20 holiday destinations the experts say not to miss

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From remote islands to city escapes, travel experts share their favorite spots

Take advantage of lesser-known destinations to avoid packs of tourists

CNN  — 

From pilots to travel photographers, train aficionados to tour guides, these globe-trotting experts have seen the world.

They share their favorite destinations, and why they think they shouldn’t be missed for your next holiday.

1. Find the isolated islands of Wayag, Indonesia

Out of all the beauty that Indonesia has to offer, Wayag is perhaps the most stunning spot, says Michael Travers, head of marketing and communications at SeaTrek Sailing Adventures.

“Wayag has hundreds of thickly forested limestone karsts and islands, resulting in sheltered bays with white sand beaches and coral reefs,” he says.

There aren’t any villages, let alone tourist accommodation, and guests can only really arrive by boat, adds Travers.

“I’d definitely recommend climbing to the lookout point on the western side of the main Wayag Bay. It’s not for the faint of heart (picture a 30-minute ascent through forest and over jagged limestone), but there are the most staggering views of paradise at the end.”

2. Visit Egypt without the crowds

“I’d highly recommend going to Egypt now,” says Geoffrey Kent, founder of Abercrombie & Kent.

“I traveled there at the end of 2015 and it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see these sites with few crowds. For instance, at Abu Simbel, I was in Ramses temple and had it all to myself for a few minutes.

“As I was climbing up the narrow staircase into the center of Cheops Pyramid, there were only a few people that I had to sidestep. It’s a very different experience doing that when the crowds (and heat) are at full force,” says mKent.

3. Bathe in Tbilisi’s Abanotubani District

Move over, Istanbul. There’s a new European city brimming with East-meets-West culture and natural sulfurous waters that give Cagaloglu Baths a run for its money, according to freelance photojournalist Sarah Freeman.

“I suggest visiting the Georgian capital’s bath quarter: Tbilisi’s Abanotubani,” she says.

Situated on the south side of Metekhi Bridge, its low cupolas house baths where water bubbles from the earth at about 90 F (32 C).

“When I went, I sipped on Turkish tea and indulged in a massage by one of the mekise (masseur).”

4. Watch animals in Namibia