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The most exotic holiday destinations in the world
Destinations & Inspiration

The most exotic holiday destinations in the world

Suzie Dalton
By Suzie Dalton - 15 minute read

We love a good excuse to plan a break to an exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion! From palm-fringed beach­es and turquoise waters, to cities in the most exot­ic places, it’s a great chance to step away from your 9 – 5 rou­tine and explore a dif­fer­ent way of life. But with so many home swap­ping options in so many great loca­tions, where should you go to first? It’s a chal­lenge we’re com­mit­ted to help­ing you solve, so sit back and enjoy read­ing about our favourite exot­ic places to visit! 

Mauritius is perfect for deep-sea fishing

Overhead view of Flic en Flac beach in Mauritius. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Flic en Flac Beach is beau­ti­ful from every angle!

Reg­u­lar­ly fea­tur­ing in the list of the world’s most pop­u­lar hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tions, Mau­ri­tius is one of the most exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions you could pos­si­bly imag­ine. As the longest beach in the coun­try, Flic En Flac is the per­fect start­ing point for any­one who wants to com­bine sun­bathing and swim­ming with a bit of snorkelling – the coral reefs are exquis­ite. Grand Baie is also pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­lar­ly as it’s the launch point for deep-sea fish­ing boats, and Tamarin Beach is pop­u­lar with surfers – you might even spot a dolphin. 

Once you’ve had your fill of lying on the beach and tack­ling numer­ous water sports, head to L’aven­ture Sucre which is an inter­ac­tive muse­um that doc­u­ments Mau­ri­tius’ his­to­ry of grow­ing sug­ar­cane. Even if you’re not a fan of muse­ums, you’ll find that the sug­ar and rum tast­ings make this an unusu­al but fun expe­ri­ence. For the chance to be at one with nature, head to Chamarel which has sev­en dif­fer­ent colours of sand that have formed into unusu­al swirls, or Black Riv­er Gorges Nation­al Park which is team­ing with birds, ani­mals and plants – the walk­ing routes are beau­ti­ful, so pack some stur­dy walk­ing shoes. Keen hik­ers may also enjoy the hike up Le Morne – though you can also admire this love­ly moun­tain from the com­fort of Le Morne beach, which is also a great spot for kite surf­ing! And if you fan­cy explor­ing an exot­ic city, then head to the cap­i­tal city of Port Louis, and treat your­self to a great meal on the Cau­dan Waterfront.

South Africa's sandy bays are exceptional

Plettenberg Bay in South Africa. Footprints in sand. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Plet­ten­berg Bay is unde­ni­ably beautiful.

South Africa is ripe with exot­ic des­ti­na­tions that are beg­ging to be explored. Plet­ten­burg Bay with its sweep­ing gold­en beach­es is a true sea­side par­adise. Locat­ed on the route from Cape Town to Dur­ban, this idyl­lic spot is great for surf­ing and hik­ing, as it boasts every­thing from sparkling rivers through to lush forests – plus the 18 vine­yards that are in the area are an unde­ni­able lure! Make sure you take a look at this arti­cle on the best wine estates in Plet­ten­berg Bay to make the most of your trip. Fur­ther along the high­way you’ll find Knys­na, which is one of the top hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions in the Gar­den Route. Home to the country’s largest indige­nous for­est, Knys­na boasts a beau­ti­ful lagoon, incred­i­ble walk­ing routes, an ele­phant park and more – con­sid­er tak­ing a fer­ry ride for a water­side view of this beau­ti­ful stretch of coastline. 

Fur­ther inland, the Drak­ens­berg moun­tains are awe-inspir­ing in their size and beau­ty. With rock pools, caves to explore, dra­mat­ic water­falls and great riv­er fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, there’s some­thing for every­one in this deeply love­ly region. But of course, many would argue that South Africa’s most exot­ic des­ti­na­tion is Cape Town, part­ly thanks to its 72 beach­es. From Strand­fontein Beach (which has the South­ern Hemisphere’s biggest tidal swim­ming pool) through to fam­i­ly-friend­ly Muizen­berg which has slight­ly warmer waters, there’s a beach for every occasion. 

Explore amazing natural delights in Bali

Rice paddies in Sidemen in Bali. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Find your inner peace in the Side­men region.

