If you fancy a vacation that’s a little off the beaten track, Airbnb has a few suggestions on the countries or destinations you should check out this year.
The temporary rental platform published a ranking of its top trending places to visit for 2019, produced using a combination of Airbnb search, booking, and wish list growth data.
According to Airbnb, most of the trending destinations are places where more sustainable and authentic tourism will benefit residents and travelers alike, promoting emerging spots like Accra in Ghana and supporting environmental sustainability in places like Calabria, Italy. Visiting some places on the list may even offer the chance to help rebuild communities after natural disasters, like Kaikoura in New Zealand.
From Moorish palaces in Spain and tidal islands in France to a vehicle-free island off the coast of southeastern China and one of the world’s largest mangrove jungles in India, here are Airbnb’s 19 most popular destinations for 2019.
While Taipei’s night markets make it a staple “go-to” for tourists, other districts further east such as Yujing, home to mango farms and hot springs, are also rising in popularity.
The southeastern coastal city of Taitung’s lakes also make it an ideal spot for birdwatchers.
Home to the Alcázar castle in Seville, Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra Palace, the southern coast of Spain is revered for its architecture and picturesque landscape.
The Route of the White Hill Towns, a string of villages in the Sierras, is a hidden gem in the region.
Calabria, located right on the “toe” of Italy’s boot, is one of the lesser frequented regions in the country but has mountains, medieval villages, a stunning coastline, and national parks aplenty.
The abandoned, historic city center has become a popular place to stay.
Visitors to Uzbekistan can, as well as enjoying sunshine throughout the year, relive the Silk Road here.
You can also stop off at Samarkand, home to some stunning Islamic architecture.
Also dubbed the French capital of India, Pondicherry is home to a plethora of saffron-colored colonial villas and romantic shops.
As well as being home to the world’s second largest mangrove jungle, visitors here can see everything from corals, manta rays, and sharks, to whales and dolphins if they choose to scuba dive.
With the historic “The Forks” meeting area dotted with restaurants and shops, and ample outdoor space for summer festivals and concerts, Winnipeg — one of Canada’s largest cities — certainly isn’t short on culture.
With a population of 160,000, this Black Sea resort and port city has a lively promenade.
As well as the old town district, there are numerous beaches and ski resorts.
German influences are evident in Blumenau, home to a yearly Oktoberfest parade and a Beer Museum showcasing the city’s brewing history.
The landscape in Santa Catarina has plenty of mountains and beautiful beaches to offer too.
Though it may be ideal to visit this region soon considering the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is coming up, the Catskills area is also home to hiking trails that are rich with wildlife throughout the year.
Along the Hudson River, those with green fingers can find inspiration for their own gardens by visiting the area’s many vineyards, orchards, and farms.
Adjacent to Osaka, Wakayama offers travelers the chance to take up temporary lodging in over 50 Buddhist temples in Koyasanand to meditate, visit Buddhist gardens, and to enjoy vegetarian cuisine.
The region also offers everything from open-air baths and the sacred Nachi Fire Festival in July, to fish markets selling the biggest tuna found in the country.
A chain of islands off the west coast of Scotland, the stunning but rugged splendor of the Hebrides is unmatched.
The islands are home to red deer, golden eagles, waters otters, whales, dolphins and more.
This southern African beach getaway is teeming with coral and mangroves, and the surrounding Indian Ocean is home to 2,000 types of colorful fish.
If that still isn’t enough wildlife for you, Mozambique also has pink flamingos, Nile crocodiles, and dolphins.
This spot on West Africa’s Atlantic coast is home to Makola Market, which boasts a colorful bazaar.
If you’re interested in Accra’s nightlife, Labadi beach and Kokrobite beach make for lively party scenes.
Not to be confused with the capital city of the same name, Buenos Aires Province’s string of beaches and forests spans right across the Atlantic coast.
Home to the biggest black bear population in the eastern US, the Smoky Mountains have a Pigeon Forge nearby that’s home to the famous Dollywood, which holds a Christmas festival every year.
Only two hours by train from Paris, visitors to Normandy can enjoy the region’s lush landscapes, its architectural gems, as well as the Route du Camembert, a trail named after the well-known cheese.
Puebla offers a unique alternative to the typical Mexican beach vacation, with architectural and culinary history aplenty.
A charming port city surrounded by islands, Xiamen is home to Kulangsu — a pedestrian-only, vehicle-free island off the coast, ideal for lovers of seafood.
Whale and seal-watchers won’t be disappointed by this coastal town in the South Island, which is teeming with wildlife.
Also published on Business Insider.
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