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Trafalgar and 7 underrated places to visit in 2016

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From secluded islands in Japan’s inland sea to the least travelled to great lake of northern Italy, these underrated destinations – shared by Trafalgar-  have the hallmarks of an unforgettable and original adventure.

The Seto Islands, Japan Splendours of Japan with Hiroshima

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The Seto Bridge. Credits to iStock / Ikuni.

The sheltered Seto Inland Sea lies between the lush mountainous island of Shikoku, and the coast of mainland Honshu, where Hiroshima looks out across the water. Within these waters as many as 3,000 islands and islets can be found, with five of them paving the way between Shikoku and Honshu. The Seto Island Bridge stretches between these five islands, making it possible to travel all the way from Shikoku to Honshu across the remote islands and suspension bridges, while taking in panoramic sea views.

Boquete, Panama Panama, the Canal and Beyond

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Boquete in Panama. Credits to iStock / domsta.

Within Panama’s lush mountainous highlands lies the small rural town of Boquete, where coffee, flowers and fruit all flourish in verdant natural surroundings. The area is best known for its coffee plantations, where visitors can gain an insight into the coffee-making process. In this region the indigenous Ngobe-Bugle people make a living from the plantations, picking the red coffee berries when they ripen. From the town, venture out into the surrounding mountains.

Terra Nova National Park, Canada Secrets of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Terra Nova National Park. Credits to iStock / George Burba.

Situated on the east coast of Newfoundland, Terra Nova National Park encompasses four hundred square kilometres of forest, meadows, ocean inlets, and a coastline dotted with bays sheltered by rocky cliffs. Visitors to the park can explore on land or water to discover the wildlife and natural beauty of its untouched wilderness, while taking in the sweeping views.

El Cajas National Park, Ecuador Secrets of Ecuador

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El Cajas National Park. Credits to iStock / Kseniya Ragozina. .

In the Ecuadorian highlands, at an altitude of between 3,100 and 4,450 metres above sea level, El Cajas National Park is a rugged expanse of forested mountains, valleys, glacial lakes and lagoons. Endemic and rare wildlife, such as the giant hummingbird and the elusive puma, thrive within this environment, making it of particular interest to wildlife enthusiasts. One of our favourite places to visit in 2016, travel through this spectacular land, passing archaeological ruins left behind by the Incas.

Rocamadour, France Secrets of France

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Rocamadour in France. Credits to iStock / Robert Hoetink

Tucked into a forested cliff-face, the historic commune of Rocamadour overlooks a lush gorge where a tributary of the River Dordogne flows through. The commune’s monastic buildings are a revered pilgrimage site, with important historic sites to visit like the wooden Black Madonna carving. Try the region’s goat’s cheese that has adopted the Rocamadour name, along with the local organic walnuts.

Travel through Rocamadour on the Secrets of France itinerary.

Connemara, Ireland Secrets of Ireland

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Connemara. Credits to iStock / pnwall71.

Located on the west coast of Ireland, encompassing a section of the Wild Atlantic Way, Connemara feels far removed from the rest of the country, with mile after mile of rugged landscape. The attractive coastal town of Clifden lies on Connemara’s windswept coastline, looking out across the Atlantic Ocean and the small islands that lie off its coast. Within this countryside sits Kylemore Abbey, which was founded by Benedictine nuns, and where visitors are now welcome.

Lake Orta, Italy Secrets of Italy

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Lake Orta. Credits to iStock / Robertobinetti70.

While Lake Orta is one of the least known of northern Italy’s great lakes, it has long attracted those in the know for its surrounding landscape of mountains and woodland, and the rich history that can be seen through its Romanesque and Baroque architecture. The lake’s beauty and the romance of the lakeside village has inspired locals to refer to it as Cinderella.

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