We think it’s pret­ty safe to say that Bali is one of the most exot­ic places on earth. As a top pick for hon­ey­moon­ers due to its white sand beach­es, lush rain­forests, emer­ald green pad­dy fields and crys­tal clear waters, Bali is the ulti­mate in trop­i­cal retreats. Many peo­ple choose to start their explo­ration of the island with some time in Ubud for its love­ly cul­tur­al delights, fol­lowed by a trip to Kuta Beach, which is immense­ly pop­u­lar with surfers, body board­ers and sand­cas­tle builders! 

For a peace­ful excur­sion, pay a vis­it to Ulun Danu Tem­ple which is sit­u­at­ed on the edge of Baratan Lake in Bedugul, or head to Tanah Lot Tem­ple at sun­rise or sun­set – then con­sid­er join­ing one of the many yoga class­es or retreats that are dot­ted across the island. To get away from the reg­u­lar tourist haunts, you can’t go wrong with trekking in Side­men where you can expe­ri­ence seclud­ed water­falls, and admire the beau­ty of the rice pad­dies. Like­wise, the area of Tabanan which is home to UNESCO recog­nised tea plan­ta­tions is stun­ning – make sure you find the time to explore Ble­man­tung Water­fall and ease your aching mus­cles at Angseri Hot Springs. 

Get off the beaten track in Morocco

Blue houses and alleyway in Chefchaouen in Morocco. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

The blue-washed build­ings in Chefchaouen are spectacular.

Moroc­co is blessed with a num­ber of exot­ic des­ti­na­tions that make for a tru­ly unique hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion. First and fore­most, Mar­rakech is the epi­cen­tre of exot­ic loca­tions – with its intense heat, the aro­mas of the spice mar­kets and the most indul­gent cui­sine, it’s long been a hot favourite with those seek­ing a rich trav­el expe­ri­ence. Dje­maa El Fna is the main square that trans­forms into a spec­tac­u­lar food mar­ket in the evening. 

Once you’re ready for a qui­eter pace of life, hop on a train out of the city and head straight to the port city of Tang­i­er where you can immerse your­self in the delight­ful café and restau­rant scene, or spend time on the beach. A short dri­ve out of the city, you’ll find the unusu­al Her­cules Caves, which are par­tic­u­lar­ly loved by chil­dren. Next up, take the two hour dri­ve to Chefchaouen, which is an exot­ic delight for the eyes. Once seen, this charm­ing town is nev­er for­got­ten. Nick­named the blue pearl’ this moun­tain­side town boasts unique blue-washed build­ings that sim­ply stun­ning. Base your­self here for a few days, and take day trips into the hills for a wel­come break from the heat. 

Spot a flamingo or two in Mexico

Wild flamingos at Celestun in Mexico. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Celestun’s local flamin­gos are a pop­u­lar sight.

There are­plen­ty of exot­ic places to vis­it in Mex­i­co. Can­cun and Tulum are often high on the list of trav­ellers must-see des­ti­na­tions, and it’s not hard to see why. The Yucatan Penin­su­la is home to jun­gle swim­ming holes, Mayan ruins and pic­ture-per­fect beach­es, while Can­cun is the ulti­mate par­ty des­ti­na­tion. Fur­ther inland, the inti­mate city of Oax­a­ca is like some­thing out of a sto­ry­book – and is just a few hours’ dri­ve away from yet more beau­ti­ful beach­es – while the beau­ti­ful Largo de Parzuaro (a peace­ful lake that boasts incred­i­ble views) is a real treat for the eyes. And let’s be hon­est, noth­ing says exot­ic des­ti­na­tion’ quite like a flock of flamin­gos that just hap­pen to live in the local­i­ty. Well step for­ward Celestun, because your pret­ty pink inhab­i­tants are bound to make any vis­i­tor feel like they’ve stepped into a trop­i­cal trav­el brochure!

Discover uninhabited islands in Fiji

Tropical cove in Yasawas in Fiji. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Fiji’s islands are dot­ted with coves that you can explore, like this one on Yasawas.

