As you can imagine Travelettes are always on the quest for the most extraordinary travel destinations worldwide and the annual travel trade show ITB in Berlin serves as the perfect arena for exactly this search.
Katja and I battled our way through the jungle of trade booths for three days and hunted down the top 5 Out of the Ordinary Travel Destinations for 2013. These are the results:

Georgia and Armenia

For many decades the central Asian countries between the Black Sea and China had vanished from all the maps and many heads. Only in the last couple of years Georgia and Armenia made it back to the surface and have now even hit the Travelettes.

Both countries appeared on our radar some time ago and we were happy to check out their booths at the ITB. There’s definitely a lot waiting for travellers: national parks, the Black Sea, skiing resorts, outdoor activities, beautiful old towns and glorious wine.

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pics via Georgian National Tourism Administration

Israel and Jordan

Well I guess you all have heard of these two countries before – but maybe not necessarily in the context of travelling. All too often Isreal and Jordan appear on our political mind-map and less on our actual where-I’ve-been-map.

In 2013 we recommend to change this – Israel and Jordan have so much more to offer than a wall through Jerusalem: explore the archeological wonders of Petra,  float on the Dead Sea, spend a party weekend in vibrant Tel Aviv and enjoy freshly queezed orange juice wherever you go.

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images via Go Israel

The Balkan countries

By now you know that Croatia is a relevant, even fantastic alternative to Greece and Italy if one thinks about spending some time at the Mediterranean Sea. But have you ever thought about seeing more of the Balkan region?

Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia have a lot to offer: friendly people, romantic coastlines, historical towns and villages, breathtaking landscapes and fun activities – plus all this at an affordable price. Maybe an Interrail adventure will lead you hear?

images via Be In Kosovo

Austria and Germany

Passing the booths of Germany and Austria we talked about our reception of those two countries. I am from Austria, Katja is from Germany and neither of us have actually really thought of our respective countries as as a serious holiday destination. Travelling often implicates going far away, exploring new cultures and landscapes and being confronted with a foreign language. Therefore Austria and Germany for us are the easily forgotten neighbor. However, the more often we visit different regions of Austria and Germany, the more we realize how diverse, versatile and gorgeous both countries can be as a holiday destination.

Explore the thriving urban culture of Vienna, Graz or Hamburg; enjoy the mountain landscapes and ice-cold lakes of Bavaria and Carinthia; relax in a Spa Hotel surrounded by a forest in Tyrol; roll in the sand of the North Sea islands; walk the World’s longest tree top walk in the Bavarian Forest – there is much to explore in these countries and for 2013 we hope to see more of our home and neighbor countries.

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images via Forsthofgut and Nordseetourismus

Tanzania and Zanzibar

Last but not least… Africa has long been among the Travelettes’ greatest dream destinations which will hopefully be on our agenda soon. One of the most extraordinary trips will lead you to the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. As it is so close to the African main country it is the bright red cherry on your Tanzania trip ice-cream.

Like other islands in the Indian Ocean Zanzibar offers paradisiac sandy beaches and extraordinary dining and sleeping possibilities, e.g. the Rock Restaurant. What makes this place so special is its culture: the old town Stone Town is the oldest known-of city south of the equator and Zanzibar is called the „Home of Swahili culture“.

images via Peve

Looking back at out tour to ITB I am pretty positive that we will show you more of one or the other destination I just mentioned. I am still soaking  up all the inspiration we got for the upcoming year and in my dreams I am already there!