Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year

Looking for some alternative travel destinations this year?

At Regent, we're experts in everything unusual when it comes to finding off-the-beaten track places and lesser-known experiences.

Take a look at our Travel Specialists' calendar of where to go for a unique trip this year - if you'd like more ideas, simply give them a call.  

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 2

January - Hide away in an Arctic Treehouse

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Warm up and thaw out in a sauna, an authentic experience that's deeply engrained in Lapland's culture
  • Explore the frozen landscape of the Arctic on a cross-country ski adventure
  • The highlight for many - January is perfect for seeing the northern lights

Begin your year of travel with snow underfoot and the aurora borealis overhead. Lapland in January is quieter once Santa returns home, creating a winter wonderland ripe for adventure. Try your hand at ice fishing, take the reins of a husky or reindeer sled, warm up in a traditional Nordic sauna and wake up to the sight of the northern lights dancing above your bed.

The Nordic countries have some stunning treehouse hotels and cosy igloos to experience, including the pod-suites of the Arctic Treehouse Hotel. Set in rows on stilts, each suite has spectacular views of the night sky and frosty scenery, so you can snuggle up with a coffee and watch the snow fall outside.

Add on some trips to the Lappish countryside for a snowmobile safari, or to meet the gentle reindeer. Fuel up with authentic food at the restaurant before unwinding beside the open fire.

See our Arctic Treehouse Winter Break for this full alternative holiday idea. 

Or, discover more of the best hotels for seeing the northern lights

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 3

February - See Iceland's north

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Visit the north of Iceland for some off-the-beaten-track experiences
  • Explore Akureyri, the 'capital of the north'
  • Enjoy a relaxing soak at the Mývatn Nature Baths

Iceland is growing in popularity, so may no longer be one of the most unusual holiday destinations out there. But, if you try visiting during different seasons and exploring different regions, you can still find more quirky or obscure parts of this unique country.

In February, you can discover Iceland in its final days of winter when the contrast between the northern
and southern regions is even more apparent. While many visit the latter for their first-time Iceland
, taking the Golden Circle route, North Iceland is wonderful for a second or third visit. 

You can now fly direct to Akureyri, the ‘capital’ of Iceland’s magical frozen north. Explore the winter wonderland by day; from the mighty Goðafoss waterfall to the volcanic terrain at Lake Mývatn. And why not add on a visit to the geothermal waters of Vaðlaskógur’s Forest Lagoon Spa? Then after dark you’ll embark on a guided tour to chase down the indescribable northern lights

See our full North Iceland Winter Break itinerary for more ideas. Or, to explore further, see our guide to the best Iceland road trips

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 4

March - Admire Orangutans in Borneo

Alternative travel highlights:

  • See wildlife along the Kinabatangan River
  • Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to see these precious creatures in their natural habitat
  • Stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge and walk through ancient rainforest

Borneo is the perfect alternative travel destination for animal lovers, as it's home to the planet's endangered orangutans. March brings a weather shift that makes it the perfect month to visit. The rains move on and the temperatures rise, and with this climatic change the jungle comes alive. Against this backdrop it’s the best time to spot endangered orangutans in the wild. 

There are a number of comfortable hotels to stay at in Borneo. But, to be fully immersed in nature, stay at the award-winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge. This boutique hotel has just 30 chalets nestled in the lush foliage of the 130-million-year-old forest, while some perch along the riverfront for stunning views. 

Our Borneo Orangutan Experience includes a stay at the lodge while you explore the Danum Valley Conservation Area. You'll then spot wildlife along the Kinabatangan River before visiting Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Finally, retreat to Gaya Island Resort, a hotel set in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Enjoy this lesser-known unusual beach destination, which has excellent snorkelling opportunities. 

Want to know more? See which animals live in Borneo that you could spot on your trip. 

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 5

April - Get to know Uzbekistan

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Wake before sunrise to see the city of Bukhara all but deserted under the glow of morning's first light
  • Experience desert life with lunch at a yurt camp before exploring the desert castles of Ancient Khorezm
  • See the historic sites of Shakriysabz, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed city 

April 2024 sees the launch of our new expert-led, small group tour to Uzbekistan. It’s been personally curated by our Senior Asia Travel Specialist Carl, marking his 20th year with Regent. Along the way, you’ll enjoy some must-see sights, unique places of interest, authentic encounters and a few surprises. This is an extraordinary Central Asian tour for anyone with a passion for history and a yearning to walk the path less travelled.

Uzbekistan is the perfect destination if you're looking for a cultural and historical experience. This former Soviet Republic was also once a major stop on the Silk Road, imbuing it with a fascinating mix of Islamic and Soviet architecture. The glittering blue mosaic mosques and madrassahs are beautiful, but there is a trove of other historic sites too.

