Does it ever feel like you are seeing the same few destinations pop up on your social media feeds over and over again?
I don’t know about you, but I can’t open up Instagram without seeing a picture of the blue and white rooftops of Santorini or the streets of Paris!
Whilst these places are stunning and well worth a visit, It would be nice to see some more unique travel destinations getting some love too.
So, If you are looking for an underrated vacation spot, a unique travel experience or some quirky places to visit, you are in the right place!
In today’s post, I’ll be giving you some wanderlust inspiration and unique travel ideas in the form of 51 lesser-known and lesser-visited regions that you may have never considered before.
Let’s get into it…
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- What is alternative travel?
- What makes a destination unique?
- 51 of the most unique travel destinations for alternative travellers
- Unique travel destinations #1: San Marino
- Unique travel destinations #2: Palestine/West Bank
- Unique travel destinations #3: Albania
- Unique travel destinations #4: Procida, Italy
- Unique travel destinations #5: Ulcinj, Montenegro
- Unique travel destinations #6: Northern Cyprus
- Unique travel destinations #7: Pisa, Italy
- Unique travel destinations #8: Eilat, Israel
- Unique travel destinations #9: Skopje, North Macedonia
- Unique travel destinations #10: Semuc Champey, Guatemala
- Unique travel destinations #11: Wadi Rum, Jordan
- Unique travel destinations #12: The Namib desert, Namibia
- Unique travel destinations #13: Puglia, Italy
- Unique travel destinations #14: Sennen Cove, Cornwall, UK
- Unique travel destinations #15: Vilnius, Lithuania
- Unique travel destinations #16: Zagreb, Croatia
- Unique travel destinations #17: Aveiro, Portugal
- Unique travel destinations #18: Brasov, Romania
- Unique travel destinations #19: Kosovo
- Unique travel destinations #20: Botswana
- Unique travel destinations #21: Spiti Valley, India
- Unique travel destinations #22 Lapland, Finland
- Unique travel destinations #23: Bahia Drake, Costa Rica
- Unique travel destinations #24: Eritrea
- Unique travel destinations #25: Baku, Azerbaijan
- Unique travel destinations #26: Turkmenistan
- Unique travel destinations #27: Socotra Island, Yemen
- Unique travel destinations #28: Oman
- Unique travel destinations #29: Lundy Island, UK
- Unique travel destinations #30: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Unique travel destinations #31: Iraqi Kurdistan
- Unique travel destinations #32: Ciudad Perdida (The lost city) Columbia
- Unique travel destinations #33: Juneau, Alaska
- Unique travel destinations #34: Patagonia
- Unique travel destinations #35: Palau
- Unique travel destinations #36: Antarctica
- Unique travel destinations #37: The Stone Forest of Madagascar (Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park)
- Unique travel destinations #38: Zhangjiajie, China
- Unique travel destinations #39: Tbilisi, Georgia
- Unique travel destinations #40: The Atlas Mountains, Morocco
- Unique travel destinations #41. Johannesburg, South Africa
- Unique travel destinations #42.Paleokastritsa, Corfu
- Unique travel destinations #43. Greenland
- Unique travel destinations #44. Darwin, Australia
- Unique travel destinations #45. Iquitos, Peru
- Unique travel destinations #46: Taormina, Sicily
- Unique travel destinations #47: Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Unique travel destinations #48: Armenia
- Unique travel destinations #49: Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
- Unique travel destinations #50: Uraguay
- Unique travel destinations #51: The Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria
- Map of Unique Travel Destinations For Your Bucket List
- Unique travel destinations and unique travel experiences FAQ
- Summary of unique travel destinations
What is alternative travel?
Alternative travel is all about exploring locations off the beaten track and even experiencing places that are unknown to most travellers.
Instead of visiting popular attractions, alternative travellers explore lesser-known streets, neighbourhoods or even entire countries looking for the most unique experiences.
From unique architecture to cultural festivals or unique natural wonders; alternative travel provides travellers with the opportunity to experience something truly unique and different from the norm.
What makes a destination unique?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as what may make a destination unique to one person may not be unique to another. However, some of the most common factors that can make a destination unique include its culture, history, landscape, architecture or even its people.
In many unique travel destinations, you will find unique experiences and unique stories that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
In this list, I have included places that have something special about them that makes them stand out from many of the most popular destinations in the world.
I’ve included many places that you probably never thought to travel to but probably should!
Most of these destinations I have personally visited but I’ve also included a few of my bucket list items too 😉
51 of the most unique travel destinations for alternative travellers
Unique travel destinations #1: San Marino
Tiny San Marino is one of the world’s smallest countries. The Micro-state is situated in a mountainous region high above Northern Italy and has a population of just 33K.