If your idea of an exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion involves pris­tine white sand beach­es, snorkelling and a lot of me time’ in which to read a book and work on your sun­tan, then Fiji should be top of your trav­el buck­et list. Made up of hun­dreds of tiny islands and islets, the Fijians are right­ly proud of their trop­i­cal oasis which is lit­tered with stun­ning water­falls and lush rain­forests. Many of these islands remain unin­hab­it­ed, so you could con­sid­er explor­ing them with a rep­utable tour oper­a­tor, such as Navadra which is acces­si­ble via a cruise. Or instead head to some of the less­er-vis­it­ed spots that are pop­u­lat­ed by small vil­lages, such as Nac­u­la. Home to Long Beach (which many say is the world’s most beau­ti­ful beach), there are incred­i­ble hik­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in this hilly and stag­ger­ing­ly beau­ti­ful island. Tave­u­ni (Fiji’s gar­den island’) also offers the chance to explore the rain­for­est, plus lagoons, water­falls and coves. Back on the largest island Viti Levu – which also hap­pens to be yet anoth­er trop­i­cal par­adise – head to The Siga­to­ka Sand Dunes Nation­al Park or con­sid­er tak­ing a day trip to Beqa, where you can go scu­ba div­ing, see sharks, and wit­ness the unusu­al sight of fire-walk­ing. It doesn’t get more exot­ic than that! 

Combine hiking with water-sports in beautiful St Lucia

The Pitons in Saint Lucia. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

The Pitons in Saint Lucia are a dis­tinc­tive sight.

Fan­cy com­bin­ing some epic hikes with beau­ti­ful scenery and a delec­tably chilled pace of life? Of course you do – and St Lucia offers all of this and more! As one of the most exot­ic places to vis­it in the world, it’s easy to fall in love with this beau­ti­ful coun­try. First and fore­most, make sure you vis­it the Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton) in some capac­i­ty. Whether you hike Gros Piton or sim­ply admire the spires from afar, this knock­out World Her­itage Site deserves to be splat­tered all over your Insta­gram account… just make sure you tag us in any snaps, using the hash­tag #welove­home­swap .

For a dose of his­to­ry head to Pigeon Island, or if you fan­cy swim­ming in the warmest waters imag­in­able, head to Mal­abar Beach, Anse Chas­tanet, Jalousie Beach or Anse Mamin, which backs onto the rain­for­est. After all that relax­ing you’ll need an adven­ture, so head to Sul­phur Springs (which is locat­ed in the his­toric town of Soufriere) which is billed as the world’s only dri­ve-in vol­cano’. As a dor­mant vol­cano that last erupt­ed over 200 years ago, it’s a huge­ly pop­u­lar spot with tourists and those who have skin con­di­tions and sore joints – take a heal­ing mud bath, then fresh­en up in the water­falls. If that isn’t indul­gent, then we real­ly don’t know what is! 

Barbados is gorgeous in every season

Colourful wooden huts after a rainstorm in Barbados. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Even after a rain show­er, Bar­ba­dos is stun­ning­ly pretty!

As one of the Caribbean’s most pop­u­lar islands, Bar­ba­dos is an exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion that shouldn’t be missed. Gor­geous year-round, the wet sea­son runs from June to Decem­ber, but down­pours quick­ly give way to blue skies, sun­shine and tem­per­a­tures up to 31°C – sim­ply pack an umbrel­la! With colo­nial archi­tec­ture and a vibrant par­ty scene, the cap­i­tal city of Bridgetown is pop­u­lar with many tourists, while the west­ern coast is jam-packed with beau­ti­ful beach­es and plen­ty of tourist facil­i­ties. If you’re look­ing to get off the beat­en track, then the east­ern coast is less devel­oped, and is a pop­u­lar spot with surfers, while a detour inland to vis­it the rum dis­til­leries is essen­tial! Golfers are also well-catered for with numer­ous cours­es that are used for the PGA tour, while water babies will enjoy explor­ing the ship­wrecks that lit­ter the ocean floor. Carlisle Bay is par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar for ship­wreck enthu­si­asts – head out with a rep­utable div­er oper­a­tor to make the most of these haunt­ing­ly beau­ti­ful dive sites. 

Find the most exotic towns in Thailand

Doi Inthanon in Thailand. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Doi Inthanon at sun­set exudes exot­ic glamour.

Some of the most exot­ic places in the world are hid­den away in Thai­land. While cities aren’t usu­al­ly described as being exot­ic, you only have to look at Bangkok to see how a cap­i­tal city can ooze glam­our. From the dra­mat­ic rooftop of the Grand Palace, to the Dam­noen Sad­u­ak float­ing mar­ket which is just a 2 hour dri­ve away, Bangkok is a treat for the sens­es. If your def­i­n­i­tion of exot­ic places is more aligned with white sand beach­es and palm trees, then you won’t be disappointed. 

Head to the South Island to explore icon­ic loca­tions such as Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lipe, and Ko Tao – find a peace­ful spot on the beach, then buy fresh­ly chopped pineap­ple and coconut water from the local ven­dors to imag­ine you’re the star of a movie! 

