April 4, 2024 | Sarah Ng

These Overlooked Travel Destinations Are Stunning


Go Somewhere New

Are you thinking about booking your next vacation? These overlooked travel destinations are hidden gems waiting to be found.

Overlooked-Destinations-Msn

Wales

If you want to feel like the main character from your favorite historical romance novel, Wales might be the place to lose yourself. It has ruins galore, including Tintern Abbey and Caerphilly Castle. But beyond history's remnants, the romance of this destination goes even deeper.

Caerphilly CastleRuss Hamer, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Stunning Vistas

Snowdonia National Park boasts stunning vistas of mountains and glacier lakes. You can even visit the nation's highest peak, Snowdon, by taking a train. The park has everything a hiker could ask for and many trails to undertake.

Snowdonia National ParkJim Roberts Gallery, Flickr

A Night At The Opera

Wales's capital is Cardiff. Here, you can immerse yourself in two delightful cultural traditions: You can take yourself to the opera or attend a raucous rugby match.

Cardiff Millenium CentreESB Professional, Shutterstock

Montenegro

These days, Croatia is a popular destination, but many forget that its neighbor Montenegro is equally stunning. Some may argue that it's even better because there won't be an overwhelming number of cruise ship tourists.

MontenegroDiego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Tailor-Made For Party Lovers

Montenegro may be a small nation on the Adriatic, but there is so much to do. Its beaches are not only beautiful, but they are also perfect for any traveler in search of a good party. Think: Cancun or Ibiza.

However, if you're not into the party scene, have no fear. There's more to discover.

MontenegroOleg_P, Shutterstock

Picturesque Towns Galore

If you begin in Montenegro, it will be easy for you to visit historical Venetian towns such as Perast, Kotor, or Budva. With restaurants right by the seaside and their charming red-roofed architecture, these towns are visual delights.

Budva, MontenegroElizaveta Galitckaia, Shutterstock

Unbeatable Nature Sights

Montenegro even has something to offer nature lovers. Moving away from the beaches and toward the eastern interior, you can feast your eyes on lush forests, jaw-dropping mountain ranges, and tranquil lakes.

Budva , MontenegroElizaveta Galitckaia, Shutterstock

An Adventurer's Dream

For those seasoned adventurers, one can visit the Tara River canyon, which offers white water rafting—or stop by the Biogradska Gora National Park for some hiking or skiing, depending on the season.

Rafting at Tara mountain riverNikiforov Alexander, Shutterstock

Sint Eustatius

Have you ever heard anyone talking about jetting off to Sint Eustatius? Not me. It's always Barbados, Turks and Caicos, or the Bahamas. But if you want a Caribbean destination that's not stuffed with tourists, Sint Eustatius might be the curveball you need in your life.

Sint Eustatius island279photo Studio, Shutterstock

The Caribbean Without Tourists

Locals call Sint Eustatius "Statia." The small island is essentially a national park with a sprinkling of wonderful businesses. It has excellent family-run establishments to visit and a pretty luxurious resort called Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort. 

St. EustatiusWalter Hellebrand, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Be Ready To Explore

Statia is best for anyone who wants to balance their relaxation time with some outgoing adventure. You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, and explore the reef by chartering a boat.

St. EustatiusJoost Adriaanse, Shutterstock

Let Loose With The Locals

In the evenings, there's ample opportunity to let loose. You can dance and drink to your hearts content at Bobbie's Beach Club or the Boardwalk Cafe.

St Eustatius islandrj lerich, Shutterstock

Nepal

Nepal sits between China and India—and few realize that this is an enriching travel destination. 

For those nervous about the culture shock, keep in mind that attitudes towards foreigners are quite encouraging, and that almost 50% of the locals speak English in Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal.

NepalJoolyann, Shutterstock

Nourishing Your Spiritual Side

Nepal is mostly Hindu, but there are also many Budhhist pilgrimage sites. For those hoping to get in touch with their spiritual side, the city of Bhaktupar has a number of religious sites to explore.

Bhaktapur  NepalSaroj Pandey, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Perfect For The Avid Mountaineer

Nepal is also the perfect place for mountaineers. Not only can you visit the famously intimidating Mount Everest, but you can also get a front-row seat to nature's wonders by visiting Chitwan National Park. There, you can ride an elephant, and catching sightings of monkey, rhinos, tigers, and leopards.

Chitwan National Park NepalNick Fox, Shutterstock

Belize

Buckle up, because Belize is the tropical getaway you never knew you needed. Think: secret waterfalls, Mayan ruins, incredible hikes, and snorkeling expeditions. 

Maya ruins, BelizeMilonk, Shutterstock

A Must-See Sinkhole

While in Belize, you can also visit the Great Blue Hole—a massive marine sinkhole so distinct, it can be seen from space.

The Great Blue Hole in BelizeGlobe Guide Media Inc, Shutterstock

Gorgeous Underwater Sights

If you're all about spending time in the water then visiting the small island of Silk Cayes is a must. You can even take a snorkeling trip there. You'll swim above the Belize Barrier Reef, which boasts the most stunning coral and tropical fish. 

