Whether you want to try something new on your next trip or just enjoy the unconventional, these tourist destinations will definitely shake things up.

When the holidays come rushing in, the travel bug bites and gnaws on our imaginations. The usual options for travelers at this time generally revolve around two choices: the Siren’s call of the rolling waves on white sand beaches for those who prefer the heat and the temptation of fresh powder for the adrenaline-pumping, winter sports enthusiasts. If you want a break from the usual vacation spots, here are some wonderfully weird but ultimately exciting activities and travel destinations:

Heat Seekers

Image by Tormod Sandtorv | flickr

If you prefer warm places, you might enjoy traveling to hell and back. Located in Turkmenistan, the 60-meter wide and 20-meter deep Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as Hell’s Door, attracts tourists from all over the world. You won’t find devils carrying their tridents around the crater, though, because this attraction was accidentally made by Soviet geologists back in 1971. They discovered that this cavern was rich in natural gas, and to prevent the poisonous gas from escaping, they decided to light up the crater until the gas burned out – the crater hasn’t stopped burning since.

Chilling Challenge

Image by Erik Erxon | flickr

Experience a different type of cold while learning history in London. Follow the trail of the infamous Jack the Ripper or scurry along with the tour group along the walkways of London, not knowing whether the person you’ll meet will pass right through you. If you want to raise the probability of ghostly encounters, you can join the tour of infamous haunted quarters, churchyards, and graveyards. You can only wonder if the chill you’re feeling is coming from the weather or something giving you a welcoming hug.

Survival Foodies

This weed could mean life or death

If you have a knack for honing your survival skills for a possible alien invasion or zombie apocalypse, try the Edible Weeds Walk in Melbourne, Australia. Running away from aliens or zombies in the forest would be much easier if you’ve had something to eat, but since there are no vending machines in trees, this educational tour would certainly come in handy. Just be sure to join the guided tour held by professionals from Very Edible Gardens. For more weird and interesting tours in Melbourne, you can check out this blog post by Natasha Abrahams at Weekend Notes.

Heads or Tails

Image by Anosmia | flickr

If you want to test your limits, join a guided tour around the Chernobyl disaster site in Ukraine. Feed the huge catfish that witnessed the tragedy and visit Reactor No. 4, the root of the disaster. You can take pictures in Pripyat Village, which has since become a ghost town, and you won’t have to worry because the zone security will check your radiation levels before you leave (and maybe see if you’ve sprouted a tail or an extra head).

Regardless of how weird your adventure will be, keeping an open mind will guarantee you a fabulous time.

Have a fabulous time traveling this season by following some amazing big heads in these popular fall and winter destinations.

The holiday season is almost synonymous with vacation season, so if you’re itching to travel this fall or winter but still cannot decide where to go, try following some of these literal big heads and you might just have the best vacation experience ever:

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The mysterious Sphinx calls the country of Egypt home and beckons you to journey through the ruins of an ancient civilization that produced architectural brilliance like the great pyramids. This mystical being is definitely guarding a treasure trove of history that begs to be explored.


Toltec Statues of Mexico

Some other civilizations that can match the greatness of Egypt’s arts and architecture are the ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Toltecs, among many others that resided in Mexico. The country possesses an archaic and bittersweet yet magnificent history that still reverberates through their ancient sites today.

Toltec Statues of Mexico

Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha of Phuket

The 45-meter high marble statue displays a 360˚ view of the island that also boasts pristine white-sand beaches and exciting nightlife. If you like sightseeing underwater, Phuket also has wonderful snorkeling sites where you can witness the abundance of exotic marine life.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

One of the more festive places on our list, Rio de Janeiro will surely get your party mode on. Watch and learn some new dance moves at the Festival Panorama de Dança, an international dance competition held every November. Lounge around at the Ipanema beach or marvel at the amazing view that the statue of Christ the Redeemer can show you. It’s simply impossible to get bored in the City of Carnivals.

Ku, Lono, Kane, and Kanaloa Tikis of Hawaii

Marvel at the giant tikis that stand for the four great gods worshipped by the ancient Hawaiians: Ku, the god of war; Lono, the god of fertility and peace; Kane, the god of light and life; and Kanaloa, the god of the sea. With the exception of Ku, these major gods represent the beauty that is the Hawaiian Islands. Surrounded by lush rainforest, active volcanoes, and picture-perfect beaches, Hawaii offers countless activities that you will surely want to try. Enjoy an authentic Luau, surf the perfect wave, or simply be amazed at the underwater spectacle of the island’s abundant marine life.

Marine turtle

Kwakwak’wakw and Nuu-cha-nulth Tribe Totem Poles of Vancouver

Unlike Hawaii’s tiki poles which stand for the gods, the totem poles of the Kwakwak’wakw and Nuu-cha-nulth tribes symbolize their ancestors and spirit helpers, so the connection of the native people to these poles is much deeper. Since you’re already in Vancouver, try some of the winter recreational activities available to tourists. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, test your skills on the slopes; if you’re not, then this will be a good time to experience something new.

Whether you decide to follow the big heads or not, you can be sure that these fall and winter destinations have a lot in store for you.

Winter Sports Canada