Sure, we’ve all heard of Greece or Spain, and as beautiful as they are, after the tenth visit it might be time to branch out and see what the world has to offer. From Greenland to Gabon, these travel destinations have remained nearly untouched by tourists so read on for some hot new holiday inspiration. Just don’t tell the others…
1. The Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Nestled in the Pacific Ocean and 1,000km off the coast of Equador lies an archipelago of nineteen islands and dozens of islets. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and best known to have inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, this isolated terrain is home to a diverse set of animals and plants seen nowhere else in the world. This secretive destination is a must-see for animal lovers and volcano enthusiasts alike.
Being the world’s ninth biggest country, it’s hardly a secret, but Kazakhstan has made it to the list because it remains off the tourist radar. However, this beautiful country has a wealth of unusual sites, gorgeous landscapes and the friendliest locals. Head to Almaty, the country’s biggest city, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous explore its wild deserts and mountainous terrain.
Known as the hidden gem of central Europe, Slovenia is one of the best off the beaten track travel destinations that cultivate adventure without compromising safety. The most well-known place to visit is Lake Bled but if you want to escape the tourists head to Triglav National Park. For adventure enthusiasts expect hiking, climbing, kayaking and horseback riding with spectacular views.
If you’re looking for travel destinations that favour ecotourism then Gabon is the country for you. Perched on the equator in western Central Africa, Gabon is stunning although it still has some way to go in terms of infrastructure. Visit Loango National Park on the coast for sightings of whales, elephants and hippos. Don’t miss Lopé National Park for a glimpse of silverback gorillas!
Greenland’s dramatic fjords, canyons, glaciers and snowcapped mountains remain undiscovered by tourists. It’s one of the most expensive and challenging travel destinations on the list thanks to being remote and bitterly cold. If you come prepared then you will have an experience that’s out of this world. Go whale watching, explore Greenland’s icebergs and watch the Aurora Borealis light up the sky.
6. Réunion Island
This remote region of France in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mauritius may be small but it is dreamy. The island is home to Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. Towering mountains, vibrant forests and roaring waterfalls deck the island along with black and white sandy beaches dotted along the coast. Réunion is heaven for the outdoors lovers so remember to pack your walking boots!
You can’t think of Nepal without being reminded of the Himalayas. They draw in hikers eager to climb to the Everest base camp and beyond. This destination has been awarded a place on the list because it provides travellers with non-traditional experiences. Trek through the mysterious lands of the Upper Dolpo and spot monasteries, elusive snow leopards and peculiar blue sheep. Go on safari or meet Buddhist monks in Nepal’s medieval towns.
A Polynesian kingdom of more than 171 islands in the South Pacific, Tonga is one of the best travel destinations to escape the modern world. The tourism industry is still new and some of the islands have no electricity. Their inhabitants live outside a monetary system. Instead, they weave, harvest crops and fish. Visit Tongatapu, the main island, for a wealth of culture. If you like diving, explore the world-class coral reefs and spot migrating humpback whales.
On the intersection between Europe and Asia and wedged in between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is Georgia. It’s a country that has not yet been discovered by tourists which makes it even the more stunning. Expect snowcapped Caucasus mountains dotted with castles dominating the skyline and beaches along the Black Sea Coast. Georgians never shy from being hospitable so be prepared to eat, drink and be merry.
This Middle Eastern getaway is mostly left off a tourist’s bucket list which is why you should consider adding it to yours. It’s home to tropical beaches, lush desert oases and lavish resorts for those who prefer a more luxurious holiday. Muscat, the capital city is overlooked by the rugged Hajar Mountains. Be prepared to be blown away by friendly locals and mesmerising unique landscapes.