A Travel Expert’s Take: The Top 5 Hidden Gems to Add to your Travel List

Australian’s love to travel, and there’s no better way to celebrate than holidaying with your good friends, to re-connect, rewind and let loose. Between balancing out leisure time with site seeing, finding the perfect accommodation and making the most of all that a city has to offer, organising a group holiday can make or break friendships. So we’ve done the leg work for you to ensure you have everything you need for your next group holiday.

New research from Luxury Escapes reveals that when it comes to putting plans into motion however, the booking experience can be anything but relaxing with over half (56%) of the nation finding the process taxing.

Travel expert Sonia Pilovska, Head of Tours at Luxury Escapes shares her top 5 hidden gems for your group to travel to, all available at the click of a button.



“Golden door in Fes, door of Royal palace.OTHER MOROCCO PHOTOS”

Must-see destinations:

  • YSL (Yves Saint Laurent)
  • Museum, Atlas Mountains

Marrakech has quickly become the epicentre of everything quintessentially Moroccan. Its rich culture is forcing more travellers to add the destination to the top of their bucket list. The new YSL Museum in the Jardin Majorelle is a must-visit. Often overlooked as just a garden or fashion museum, it is fast becoming a cultural centre of Marrakech and is worth spending some time exploring. Located at the base of the Atlas Mountains, The Berber villages on the outskirts of Marrakech is another location that can’t be missed. Get the chance to take part in a hands-on cooking class with a local family and see rural life at its best.

Getting there:

Experience Exotic Morocco with Five-Star Sofitel Luxury & Insider Experiences

Booking link: https://luxuryescapes.com/au/offer/morocco-luxury-tour/0060I00000cJ9t1QAC



Must-see destinations:

  • Burrata masterclass and tasting
  • Cooking class with Nonna

Puglia is Italy’s best-kept secret – but won’t be for long – so is a must-visit before it hits everybody’s radar. The sky is bluer, the beach parties are better, the locals are friendlier, but best of all the food is more authentic and one of the biggest. Farm to plate is a way of living and anyone who is a self-confessed foodie and has seen Burrata on the menu at restaurants can now learn to make it from an artisan whose family has been perfecting the recipe for 4 generations. All Italians agree that there is no better way to make pasta than in the kitchen of your nonna – and if you aren’t lucky enough to come from an Italian family with your own nonna – we’ll provide one for you!

Getting there:
Discover World Class Gastronomy in Italy’s Best-Kept Secret: Puglia




Must-see destinations:

  1. Street art scene & foodie culture
  2. Old mansions converted to luxury boutique hotels

Rapidly changing and ever-evolving, Johannesburg is a city with a turbulent history that’s fast becoming a hub for an exciting food and art scene. Maboneng, the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, is best explored on foot with its abundance of restaurants, art exhibitions, boutique shops and markets standing side by side. Famously it is considered to be one of the world’s most successful redevelopment projects. J’burg is also filled with a stunning collection of boutique luxury hotels that provide the perfect place to unwind and escape from the city buzz every night.

Getting there:
Explore incredible culture and history on a luxury tour through Johannesburg



Middle eastern or arabic dishes and assorted meze, concrete rustic background. Meat kebab, falafel, baba ghanoush, muhammara, hummus, sambusak, rice, tahini, kibbeh, pita Halal food Lebanese cuisine

Must-see destinations:

  1. Remote hilltop villages with a focus on farm to plate and ancient traditions
  2. Nisanyan Hotel

Dotted with gorgeous hillside villages, Turkey has one of the most underrated coastlines in the Mediterranean. One of the prettiest and most remote in the village of Sirince, which is renowned for its wine and olive oil. With cobblestone streets and picture-perfect houses, this is the ideal place to base yourself to visit the epic site of Ephesus, but far enough to escape the crowds that come off the cruise ships each day. The Nisanyan Hotel is one of my favourites. It offers elegance, space and the country feel of a remote village, with some of the best traditional Turkish cooking in the country.

Getting there:
Discover Turkey and its ancient history, wondrous architecture, colourful bazaars and incredible cuisine https://luxuryescapes.com/au/offer/12-day-luxury-small-group-tour-turkey/0060I00000cq8ycQAA



Panoramic view of Lake Bled from Mt. Osojnica, Slovenia

Must-see destinations:

  1. The whole country looks like something out of a fairy tale
  2. Food and wine scene

From cheese tasting in remote mountain villages to street side dining, to indulging in a meal prepared by the World’s Number 1 Female Chef – Slovenia has something for everyone and needs to be added to your bucket list. If food is not your thing (who are you?!) then the breathtaking scenery of ever-changing landscapes will surely win your heart over – with Lake Bled’s fairy-tale-like castle and the stunning waterfalls of the Soca River. If that’s not enough to entice you, then wine tasting straight from barrels at some of the worlds finest organic vineyards will definitely get you across the line.

Getting there:

Embark on a gastronomic adventure through one of the world’s hottest up and coming holiday destinations: Slovenia.


Words by Arrnott Olssen