Looking out to the sun above the sea, through the palm trees of a Caribbean beach

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Exotic Holiday Destinations


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An exotic getaway means something different to all of us. It might be palm trees and sea breeze, as you sit back on white sand. Or it could be as simple as encounters with ancient cultures and their fascinating traditions! Natural beauty might give you that tropical wanderlust and intriguing animals might be the order of the day. However you picture your dream exotic escape, hopefully you’ll find it in our destinations below.

St. Lucia

St. Lucian beach with views out to Pitons, small boats and palm trees

Effortlessly exotic, St. Lucia is where nature takes centre stage and the care-free attitude of laid-back locals soon rubs off on you. There’s no rushing when you’re relaxing on white sand, listening to the rustle of the palm leaves and watching the crystal clear waves caressing the shore. Drinking from coconuts and sipping on cocktails is optional, but seems so fitting in this tropical paradise.

It’s not all kicking back on the beach! Exploring the stunning surroundings is part and parcel of your exotic adventure. The peaks of the Pitons tower over St. Lucia, two mysterious beauties that cut a piercing figure across the island’s skyline. Take them in from towns, bays and nature trails, they’re guaranteed to impress from every angle. Soufriere’s volcano lets you drive right up to the crater and it’s well worth stopping for a soak in the mud baths before you head home. And what could be more exotic than a stroll under a rainforest canopy? Take in the unique shapes of it tropical trees and keep your ears open for the coo of cuckoos and the squawk of St. Lucian parrots.

Turkey

Colourful lanterns decorating a Turkish market

A historic gateway between East and West, Turkey has long held a mysterious air and exotic allure. Spice, silk and curious travellers heading for new lands once passed through, sprinkling some of their cultural stardust as they went. A true holiday gem, Turkey is perfect for your own adventure filled with ancient tradition and new experiences. Bubbling bazaars ooze that sense that they haven’t changed in many years, with locals selling their wares and fruits of the area’s labour scattered across tables. Rainbows of spices that instantly send your sight and sense of smell into a frenzy, with charming patterned dishes and Turkish ornaments making tempting souvenirs.

There’s not many better ways to grab a flavour of authentic Turkey than a trip to the hamam! Lying on a warm marble slab you’ll receive an invigorating oily massage and exfoliating scrub, before being cleaned off with warm water. You’ll leave with smooth skin and a spring in your step, plus a new relaxing favourite for spa days! Our villas in the Dalaman and Bodrum regions put you in reach of some of the country’s brilliant golden beaches. And you’re unlikely to find a more brilliant spot than Oludeniz’s Blue Lagoon! It’s gently curving arc of sand sits perfectly in waters so blue that exotic doesn’t seem strong enough.

Lefkas

Rocky steps and walkway leading to Lefkas cliffs, Greece

If you’re under the impression that all those glorious beaches are a long haul flight away, Lefkas is about to blow your mind! An island of amazing sands that’s a little more off the radar, beaches here feel a little more desert island than teeming with tourists. Porto Katsiki and Egremni are two typical Lefkas gems, their long stretches of sand are idyllic spots between white cliffs and blue seas. Set out your towel, take in the views and bask in that warm Greek sun! If it’s the hum of local life that gives you those exotic vibes, then head for pebbly bays close to quaint fishing villages. You’re guaranteed a good dose of island charm on these shores.

Another delightfully tropical surprise hidden up Lefkas’ sleeve is the amazing Dimossari Waterfalls. Cascading water tumbles and trickles down the rock face and into pools below, where better to cool off with a dip? This is also your chance to grab some amazing holiday photos, posing in front of the falls and swimming around in their pools!

Tenerife

Rugged mountains and vegetation in the golden sun, Tenerife, Canary Islands

You’ll find tropical delights aplenty on this Canary island, with its year-round sun making it an exotic escape whenever you choose to visit. Mount Teide is bound to catch the eye as soon as you arrive, standing proud over the rest of Tenerife at 3718m. A visit here promises an out of this world experience, with deep craters meeting craggy sculptures – trekking along its trails takes you up close and personal with these volcanic treats. Let’s face it, hiking can be tiring and you might want to get straight to Teide’s amazing panoramas! Luckily cable cars are on hand to answer the call of those aching feet and exhausted legs. Whizzing you straight to viewpoints that look out over the north and south of the island. And on clear days you might even spot Gran Canaria and the smaller islands of La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera.

It’s hard to tell from the top of Teide, but La Gomera is absolutely brimming with tropical treats! Hop on a ferry and find out all about them for yourself. The Garajonay National Park’s ancient laurel forest is an astounding sight. These prehistoric trees might be found in just a handful of places, but they are thriving in the warm and humid conditions La Gomera offers. Although you’ll find plenty more unique trees, plants and birdlife as you trek along its awe-inspiring trails.

Although you don’t have to leave Tenerife for shady strolls under the canopy, head for the Anaga Rural Park in the north-east of the island instead. Paths here are wonderful and on cloudy days you’ll often find yourself stepping through those fluffy white pillows in the sky. If it’s the animal kingdom that gives you that tingle of holiday excitement, Tenerife won’t disappoint. Loro Parque is home to all sorts of animals, from parrots to penguins and gorillas to tigers! And boat trips whisk you out to spot whales and dolphins offshore, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to bring your camera.

Whether you’re craving some winter sun or planning your summer getaway, there’s plenty more destinations just waiting to give you that tropical feel.

Gary Stringer

Gary Stringer is a SEO Content Executive at James Villa Holidays.

I love to travel and I love to write - so I'd like to think I've found the perfect job!...

See all articles by Gary Stringer

See all articles by Gary Stringer


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