Alter­na­tive­ly, head north to Doi Inthanon Nation­al Park for incred­i­ble moun­tain treks, or enjoy a sedate pace of life in sleepy towns such as Chi­ang Mai and Chi­ang Rai. While you’re in the north of the coun­try, build some time in to vis­it the ultra-chilled town of Pai – the jour­ney up the windy moun­tain roads isn’t for every­one (par­tic­u­lar­ly if you suf­fer with trav­el sick­ness) but the incred­i­ble street food options, numer­ous hot springs and stun­ning water­falls make this a tru­ly exot­ic place to visit. 

Kenya's unspoilt beaches will take your breath away

Palm trees on Malindi Beach in Kenya. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

Malin­di Beach – the per­fect place to unwind after a safari.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – flamin­gos are just about as exot­ic as it gets! And hap­pi­ly in Kenya, there’s a whole host of exot­ic ani­mals to feast your eyes on rang­ing from hip­pos and giraffes to lions and yes, flamin­gos. If you’re keen to see the local ani­mals and birds in their nat­ur­al habi­tat, then head to Sam­bu­ru Nation­al Reserve, Amboseli Nation­al Park, Aber­dare Nation­al Park, Masai Mara Nation­al Reserve or Lake Naku­ru Nation­al Park. 

If you want to see moun­tain goril­las, then con­sid­er join­ing a trek in Bwin­di Impen­e­tra­ble Nation­al Park. And let’s not for­get that Kenya ben­e­fits from an Indi­an Ocean coast­line, so you’d be wise to indulge your­self with plen­ty of time on the beach! Diani Beach, Malin­di, Man­da Bay, Nyali Beach, and Tiwi Beach are just some of the most pop­u­lar sandy stretch­es, or you could even hop on a boat to the unde­vel­oped islands of Lamu or Man­da Toto to expe­ri­ence untouched Kenya. For a bit of city action that com­bines beau­ti­ful white sand beach­es, then spend a cou­ple of days in Mombasa. 

Head north to discover Australia's tropical heart

Overhead view of the Whitsundays in Australia. Explore exotic destinations with Love Home Swap.

The Whit­sun­days are one of the most exot­ic loca­tions in Australia.

Think of Aus­tralia, and you prob­a­bly imme­di­ate­ly think of the Syd­ney Opera House or Ulu­ru, but this huge coun­try is actu­al­ly a trop­i­cal par­adise too, par­tic­u­lar­ly around the Queens­land region. The Whit­sun­day Islands are at the heart of the Great Bar­ri­er Reef. Made up of 24 trop­i­cal islands, many of them are unin­hab­it­ed, but it’s pret­ty easy to explore them with a boat trip – many tours start from Air­lie Beach which boasts a great social scene and wide expans­es of gold­en sand. Off the main­land, you’ll also find Fitzroy Island which over­laps the delights of the Great Bar­ri­er Reef with the rain­for­est, so snorkelling and scu­ba div­ing to admire the beau­ti­ful reefs is absolute­ly essen­tial! Port Dou­glas offers a love­ly base to explore much of the region, and the beau­ti­ful Four Mile Beach is best explored with a pic­nic in your backpack! 

Dain­tree Nation­al Park is the world’s old­est sur­viv­ing rain­for­est, while Cape Tribu­la­tion offers access to the Coral Sea. Swim­ming at Moss­man Gorge and Lake McKen­zie are both unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences, and you’d be mad to miss the chance to take a 4‑wheel dri­ve excur­sion on the Sev­en­ty-Five Mile Beach! Fur­ther south, the Sun­shine Coast is pop­u­lat­ed by fun towns such as Noosa Heads, Caloun­dra and Coolum, and with plen­ty of water-sports, pic­ture-per­fect beach­es and gold­en sands, it’s not hard to see why Aus­tralia is one of the most exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions you could hope to explore.

These are just a few of our favourite exot­ic hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions — but we know that our fan­tas­tic com­mu­ni­ty of home swap­pers will have many more sug­ges­tions! So tell us Love Home Swap­pers, what are your favourite exot­ic places to vis­it? We’d love to add in a few more loca­tions to this blog, so don’t be shy — get in touch today and tell us which exot­ic places you’ve most enjoyed vis­it­ing. Feel free to share your sug­ges­tions via the Feed­back tab above, and we’ll add them pronto!

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