25 Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World

Versie Dortch

In this article, we discuss the 25 safest exotic places to travel in the world. To skip the detailed analysis of the travel industry, go directly to the 5 Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World.

According to a Bloomberg report, the travel industry is expected to be worth $15.5 trillion in 2033, up from $10 trillion in 2019. Over the last four years, the travel industry has faced several hurdles, including travel restrictions around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war that caused travel prices to skyrocket and the added inflation put an extra burden on the industry before it could recover. If we check the 5-year performance of the companies in the travel sector, it might show a bleak picture. Booking companies such as Airbnb Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) and Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) have shown a 10% and 15% decline in the last five years, respectively. Furthermore, cruise lines such as Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) have been down by 78.34%. However, looking at the stock prices of these companies over the last 12 months, the industry has started to recover quite significantly. Despite facing heavy losses, these companies suffered close to nothing when compared to the airline industry. During the pandemic, the travel sector lost around $230 billion, and $167 million of that was accounted for by the airlines. Between February 7 and March 20, 2020 alone, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:UAL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) stocks lost around 63.4% and 63.14%, respectively.

While Airbnb Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) and Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) have only shown 7.61% and 5.33% increase, respectively, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) has gained 70.50%. One of the reasons for this recovery could be revenge travel, a trend where travelers are compensating for lost time due to COVID-19 restrictions by traveling excessively.

One segment of the travel sector seen to be thriving is the hospitality industry. Take the example of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), which saw an over 44% decline between February 7 and March 20. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) saw a phenomenal recovery post-February 2021. The 5-year performance of the company is one of the best among all the travel stocks, showing a 117.85% increase in its stock price, and in the last twelve months, the company stock is up 23.11%. In the second quarter, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT)’s revenue per available room increased remarkably, and system-wide occupancy reached its highest level post-pandemic. At the company’s Q2 2023 earnings call, President and CEO, Chris Nassetta said:

“Turning to results in the quarter. System-wide RevPAR increased 12.1% year-over-year as strong demand drove continued pricing power across all segments. System-wide occupancy improved four points during the quarter to reach 77% in June, our highest level post-pandemic. Business transient RevPAR remained strong, growing 11% year-over-year as trends continue to normalize.”

Even though the travel industry has had rough years, it is set up for success. According to the US Travel Association’s Q3 insights, US consumer spending on travel-related products increased at an annual rate of 2.9%. Additionally, spending by international travelers in the United States increased at an annual rate of 6.3%. In the previous quarter, the agency reported that 53% of all Americans and 81% of leisure travelers had already made their plans and arrangements over the next six months.

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, which tracks 910 elite hedge funds, Airbnb Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB), Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) are some of the best travel stocks. These companies allow their customers to travel and stay at some of the world’s safest and most exotic places.

25 Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World

25 Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World

Rodrigo Kristensen/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology

For this article, we used several metrics to compile the list of the safest exotic places to travel in the world. First of all, we took the consensus opinion of several travel websites, including but not limited to, Exoticca, Roughguides, and Miami Herald to narrow down the most exotic places in the world. We also scoured several Reddit and Quora threads and discussions. Next, we applied a filter on these countries to find the safest destinations among them. For that we used a combination of data from the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index of 2021 and the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2023. We skipped the exotic places that either didn’t fall into the upper two quintiles of the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index of 2021 or their “State of Peace” was lower than “Medium” according to the Global Peace Index. Furthermore, we only chose one place for each country.

According to our methodology, France should also be on our list of safest exotic places but we skipped it because the US Department of State issued a terrorism threat warning about the country On July 26, 2023. It is important to note that France is generally considered a safe place to travel to.

Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World

25. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov makes it to 25 on our list of safest exotic place to travel in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a town that is full of Medieval architecture, including castles and cobbled streets. The town also hosts several festivals throughout the year including musical festivals and historical reenactments. Český Krumlov has a bohemian vibe that is akin to embracing a carefree and unconventional way of life.

24. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

When it comes to exotic places, it is hard to beat Dubai. The cars, hotels, resorts, and beaches all scream exoticism. Even the police drive cars like the McLaren MP4-12C and Aston Martin One-77. It is also the home to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, standing tall at 828 meters with 163 floors. Some other places worth visiting in Dubai are its three artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, and Palm Jebel Ali.

23. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs in Ireland that run for around 9 miles, and some of its areas reach up to 214 meters in height. It is almost impossible to explain the views from the cliffs in words, which is why it attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. The Cliffs of Moher are also a haven for birdwatchers, and its sunset views over the Atlantic are simply breathtaking. Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world and the stunning views of the Cliffs of Moher make it one of the safest exotic places in the world.

22. Vatnajökull, southeastern Iceland

Vatnajökull or “Glacier of Lakes” is the second-largest ice cap in Europe by volume. You can explore the ice caves at Vatnajökull National Park or enjoy the view of some breathtaking waterfalls. This safe and exotic destination also has some active volcanoes.

