5 Breathtaking Destinations You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
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It’s said that Ireland, once visited, is never forgotten. The Irish landscape has a mythic resonance, the country’s history is almost tangible, and its people seem put on earth expressly to restore faith in humanity. History lives on in the gently rolling hills and placid lakes of Cavan. Vistors can tour the picturesque countryside and visit real castles, tall walls still standing after hundreds of years.
Where to stay: Set deep in the Cavan countryside is the magnificent 19th century Cabra Castle Hotel. The hotel offers a range of luxury accommodations, from authentic, medieval-style Castle rooms, to the artisan-style accommodations of the Courtyard, featuring old stone walls and delightful views of the walled garden.
Hakone is a quiet town in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, popular as a day trip for Tokyo residents looking to escape the city. The natural beauty here is overwhelming, with soaring hills, thick cedar forests and an inspiring view of Mt. Fuji. Hakone is the perfect place for relaxation and sightseeing. Volcanic hot springs are common here, and the best way to take advantage of them is by visiting an onsen, a public bath built around natural hot springs.
AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS
Located in the heart of the South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, this country of 15 islands is secluded and off the beaten path. The Cook Islands are renowned for their idyllic climate, white sandy beaches, and spectacular scuba-diving sites. The largest island, Rarotonga, features volcanic peaks, rainforest and coral reefs. North of Rarotonga is Aitutaki, nicknamed the Honeymoon Island, with crystal clear lagoons and superb beaches
Where to stay: The land on which Tamanu Beach is built bears the traditional name ‘Are Tamanu,’ which means ‘house of the mahogany tree’. In keeping with its traditional name, Tamanu Beach has 22 premiere self-catering and individual bungalows featuring Tamanu floors and Cook Island style thatched roofs.
Located in the Mexican state of Colima along Mexico’s sun-drenched Pacific coast, Manzanillo’s two bays, Bahía de Manzanillo and Bahía de Santiago, offer a plethora of coral reefs, underwater shipwrecks and dive sites.
Where to stay: Barcelo Karmina is an all-inclusive resort that pampers you in an enchanting paradise with eight lushly landscaped, inter-connected swimming pools, a kid’s club, three restaurants, five bars, along with daily and nightly activities and a private beach with water sports.
HUAHINE, FRENCH POLYNESIA
With its lush forests and untamed landscape, Huahine is Polynesia’s best-kept secret. A deep, crystal-clear lagoon surrounds the two islands while magnificent bays and white-sand beaches add drama and solitude to their virtues. Huahine’s few residents are warm, welcoming visitors with great kindness. With its rich and fertile soil, the island provides farmers bountiful harvests of vanilla, melons, and bananas.
Where to stay: Maitai Lapita Village is perfectly situated for guests to discover the unspoiled island of Huahine. Lounge on the beautiful beach and watch spectacular sunsets over the neighbor island Raiatea or enjoy the serenity of the lily pond.