Scenic Mostar

The world may feel like it’s getting smaller but broaden your horizons with our selection of up-and-coming destinations. Whether you’re seeking a summer break, a late ski holiday or planning some winter sun, we’ve got it covered.


Bosnia and Herzegovina
It may bear the legacy of a war from just two decades ago but Bosnia and Herzegovina is a beautiful, humbling and uplifting country to visit. With its historic cities, unspoilt landscapes and delicious cuisine capped by average summer temperatures of 27°C (80°F), there is much to enthrall on a summer getaway.

Your journey should start in the capital Sarajevo. The city endured the longest siege in modern history when it was bombarded for three years during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Today, the scars from this fighting are still visible; most poignantly perhaps are the Sarajevo Roses or the red resin-stained pavements marking the relentless mortar explosions that rained down on the city. But more remarkable than this is how the resilient capital has managed to pull itself back on its feet.

New shops and hotels have emerged from the rubble while beautiful old buildings – the library, post office and theatre – have been restored to their former glory. Meandering through the city’s old quarter replete with narrow, winding, cobbled streets reveals how Sarajevo was once a melting pot of different faiths; a mosque, Orthodox church, synagogue and Catholic church all lie within metres of each other. Sip a hot drink in the city’s atmospheric tea houses or tuck into a ćevapčići – pitta bread filled with tiny sausages accompanied by finely-chopped raw onions.

Equally impressive is the beautiful city of Mostar. During the war, its pretty 16th-century, single arch bridge was blown up. Today, locals dive 21m (60ft) off the bridge into the freezing green waters below to impress visitors. Plunge into the surrounding streets of the Turkish old town with its colourful bazaars, narrow streets and rustic restaurants serving grilled meats, fish and Sarajevsko Pivo beer. As night falls, head to one of the coolest nightclubs around, Ali Baba, set in a massive cavern and open only during the summer.

When you want to escape the city, head into the scenic mountain resorts of Bjelašnica and Igman, where you can hike, mountain bike or horse ride.


Gudauri, Georgia

GudauriGudauri's ski slopes are bathed in sunshine
Creative Commons / rugbyxm

Located at the crossroads of western Asia and eastern Europe, Georgia is a little-known country to Westerners bound by the Black Sea to the west, Russia to the north and Turkey and Armenia to the south. But ski fiends with a penchant for adventure should head to its newest ski resort, Gudauri, famed for its legendary heli-skiing.

Just two hours drive from the capital Tbilisi, Gudauri is perched at 2,000m (6,561ft) in the heart of the Greater Caucasus mountains. Eternally bathed in sunshine thanks to south-facing slopes, it offers excellent snow conditions from December until late April; is typically blanketed in up to 2m (6ft) of snow, and lies above the tree line, making its pistes particularly attractive to intermediate and advanced skiers.

Another magnet is the heli-skiing opportunities, considered to be among the best in the world. Helicopters have almost unrestricted access to the peaks, so skiers can enjoy incredible runs on mountain tops, glaciers and ridges at altitudes up to 4,200m (13,780ft) above sea level. Backcountry skiers and free riders will be in their element as they tackle some of the finest powder-snow in the Caucasus. Hotels in the resort are limited but comfortable; the Carpe Diem Gudauri is probably the most modern, with a spa and restaurant offering panoramic mountain views.


Abu Dhabi

Dubai may have blazed a trail for glam Middle East breaks but Abu Dhabi is the emirate to watch; a raft of new developments means it is destined to outdo its neighbour. Take for example, the Emirates Palace; an ostentatious 7-star property adorned with gold, marble and more than 1,000 chandeliers that ranks as the world’s most expensive hotel.

Abu Dhabi PalaceAbu Dhabi's Emirates Palace and Arabian oryx in the wildlife park
Creative Commons / Zselosz and bettyx1138

Following Dubai’s example, Abu Dhabi has also pumped money into theme parks. Futuristic-themed Yas Waterworld opened in January on Yas Island, already home to Ferrari World. Boasting the size of 15 football pitches, it offers more than 40 rides, slides and attractions, including a tornado waterslide, the world’s largest surfable wave, and an interactive coaster where riders can drop water bombs and trigger special effects.

However, unlike Dubai, Abu Dhabi is earnest about developing far more cerebral attractions, with plans to transform Saadiyat Island into an arts and cultural hub. This will be cemented with the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015 featuring a jaw-dropping floating roof and universally-themed exhibits, artworks and sculptures – the first of its kind outside Paris. Hot on its heels will be the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim, a striking building of towering cones overlooking the Arabian Gulf that’s slated to open in 2017. Other gems will be the new Performing Arts Centre for concerts, theatre and opera, plus a Maritime Museum.

The emirate has also got plenty of natural attractions: the eco-friendly Arabian Wildlife Park on Sir Bani Yas Island is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs. Visitors can also go sandboarding on the giant Liwa dunes, kayaking among lagoons and mangroves, swimming and snorkelling with dolphins, and turtle spotting.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.