We’ve seen a lot of travel bucket list destinations but what about those hidden gems and off beat destinations that are not in the radar but in fact, should be ? Let travel bloggers tell you about their discoveries of less known touristy places that should be a bucket list destination.
Paguriran Island by Karla of Karlaroundtheworld
Annecy, France by Aileen Adalid of I am Aileen
When someone thinks of France, they would often quickly think of Paris as their lone destination — but much like any other country, France has a LOT more places to offer other than its ‘center’. Apart from the Normandy region (wherein the not-so-known magical island castle of Le Mont Saint-Michel is located for example), there is also the area to the east of which I have found a hidden gem: Annecy. Nestled within the French Alps and surrounded by a stunning lake that’s regarded as Europe’s cleanest, this is a beauty that one must surely venture out into! There’s so many words to describe the beauty of Annecy but I guess I’ll leave the picture to show you how stunning this place can be.
Thace by Jonathan and Kach of Two Monkeys Travel
If Turkey is the bridge between the east and the west, then Thrace, or Trakya in Turkish, is the final part of the journey. A long, narrow piece of land connecting Turkey to Greece, Bulgaria and onwards to the rest of Europe. Separating the Black and Aegean Seas, this magical region has been home to great Greek gods and goddesses and ruled by tribal Thracians, Romans, Germanic tribes and Ottoman Turks, resulting in a blend of architectural and cultural history spanning more than two thousand years. Unlike the drier central and eastern regions, Thrace is a Utopia of green, rolling hills, fertile farmland, dense forests and sprawling vineyards. An ancient myth tells that the goddess Semele became pregnant in an affair with the god Zeus, so his jealous wife took her baby and burned it, but from the ashes, grew the world’s first vines. Boutique, family vineyards produce beautiful wines, almost all of which never leave Turkey. Only a short drive from Istanbul, Thrace is destination for those wanting to see another side to Turkey, where the true blend of Europe and Asia is found.
Isle of Pines, New Caledonia by Sita of Scorpio with Wanderlust
This hidden gem is situated in the Pacific Ocean, in the south-east of New Caledonian capital,Noumea. I stayed at campground owned by local Kanak, indigenous people. It’s located in a secluded corner of Kanumera Bay. I had blissful few days here doing things like eating Bougna (localdish cooked in a ground oven), hitchhiking around the island, riding outrigger canoe along Upi Bay etc. The highlight would be swimming and snorkelling in La Piscine Naturelle or Natural Swimming Pool where paradise is an understatement. It’s a striking turquoise lagoon filled with a huge variety of tropical fishes and corals while Spiny Pine and Coconut trees are scattered around the area. It wastruly picturesque. My sunburn says a lot about how much I loved to spend my time here!
Ganano Falls, Quirino, Philippines by Polen of Get Out Dear
Quirino doesn’t sound interesting to many, but not to someone who looks for adventure to the unexplored. Have you ever heard of the place? It may not be that often.
Quirino lies in the southern part of the Cagayan Valley region, north of the Philippines. The province is an adventure haven. You can do trekking, caving, rock climbing, camping, boating, water tubing, cliff diving, and swimming.
One of its premier attractions is the Ganano Falls, which will require an hour of challenging trek to see this hidden gem. Other personal favorites are the Bimmapor Rock formation and water tubing in Siitan River. Being an aqua phobic, I still enjoyed the mild rapids of the river while it carries the tubes going the soother part of the river.
This place is a must explore. But I hope that it will not be exploited for the sake of tourism.
Oregon by Laura from Savored Journeys
I think most people don’t realize how beautiful it is on the coast of Oregon. It’s still an undiscovered paradise. It’s just a relaxing, fun and carefree place to vacation. The coastline in Oregon is one of nature’s most beautiful creations and it stretches on for miles, broken only by the rugged cliffs and towering rock formations that are unique to Oregon. There’s a dozen tiny towns along the coastal road, where you can spend an afternoon strolling the sidewalks, eating the freshest seafood and saltwater taffy, listening to the seagulls and otters and just admiring the breathtaking views. We spend a lot of time on the beach, building sand castles, taking long walks and admiring sea creatures in tide pools.
Infinity Pool in Lantau, Hong Kong by Michelle Serra
Hong Kong has many beautiful places, cool things to see and top places to visit, but one that is usually left out of guides and google searches is the infinity pool at Lantau Island.
I found this place via friends, I was doing an exchange semester in Hong Kong and people who had been there the previous semester recommended this as a must-see place! I went there with some friends and it took some time to find, but worth every second of looking! First you need to get to Lantau Island, and then you need to actually find the infinity pool! But it’s totally worth the effort, and with some simple google research you can find some great directions!
