February 27, 2024


Take the road less traveled in 2024 with these under-the-rated destinations (and a festival) in Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro, Africa, India and Colombia, each offering opportunities to absorb local culture, suggested by our local-expert DMCs.


Slovenia and Montenegro have been growing in popularity so much that our Croatia DMC, Journey2Croatia launched the J2 COLLECTION, adding Journey2Slovenia and Journey2Montenegro, two countries they have been booking with increasing frequency over the last decade. Founder Ivana Tomic and her team share some of their favorite experiences in Croatia's neighboring countries.

In Slovenia:

  • Experience the power of nature in the Soča Valley and its local culture and cuisine by foraging for herbs and meeting cheese artisans of the area before preparing with your chef/guide the local dish called fritaja.

  • Take a day-long hike, with lunch at a mountain hut, through the stunning Seven Triglav Lakes region, an area of importance for Slovenians.

  • Hike among one of the few traditional herdsmen settlements in Europe.

  • Exploring the many art nouveau influences in the capital city of Ljubljana’s Old Town.

In Montenegro:

  • Explore Boka Bay by boat with scenery of lush mountains, medieval towns and the small island of Our Lady of the Rocks – built artificially by scuttling old ships and depositing stones around a small crag.

  • Visit the small towns Kotor, a UNESCO site that dates back to Byzantine rule, and Perast, home to 19 palaces that today stand as silent witnesses of its former greatness, splendor, and wealth with a stay in the largest palace.

  • Take a private boat tour of the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, an important habitat of swamp birds in Europe, exploring the local islands, a monastery and enjoying a picnic in a secluded shoreline.



Our Italy DMC, Imago Artis Travel's Fulvio De Bonis believes Ravenna is one of the most beautiful cities of Italy, rich in history and art. "We have this special city to thank for this extraordinary art form," he says.

The historic center of Ravenna is surrounded by magnificent pinewoods and not far from the Adriatic Sea with 35 kilometers of coastline. The city has so much to offer from street food called piadina (like a flatbread), fresh fish, and cappelletti (local pasta) to their summer music festival where you can hear music in historic palazzos, theaters, gardens and UNESCO locations in June and July. But what makes Ravenna so exquisite is that it has some of the most grand and best-preserved mosaics in the world. This particular style is known as Byzantine, with vibrant colors that due to the glass coloring technique don't  fade, which is why even today the colors are simply marvelous!

Imago Artis Travel has a beautiful mosaic experience that includes visiting the famous churches with mosaics, experiencing the process of making them by visiting a contemporary mosaic studio and learning how to make one as well.



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True Colombia Travel our Colombia DMC has been working to support the island destination of Providencia, one of the most off-the-beaten-path and beautiful destinations in Colombia.

Providencia is known for its incredibly beautiful waters that make up the 7-colored-sea and features the third largest coral reef in the world (after Australia and Belize). Largely destroyed by a freak storm (Providencia is not in the hurricane belt), the island has been reconstructed, and the land's wildlife restored. The very protective island does not permit new construction or growth, but True Colombia Travel has access to the best private villas on the island, and has been investing in the local community to support their growth. The island features some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean!



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Adventures Africa, our Africa DMC specializing in exclusive safaris across the contintent, suggests Zambia as an under-valued safari destination.
"Zambia provides comparable wildlife viewing and safari experiences to more high-profile African destinations like Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa," says AA's Gary Nicoll. A few more reasons to pick Zambia...

  • The country boasts several world-class national parks. Kafue National Park, for example, is roughly the same size as South Africa's famed Kruger National Park and receives about 10,000 visitors annually compared to Kruger's 1.4M.

  • Zambia provides similar water safari experiences to Botswana – on the Zambezi River, the Busanga Plains, the Luangwa River, and more – at a more affordable price point.

  • The safari gateway, Livingstone, sits on the banks of the Zambezi River just above Victoria Falls, providing easy access to this Natural Wonder of the World and all of the associated activities.

  • South Luangwa National Park is known as the Valley of the Leopard, having one of the highest densities of leopard in the world.

  • A safari in Zambia can easily be combined with a stay at Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi, combining boho-chic and comfort on a white sand beach.

  • Adventures Africa works with some cutting edge safari operators in Zambia with a focus on conservation, environmentalism, and community empowerment.

  • Zambia is the home of the walking safari and its prolific wildlife is especially exhilarating when encountered on foot. There's nothing like approaching an elephant or lion on foot to get the heart rate going.



The largest religious festival in the world, the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela is a great time to visit India, according to our India DMC Worldwide Adventures India, because it offers an extraordinary showcase of India’s spiritual and cultural tapestry, as it welcomes approximately 200 million attendees from all over the world to share in dynamic and mystical rituals and celebrations. Held every 12 years, the next one will happen on Jan. 14-Feb. 26, 2025 in Prayagraj (formerly known as Allahabad).

The highlight of the festival is the main bathing ritual known as Shahi Snan, or ‘Royal Baths’. On these days, the pilgrims will wait for the grand ceremonial dip of the ‘mahants’, the leaders of the 13 akharas (Hindu monasteries). This occasion is marked by an impressive, vibrant procession where the musical sounds of horns and trumpets accompany elephants and horses marching beneath tremendous banners and flags, followed by the mahants, who are often naked, covered in ashes and draped in magnificent marigolds.

Worldwide Adventures India has crafted a bespoke itinerary, to immerse guests in sublime sunsets and sunrises on the ghats as they soak in the magic of the spiritual air and take in the faith that envelopes the atmosphere. Philosophical discussions, traditional dances, boat rides along the river, ancient temples coming alive to celebratory feasts.