1. Find an Unknown Island Paradise in Comoros
If you’ve never heard of this tiny island nation, you’re not alone. This little archipelago off the east coast of Africa sits between Mozambique and Madagascar but receives very few visitors compared to its more popular neighbours. In 2020, UNESCO designated the island of Moheli and its surrounding waters a biosphere reserve, acknowledging the diversity of flora and fauna that makes the area such a draw for wildlife lovers. Visit the island paradise and you can spot sea turtles, humpback whales, endangered flying bats and much more.
2. Tackle a Lesser-known Trek in Peru
The Inca Trail gets all the love – and therefore all the crowds. While the journey to Peru’s crowning glory, Machu Picchu, tends to live up to the hype for travellers, it is only a tiny fraction of the vast system of ancient roads travelled by the Incas. There are other, equally astonishing hiking routes and ruins that have yet to be discovered by the masses. For example, the ancient ruins of the Solidad de Tambo archaeological site and the vast, well-preserved Huánuco Pampa, with the remains of over 1,000 bygone buildings and storehouses. Opt to hike the alternate routes of the Great Inca Road and you can take home the stories (and bragging rights) that come with treading ancient paths few travellers have seen.
3. Experience Rural Life in Northern Cyprus
Cyprus is a sun-drenched Mediterranean island, so naturally, it’s not short of tourists. But only a fraction of its visitors venture beyond the UN-controlled buffer zone that splits the country in two to explore the Turkish Cypriot North. Journey to this area and you’ll be one of the adventurous few admiring Ottoman architecture and soaring minarets in Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital. You’ll have the opportunity to relax on quiet, resort-free beaches on the Karpaz peninsula and spot the wild donkeys that roam there.
4. Dive Into a One-of-a-kind Adventure in Vanuatu
There are cultural festivals and then there’s Vanuatu’s land-diving festival. This spectacle – often described as the ‘original bungee jumping’ – is practised by the indigenous community of Pentecost island and is unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed. Jumpers throw themselves off a high wooden tower with nothing but vines attached to their ankles in a ritual that both marks the coming of age of local young men and blesses the earth for upcoming harvests. Ask us how you can have the privilege of attending one of these events and learn about Vanuatu’s unique history, culture and landscapes.
5. Heed the Call of the Mountains in Pakistan
Long-touted as the ‘next big thing’ in adventure travel, Pakistan remains one of the last places most people think to go. Well we think it’s time to change that. From the capital of Islamabad to the mystical Hunza Valley, travelling here will let you in on what life is like in the region’s most remote mountain villages. You’ll learn all about its turbulent past, fascinating present and hopeful future while witnessing nature unleashed with glittering glaciers, otherworldly lakes and astounding valley views. What are you waiting for?
6. Explore an Underrated Region in Italy
Italy is hardly ‘off the beaten track’ – just look at Rome’s Colosseum or Venice’s waterfront in the peak of summer. But that’s all the more reason to seek out its quieter corners. Umbria may not have the flair of Florence or the glamour of Milan, but its medieval towns, charming farm stays and distinct regional cuisine will show you a different, quieter side of Italy. It’s also the only Italian region that borders neither the sea nor another country. This isolation has kept outside influences at bay and ensured that many of Italy's old-world traditions survive today.
Inspired to book one of these off-beat trips? Get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent
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There’s a big wide world out there. And while the classic spots are popular for a reason, it can be the quirkier, eyebrow-raising destinations that get our hearts beating the fastest. Better still, it can benefit people and the planet when you choose to visit them too, so we’re urging adventurous travellers to find fresh experiences in lesser-known destinations. Ready to take the plunge? Dive into the unknown with these new and far-from-the-norm trip ideas.