Many people have never heard of San Marino, which is a crying shame as it is one of the most stunning countries in Europe.
Why you should visit San Marino
The main reason you should visit San Marino? Because you will literally feel like you have just walked into a real-life fairytale!
Spend a day exploring the 3 towers perched up above the old walled city and take in some of the most spectacular views you will ever see, all whilst feeling like an actual Disney princess.
San Marino can easily be visited as a day trip from many popular Italian destinations such as the resort town of Rimini, or Bologna which is only a 1.5hr drive away.
Unique things to do in San Marino
Explore the three castle-like towers
The towers of San Marino have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
You can buy a combined ticket for the towers and public palace at the tower’s ticket office for €10.50.
Have fun at the quirky museums
San Marino has a ton of small but quirky museums.
I visited the torture museum and found it really interesting, I also spotted a werewolf museum, a vampire museum and a museum of curiosities.
Yes, these attractions are as kitsch as they sound! but they are definitely a fun way to spend an hour or so during your visit to San Marino.
Get your passport stamped at the town hall
For €5 you can get a souvenir passport stamp to commemorate your time in the tiny country.
How to get to San Marino
San Marino is a small country located amongst the mountains of Northern Italy. It can easily be visited as a day trip from many popular Italian destinations such as Rimini or Bologna.
Bonelli Bus provides a daily service between Rimini and San Marino, which runs all year round, every day, even on weekends and holidays. Tickets are available directly on the bus and cost €6.
Where to stay in San Marino
If you do decide to stay overnight in San Marino rather than take a day trip then there are a couple of great options for places to stay.
Budget: Hostel San Marino
Midrange: B&B Balsimelli
Luxury: Hotel Cesare
Tips for visiting San Marino
San Marino is a unique and beautiful place to visit, but it can also be quite pricey if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to help you save money when travelling to San Marino:
1. Consider staying in a nearby city or town in Italy instead of staying in San Marino itself. Staying in Rimini or Bologna will likely be cheaper than staying in San Marino, and you can easily get to San Marino via the Bonelli Bus which runs daily.
2. Avoid eating out at restaurants. Instead, stock your hotel room or Airbnb with groceries and prepare your own meals when possible. This way you won’t have to pay high restaurant prices.
3. Consider visiting during the off-season when tourism is at its lowest. You can save money on your accommodation, and there will be fewer crowds meaning you can take in more unique sites with ease.
Tours in San Marino
Unique travel destinations #2: Palestine/West Bank
“Why do you want to visit a war zone?!” was the incredulous response that I received when I told my friends and family that I was planning a trip to the west bank. Plenty of people tried to talk me out of it, but luckily my stubborn self didn’t listen to them and I ended up having an incredible time in the Palestinian territories and now I sing its praises to anyone who will listen.
Why you should visit the West Bank, Palestine
Ok so first things first… despite what the media has told you, no the west bank is NOT a war zone and you are very unlikely to get caught up in any trouble, I visited as a solo female and never felt unsafe.
Come with an open mind and you will be pleasantly surprised at how friendly and welcoming everyone is.
However, I don’t wish to downplay the horrific human rights violations that are being inflicted upon the Palestinian people every day. Please practice responsible tourism and support local people and causes as much as possible during your trip.
Palestine is a thought-provoking destination that will challenge your perceptions, but it is also home to some world-class historic sights, amazing food, boutique wineries, and inspiring artwork.
Best of all, there are hardly any tourists here so you will have all this to yourself!
Unique things to do in the West Bank, Palestine
See Yassar Arafat’s tomb and museum in Ramallah
Before I visited the West Bank I had only ever heard of Yassar Arafat being spoken of as a terrorist so it was incredibly eye-opening to see how the Palestinians view him as a hero. It made me realise just how biased media can be.
The museum is fascinating and does an incredible job of explaining the complex history of the conflict in the Middle East.
I came away with a much deeper understanding of the situation and I can honestly say this is one of the best museums I have ever visited.
Visit Taybeh winery
I didn’t expect to find a boutique winery in Palestine but that’s exactly what Taybeh winery is.
I just rocked up unannounced and was lucky enough to be given a private tour of the winery by the owner’s wife (who is an absolute sweetheart by the way) and then I was given 3 glasses of wine for a tasting.
My favourite was the 2016 Bitouni, which is a local endemic grape. Even as an avid wine drinker I had never had the chance to try this variety before and I have never been able to find it outside of Palestine since, so this was a really special experience.
