Whether you travel or not, you’ve at least heard of some of the most famously beautiful places around the world. The Eiffel tower, Golden Gate Bridge and the Colosseum may be amazing in their own right, but there’s something special about going to a spectacular location that very few travelers actually venture to. While we can’t just board a plane right now and travel off into the unknown, take a virtual journey with me to these secretly underrated places…
1. Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, nestled in the caves of Polignano a Mare beach, is one of the greatest places to eat in all of Italy, if not the world.
2. Nauru, Micronesia
Ever heard of Nauru? Neither had we. This tiny island nation has a population of less than 10,000 and because of its obscurity is the least visited country in the world. With miles of untouched beaches and forests, you’d better pay a visit quickly before more people learn about this island paradise.
3. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro Valley, Bhutan
This 17th century temple sits on the edge of a cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro valley. The holy site was built to protect the cave in which Guru Padmasambhava, a leader of Buddhism, meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours.
4. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a medieval city is still largely intact. So much so, that parts of the city are used as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. The city is brimming with amazing architecture and surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and walls on the other.
5. Bagan, Burma
Bagan is an ancient city hidden deep inside Burma. At the height of the Kingdom of Pagan, the city had over 10,000 Buddhist temples. Today, over 2200 of these are still standing, making it an amazing place to visit.
6. Aescher, Switzerland
Aescher hotel is so high up on the Appenzellerland mountains that you have to hike or get a cable car to reach it. Amenities are intentionally basic but the food is hearty and the nearby trails lead to exhilarating adventures.
7. Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
Known as the Stairway to Heaven, this fairly unknown hiking trail can be found on the island of O’ahu. The trail is steep and ends at a peak 2,800 feet above the sea, which offers amazing views of the island.
8. Ãžingvallavatn Lake, Iceland
Found deep within this huge National Park is the boundary between North America and Europe. Lucky divers can swim in between the tectonic plates of these two continents, which is getting 2 centimeters wider every year.
9. Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado
Bishop Castle is undoubtedly one of the craziest castles in the world, created by the one-man castle builder Jim Bishop. It’s an incredible place to get married or just to visit for inspiration.
10. Huacachina, Peruvian desert
Huacachina is a tiny village of just over 100 people built around a lush oasis in an otherwise barren desert. For a few bucks, you can rent sandboarding equipment and try one of the locals’ favorite thrills.
11. The Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
The AlcÃ¡zar of Segovia is a stone fortification, located in the old part of the city. It’s one of the most distinctive castles in Spain by the virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship.
12. Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece
In Greek mythology, nymphs (female nature deities) inhabited this breathtaking cave and lured men in with their beauty. Under a high sun, the amazingly blue is illuminated for any lucky swimmers.
13. Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal
Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Make sure to check out the Gruta do Labirinto (the Labyrinthic Grotto) and it’s mysterious wishing well! This 27 meter deep well resembles an inverted tower. Depending on the direction you choose, either a journey down into the depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light awaits.
14. Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands are a group of islands found in Northern Norway, within the arctic circle. The islands are home to seductively quaint fishing villages, the world’s deepest coral reef and amazing views of the Northern lights.
15. Rock tombs in Myra, Lycia, Turkey
After visiting the tombs you can go to the real Saint Nicholas Church. The perfect place to go to ask Santa why he got you the wrong gift last year.
16. Fes, Morocco
You’re looking at the Leather Souq, the oldest leather tannery in the world. Don’t miss the marvelous Bab Boujloud (the blue gate) as well!
17. Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Blagaj stands at the edge of the beautiful Buna river.
18. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
Both pronouncing and getting to Ittoqqortoormiit can be difficult, but it’s totally worth the effort. From the capital of Iceland, you’ll need to get on a once-weekly plane to Greenland and then get a helicopter ride to this small, colorful town which sits by the longest glacial river system in the world.
19. Mount Ai-Petry, Crimea, Ukraine
Located on the Kastron mountain, the fortress of Cembalo is also nice to visit. It’s a facade of spectacular views overlooking the sea off the Bay of Balaklava.
20. Monument Valley, Utah
If you think this valley seems familiar, it’s because the area was commonly used as a filming location in the heyday of Western movies. The vast sandstone structures dominate the landscape of this vast valley which is far quieter than similar sights like the Grand Canyon.
21. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California
Glass Beach is a beach in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town.
22. Piazza Duomo – Ortigia, Sicily
This statue at the Piazza Duomo is called The Awakening by Seward Johnson, located in Ortygia (Italian: Ortigia) – a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily.
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