Travelling to well-known, popular destinations can often mean sharing the experience with hordes of people. Sometimes the experience can become overcrowded and make the attractions feel overrated. The impersonal experience of these destinations is pushing a lot of travellers to take the road less travelled instead and stop at lesser-known spots.
We’ve put together a list of destinations that are a little off the beaten track. Ones which are not commonly suggested in the travel books but will offer you a travel experience that is quieter and often, more relaxed and endearing.
Many travellers head to busy Madrid or Barcelona when visiting Spain, but the smaller city of Girona offers just as much bang for your buck. The city boasts Michelin-starred eateries, as well as one of Europe's most well-preserved Jewish Quarters in the Old City. Walk through the cobbled streets of this Catalan city for an authentic, quieter Spanish experience.
Brno, Czech Republic
Overshadowed by its larger sibling Prague (which is one of the best European weekend getaway destinations), Brno is the Czech Republic's second biggest city and offers beautiful cultural and historical sights. When visiting this city, don't miss a visit to the Brno Underground, a maze of underground cellars and check out its famed catacomb, known to be the second biggest in Europe.
Guangzhou was long thought to be a smoggy city filled with factories and nothing much else. However, in the last ten years, the city has upped its game and has come along in leaps and bounds in the tourist stakes. It has one of the world's best transportation systems and is redefining itself as a renovated, modern city. Be sure to spend a day at Chimelong when in Guangzhou, it’s the city’s newest tourist attraction and the best amusement park in China.
For those that want to travel to an untouched paradise far from maddening city crowds, then a trip to Shangri-La is definitely for you. At 3200m above sea level, this mountainous town is set in what is known as the Chinese Alps. Spend a few days acclimatising to the altitude before attempting to explore the breath-taking scenery, forests, and authentic Tibetan culture.
St. Kitts Island, Caribbean
Most tourists are more accustomed to visiting Nevis when in the Caribbean, but St. Kitts has a delightful informality to it and is certainly more affordable. It boasts the world’s first edible golf course, Irie Fields, and is the perfect holiday destination to sit back and relax in peace.
Quebec City, Canada
Less visited than Montreal, Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has a wide variety of excellent French eateries, fantastic skiing spots, and more with much fewer people to contend with. Walk along the banks of the lower St. Lawrence River or party the night away in one of the city's upmarket bars and clubs - Quebec City truly offers something for everyone all year round.
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Known as the more mature sibling of the famous party city of Cabo San Lucas - where tons of youthful party-going travellers flock to each year - San Jose offers the same pristine beach experience with just a little more refinement added in. The beachside town focuses a lot on environmentally-friendly tourism with organic flora farms on show and has a host of cultural and artistic offerings too.
Alongside popular South Africa, Mozambique offers miles of untouched, undeveloped coastline just waiting to be experienced. Mozambique is popular with scuba divers and snorkellers thanks to its fantastic coral reefs. Be sure to see the Quirimbas Archipelago which is the largest protected marine area in Africa. With friendly, kind people, wildlife reserves, and azure beaches, Mozambique is a must-see underrated holiday destination.
Whether you go completely off the beaten track or simply to a quieter city than the norm, travelling to underrated destinations is guaranteed to be a worthwhile experience; one that will most likely mean a little less noise and a lot less queuing, but just as much excitement.
For more information on off the beaten track holidays and exciting travel destinations, contact your local Travellers Choice agent today.