Travel trends come and go, but unlike those in food or fashion, they often move at an iceberg-like pace. It’s why your friends are still telling you to go to Iceland five years after it became a thing, and why you can’t stop seeing pictures of blue-and-white Portuguese tiles all over Instagram. So we turned to the experts at the forefront of the travel industry—either agents you’d hire to help you decide where to go next, or their bosses — to find out what’s creeping in on their radar.
These are the places our sources would rather keep secret, if only they were allowed to. Though these are all unspoiled and uncrowded, their obscurity is only temporary. Word is already getting out about destinations such as Puglia — the architecturally-fascinating heel of Italy’s boot — which came up again and again in conversations with multiple specialists. And it’s only a matter of time before the rest of these vacation spots become the talk of every town. Get there first, or regret it later.
* Denia, Spain
Most people see Denia, a port city on the east coast of Spain, as nothing more than a gateway to Ibiza — it’s the main terminus for ferries to the Balearic islands. But Tom Marchant, co-founder of the bespoke travel outfit Black Tomato, sees it as a worthy destination unto itself, a starting point for lush, outdoorsy adventures. “It’s also home to incredible food,” he says — picking the old-school Jamonal de Ramonet as his “favourite place for tapas in the entire world.”
Hikes in mountainous Mongto National Park, a protected expanse right next to the city, offer stunning views that evoke Rio or Cape Town. And just 30 minutes afield, in such tiny towns as Jalon, you can bike from bodega to bodega for tastings of local wine (mostly muscatel) and homemade cava. Stay at the lovely Hotel Buenavista, where breakfast is served under a soaring atrium, and the rooms have charming, beamed ceilings.