8 Underrated Luxury Travel Destinations In The World
The experience of luxury travel is not just about a particular place or area. The most popular destinations will often have an unshakable reputation for luxury service and dwellings, coupled with scenic views of a picturesque reality.
Although the popular destinations are popular for a reason, we mustn’t forget that there are many others out there just waiting to be found.
Here is our list (in no particular order) of the most underrated destinations for luxury travel:
Image: Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Up and coming on the luxury travel scene is Montenegro. Gaining popularity since James Bond’s Casino Royale back in 2006 (if you didn’t already know).
Not only would you be able to travel to a James Bond destination, Montenegro is an amazing place to begin with. Beautiful views of the mountains, paradise-like beaches and world class restaurants.
Image: Scene from Casino Royale
Some interesting local dishes to try are the Black Risotto (made with squid and squid ink) and Njeguski Steak (a pork steak stuffed with Montenegrin cream cheese and prosciutto).
!(/content/images/2015/12/FoodMontenegro.jpg)Image: Black Risotto (left), Njeguski Steak (right)
And if you are wondering about drinks, Montenegro has a local – potent - brandy called Rakija (aka fire water). If you are more into wine, the most common is Plantaze, with red wine being the most popular. We also shouldn’t forget about the country’s most popular dish, Baklava.
!(/content/images/2015/12/Rakija-and-Plantaze.jpg)Image: Rakija(left), Plantaze Wine (right)
The country is of course filled with history and culture that is indelibly sketch into the architecture. Whether Baroque or Gothic, the beautiful scenes will put a smile on your face.
Tip: You can enjoy the breeze of the ocean or head up to the northern region for some ski fun on the slopes.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
Image: Amagertorv Square part of Strøget pedestrian zone in Copenhagen.
Is Copenhagen synonymous with luxury in your book? Well it should be. But that’s why it is on this list.
The city overflows with old world charm but yet mixes in the beauty of the new. You would see avant-garde designs living in harmony with architecture of days gone by.
Copenhagen is a delight for foodies and drinkers. Smørrebrød is a local open-faced sandwich that is topped with a variety of toppings, traditionally pickle herrings, though there are many modern variations ranging from smoked eel to smoke salmon. The Danish are also well known for their pastries, so you don’t want to miss out on those.
!(/content/images/2015/12/Copenhagen.jpg)Image: Variety of Smørrebrød sandwiches
Not forgetting that Copenhagen is the home town of Carlsberg. This city is a must visit for beer aficionados. And if you are feeling adventurous, head over to an Absinthe Bar while in the city and try it out.
The Barking Dog is a bar (located at Sankt Hans Gade 19 in Copenhagen) that serves up Absinthe based drinks. Vibes Apotek is one that actually advertise themselves as an Absinthe Bar, and is located at Ydunsgade 5, Copenhagen.
!(/content/images/2015/12/1.jpg)Image: The Barking Dog Bar
Copenhagen is also known to be very family friendly and a great choice for a family vacation.
Tip: Copenhagen has been voted the world’s Eco-friendliest city several times.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
Image: Gamla Stan (the old town)
A city that is just scenically beautiful and filled with culture, Stockholm makes it on this list. The city is known for great shopping, stylish and modem designs, good food and beautiful people.
What's more is that Stockholm is also one of the ‘greenest’ cities in the world. Clean environment coupled with picturesque views makes for breath-taking strolls through this wonderful city, or a bicycle ride.
A visit to Stockholm wouldn’t be complete without some food hunting through the many food halls such as *Östermalmshallen, Hötorgshallen, and Östermalms Korvspecialist* among others. Here are some dishes to look out for, Räkor (Swedish shrimp), Gravlax (cured salmon served with a dill and mustard sauce, usually on bread), Filmjölk (processed soured milk) and Swedish strawberries known as Jordgubbar.
Image: Östermalmshallen food Hall
Funny enough, the country of Absolute Vodka has some very strict laws when it comes to wine, strong beer, alcohol and liquors. But don’t worry, you can still purchase them. Although the only place to buy your drinks would be at state-run liquor stores called Systembolaget.
Andy’s Advice: Head over to Stockholm or Copenhagen during the summer seasons to get the best of your trip.
4. Sevilla, Spain
Image: Plaza de Espana in Seville
We had to have a Spanish city on this list. Although, Seville is not as popular as Madrid or Barcelona, it definitely holds its own for a luxury travel destination.
With the warmth of the Andalusian sun shining down on the city, highlighting the photogenic architecture. You will find a beautiful blend of the city’s different historical periods through the architecture.
For you foodies out there, here is what you would want to look out for. Secreto Iberico (translates to Iberian Secret) is a cut of pork that comes from the prized Iberian Pigs, Carrillada de Cerdo is a simple dish of stewed pork cheek that can easily be found at most Tapas Bars and Espinacas con Garbanzos a traditional combination of spinach and garbanzos and has Seville’s history all over it.
Image: Carrillada de Cerdo (left), Espinacas con Garbanzos (right)
The Spanish are also known for their wines with Cordoba being a historical wine region and Jerez Sherry being one of the most famous. There is no doubt that you will be able to find good wine here.
Image: Various Andalusian Wines
The region is also relatively more affordable to travel to as compared to the other locations on this list.
5. Naples, Florida
Image: Tigertail Beach, Florida
Located on the other side of Florida from Miami, is Naples. Though it may not be as popular a name as Miami, Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in United States.
Home to the Everglades National Park, Corkscrew Swamp Reserve and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, among other attractions. Not to mention the upscale shopping district called the Village on Venetian Bay.
Image: Village on Venetian Bay
Naples also has beach fronts that are directly exposed to the Gulf of Mexico and is known for its pristine white sand. Travel Channel has voted Naples as having the best beach in America in 2005.
And of course there are many great restaurants to choose from around Naples. From Cuban Cuisine to Gourmet Burgers, take your pick.
6. Evian, France
Image: Evian les Bains
The city of the famous Evian water is a beautiful commune located just by Lac Leman* (aka Lake Geneva)*.
There are many things to do during a visit to Evian. For one thing you can charter a luxury yacht and enjoy some time cruising the waters of the gorgeous lake. Or hit up a Casino such as Le Casino d'Evian.
Image: View of the Alps from Evian
Don’t forget your camera to take pictures of the beautiful scenes. And yes, you can get a shot of the iconic France Alps. Evian also boast charming old world European architecture.
Not forgetting the French food available for you to savor during a trip to Evian, it is in France after all. Sample the Foie Gras, Boeuf Bourguignon or a dish made with a catch from the lake, at the many world class restaurants such as Restaurant le Baccara and Les Fresques.
Image: Boeuf Bourguignon
For you wine lovers out there, Savoy, a wine region is located close by to Evian. So be on the hunt for good wine.
7. Lausanne, Switzerland
Located on the other side of Lac Leman from Evian, is Lausanne. Another picture perfect city that’s well underrated.
The visual impact of the architectural surroundings will have you in awe of the city. Both past and present have an existence here. Just like Evian, you wouldn’t want to leave your camera at home, the opportunities for great photos are everywhere. And it’s not easy to take a bad photo.
If there is one thing you would need to have in Lausanne, it’s Fondue, it is a Swiss specialty after all. And Filet de Perches made from fish caught from the lakes.
Lausanne is also located in a wine growing region, Lavaux, which stretches from Lausanne to Montreux. So keep a look out for the local wines to have.
8. Moorea, French Polynesia
Moorea is a paradise destination, you should look to this villa: Blue Lagoon Moorea