Visit Banksy’s walled off hotel
Even if you don’t plan to stay at the walled-off hotel (but I absolutely recommend that you do!) visiting the hotel, owned and designed by the infamous street artist Banksy, is a must-do!
There are so many quirky details that have gone into making this place special.
The hotel includes an art gallery featuring work by local artists and an interactive museum. The staff can also organise tours of the separation wall, which are incredibly insightful.
Although the hotel is super fun it also does a great job of raising awareness of the human rights violations that are happening right on its doorstep.
To find out more, read my blog post all about my experience staying at the Banksy hotel.
How to get to the West Bank, Palestine
In order to visit the West Bank, you first have to fly into Tel Aviv airport. Then, you can take a taxi or bus to Jerusalem.
Next, you will need to cross over the border into Bethlehem or Ramallah. However, keep in mind that Israelis are not allowed to enter the Palestinian territories therefore, you won’t be able to get a taxi or bus that goes directly there.
Instead, you’ll need to take an Israeli taxi or bus only until you reach the checkpoint.
Once crossing it on foot from Israel to Palestine, then you’re able to get a Palestinian shared taxi which will finally bring you to your destination.
Where to stay in the West Bank, Palestine
Budget: Eco hostel, Ramallah
Midrange: Qandeel Dar Botto, Bethlehem
Luxury: The Walled-Off Hotel, Bethlehem
Tips for visiting the West Bank, Palestine
My top tips for visiting the West Bank:
1. Make sure to research the area before you go and be aware of the situation on the ground so you can stay safe and respectful at all times
2. Dress conservatively, especially if visiting mosques or other religious sites (no shorts/skirts above the knee)
3. Carry cash with you as most places don’t accept credit cards
4. Although it’s relatively safe in the West Bank, don’t venture too far off the beaten path alone – always travel with someone you trust
5. Bring a sense of humour – locals love to joke around and have a unique take on life that might surprise you!
Tours in The West Bank
Unique travel destinations #3: Albania
Albania is such a hidden gem! It has everything: incredible hiking opportunities, A fantastic coastline, amazing value for money and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
It is also one of the best value-for-money destinations in Europe! Adding Albania to your European travel itinerary can be a great way of saving money whilst travelling Europe.
I have it on good authority that Albania won’t stay off the radar for too much longer so visit now before the tourism industry booms!
Why you should visit Albania
There are loads of good reasons to visit Albania (I even wrote an A-Z list of them!) but in my opinion, the top reason you should visit Albania is to get to know the friendly locals.
Albanians are nothing like the people-trafficking gangsters that Liam Neeson and the Taken franchise would have you believe, in fact, they are some of the most incredibly friendly people I have ever met!
Everywhere I went people wanted to stop and chat, to offer me help or directions (even if I didn’t need them lol) and in many places refused to let me pay for anything. I even ended up being invited to a wedding by a guy I met in a sandwich shop!
Up until the ‘90s Albania was under a communist regime run by a dictator. They were essentially cut off from the rest of the world, so tourism is still a relatively new concept to them; which means they are genuinely delighted to have you visit their country.
Unique things to do in Albania
Enjoy the colourful capital city of Tirana
After the fall of the communist regime, the new Albanian prime minister (a former artist) decided to brighten up all the grim-looking brutalist architecture by covering the whole city of Tirana in art!
Almost every building is painted a fun bright colour, there are street art murals and quirky touches all over the city.
I particularly loved the bollards painted to look like Mario-style mushrooms!
I suggest you spend some time admiring the art whilst taking on a walking tour of the top sites of the city.
Things to do in Tirana:
Grab a sunset cocktail at the sky bar panoramic rooftop bar.
Get some fun Instagram shots at the cloud
Explore Bunkart, for a fun and interactive look at Albania’s recent history
Climb the pyramid! Only for the most fearless.
Hike Theth to Valbona
Hiking Theth to Valbona was one of the highlights of my time in Albania.
No words can describe the beauty of the mountains. The trails were reasonably well maintained and not in the least bit crowded.
Be sure to catch the ferry across the beautiful Komani lake on your way back down south.
If you have never hitchhiked before then Albania is a great place to start.
I spent a month in Albania and only used public transport once or twice. The rest of the time I hitchhiked around the country and had a blast!
I hitchhiked with a friend and most of the time we rode with couples or families and always felt safe.
We also met some amazing people who often insisted on taking us to scenic viewpoints or stopping for snacks and coffee or showing us around old castles that we would have never heard about if it wasn’t for these friendly strangers.
One couple even took us out to dinner and then clubbing at an exclusive beach club!