Once you get there, it has a great view over the mountains, clear water and it’s a perfect place for a day trip. Bring some snacks, your camera and swimwear, a good book and enjoy your time at this hidden treasure in Hong Kong.
[ I’ve personally been here, read about my journey on A photography walk around Tai O Infinity Pool ]
Angola by Taoufiq of Memories of Morrocco
My “hidden gem” is Angola, it just came out of 30 years civil war, the visa is very hard to get and it’s as expensive as hell so the country offers raw and unspoilt beauty.
Layon Bilog River, Philippines by Erica of Girl Unspotted
I was always under the impression that to get the best spots, the further away the place, the more promising it is. Although it’s partly true, imagine my surprise when I found this hidden little river close to where I live. Layon Bilog river sits in the middle of the jungle at the foot of Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas, about 20 minutes away from Tagaytay. I had the place all to myself and I spent my time jumping in the water and playing by the “mini waterfalls”. I’ve seen better, but the simplicity and the humility of this one that made me fall in love with it.
Moerenuma Park. in Saporro Japan by Kaley of Communications Difficult
Hampi, India by Sonal of Drifter Planet
A unique destination which is a pilgrim’s delight, a backpacker’s haven, a historian’s riddle and a geologist’s venture – Hampi’s got it all! Except for one thing. We did not see a single resort and we hope it remains this way. From giant boulders to the ruins of an ancient city, Hampi has a lot of strange sights to offer. What’s more, it has a river with red water!
Seno Otway, Chile by Carole of Travels with Carole
I managed to get a tour group in a van to go out of their way over dirt roads to see a colony of Magellan Penguins (also known as Jackass penguins) that are located at Seno Otway on the southern tip of Chile. It is accessible only from September to March, so we were very lucky to be there at the right time. There was a lot of grumbling when we hit the dirt road, but everyone thanked me after our visit. We all left elated. Thank goodness the penguins didn’t swim away for the day!
Grasse, South of France by Evan of Pretty Wild World
Last June, I travelled to the South of France to enjoy the Mediterrenean summer weather by the French Riviera with my best girl friends. My friend is a big perfume fan and we all decided to visit a small town near Nice called Grasse just an hour bus ride from the city of Nice and upon arrival we were greeted warmly by the French country side scenery. Beautiful small houses and lots of lavander growing wildly just about everywhere. Grasse is a small town specializing on personalized perfumes and you can have your own scent by booking a ‘nose’ specialist and he or she will ‘brew’ the perfume just for you. I personally enjoyed just walking around the town and smelling many, many sorts of perfumes as well visiting one of the oldest functioning perfume factory/museum which is the Perfumery Fragonard. Grasse is surely one of those hidden gems I’ve stumbled upon which I loved dearly during my travels. Also, the place is divine!”
Orta San Giulio by Emily of nibble, sip, wander.
One of my favorite hidden gems (it’s so hard to have just ONE favorite!) is the small town of Orta San Giulio which lies along Lago D’Orta (Lake Orta) in northern Italy. Not only is this lake the most underrated of Italy’s famous lakes, but in my opinion it is the most beautiful and interesting. Its crown jewel? The Island of San Giulio, an offshoot of the lakeside town smack-dab in the middle of the water. For an amazing view, hike up to the stunning Sacro Monte di Orta, a UNESCO World Heritage site overlooking the island (and a must-see in itself)!
Wiang Kum Kam, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Carolann & Macrae of One Modern Couple
Through all of our travels, our reading and research and both times we visited Thailand, we’ve only heard someone refer to the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam once. We were staying at an Airbnb in Chiang Mai and our host told us about nearby ruins that were rarely visited and would be a great place to go for the day. What we discovered was a whole set of ruins, scattered throughout a residential area and virtually empty of tourists or visitors. In total, we saw three people and one small tour group that went to worship at a shrine at one of the larger ruins. We realized we had found an incredible hidden gem and it quickly became our favourite one because of the lack of people and the incredibly interesting nature of the ruins. We spent a day on motorbike, exploring the area, visiting the different ruins and stopping for food along the way.
Meteora Greece by Anna and Tom of Adventure in You
I was browsing though a guide book trying to figure out how to get from Greece to Italy when I stumbled upon a photo that made me stop and go, wow. I knew I had to visit the place. Although it was found in the guidebook, it wasn’t visited by many backpackers. Together with a Spanish friend, we headed towards Meteora, Greece and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. It was like a valley filled with high cliffs and perched on top of these high cliffs were ancient monasteries and convents. The scenery was absolutely stunning and out of this world!
How many of these have you been to? Perhaps consider adding them to your 2016 bucket list