabulous places to eat

Fish tacos. Delicious. (Shutterstock)

Fish tacos. Delicious. (Shutterstock)

”It’s easy to miss Victoria’s on the north shore of Nicaragua’s Big Corn Island.

It displays no signs that it serves food, but sit out front and the owner will tell you what he has that day.

Order the fish tacos and eat them with a view over the ocean.” 

– Nick Moss

Inside AidChild Cafe (AidChild Cafe and Gallery)

Inside AidChild Cafe (AidChild Cafe and Gallery)

“After visiting Kampala, travel south to the equator and visit the AidChild Cafe and Gallery.

We’ve bought many beautiful artworks from there over the years and the money aids others. The paintings and sculptures can even be shipped for a fee.

Sit outside with a cake, and watch as the birds build their nests.” 

– Heidi Pendergrast

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