The city of Tashkent, for instance, is an underrated destination when it comes to a visit to Uzbekistan. Many travellers overlook it in their rush to get to the Silk Road cities. But, spend an extra night to fully appreciate the rich tapestry of Soviet-era gems, from the iconic 1970s architecture of the Hotel Uzbekistan and Peoples’ Friendship Palace to the intricate metro system.

If you're interested in Uzbekistan, see more of the most impressive Silk Road cities you can still visit

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 6

May - Walk inside volcanoes in the Azores

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Embark on epic hikes across lush volcanic landscapes
  • See natural wonders, such as the double crater lake of Sete Cidades and Sao Miguel's beautiful Fire Lake
  • Take a dip in the geothermal hot spring of Terra Nostra Gardens for an amazing experience of nature

May is a dreamy time to make the short flight to the Azores, as you can make the most of rising temperatures which enrich and enliven the islands’ natural attractions. What’s more, those staying over the fifth Sunday after Easter – falling at the start of the month in 2024 – can witness one of the most important religious festivals in the Azores: Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres.

The Azores is perhaps one of the little known holiday destinations in Europe. But, keen walkers will love our Walking Inside Volcanoes itinerary, following carefully planned routes that traverse to stunning island viewpoints. The unspoilt scenery characteristic of the archipelago puts on a fine show in May, while the geothermal waters of Terra Nostra Gardens are not to be missed. Make time for the impressive double crater lake of Sete Cidades, and the photo-worthy Fire Lake.

Find out more with our guide to the most amazing things to do in the Azores

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 7

June - Cruise the Norwegian Fjords under the midnight sun

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Visiting Norway in June means you'll bask in the midnight sun, so you can enjoy a variety of unique activities you wouldn't be able to do in winter
  • Stroll through Bergen, a picturesque old town with heaps of fresh seafood to feast on
  • Stay at Snow Hotel Kirkenes - even though it's not winter, you'll still be able to admire the ice sculptures!

Norway is an underrated travel destination in Europe for a summer getaway. The scenery bathes in warmth and light, while the fjords lure you to soak up their beauty with fishing, kayaking and serene train journeys along their shores. And the extraordinary coast is best seen via a cruise, so you can mark the crossing into the Arctic Circle, visit UNESCO sights and finish in the North Cape’s polar landscape.

Embark on Havila Voyages Summer Cruise for a nine-day tour bursting with the finest off-the-beaten-track sights, from Bergen to Kirkenes, including 34 Norwegian ports. Wander a concealed maze of wooden walkways, overnight in a snow hotel and witness the shifting landscape from dense forest to sparse tundra. Because the journey is taken by a Havila cruise ship, the pace is slowed, allowing time to absorb this picturesque stretch of northern Europe.

Our Travel Specialists recently took a journey with Havila - see their voyage along the Norwegian Coast

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 8

July - Visit the world's 'cutest capital' in the Faroe Islands

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Potter around the charming village of Saksun, laying at the bottom of what used to be a sea inlet
  • Try the local food of Suduroy, like freshly made waffles and locally brewed beer
  • Take a boat trip to the Vetmanna Bird Cliff for stunning views of puffins lining the coast

Given its latitude, a visit to the Faroe Islands in July affords 22 hours of daylight, making interisland travel easier than during the darker, colder months, and creating ideal conditions for spotting the birdlife who call it their home in summer. Away from the wild landscapes, the little-known capital of Tórshavn is perhaps one of the most unique places to visit in Europe, pitching itself as “the cutest capital in the world” with its turf-roofed buildings.

Our Faroe Islands In-Depth Group Tour is a great way to get a real understanding of the culture, geography and history of the Faroe Islands. Visiting the Vestmanna Bird Cliffs, picturesque village of Saksun and the unique capital of Tórshavn are all highlights. But there’s time to take in the historic architecture, wander around the museums and art collections, and get a real taste for the island cuisine too.


Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 9

August - Spot bears in Finland

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Enjoy an authentic experience of foraging for seasonal food like berries, mushrooms and herbs in the forest
  • Take a sauna before jumping into one of Finland's stunningly clear lakes
  • Hike through your choice of 40 national parks and spot Europe's last-remaining Eurasian brown bears 

The summer sun brings opportunities for wildlife spotting, foraging, outdoor swimming and exploring the lush Finnish landscapes on foot or bike. Don’t miss the chance to see Eurasian brown bears staking their claim as ‘King of the Forest’, or a Golden Triangle train journey visiting the cities of Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. Then finish each day soaking up the warmth in a traditional sauna.

Embark on our Finnish Wildlife & Wilderness Adventure for an immersive experience in the heart of the wild taiga forest. From your base at the lakeside Hotel Kalevala you’ll take guided hikes, learning about the wildlife and how to track elk and bear. The pinnacle is hunkering down in a ‘bear hide’ overnight for the rare opportunity to observe, up close, the brown bears, wolves and wolverines.