Silk Caye, Placencia, BelizeKeith Levit, Shutterstock

Georgia

Georgia has come a long way, overcoming its once negative reputation. Though its quite small, its sights are likely to become core memories for any visitor. From the mouthwatering cuisine to the magnificent Caucasus mountains, the nation's culture and nature are unbelievable.

Tbilisi, GeorgiaArtur Synenko, Shutterstock

A Breathtaking Trail

Hikers will be sure to appreciate Georgia's breathtaking Transcaucasian Trail, which leads visitors to some of Europe's highest places. 

Transcaucasian trailAnastasiaPash, Shutterstock

Memorable Meals

The variety of the food is refreshing—a delightful combination of the East and the West. There are herbacious salads and sumptuous soup dumplings, as well hearty stews.

Georgian cuisine food setRoman Zaiets, Shutterstock

One Of The Most Beautiful Chapels On Earth

One of the most jaw-dropping sights imaginable is undoubtedly Gergeti Trinity Church. Built in the 14th century, this chapel looks up to Mount Kazbek. The surrounding vista is enough to move anyone to happy tears.

Aerial view of Gergeti trinity church at sunrise in Georgia.Guitar photographer, Shutterstock

Uruguay

Many look to Brazil and Argentina as vacation destination and pass Uruguay by. The bustling capital of Montevideo is rich in design, cuisine, and art.

Punta del Este, UruguayMarcia Cobar, Shutterstock

Calling All Wine Lovers

Outside of the city, one can also explore the region of Garzon, which is known for its wine. If you happen to be a voracious carnivore, the local meat dishes are on another level. After all, the cattle outnumber the people.

Wine Tasting UruguayGabyta, Shutterstock

For A Wild Getaway

However, if you've chosen a vacation, hoping to find some crazy parties, then Punta del Este might be the beachy spot for you. 

Uruguay Punta Del EsteLeandro Comparin, Shutterstock

For A Quiet Getaway

On the other hand, if you're looking for a relaxing, mellow time, José Ignacio will provide you with all the beach you need (minus the wild nights).

Jose Ignacio beachRocio Jacob, Shutterstock

Finland's Excellent Saunas

Iceland has been all the rage over the past few years, but Finland is an excellent alternative for a Nordic destination. As a country known for its saunas, it's a spa-lover's dream. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

interior of a finnish saunaanitasstudio, Shutterstock

Magical Winters

Finland's nature is something to behold. The scenery in Lapland is unbelievably magical, especially in winter. But if you're looking for a blend of country and city, Helsinki is very easy to bike around and is close to the water.

Helsinki, FinlandOleksiy Mark, Shutterstock

A Historical Fortress

If you're a historical buff, one of Finland's best cultural sites is Suomenlinna—a World Heritage fortress built in the 1700s. With its steep cliffs and beaches, it's not to be missed.

Suomenlinna (Finnish)Anders E. Skanberg, Shutterstock

Poland

When it comes to Central Europe, Poland also flys under the radar. But overlooking this country would be a mistake. Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Kraków are all exciting cities, while the nation's countryside has beaches along the Baltic Sea and the Tatra Mountains.

PolandTomasz Guzowski, Shutterstock

Historical Architecture

If you're an architecture enthusiast, Kraków is gold mine. In Central Europe, it was one of the rare cities to escape WWII unharmed. Its building are old and beautiful. For instance, Wawel Castle dates all the way back the 13th and 14th centuries.

Wawel CastleMazur Travel, Shutterstock

An Underground Museum

Kraków also has a surprise lurking beneath its main square: an archaeology museum called the Rynek Underground.

Rynek UndergroundJaroslav Moravcik, Shutterstock

Estonia

When it comes to fantastic scenery and attractions, Estonia is Europe's surprising underdog. Looking for stunning architecture? No worries. There are fortresses, churches, and even hilltop castles. Want to get lost in nature? It's got you covered. You can visit old-growth forests and the Baltic islands.

Tallinn, EstoniaESB Professional, Shutterstock

Attend The Festivals

Estonia also has a wonderful sense of community—and their festivals are a good representation of how celebratory they can get. 

To steep yourself in tradition you can attend the Ancient Bonfires or the Song and Dance Festival. If you want to party it up with a modern crowd, make time for the Craft Beer Festival and Tallinn Music Week.

tallinn, estoniaGround Picture, Shutterstock

Museums And Galleries Galore

Estonia's capital, Tallinn, will keep any history lover on their toes. There are a whopping 60 galleries and museums for you to feast your eyes on.

National gallery Tallinn/EstoniaYevhenii Kravchuk, Shutterstock

Cape Verde

Cape Verde is 350 miles from Senegal—an archipelago and island country with beaches and mountains like you've never seen. There are whales, and shipwrecks, and colonial towns to visit.

But perhaps its greatest selling point is its rich multiculturalism.

Cape VerdeCurioso.Photography, Shutterstock

A Multicultural Paradise

Cape Verde will give you access to a variety of cultures. You'll come to know Senegal's cuisine, Portguese history, French wine, Brazilian party life, and even Ghana's democratic spirit.

Cape Verde foodSalvador Aznar, Shutterstock


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