Bray has been listed as one of the world’s most “underrated travel destinations” in a new ranking from Time Out.
The list of destinations which the global travel experts felt was deserving of “more attention” was released on Thursday.
The featured destinations were selected with the help of Time Out’s network of local expert editors and writers “with the aim of inspiring and enabling people to discover places which pack a punch in terms of food, culture and experiences but are often overlooked by travellers”.
Other destinations on the global list alongside Bray are Burlington, Vermont, in the USA, Gippsland in Australia and Srebrenik in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The full list includes 14 destinations, with Bray making the 13th spot on the list.
The Wicklow town was compared to the “Brighton of Ireland” with a seafront that “buzzes with cafes and restaurants”.
Tourists were advised to “stroll from the harbour along the esplanade to the 800-foot high Bray Head, worth the hour’s climb for panoramic views from its rocky summit” and to have a Guinness at the Harbour Bar.
In number one position on the list is Mongolia, selected as “it is much easier to reach and cheaper than people realise and offers a unique nomadic experience with a true feeling of stepping back in time”. More than half of the country’s population live in gers (felt-roofed, round structures), in which travellers can stay and “experience the local, traditional way of life”.
The country has “a plethora of landscapes and cultural activities to discover and explore” including the Gobi Desert, national parks and festivals.
Lake Bacalar is second on the list – an area of “outstanding natural beauty on the Yucatán peninsula” which is “often missed” off Mexican itineraries.
In third place is the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca in the Andes mountains.
Time Out’s deputy travel editor, Grace Beard, said 2023 is “the year to travel somewhere you’ve never been before – or maybe have never even heard of”.
“These under-the-radar destinations are real gems. They offer a local, authentic vibe and are often overlooked by travellers focusing on the usual tick-list destinations,” she said.
“Not only do lesser-visited destinations mean fewer crowds and the opportunity to feel that you are discovering somewhere off the beaten track – they can sometimes be more affordable for eating, drinking and doing activities compared with their well-worn counterparts”.