Top ten up-and-coming holiday destinations

Wednesday, 27 August 2008 12:00 AM

Argentina's spectacular Iguazu Falls

Argentina's spectacular Iguazu Falls

Holidaymakers and backpackers are always on the lookout for the latest hot destinations.

We bring you the inside tips for up-and-coming travel destinations, thanks to analysis from Hostelworld.

Visit these new "it" cities before the prices soar and the crowds of tourists take over.

1. Essaouria, Morocco
This coastal fishing village is still in the very early stages of tourism so visitors will get a more authentic local experience. Enclosed by a beautiful bay, the town is renowned for its kite surfing and windsurfing opportunities.

With a curving beach and charming alleyways to explore, Essaouria is laid-back and relaxed with a semi-tropical climate all year round.

The unique architecture draws from French and Portuguese influences and the central Medina is a Unesco world heritage listed area.

Hostel Essaouria is designed in traditional chic Riad style and this 'boutique hostel' is built around a beautiful Moroccan garden.

The high terrace offers magnificent views over the city and there are free yoga classes for guests.

There is also an extensive library, a cocktail bar and free tours of the town and its nightlife. Barbeques with delicious local food can be organised for groups.

Surf trips, kite-surfing lessons, fishing trips and camel/horse riding can also be arranged.

Accommodation costs from £12.39 per night.

2. Aswan, Egypt
Egypt's sunniest southern city, Aswan is positioned on the east bank of the Nile around 80 miles south of Luxor. It has a bustling market and is located near a number of Nubian villages, offering travellers the opportunity to experience true African culture.

In Aswan, the Nile is at its most beautiful, flowing through amber desert, granite rocks and around emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants.

The Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple are two major tourist attractions of the region.

Memnon Hotel is a budget hotel located in the centre of Aswan on the banks of the Nile, offering 54 rooms with ensuite bathrooms and air-conditioning - many also have views of the Nile, fridges and TVs.

Single, double, triple and suites are available and the restaurant offers spectacular views over the Nile, an indoor swimming pool and room service around the clock. Rates are from £3.52 per night.

3. Bratislava, Slovakia
Dubbed "the new Prague" by travellers in-the-know, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia is both affordable and beautiful.

Locals boast of Bratislava's relaxed, Mediterranean feel, cultural events and numerous recreational activities.

The more popular events include the Tratislave Music Festival in September and Bratislava Jazz Days in October.

One of the most prominent structures in the city is Bratislava Castle, positioned 85 metres above the Danube on an isolated, rocky hill.

The castle provides an amazing view of both Bratislava and Austria, and on a fine day you can see as far as Hungary.

The city is also a gateway to sporting activities in the region, including trekking, cycling and horse riding. For adrenaline junkies the nearby sports centre of Cunovo (20kms from Bratislava) offers adventure sports such as rafting and jet skiing.

Possonium is a new hostel in a restored 100-year-old house in the city centre.

Private or dorm rooms are available and there is a friendly common room with TV, DVDs, table football and a bar with some of the best prices in town.

Staff are available 24/7 to assist and the hostel offers bikes for exploring this beautiful city. Rates from £12.20/night.

4. Kyoto, Japan
With spectacular natural scenery, and more than 1,000 temples to explore, this ancient Japanese capital offers the quintessential Japanese experience.

Proudly referred to by locals as the "Japanese heartland", Kyoto is an essential stop-off in any Japan holiday.

Located in a valley in the Yamashiro Basin, Kyoto is surrounded by picturesque mountains and is renowned for its abundance of Japanese food, various cultural festivals and the traditional geisha centre of Gion.

Backpackers Hostel House is a modern hostel that has been recently renovated and maintains very high standards.

It is fully air-conditioned and offers both private and dormitory-style accommodation in central Kyoto.

Several rooms are decked out in traditional Japanese style with tatami mats covering the floors.

The staff speak excellent English and are more than happy to offer advice and recommendations for all guests. Rates are from £11.29 per night.

5. Puerto, Iguazu, Argentina
The main draw for this city is the spectacular Iguazu national park containing the famed Iguazu Falls, both just 18km from the city. The falls are actually made up of 275 individual falls, each up to 80 metres high.

Another major attraction of the city is its location on the 'three frontiers' of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, making it a fantastic central base for travellers.

Other must-sees include the Mborore Museum - a bird rehabilitation centre and the Museum of Images of the Jungle. A subtropical climate means the city is ideal to visit all year round.