I’m still in contact with many of the Albanians who gave us a ride and I have incredible memories that I never would have gotten to experience if it weren’t for hitchhiking.
I wouldn’t recommend hitchhiking in many countries but in Albania, it is very much a part of the culture and just comes naturally to a lot of people so just do as the locals do and give it a try.
Relax on the beaches of the Albanian Riviera
Spending a day (or several) on the beaches of the Albanian Riviera feels like you’ve been let in on a huge secret. You have a gorgeous paradise all to yourself!
In some places you can see the Greek islands in the distance, you are sharing the same ocean and same climate but for a tiny fraction of the price!
My favourite beach in Albania is Borsh. It has a super relaxed vibe and is big enough that you will have a large section of the beach all to yourself if you want.
We wild camped under the stars on Borsh beach and woke up to the sound of dolphins splashing about in the sea right in front of us. It was absolute bliss!
How to get to Albania
The best way to get to Albania is by plane. There are direct flights from many European cities such as London, Rome and Vienna.
You can also take a ferry from nearby Italy or Greece.
Once in the country, there are plenty of cheap buses available that will take you anywhere you need to go.
You can also hire a car if you want to explore at your own pace or you can even try hitchhiking which is a very common way to travel throughout the country.
Where to stay in Albania
Budget: Homestel Albania, Tirana
Midrange: Hotel Legjenda, Shkodër
Luxury: Limni Resort, Ksamil
Tips for visiting Albania
1. Make sure to try the local cuisine – the unique and delicious flavours of Albanian food are not to be missed!
2. Respect local customs and dress modestly – especially in rural areas or small villages.
3. Be prepared for a unique experience – Albania is unlike any other country in Europe and has its own unique culture and customs.
4. Don’t forget to bring some cash – many places in Albania are still cash-only so make sure you have enough to cover your expenses during your trip.
5. Hitchhiking is a great way to get around – just be sure to be safe and always go with someone else if possible.
Tours in Albania
Psst. If I’ve won you over and convinced you to plan a trip to Albania then be sure to grab a copy of my Albanian riviera itinerary which is packed full of info and tips.
Unique travel destinations #4: Procida, Italy
Procida (pronounced pro-cheee-dah) is the smallest inhabited island in the bay of Naples. It is often overshadowed by its famous neighbour Capri, which is good for you because whilst people are being overcharged in busy Capri you will have laid-back Procida all to yourself.
Why you should visit Procida
Simply, it’s gorgeous. Like straight-up stunning. And like I said, Procida is far less crowded than its more popular neighbours.
I visited on a Sunday and the place was virtually empty. In fact, I think we may have been the only tourists on the island, at least that’s what it felt like!
Unique things to do in Procida
Climb up to the viewpoint in Procida
Yes, it will be very hot and sweaty but I promise the view is absolutely worth the effort.
The viewpoint is located on the opposite side of the island from where the ferry drops you off but there are plenty of signs pointing the way.
You can also type ‘Panorama Elsa Morante sulla Corricella e Terra Murata’ into google maps or maps.me to find your way there.
Eat tasty Italian food
You’re in Italy, you can’t not try some of the delicious local cuisines, right?!
There are loads of cute little family-run restaurants right along the front of the harbour. Sit outside and soak up the ocean views.
Swim in the harbour
It gets super hot here so you absolutely should go for a dip to cool off, especially after you hiked up to that viewpoint!
In my opinion, the public beach isn’t anything special but the water is refreshing. I also swam off the harbour on the opposite side of the island which was nice and peaceful.
Just be careful to watch out for jellyfish, I managed to get stung just as I was climbing out of the water! I’ve never been stung whilst swimming anywhere else in the bay of Naples so I may have just been unlucky this time. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.
How to get to Procida
The easiest and most popular way of getting to Procida is by ferry from either Naples or Ischia.
It’s very straightforward and there are plenty of companies offering ferries throughout the day so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your schedule.
Where to stay in Procida
I stayed in Naples and took a day trip to Procida via the public ferry. If staying in Naples it’s best to stay close to the port/old city and avoid the area closest to the train station.
However, if you do choose to stay on the island there are several great options for accommodation.
Budget: Margherita House
Midrange: Torretta Corricella
Luxury: Il Leone Di Mare
Tips for visiting Procida
1. Choose your ferry wisely – you can save yourself a lot of money by booking in advance and opting for the companies that offer discounts.
2. Pack light – if you plan to stay on Procida, it’s likely that your accommodation will be up some steep, narrow steps so it won’t be easy to lug around a suitcase.
