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  • Places with Space

Spacious and inspiring destinations

Vaccines are being rolled out, and the prospect of travel and normality is on the horizon. That said, there are so many people who are still looking for destinations with space. By this, I mean vast landscapes and fewer people to be in contact with. Essentially, the rule of ‘social distancing’ that was engrained in us for the past year will still be applied to many people who still feel nervous about travel.

With that in mind, we have put together some of the best destinations with space. For some, this may mean the world’s least-populated places. Iceland has an average of 3 people per square kilometre. Australia comes in second, at an average of 3.2 people per square kilometre. Botswana, Canada and Russia come next in line. Others may think of vast and untouched landscapes, like Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park or Jordan’s desert environments. However, you interpret space, here are a few examples of destinations with space.

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Iceland

Renowned for its dramatic landscapes, magnificent waterfalls and extensive glaciers, Iceland is an island that has always been attractive for those looking for adventure and an active holiday. Even when you fly into Iceland’s Reykjavik, you will be surprised. Unlike other European capitals, which have huge numbers of people in and around the airport, Reykjavik feels spacious and clean. As you head across Iceland (you can self drive easily around the island), you will see nothing but awe-inspiring landscapes and volcanic features. Feel a sense of space and freedom as you enjoy some memorable outdoor activities like hiking across glaciers, entering ice caves and walking behind waterfalls.

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Botswana

Located in southern Africa, Botswana is a country high on the list for safari and wildlife enthusiasts. Unlike other national parks where there are a large number of lodges, camps and consequently game vehicles, Botswana offers a different experience. The Okavango Delta is an impressive 15,000 square kilometres – the largest inland delta in the world. Botswana also homes the Makgadikgadi Basin which is an expansive salt pan located in the north-eastern part of the country. Both the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans attract thousands each year, but because of their huge size, it is often the case that you will not see another person in sight during your entire day of game driving.

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Canada

Stretching an impressive 5,780 miles from West to East, Canada is the second largest country in the world. With this in mind, it is no surprise that it has become a real attraction for those who are looking for space to socially distance themselves from other tourists. There are several ways to enjoy the beauty of Canada. One of these is to board the Rocky Mountaineer, which is a luxury train guiding you through the Rocky Mountains and other breath-taking landscapes. Another way of exploring the country is to self-drive. A popular route is the western route – starting in Vancouver, driving the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler, through the scenic route of the Canadian Rockies, Lac Je Jeune, and Jasper and Banff national parks. End your self-drive in Calgary, reflecting on the inspiring scenes you have seen along the way.

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Russia

When you think of countries offering ‘space’, of course Russia comes to mind as it is the largest country in the world by area. The country is proud of its grand palaces, majestic parks and expansive areas of lakes, rivers and forests. There are a range of tours and routes you can travel around Russia, the most popular being visiting Moscow and St Petersburg, but there are also untouched areas of Russia that are worth visiting if space is what you are looking for. River cruises are also a good way to enjoy the landscapes and with small numbers on cruises, it won’t feel busy or overwhelming.

Namibia

Namibia

The dramatic natural beauty of Namibia is truly breathtaking. The country is dominated by the oldest desert in the world, The Namib, famous for its towering orange sand dunes. At Namibia’s north end is the enormous Etosha Salt Pan and running down the country’s spine are mountain ranges including the incredible Fish River Canyon.

The country has unique desert-adapted wildlife including elephants, hyena and lions who have evolved to live in arid conditions. There is a rich cultural heritage, the Himba and San communities still live in their ancestral homelands. Namibia is a unique and beautiful country, a place to reconnect with nature and experience true wilderness.

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Slovenia

While it may often be overlooked, Slovenia is one of Europe’s most enchanting destinations. Located at an intersection of Italian, German and Slavic worlds, it’s an exciting blend of cultures while offering a diverse and stunning landscape from the coast to the soaring Julian Alps.

A nature lover’s paradise of jewel-like lakes and aquamarine rivers that flow through rugged canyons, jagged snow-capped peaks and idyllic beaches, there’s a host of outdoor adventure that can be enjoyed too. The opportunities for active pursuits are nearly endless, including hiking and biking in the mountains, canyoning, river rafting, horseback riding and caving. Of course, one could always simply soak up the sun along the Adriatic.

In between look forward to plenty of tasty food and drink. Slovenian cooking borrows something from Hungarian, Austrian, Italian and Balkan fare, creating inventive dishes with unique tastes on more traditional cuisine.

It’s a place where it’s easy to find farm-to-table meals with almost every restaurant using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients. The signature Slovenian dish is struklji, rolled dumplings enjoyed here since the 16th-century, often followed by gibanica for dessert. The country produces some outstanding wines too, including regional reds and whites that perfectly complement local specialities.

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Read more travel insights in Issue 3 of Unforgettable Travel

This article was first published in issue three of the Unforgettable Travel Magazine.

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