Destinations with hidden gems

Did you know that in the heart of Vienna there is an 11-floor Aqua/Terra zoo featuring creatures from the great deep to birds and small mammals? Or that in Oslo there is a park dedicated to naked statues?! Not all hidden gems are that easy to find when you start searching on the immensely wide, wide web. So let me tell you all about some of these destinations with hidden gems I’ve discovered over the years…


Madrid is filled with wonder and excitement, trust me I lived there! The centre is buzzing with a mixture of traditional vs modern shops and buildings and there really is something for everyone. Here are my hidden gems:

Palacio de Cristal del Retiro

The Palacio de Cristal del Retiro (Crystal Palace) is located in Madrid’s Retiro Park . This once royal park opened its gates to the public in the 18th century, and since then has become an iconic spot for boaters, runners and tourists. What you might not realise is that if you venture far enough through the gorgeous scenery, there is a lovely Crystal Palace by a small lake, which is home to ever changing art instalments. It’s a great way to discover new talent without having to go to a museum.

Teleférico Madrid

I probably used the Madrid Teleférico over ten times during my stay back in 2013. This is Madrid’s version of a cable car tour, which I absolutely loved. You can pick it up near Moncloa tube station and take a fabulous ride all the way over to Casa de Campo. This is sort of like a national park and is also home to the Madrid Zoo. The walk back to the nearest tube (if you don’t get a return) is quite lengthy and hilly so make sure you have the right footwear and suncream!


Dubai is a favourite destination of mine which I have covered many times before on the blog. If you want to discover what Dubai has to offer, I really recommend you stay longer than a week as it just can’t all be done otherwise! Many people are put off from the UAE based on what they’ve heard about strict rules, but it’s honestly not like that at all. I wouldn’t recommend going to a shopping mall in your bikini and shorts, but as long as you are respectful then there is nothing to worry about. Here are my hidden gems:

Dubai Autodrome

The Dubai Autodrome is a great way to let off some steam and have a bit of family competition. They have both an indoor and outdoor track and the fun can start for ages 7 and up. I had fun as both a driver and a spectator when I went. I’m really not into this sort of thing normally, but I had a lot of fun at the Autodrome!

Ski Dubai

You may already know about Ski Dubai, but if not let me paint you a picture. It’s 42 degrees outside, you are baking and sweaty and not thinking straight. You enter the Mall of the Emirates, only to come across a huge winter wonderland behind a glass wall. Mountains of snow awaits you, you can’t help but to get into a snow suit and dance around in the sub-degree temperatures. You take your first skiing lesson, and proudly manage one time down the hill without falling over. When you can’t feel your fingers anymore, it’s time to get back to the heat after a gloriously cool afternoon. Sounds amazing, but also a bit crazy to go skiing when in Dubai? This is such a great experience, however skilled (or unskilled) you are!

Got the travel bug yet? Yearning to find some destinations with hidden gems of your own?  Holiday Gems specialise in sunny destinations closer to home such as Gran Canaria, Majorca and other Spanish provinces. Click to read more information on Gran Canaria Holidays for 2018/2019 with Holiday Gems

Saharasplash x

Let me transport you back a few weeks to when I went to the Henley Regatta with Debenhams!

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My 2018 Destination Wishlist

You have to admit now that the snow has disappeared, the winter weather is rather rubbish. With a New Year looming and your Christmas bonus in your pocket, now is the time to chill out and start planning a perfect getaway. My 2018 Destination Wishlist will help you get started no matter your budget or preference. Holiday Gems has so much choice whether you are looking for the best flights or hotel spots. I’ve scanned the skies and found three destinations along with great times to fly price wise…

Destination: Dubai
Date: May 2018
Airline: Emirates
Price Per Person: £301.37

Dubai is the first choice on my 2018 destination wishlist. It’s a yearly tradition that Paul and I venture to the United Arab Emirates to visit our Godfamily and have a whistle stop tour of the beautiful Dubai city. I’ve picked out a killer deal if you decide to fly in May, and with Emirates Airlines you are bound to have a fabulous flight.

Destination: Golden Sands Bulgaria
Date: August 2018
Airline: Wizz
Price Per Person: £196.58

If Dubai is a bit out of your price range, I’ve found a lovely escape right on the coast of the Black Sea- Golden Sands Bulgaria. If you’re on a budget, Golden Sands is ideal for a romantic getaway for two- leave your worries and troubles behind and explore what Bulgaria has to offer.

Destination: Costa Dorada
Date: September 2018
Airline: EasyJet
Price Per Person: £47.94

This last destination is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s on my 2018 destination wishlist because one, I speak Spanish and two, I am dying to expose Alice to some Spanish/ Catalan culture next year. I can just imagine her trying to chat away and I can’t wait to take her abroad. Having said that, I must get her passport sorted!

Which destinations are on your wishlist for 2018? Check out all these places and more here via Holiday Gems!

Saharasplash x

All prices correct at time of search, prices researched are for flights via Holiday Gems. This is a sponsored post

Sit back and get those last minute baby items for Christmas this year using my Baby’s Christmas Gift Guide!