NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN PRE PANDEMIC. Travel restrictions apply this year, so make sure to check on your own government website before making plans!
Where to travel this Spring? There is a whole big wide world to explore! My top 3 low cost favourites are Morocco, Russia and Jordan. All 3 are not expensive countries to stay in and travel around. You won’t feel as if you are a walking ATM machine! I have to add Bali now after my recent trip! That is great value too! Read about it here:
Do you want to visit somewhere that is:
- Not Expensive – Luxury hotels without the high price tag.
- Friendly welcoming people
I avoid absurdly expensive countries, especially now with the pound at a very weak exchange rate! I like to travel in luxury, but do not want to be ripped off. Iceland? No thank you, I’ll pass, especially as there is nowhere luxurious to stay. Switzerland? Only if I’m invited to say with one of my chums, thank you. There are many countries I would recommend that represent good value, retain a unique identity have great cuisine and are jolly good fun! 3 of my favourites at the moment are:
Morocco – We visited 3 times in 2 years and will happily go back! Diverse, beautiful, interesting and with a unique identity.
Russia – A beautiful country with friendly people. I loved every minute of my trips and would go back again. It has so much heritage, culture plus it is friendly, welcoming safe and inexpensive.
Jordan – A little oasis in the Middle East. Again, it has a unique identity, lots of fascinating places to visit and very friendly and welcoming people.
First up is Morocco. Whatever you like be it Desert, beautiful beaches or fabulous old towns it is in Morocco. One of the best things about this country is that it retains its identity. It is still very different from anywhere else and choc full of history.
Friends said to me ‘Oh you won’t like it, its dirty, crowded and you are hassled to buy things all the time”. I stupidly listened and avoided Morocco for years! Well, I was enchanted by Morocco and its people from the minute I stepped off the plane. Marrakesh was a delight. During my first trip, I stayed in Palmeyria about 20 minutes out of town and the second time in the old Medina in a traditional Riad. I would recommend both but a couple of days in a Riad is enough for me. More about Marrakesh here:
My first trip was so good, I went back a few weeks later on a girls road trip. Read about it here:
Morocco is perfectly safe with good roads and careful drivers. We hired a car and enjoyed the trip, apart from one speeding ticket all went well. Beware, they are very hot on speeding!
Stopped for lunch and it is a typical beach resort mostly dating from the ’70’s and ’80’s. About 30 minutes north of Agadir we stayed at a resort on the most beautiful beach, perfect for surfers.
Possibly my favourite place. It can be windy but we we’re very lucky and experienced lovely sunny days without any wind in March. A stay in a Riad in the old town was a great experience. Exploring the souks, restaurants and cafe’s I soon felt like a local.
Wherever you go in Morocco everyone is so kind and friendly, we did not meet one unfriendly person.
PHOTO: Hike in The Atlas Mountains
Then it was off the the mountains! I would like to spend another couple of days hiking in the mountains, our trip was short but perfect. Even if we did manage to get lost finding the excellent luxury hotel Kasbah Bab Ourika Read about the Atlas Mountains here:
Where to travel this winter? An instant love affair with Russia! St Petersburg is an enormous, majestic city with beautiful museums, palaces, restaurants and cafes with very friendly and beautiful people as well. Morocco and Russia have more in common than friendly people, they have both retained their individual identity and you will be in no doubt that you are in Russia. Globalisation has homogenised so many other places in the world.
PHOTO: Church of the Spilt Blood, St Petersburg
Do not hesitate to visit, you will be perfectly safe and welcome. Read my blog about it here:
Stay on the main street running through the city, Nevsky Propsect at the Corinthia Hotel, which was a wonderful choice and perfectly located right where you will want to be! I stayed at luxury hotel Corinthia Hotel
PHOTO: The Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Explore the museums, galleries, walk around this beautiful city a be captivated. How about a night at the Russian Ballet? A traditional Russian restaurant? There is a lot to do! I liked it so much I am returned to visit Moscow.
Read about it here:
PHOTO: River Neva in St Petersburg, Russia
PHOTO: The Dead Sea, Jordan
Where to travel this Spring? Last but not least, JORDAN! Again, I had such a great time, I went back again. Situated in The Middle East sandwiched between Syria, Israel, Egypt Jordan is a surprisingly peaceful country. I explore all over the country and loved the friendly and hospitable Jordanian people.
Note: Respect the culture of the country you are visiting, dress and behave appropriately. Jordan is a very traditional Islamic country. Remember to plan everything in advance and ask your hotel for driver and guide recommendations.
Read my blogs here:
Stay at the wonderful Movenpick Hotels, they are excellent. http://www.movenpick.com.Travel from Amman to The Dead Sea and then float on the healing waters enriched with minerals, 400 metres below sea level at the lowest point on earth.
You will love a stay at Kempinski Dead Sea, I stayed there for my first trip. This was very chic and modern and as regular readers know, I love the Kempnski style, service and they have great top class hotels. Infact, one of my favourite hotels in the world is a Kempinski run hotel! That is Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi.
PHOTO: Sunset over The Dead Sea, Jordan
Then travel to Petra and enjoy The Pink City, one of the 7 wonders of the world. Below is the world famous Treasury built in 200 AD by the Nabatean people, explore the old trading route and walk through time! Stay at Luxury hotel The Movenpick Hotel Petra
PHOTO: The Treasury, Petra, Jordan
Further south enjoy the Desert of Wadi Rum and then Aqaba, on the Red Sea perfect for diving and relaxing. I stayed overnight in Wadi Rum desert in a luxury camp. However, it is close enough for a day trip from either Petra or Aqaba. Aqaba is a seaside town set on the red sea. It has many International hotels including Hyatt, Movenpick , Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency and many more!
I stayed in Aqaba and drove to Wadi Rum. If you don’t like camping then it is a good choice to stay in Aqaba at a good hotel and take a limousine and driver to the desert. They can recommend a guide too. Spend some time in Aqaba if you enjoy diving and snorkelling. The sea life is exceptional.
Also, it is very convenient to fly on Jordanian Air from Amman to Aqaba and save a long drive down to Aqaba. This flight is only 35 minutes and there is one flight a day.
If you want to visit Wadi Rum, here is some info for you:
Read about it here:
Let’s hope for a fabulous 2020 full of exciting adventures. Write and tell me if you go to any of my suggestions! Where to travel – How about Morocco, Russia and Jordan!