Everyone can tick off the over-done vacation spots around the world. It might be fun to say you’ve been to any of those popular vacation spots, which usually draws envy from others, but you are missing out on some unique and often superior vacation experiences.
There are incredible destinations all over the world that get far less love from travelers, but are just as worthwhile to visit. Check out any of the following 10 underrated vacation spots, with convenient transportation, comfortable accommodation and reasonable travelling expenses, each of which has a unique experience to offer.
1. Savannah, Georgia
Built around a series of beautiful public squares, Savannah has an overflow of lovely vistas and Southern charm. And with a relatively walkable historic district, it’s easy to spend a day simply meandering around and enjoying the architecture, shopping, and food.
2. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama is a town in Northern Chile. It’s a very popular destination among Chilean tourists and international visitors alike. Visitors come in large numbers, to use the town as a stepping stone to the amazing landscapes around it. Most attractions are part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve, perhaps Chile’s most varied and amazing national park.
While the town itself is pretty small, what people really visit San Pedro de Atacama for is the immense beauty of the surrounding scenery, including mountains, volcanoes, and geysers.
3. Helsinki, Finland
The capital of Finland is a compact city easily explored on foot. Design, architecture, culture and shopping are all great exploration angles and large park areas, forests, lakes, and the coastline with numerous islands sprinkled off it make certain there’s no shortage of natural presence. Needless to say, there’s something going on in Helsinki every day of the year.
4. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Freiburg is a university town surrounded by nature. It has a medieval story-book feel, yet is also one of the greenest cities in the world. The city is known for its eco-friendly housing, use of solar power and lack of cars. Freiburg is also perfectly located at the entrance to the stunning, mythical-sounding Black Forest.
5. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Even though the fighting has stopped in Northern Ireland, many people still associate Belfast with the bombings and urban slums they saw on television long ago. Fortunately, that image is far outdated since Belfast has transformed in many ways into a beautiful city that is welcoming to foreign visitors. Belfast and its outlying metropolitan areas of Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and North Down has plenty of variety for visitors wishing to expand their visit, encounter the beautiful coastal landscapes or discover more about Northern Ireland’s industrial heritage.
6. Granada, Spain
Andalucía just sounds magical, doesn’t it? The city of Granada is located in the autonomous community of Andalucía, Spain. Granada’s main attraction is the Alhambra, a Moorish palace and citadel. Beyond the Alhambra though is a youthful city with a complex, multicultural history.
7. Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira is a hidden Morocco. The ramparts, the port, the dance of the cawing seagulls, the immense beach, the perfume of the sea air… Thanks to the ocean breeze, Essaouira benefits from cool air. At the end of the morning, don’t miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port, with their baskets full of fish. Grant yourself a rare pleasure: try the grilled sardines or taste a small lobster in the port. Their freshness is incomparable and the atmosphere forever engraved in your memory… Then, return to town through the Bab El Marsa gate.
This walled city on the Atlantic coastline boasts a medina placed on Unesco’s World Heritage as well as a beach that is perfect for windsurfers due to high winds in the area.
8. Dalhousie, India
This one is more for nature-lovers, as Dalhousie is a town on a hill with not a ton to do besides marvel in the spectacular scenery. There are some historic sites like churches, however, if you’re looking for more than just incredible wilderness.
9. Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is the New Zealand destination for international visitors. Its natural beauty changes with the seasons, the lake gleans in the summer sun, and snow clad mountains tower above the township in winter. Queenstown is a great place to visit all year round. Nestled in beside the mysterious Lake Wakatipu, in the Southern Lakes district of New Zealand, Queenstown is a cosmopolitan haven, offering a limitless adventure, southern wine and cuisine, and breathtaking alpine scenery.
Queenstown doesn’t earn its title of Adventure Capital of the World for nothing. Here, you can bungy jump, ski or snowboard, paraglide, jet boat, white water raft, skydive, hang glide, jetski, and drive quadbikes to your heart’s content!
10. Taha’a, French Polynesia
Taha’a, with the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians. The flower-shaped island’s simple beauty is charmed by soft mountain shapes and surrounded by tiny motu with bright sand beaches. In the fertile valleys cutting within the island, local farmers grow watermelon, vanilla, and copra. Taha’a is served only by water taxi from Raiatea’s airport and guests of the Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa can also arrange for a helicopter transfer from Bora Bora airport. Transport from the airport to the hotels should be arranged by your preferred travel professional or by your hotel.
The circle-island and interior roads are best explored through hired excursion or by renting a car. To explore the lagoon, choose among motorboat, sailboat, or outrigger canoe rentals for a half or full day.