When we want to relax on vacation, many of us often just choose the most popular places where everyone already goes without much forethought. For some reason, we think to ourselves: “The more tourists, the better the place must be.” But this is not always true. Out there around the world, there are large number of places akin to a real paradise on Earth, but which strangely have not yet become very popular among travellers.
We chose 15 utterly magical places where you will be able to get away from the fuss and bustle of the crowds and really soak up the tranquillity.
01. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Just 300 people live in Jose Ignacio, but in winter (that is, during the South American summer), this city is clogged up with Latin American superstars, such as Shakira. That’s why you can find such things as luxury hotels and fashionable restaurants there. Jose Ignacio is the perfect place for people who have the means to enjoy a bit of luxury but can’t find the privacy they crave.
02. Koh Rong, Cambodia
If you want a break from civilization, then you definitely need to visit the island of Koh Rong. No skyscrapers, noise or cars here. There’s only silence, some peaceful fishing villages, and unspoiled nature. Koh Rong is sometimes described as “What Thailand was like 20 years ago.”
Bangladesh is a strikingly beautiful land with a diverse culture and a rich history. Tourism is not a particularly well-developed sector of the economy here, although there are many places of interest: Maharaj mansions, the world’s largest mangrove coast, and the planet’s longest beach.
04. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia is one of the cheapest tourist cities out there, at least compared with other European capitals. The primary city of Bulgaria has a rich store of breathtaking historic architecture that is guaranteed to astound you. According to some experts, Sofia will not stay in the background of the tourist industry for much longer — very soon it’s going to be discovered by more and more people, and will get inundated with tourists.
05. Ambergris Caye, Belize
The island of Ambergris Caye has a rich history. At various times, Indian Mayans, whale hunters and buccaneers have all lived there. Ambergris Caye today attracts divers from all around the world — it’s located near the Belize Barrier Reef, which is the second longest reef in the world.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a small country in Southeast Asia. The word “Myanmar“ means ”fast”, and there’s a good reason for this: Only around 300,000 people visited the country in 2010, but three years later, that number had ballooned to over 2 million tourists. Tourism in the country is developing rapidly, but there is still time to go ride a boat on the isolated Inle Lake and catch the sunset reflecting off the Shwedagon Paya.
07. Roatan, Honduras
Cruise liners started to visit the coast of Roatan only in 2005. Truth be told, this is probably because Honduras is not one of the safest places in the world. Roatan began to gain popularity with the appearance of divers, who come to the island to see the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. On the island itself, you have the chance to go fishing, and you can also explore the Cayos Cochinos archipelago.
08. Apulia, Italy
A vacation in Apulia will certainly be memorable: the azure sea, the red earth, golden sunsets, and most importantly, very hospitable locals. Besides lying on the beach, there are many places of interest which you can visit: Bari castle, the Santa Croce basilica, and the archaeological museum of Rignano Garganico.
09. Zambia and Zimbabwe
Yes, we know — this stunningly beautiful place similar to Victoria Falls is already known to all. But it’s located close to Hwange National Park, which hardly anyone knows about. The park is enormous — 14,600 sq. km. It boasts lakes, rare plants and wild African animals and birds. Hwange is proud of its elephants (there are more than 30,000 of them there).
10. Busan, South Korea
While the hordes of tourists still head for Seoul, you’d better visit the second biggest South Korean city, Busan. It often gets called “the summer capital of Korea” because of its many beaches. Moreover, Busan is famous for its art museum, open bird sanctuary and a fish market.
11. Manila, Philippines
Manila is the second largest city in the Philippines. It boasts utterly delicious and cheap food. A three-course dinner in Manila will cost you only $18, whereas in pretty much any other big city you’ll get the same thing for $95. The city also has many attractions: old churches, beautiful palaces, monasteries and museums.
12. Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Phu Quoc is quite simply paradise. The island is surrounded by snow-white sand beaches, water as pure as crystal, and emerald green jungles. Here you can go diving, canoeing and visiting the various farms. A vacation on Phu Quoc offers the chance to experience a tremendous feeling of unity with nature.
13. York, Great Britain
York is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in England. It has everything that there should be in an English town — pubs, tea houses, coffee shops, churches, old buildings, and so on. One of the main attractions of York is the truly magnificent cathedral (it is already more than 500 years old). The chances are that more and more tourists will be rushing to York in the next few years, so hurry up and enjoy it in peace!
14. Kep, Cambodia
Beginning 1908, Kep was the favourite destination of the French elite living in Cambodia. It was famous for its fantastic restaurants and expensive villas. But after years of civil war, the colonial Riviera was left in ruins. Despite this, nowadays Kep is a great place to relax.
15. Salinas Grandes, Argentina
This salt desert is in fact a large salt marsh, 250 km long and 100 km wide. When it rains, it turns into a giant mirror. Although many railways and roads run through Salinas Grandes, it is still considered inaccessible and therefore not so popular among tourists.