Iceland is considered one of the safest places in the world, and Vatnajökull isn’t the country’s only exotic attraction. There are several other exotic places like Grimsey Island, The Blue Lagoon, and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. To enjoy the magnificent view of the northern lights, Kirkjufell Hill is one of the best places to go. The hill is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland.

21. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges in Belgium is a city that seems to have popped straight out of a romantic fairy tale. It is a preserved medieval city with canals running through and streets made out of cobblestones. In the city, you will find the Church of Our Lady, which was built in the 13th century, Michelangelo’s sculpture of Madonna and Child, and most importantly, Belfry of Bruges, a medieval bell tower in the center of the city, which was built around 1240 A.D. 

20. Grand Ducal Palace, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, with an exceptional reputation for safety. Even though the country is full of exotic vacation destinations, there are only a few places that can match the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg City, which is the epitome of exoticism and grandeur. Adding that to the low crime rate in Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal Palace takes the 20th spot on our list of the safest exotic places to travel.

The Grand Ducal Palace was built in the 16th century, and it is the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Nevertheless, tourists are allowed to visit the palace during specific hours. It is an iconic symbol of the country’s rich history. The building’s architecture is a beautiful amalgamation of Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements, which is perfect for history buffs.

19. Stockholm’s Archipelago, Sweden

Stockholm’s Archipelago is one of the largest archipelagos in the world, consisting of around 30,000 islands. The Archipelago is perfect for every kind of tourist. You can enjoy activities like sailing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking, and birdwatching. It is also for tourists who like to slow down as they can just sit down, relax, and enjoy the peace away from the busy city life.

Sweden has a very low crime rate, and most crimes happening in the country include pickpocketing and petty theft, due to which Stockholm’s Archipelago is one of the safest exotic places to travel in the world.

18. Lantau Island, Hong Kong SAR

Lantau Island is one of the largest islands in Hong Kong. It is on our list of safe exotic places as Hong Kong, in general, is considered a safe place to visit, and occurrences of violent crimes are rare. Lantau Island is the home to one of the world’s largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha statues, Tian Tan Buddha, which can be reached by using the island’s Ngong Ping 360 cable car. The Ngong Ping 360 cable car was created to increase tourism on the island and also has premium rate Crystal Cabin service with glass-bottom cabins.

In addition to the Tian Tan Buddha, tourists can also go on a long-distance hiking mission on the Lantau Trail or go fishing at the Tai O Fishing Village. Po Lin Monastery is also an architectural masterpiece that can provide some tranquility to tourists. For some peace and quiet, tourists can visit Cheung Sha Beach, which according to the reviews on TripAdvisor is a tranquil place for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.

17. Lapland, Finland

Finland is generally considered one of the safest places in the world. When it comes to exotic places, it is hard to choose one. However, Lapland is considered one of the best places to enjoy the northern lights, and its snow-covered forests and lakes make it a perfect habitat for the arctic wilderness. The region also offers glass igloos, ice hotels, and snow castles for tourist stays in addition to husky or reindeer safari, which adds extra exoticism to the tourist experience in Lapland.

Another feature that makes Lapland one of the most exotic places to travel in the world is its capital, Rovaniemi, which is associated with Santa Claus and has an amusement park called the Santa Claus Village.

16. Faroe Islands, Denmark

Faroe Islands are not a geographical part of Denmark, yet it is considered an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Faroe Islands might be by far the most exotic place in Denmark due to its breathtaking landscapes, including its fjords and waterfalls, and places that offer the possibility of interaction with wildlife like puffins, whales, and seals. Additionally, the Faroe Islands have a unique cultural identity that includes their own language, traditions, and lifestyle. Despite being a fairly remote territory, the islands offer many activities like hiking, trekking, and other outdoor adventures.

15. Azores, Portugal

The Azores is an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic and is an autonomous region in Portugal. It consists of nine volcanic islands with crater lakes, thermal springs, and geothermal pools. Wildlife sightings include sperm whales, blue whales, pilot whales, orcas, the Azores bullfinch, Iberian green frogs, and starlings along with many others. One of the most exotic islands in the Azores archipelago is São Miguel Island, which is the largest island in the region and is home to the twin lakes, Lagoa das Sete Cidades, which means “Lagoon of the Seven Cities”. Another beautiful sight in São Miguel is the crater lake, Lagoa do Fogo, which is the highest lake on the island and the government does not allow any construction near it.

Portugal is considered one of the safest countries in Europe and around the world. The country’s safety aspect combined with the island’s volcanic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and amazing landscapes, makes the Azores one of the safest exotic places to travel in the world.

