Who doesn’t love the idea of visiting an offbeat destination? One that hasn’t been Instagrammed to death or literally ordered shut because of overtourism. But when it’s time to go on a holiday, we tend to flock back to the basics—London, Paris, Bangkok, even Dubai. It’s convenient, and just a direct flight from India—right? Well, that’s where we swoop in. There are plenty of non-stop flights from India to beautiful locations, and hardly anyone seems to know about them. Take a look here, and book those tickets soon.
If vacations are about feeling joyous, where else should one go but the happiest country in the world? It works out well then that Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is only a short direct flight away from New Delhi and Goa. The Scandinavian nation in the north of Europe is breathtaking for many reasons: it’s home to the beautiful snowy Lapland; it’s one of the best countries for spotting the Northern Lights; it boasts the largest number of lakes and forests in the world (and therefore, some of the cleanest air); and it believes in the concept of saunas for all. Sign us up.
Fly via: Finnair
Duration: 7 hours 30 mins from Delhi
Go on the road less taken to Ukraine on your European expedition. Wedged in between Russia and Hungary, Ukraine is one of the largest landlocked countries in Eastern Europe. Despite the usual concerns about travelling to Ukraine, most parts of Ukraine are as safe as any other European country to travel to. The country has gorgeous landscapes—a range of mountains, seas, a rich wine region in Odessa, cultural capital in Lviv, and a great atmosphere overall. Fly into capital city Kiev directly from Delhi and travel around parts of the country via train or private transport.
Fly via: Ukranian Airlines
Duration: 7 hours 50 minutes from Delhi
No place has ‘relax’ written all over it the way Seychelles does. From the moment you start your descent towards the East African Island, you spot clear turquoise waters calling you. The country, which is a cluster of islands sprawled on the Indian Ocean, has some of the most beautiful beaches and coral reefs in the world. Its biggest island, an entry point to Seychelles, Mahé is less than 5 hours from Mumbai. And it has visa-on-arrival for Indians. You listening?
Fly via: Air India, Air Seychelles
Duration: 4 hours, 25 minutes from Mumbai
South of the equator, and in the centre of Africa lies Rwanda, a small nation that is known by its tragic past more than tourism. But if you look closer, you’ll find that today, the country is beautiful, green and inviting to anyone who wants to visit. Called the land of the thousand hills, Rwanda has four major national parks, striking mountains, volcanoes, and exuberant wildlife. Fly into capital city Kigali from Mumbai and step into a natural wonderland.
Fly via: Rwandair
Duration: 6 hours 55 mins from Mumbai
South Korea—once a much-ignored destination—is on everyone’s list now. And rightly so. The Asian country is for every kind of traveller. The uber cosmopolitan capital, Seoul can be likened to the New York of the East, minus the cultural diversity. Apart from the large skyscraper metropolises, there are quiet seaside towns and large national parks to be explored here as well. And here’s the clincher for some—South Korea is also home to the Instagram favourite cherry blossoms. Visit here to do some Seoul-searching (and stock up on those fabulous skincare products).
Fly via: Asian Airlines, Korean Air, Air India
Duration: Time: Starting 6 hours 40 mins from Delhi
It’s a shame that Kazakhstan doesn’t spring to the top of a traveller’s list more often. The European country, the largest landlocked one in the world, is full of treasures. You should only want to seek them. There is the vast capital city of Almaty and the earthquake-formed Lake Kaindy. The low-lying steppes and the staggering mountains. The culture and natural beauty. And lucky for us, it’s only a few hours from home.
Fly via: Air India (operated by Air Astana), Air Astana
Duration: 4 hours 45 mins from Delhi