Have you ever stared at the beautiful wallpaper on your office computer and wished that you were there? Have you ever been watching a movie and then you fall in love with the place that they show? Have you ever been caught fantasizing about that beautiful beach or those stunning small towns among a valley of flowers? We all have that special place where we dream of going one day. The world might be in lockdown now but it never harms to look at some of the most heavenly places on Earth and make plans to visit them once the world goes back to normal.
When thinking of places to visit, people often miss the gorgeous places hidden in the nooks and corners of the world and go straight to the popular destinations like Paris, Switzerland, Spain etc. And although all those places are worth exploring, it’s the underrated places hidden from the big crowds that are worth remembering.
So read on more to find out about where you should make your next travel destination plans for.
1. Ladakh, India
Ladakh constitutes a larger part of Kashmir, located right at the northern-most part of India, along the Himalayas. It is located at a high altitude and the terrain is not an easy walk, but travellers describe this place as an “experience of a lifetime”. You can see Tibetan Buddhist monasteries built right into the Himalayas, and the untouched beauty of the mountainous region makes this trip worth it.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Best known for the filming location of HBO’S hit fantasy show “Game of Thrones”, Dubrovnik offers one of the world’s most magnificent walled cities. The city also offers themed tours on an adventure throughout the city and as well as a beautiful rock-and-pebble coast, with beaches, scuba diving and sea kayaking.
3. El Mirador Ruins, Guatemala
The ancient Mayan ruins of El Mirador were hidden for 2,000 years before being discovered in 1926. Located deep in the Guatemalan Forest, these ruins are hard to reach but once you reach it, the payoff is truly mesmerizing and one to die for, as it is rare to see a place so untouched. To see the ruins, you will need to hike or travel on a donkey or even fly in a helicopter and get an eagle’s eye view of the whole place.
4. Valparaíso, Chile
Valparaíso is Chile’s second-largest city and a really colorful one at that, to say the least. It is not just known for its street art and graffiti, but also because of the rows of rainbow houses that line its streets, and one of them belongs to Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. And if the climb becomes too tiring, there is always the option to climb atop one of Valparaíso’s funiculars and gaze at the amazing maze-like geography.
5. Sintra, Portugal
Touted as the finest day trip of the Lisbon region, Sintra is a charming Portuguese town situated within the cooling hills of the Serra de Sintra. It is famous for its multi-colored, picturesque-styled buildings – like the Pena Palace, the ruins of a Moors castle, extravagant villas. Its gardens is as beautiful as its architecture and is something to marvel at.
6. Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is fast becoming a go-to destination for travellers to travel and explore. Bayahibe offers a local charm with secluded beaches and a lot of places for scuba diving. Besides the water activities, there are also other things to do like go for horseback riding and go on a jungle tour where popular movies like “Jurassic Park” and “Apocalypto” were shot. Its secluded beaches give its visitors plenty of reasons to visit.
7. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Český Krumlov is small medieval town which brags an old-world charm and fewer crowds, and it is a two-hour drive from the capital city of Prague. While Czech Republic is known more for its capital, Český Krumlov is known as a little miniature Prague with plenty of lively bars and bustling picnic spots. But the eye-catching location of this little town is a UNESCO World Heritage site which was built in the 13th Century with a fairytale-styled castle housing an opulent Baroque theatre.
8. Gisborne, New Zealand
Unofficially known as the “Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand”, Gisborne is a haven for exotic trees, native birds and shrubs. It also offers a horse-riding adventure while feasting your eyes on the beautiful countryside of New Zealand. And if that doesn’t appease your appetite, perhaps the fact that Gisborne is the first place in the world to see the sun rise each morning might.
9. Tohoku, Japan
Tohoku is a part of Japan’s Honshu Island and located just north of the capital city of Tokyo. It is a place where travellers go to escape from the world because of its hypnotic vistas, the enchanting cherry blossom trees and the fascinating history that engulfs it. Visitors flock to the island to get in touch with nature in its untouched inland forests or breathe in the panoramic scenery of its Pacific views.
10. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
This underrated destination is most widely known for its humongous cave attraction known as the Son Doong and is touted as a must-visit place for explorers. Opened to the public in 2013, the cave is so huge that it has its own weather system and the vastness is such that a 747 airplane could navigate through it. The cave is known to be so rarely visited that more people have stood at the summit of Mount Everest than visited Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.
The author of this title, Rohan Sarkar is a professional illustrator and is currently pursuing his masters in Toronto, Canada.