For more, see our full guide to bear watching in Finland.

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 10

September - Visit seven countries in one go

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Visit a total of seven Balkan countries in one trip
  • See stark contrasts, from modern cities to former-Soviet towns and coastal villages
  • Taste an authentic thriving food scene with locally-made North Macedonian wines, delicious cheeses from Montenegro and fruit brandy in Serbia

Balmy temperatures make September a great month to tour the Balkans, with the changing season bringing colour to the landscape. For many, it’s the region’s history that is the initial draw. But the people, culture, scenery and food are easy to fall in love with too, meaning many first-timers plan a return visit before they’ve even left.

The Balkans has a trove of unusual European city breaks, from Belgrade and Sarajevo, to Tirana, Berat and Skopje.

Or, if you want to see has many undiscovered holiday destinations in Europe as possible, you could embark on our Ultimate Balkans Explorer itinerary. It might look whistle stop, but as the experts in Balkans’ travel we’ve designed this tailor-made tour so that you get real insight into seven countries in
just three weeks. Accompanied by English-speaking drivers and guides you’ll be taken on the road
less travelled, with sightseeing and excursions all meticulously planned and included.

Find out more about this unique region of Europe with our guide to the best places to visit in the Balkans.

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 11

October - Unveil incredible archaeological sites in Jordan

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Visit the strikingly well-preserved Roman ruins of Jerash
  • Discover the flavours of authentic Jordinian food 
  • Learn stories of the Crusaders and browse bustling souks

Jordan remains one of the more unusual places to go on holiday and remains untouched from tourism. In autumn, the temperate daytime climate makes it ideal for exploring. In just a week of travel in this ancient land you can have enriching experiences aplenty; from floating in the Dead Sea to exploring iconic Petra, sleeping in a Bedouin tented camp and driving over the dunes of the Wadi Rum desert. Certainly one of the Middle East’s most intoxicating and enchanting countries.

Our Classic Jordan tour is perfect for first-timers as it truly captures the essence of Jordan. Step back in
time and visit the city of Petra, the Roman site of Jerash, Crusader castles, Wadi Rum desert and the
Dead Sea. You’ll have the chance to fully immerse ourself in the vibrant culture by learning about the
traditional cuisine, going on a sunset camel ride and discovering the hidden treasures of the souqs.

You can find more ways to have an adventure in Jordan on our blog. 

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 12

November - Explore Taiwan's National Parks

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Dip into the hot springs in the mountainous Yangmingshan National Park
  • Marvel at the ancient trees of Alishan, where some are thousands of years old and reach up to 43m in height
  • Walk along the shores of Sun Moon Lake, and admire the spectacular views of the mountains reflected on the surface

Taiwan in the autumn is a real treat, with gentle weather and quieter landmarks. The arrival of autumn means the National Parks are in full colourful splendour, so ideal for hiking and walking through the forests and trails. November is also when the country hosts celebrations including the Pingxi Lantern Festival, where lanterns containing wishes float into thee night sky.

Our National Parks of Taiwan tour offers a fortnight exploring some of Asia’s finest and least-known National Parks. A dreamy tailormade tour in autumn, you’ll explore mountainous Yangmingshan National Park with its steaming hot springs; take a Taroko National Park guided tour to the Tunnel of Nine Turns, Swallow Grotto and Eternal Spring Shrine; then journey on the rare Forest Train to Alishan with its giant, ancient trees.

Alternative Holiday Destinations For Every Month of the Year : Section 13

December - Take a unique wellness escape In Sweden

Alternative travel highlights:

  • Try out the heath benefits of cold water immersion at the stunning Arctic Bath hotel
  • Taste regional Arctic food made with sustainable ingredients at the hotel restaurant 
  •  Choose from a variety of experiences such as taking a snowshoe hike through the taiga forest 

For an extraordinary winter break, a Swedish Lapland wellness escape will garner plenty of
stories to share, making it ideal to mark a special occasion at the end of the year. If the wintry playground is enticing you for a snowy adventure, there is ample opportunity for that too, with dog sledding, snowshoe hiking and, of course, chasing the elusive northern lights.

This wellness escape at Arctic Bath hotel includes a stay at an exceptional new resort. Inspired by the timber floating history of the region, Arctic Bath floats on the Lule River; except during winter when it’s frozen in place! The Swedish tradition of moving from cold baths to warm baths and hot saunas is just one of the wellness activities available, while the signature Culinary Arctic Dinner Experience showcases the locality.

Find more alternative holiday ideas with Regent

Our Travel Specialists are experts in the unusual and make it their mission to go beyond the ordinary to find the most unique holiday destinations.

For more quirky and off-the-beaten-track ideas, explore our webiste or speak to our team. 

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