14. Jeju Island, South Korea

Jeju Island in South Korea is heaven for travelers as it includes volcanic craters, beautiful beaches, charming forests, and South Korea’s highest mountain, Hallasan. Adding to the island’s exoticism are its lava tubes and dormant volcanoes. It also has the world’s largest lava tube, the Manjanggul Cave.

Tourists can also enjoy Jeju Island’s unique festivals such as the Jeju Fire Festival and the Jeju Cherry Blossom. Some of the most exciting things on Jeju Island are Dol hareubang; stone statues that have been placed for protection and fertility.

13. Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

Keukenhof is known as the Garden of Europe. It was the Teylingen Castle’s kitchen garden that provided game, fruit, and vegetables to the Van Teylingen family. Tourists from all over the world visit the castle grounds to see the wide variety of Dutch tulips through several flower shows that take place from time to time. During springtime, several festivals feature live music and other entertaining performances. Every autumn, seven million flowers are planted in the garden over the course of three months. Keukenhof contains over 800 varieties of tulips.

12. Haida Gwaii, Canada

Haida Gwaii was formerly known as Queen Charlotte Islands from 1787 until 2010. The island’s indigenous people, Haida Nation, have lived on these Islands for over 13,000 years. Haida Gwaii is one of the most exotic places in the world due to several reasons. The Haida cultural heritage includes totem poles, longhouses, and their own art. The archipelago’s natural beauty is enhanced by rainforests, beaches, and diverse wildlife.

Haida Gwaii also has some old archaeological sites like historic village ruins and logging camps. One of the most important places in the archipelago is the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is also referred to as “the edge of the world.” Tourists can enjoy wildlife viewing, kayaking, and exploring remote areas in the park.

11. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province, China

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is known for its thousands of sandstone pillars, ravines, and gorges. The sandstone pillars and the park’s surrounding landscape can be seen through one of the world’s tallest outdoor elevators, the Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator. To make it more exotic, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is near Tianmen Mountain which is known for its “Stairway to Heaven” and the famous Tianmen Cave.

Zhangjiajie Glass footpath is another exotic attraction of the place. It is a bridge with a glass bottom and was once the world’s longest and tallest glass-bottomed bridge. On top of that, the park’s Grand Canyon includes breathtaking sights of waterfalls, deep canyons, and natural bridges.

10. Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a town in Austria that features scenic alpine beauty with its beautiful lakes and mountains. The village of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has tons of historic architecture including cobblestone streets. Some other places to visit in the town include Hallstatt Salt Mine and Dachstein Ice Cave. Tourists can also enjoy boating and swimming at the pristine Hallstatt lake.

There is simply no doubt about the exoticism of Hallstatt, but what makes it one of the safest exotic places in the world is because Austria has a very low crime rate and most of the crimes include petty theft and pickpocketing.

9. Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy

Amalfi Coast’s coastal scenery, colorful villages, lemon groves, and the clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea along with the developed tourism industry of Italy, make it one of the safest exotic places in the world. On top of that, you will also find some of the most amazing historic sites such as the Amalfi Cathedral and Positano’s Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Amalfi Coast’s exoticism and beauty are further enhanced by its mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine. For people who love to see colors, they can visit the majestic gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo in Ravello.

8. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Gardens by the Bay is a 250-acre park in Singapore that includes The Supertree Grove, which has tree-like structures covered in a living skin of plants that scream “exotic”. Within the garden, the Cloud Forest with its indoor waterfall, and the Flower Dome with its diverse collection of plants make it a sight you wouldn’t want to miss.

Other places that are a must-visit in the gardens include the OCBC Skyway and its artificial marina reservoir. The former is a walkway that connects several of the supertrees and offers a beautiful view of the city skyline. Lastly, if you are in the Garden by the Bay, do not miss the light shows that take place every evening.

7. The Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom

Even though the United Kingdom has an abundance of exotic places with historical landmarks and charming countryside, the Isles of Scilly can easily be considered the most exotic place in the UK. The islands have a much milder and sunnier climate than the rest of the country. Tourists can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports in the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Isles of Scilly. Another exotic area in between the islands is the Tresco Island which contains plants from around the world.

Visitors can also enjoy historical sites such as ancient castles, churches, and Bronze Age monuments, which create a beautiful contrast to the Isles of Scilly’s natural beauty.

6. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the world’s largest coral reef. It is composed of 900 islands stretching across 133,000 square miles and can be seen from space. The reef’s coral beauty and biodiversity in fish, sharks, rays, and turtles along with several others add to the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. It also offers aquatic adventures such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat tours. Divers can also enjoy the underwater caves and have an immersive experience by locating the shipwrecks. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its natural value and ecological importance.

During our research about safest most exotic places in the world, the Great Barrier Reef was mentioned on more websites and blogs than any other place.

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Disclosure. None. 25 Safest Exotic Places to Travel in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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