While some travelers enjoy hitting the most popular and well-known tourist destinations, others prefer to explore the world’s lesser-known destinations. These hidden gems often offer unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Here are some of the world’s best lesser-known destinations that are worth visiting.
Nestled at the bottom of a towering mountain range and surrounded by the Adriatic Sea, the town of Kotor is a true hidden gem. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring narrow alleyways, stunning architecture, and an impressive fortress overlooking the bay. Visitors can also take a day trip to the nearby Biogradska Gora National Park, which features untouched forests and crystal-clear lakes.
Located in the northern part of Vietnam, Sapa is a charming town surrounded by lush green hills and rice paddies. It’s home to a number of ethnic minority groups, including the Hmong, who wear colorful traditional clothing and sell handmade crafts in the local market. Visitors can trek through the surrounding countryside, admire the terraced rice fields, and learn about the region’s rich cultural history.
This small town in northern Morocco is known for its blue-painted buildings and winding alleys. Located in the Rif Mountains, it’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh and Fez. Visitors can wander the streets, browse local shops for handcrafted goods, and sit in a cafe sipping mint tea while taking in the views of the surrounding mountains.
This desert oasis in southern Peru is a unique destination that’s still relatively undiscovered. The town is built around a natural lagoon, and visitors can take a dune buggy ride through the surrounding sand dunes or try sandboarding down the slopes. At night, the sky is filled with stars, making for a breathtaking stargazing experience.
Located in the southern region of Basilicata, Matera is a city that’s carved out of rock. The cave dwellings, known as sassi, are believed to be some of the oldest human settlements in Italy and were once home to thousands of people. Today, many of them have been restored and turned into hotels, restaurants, and museums. Visitors can explore the winding streets and learn about the city’s rich history.
Perched on a series of hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaiso is a colorful and bohemian city with a rich cultural heritage. Its steep streets are adorned with street art and murals, and visitors can ride the funiculars up to the top of the hills to take in panoramic views of the city and the sea. Valparaiso is also known for its seafood restaurants and lively nightlife scene.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar is a city located in the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, famous for its iconic bridge spanning the Neretva River. The bridge was destroyed during the war in the 1990s but has since been rebuilt and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can stroll through the old town, visit historical sites like the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque, and sample local cuisine like cevapi and burek.
Bled is a picturesque town nestled in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. Its centerpiece is Lake Bled, a crystal-clear lake surrounded by forested hills and overlooked by a medieval castle. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island in the middle of the lake, hike to nearby waterfalls, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Exploring the world’s lesser-known destinations can be a truly unique and rewarding experience. Whether it’s wandering through the narrow streets of Kotor or sandboarding down the dunes in Huacachina, these hidden gems offer a chance to see the world from a different perspective. So, instead of following the crowds, consider visiting one of these lesser-known destinations on your next trip.