If you like your holidays to come with a big slice of adventure, you might want to take note of a new top ten from no-nonsense travel publisher Rough Guides.
The holiday authority has named its best countries to visit in 2014 – a list headed by Ethiopia.
According to Rough Guides, a ‘boom’ in small hotels and restaurants is making travelling around this culturally rich east African nation much easier, giving adventurous tourists the chance to experience ‘untouched national parks, ancient cities, the world’s first coffee plantations, the largest cave in Africa and the continent’s greatest concentration of UNESCO sites’.
Second on the list is also in the same neck of the woods. The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar merited inclusion due to its ‘exotic’ qualities and spectacular wildlife – more than 90% of its flora and fauna is endemic.
Third on the list is Brazil, a country that has been all over the top tens for 2014 – perhaps unsurprising given all the attention it has received surrounding the World Cup. However, that’s not to say it isn’t worthy of its place, with Rough Guides pointing to natural wonders such as the Iguazu Falls, which ‘blow Niagara away’, and charming old cities boasting crumbling colonial architecture.
Turkey placed fourth, with Rough Guides encouraging visitors to eschew the tourist hotspots in favour of the landscapes and historic sights of the interior ‘that offer the most surprises’, such as the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the ‘thought-provoking’ Neolithic settlement at Catalhoyuk.
Rounding out the top five is Georgia, which Rough Guides says you should enjoy before mass tourism takes over now that citizens of all EU countries can enter visa-free for up to 360 days. Things to do include experiencing ‘unspoiled’ hiking in the Caucasus mountains and visiting the ‘gorgeous’ old towns of Svaneti and Kazbegi.
The Rough Guides 2014 top ten is completed by Rwanda; Japan; Bulgaria; Macedonia; and the Philippines. ADNFCR-408-ID-801677350-ADNFCR