If you’re tiring of frosty mornings and long nights (even if it is staying lighter a bit longer, now!) then February is the perfect month for a splash of holiday inspiration.
TripAdvisor has just revealed the winners of its Travellers’ Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise and there’s a mix of old and new in the line-up.
The travel review giant has named Vietnam’s Da Nang as the travel hotspot of 2015, thanks to its budget-busting prices and unique culture.
James Kay, TripAdvisor spokesperson, said: “The results of this year’s awards show that South East Asia is clearly piquing traveller interest. While this part of the world has been firmly pinned on the travel trail for some time, it’s the region’s lesser known destinations that are now rising up to rival the more established tourist hotspots.”
Meanwhile, Sihanoukville in Cambodia takes second place, with Limassol in Cyprus completing the top three.
The top ten are:
1. Da Nang, Vietnam
Based between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang is known for its tranquil beaches, culinary tours, and Buddhist sanctuaries. We suggest a visit to the historic Marble Mountains for some truly breathtaking scenery.
2. Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Surrounded by the Bay of Thailand, Sihanoukville offers travellers a spectacular beach town with some world-class snorkelling and diving. Head to Marvel Beach to watch the sun set and enjoy a bite to eat.
3. Limassol, Cyprus
With lashings of sun, sea sand and culture, this year round Mediterranean family favourite is perfect for visitors of all ages. Learn about the archaic sites at Kourion, or simply enjoy a lazy afternoon in a taverna snacking on delicious Greek Cypriot cuisine.
4. Ao Nang, Thailand
Famed for world-class beaches and water sports, long haul timeshare favourite Ao Nang is the perfect sunshine beach break. However, in between swimming and sun bathing, we love to dine on traditional Thai food, including prawns or curries and rice.
5. Bodrum City, Turkey
Once a quiet community, new timeshare favourite Bodrum is now one of Turkey’s most popular holiday destinations. Take a stroll through the city and admire the culturally rich attractions of Castle of St Peter, or samply some of the local delicacies, including mouthwatering kebabs and mezze.
6. Naha, Japan
Located on Okinawa Island, Naha is renowned for its historic monuments and majestic gardens, including the beautiful ancient castle of Shurijo Castle.
7. Hurghada, Egypt
There’s plenty of sunshine on offer at this resort town along the Red Sea, which stays warm even in February. During the day, sunbathers, snorkelers and divers can make a splash at the beach of Sharm El Naga and when night falls, it’s time to explore some of the local dishes and delicacies on offer.
8. Kazan, Russia
Based along the Volga River, this city is known for its rich history. The citadel of Kazan Kremlin combines a fascinating blend of Orthodox Christian and Muslim cultures, or you can pick one of the many riverside restaurants to enjoy the regional cuisine.
9. Manaus, Brazil
A recent World Cup host city, this spot offers cosmopolitan attractions in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon. We suggest you visit the Teatro Amazons to get a feel for the grandeur of the old opera.
10. Eilat, Israel
On the Gulf of Aqaba, Israel’s southernmost city boasts sunshine nearly every day of the year. Try exploring Timna National Park for spectacular views of red and pink rocks, or go snorkelling in the clear waters at the Coral Beach Nature Reserve.
For the complete list of destinations, visit www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravellersChoice-DestinationsontheRise