The Hostel Inn Iguazu Falls has a lake-like swimming pool with sun-beds and a well-stocked bar, as well as volleyball courts and soccer fields.

The party starts at dusk and never ends, so don't forget your dancing shoes. You won't want to miss the Brazilian shows and BBQ nights.

The buffet breakfast is complimentary, as is internet access. Rates are from £6.32 per night.

6. Livingstone, Zambia
Named after the missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, this city is a historical colonial town and the capital of Zambia. Thundering Victoria Falls are just 10km away.

The Zambesi River offers opportunities for river cruises, fishing, kayaking, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. The nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya national park is perfect for traditional African wildlife safari holidays.

Jollyboys Backpackers claims to be one of the best hostels in Africa and is only 8kms from Victoria Falls - with a free shuttle bus to the Falls every morning.

With great service and Zambian hospitality, the hostel can arrange safari tours and other travel arrangements.

The beers are cold and the swimming pool offers refreshment after a long day in the sun. Laze in a hammock or munch on freshly picked mangos.

If all that relaxation becomes too much, the hostel is just steps away from the museum, markets, banks and grocery stores of Livingstone. Rates are from £4.24 per night.

7. Cascais, Portugal
This attractive seaside village is a popular holiday destination for the Portuguese locals.

Situated just 30km west of Lisbon, this cosmopolitan old town is full of narrow and winding lanes to explore.

A former fishing village, Cascais gained fame as a resort for Portugal's royal family from the late 1800s and is surrounded by beaches and mountains.

The beach is perfect for surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing or just a relaxing beach holiday.

The Guincho Surf Beach Hostel opened in April 2008 and is within walking distance to the famous Guincho beach. Surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing lessons are offered at discounted rates to guests.

It has modern facilities and a great party atmosphere, with gardens and a terrace providing amazing views of the ocean and the beautiful Sintra National Park. Rates are from £16.52 per night.

8. Zagreb, Croatia
The largest city in Croatia, yet only just gaining popularity on the tourist map, Zagreb has more museums than any other city in the world.

Boasting a medieval 'old city' feel with its architecture and cobbled streets, Zagreb is reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest and other central-European capitals, but with a visible Italian influence.

The city is divided into three parts - the upper town, lower town and new Zagreb - each of which has its own individual atmosphere and attractions.

The Buzz Hostel is a fun, modern, clean and comfortable place which is the perfect base for exploring beautiful Zagreb.

Its central location means all the town attractions are only a short walk away. Staff are on hand 24 hours to offer information and guidance on what to see and explore in Zagreb. Rates are from £15.45 per night.

9. Xi'an, China
The capital city of the Shaanxi province of China, Xi'an is one of the four great ancient Chinese capitals.

With the Qinling Mountains to the south and the Weihe River to the north, it is in a picturesque geographical location surrounded by water and hills.

With countless attractions to see, including the renowned museum of terracotta warriors and horses, Xi'an offers an unparalleled glimpse into the fascinating history of this ancient civilisation.

It is said that the brother of a Song dynasty emperor used to reside in the building where the Xiangzimen International Youth Hostel is located.

This hostel has a charming atmosphere and traditional Chinese style with red lanterns, carved stone benches and well-stocked fish tanks.

Conveniently located in the heart of Xi'an, all the local attractions are within walking distance.

There are plenty of bars and coffee houses on the hostel's doorstep and staff can arrange local tours and make travel arrangements.

A restaurant offers both Chinese and western cuisine and free dumpling-making lessons every Friday. Rates are from £1.64 per night.

10. Amman, Jordan
The capital of Jordan, Amman has been showing explosive growth in recent years. A lively, modern and culturally diverse city, Amman offers a great insight into this intriguing country.

Said to resemble Rome as it is situated on seven hills, the city is only 45 minutes away from the unique ultra-saline waters of the Dead Sea.

The older downtown area of Amman is where most of the attractions lie, including mosques and traditional markets.

In the district east of Jabal you can explore the city's greatest souks, fine museums, ancient constructions, monuments and other cultural sites.

Farah Hotel is located in the heart of Amman's historic downtown area and offers both private and dormitory rooms, many of which have satellite TV.

The local staff can answer any questions regarding Jordan's attractions and organise tours for guests. Films are shown every night in the lobby and there are plenty of good, low-cost restaurants and shopping areas nearby. Rates are from £3.01 per night.

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