3. Watch out for jellyfish when you go swimming!
Tours to Procida
Psst. If I’ve won you over and convinced you to plan a trip to Italy then be sure to grab a copy of my Amalfi Coast Itinerary which is packed full of info and tips!
Unique travel destinations #5: Ulcinj, Montenegro
Ulcinj is a fun little seaside town on the coast of Montenegro. It’s very popular with tourists from neighbouring Albania and Serbia but is fairly unknown to tourists outside of Eastern Europe.
Why you should visit Ulcinj
There are so many reasons Ulcinj should be on your bucket list!
The quaint old town provides some fantastic views across the Adriatic as well as some much-needed shade from the sun.
If you want to work on your tan then there are plenty of fully serviced beach clubs or tiny secluded coves to take your pick from. Oh, and the nightlife is absolutely popping!
Unique things to do in Ulcinj
Explore the old town of Ulcinj
The old town has been designated a Unesco world heritage site due to the architecture being created throughout several different time periods, dating all the way back to the 5th century BC.
There are several cute restaurants and bars tucked away in the cobbled alleyways, which make for a wonderful spot to enjoy a glass of wine with some fantastic views.
The old town is perched on a hill above the main town and offers panoramic views of the beaches, town and harbour and out across the ocean.
Visit a nude beach in Ulcinj
There are several nude beaches in Ulcinj to choose from. My favourite is Ladies beach which is a chilled and secluded spot for women only, you can rent a sun lounger for the day for just a couple of euros.
There’s also a nice restaurant with a roof terrace on site. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a natural mud treatment whilst you are there.
If nude beaches aren’t your thing there are plenty of other beaches to choose from.
Ulcinj has a huge variety of fun beach clubs that range from a party atmosphere to a more relaxing vibe so you can find the one that suits you.
However, I would recommend that you avoid ‘small beach’, the main free public beach, as it gets incredibly crowded and honestly just isn’t that great. There are much nicer beaches that are more worthy of your time.
People watch on the Ulcinj strip.
During my time in Ulcinj, my favourite way to spend an evening was to grab a seat on the upper terrace of one of the many restaurants that line the main strip and watch the bustling street below me.
Everyone comes out on an evening and walks along the strip.
There are bars, street performers, ice cream, souvenirs and an electric atmosphere.
Once you have had your fill of people-watching, head to one of the clubs towards the harbour to experience some crazy Eastern European nightlife!
How to get to Ulcinj
The closest airport is in the capital city, Podgorica. From here you can catch a bus or taxi to Ulcinj.
There are also international buses running direct from several European cities such as Tirana and Sarajevo to Ulcinj.
If you’re feeling adventurous, it is possible to hire a car for the journey.
Where to stay in Ulcinj
Budget: Pirate hostel
Midrange: Hotel Haus Freiburg
Luxury: Azul beach resort
Tips for visiting Ulcinj
1.Ulcinj can get quite hot in the summer months and humid evenings, so bring light clothing for during the day and something to keep you warm in the evening.
2. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent as the sun can be strong and mosquitoes are plentiful.
3. Don’t forget your swimming costume, there are so many great beaches and pools to visit!
4. If you want to spend a night out in the clubs or bars, aim to arrive around 10 PM as most places don’t really get going until then.
5. Taxis are very reasonably priced, however, it is easy to explore the town on foot so be sure to bring some comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking!
Tours in Ulcinj
Unique travel destinations #6: Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus has a complicated and troubled recent history, as it is technically illegally occupied land with only Turkey recognising it as an independent country. But don’t let that put you off from visiting, as it is a truly wonderful place!
Every year millions of tourists flock to the resort towns of Cyprus but less than 10% of them venture north of the UN “buffer zone”.
I really believe that Northern Cyprus deserves a lot more love from travellers.
Why you should visit Northern Cyprus
Rugged coastlines with some of the bluest waters I have ever seen, vast wetlands with incredible opportunities for wildlife watching, mountains perfect for hiking and gorgeous historic old towns, you can find them all in North Cyprus.
The North is a lot less developed than the popular tourist resorts in the South, which means that there are a lot more natural and unspoiled landscapes to explore. This makes Northern Cyprus a haven for wildlife lovers.
During my time there I saw everything from wild flamingos, snakes, chameleons, sea turtles and even the rare Bonelli’s eagle!
Unfortunately, due to the complex political situation, there is a lot of red tape in place that stops conservation projects and charities in Northern Cyprus from receiving international funding for wildlife conservation.
This is a tragedy as there are many different diverse and fragile ecosystems there that need protection.
One way that this can be improved is through increasing sustainable ecotourism in the area as this can provide a much-needed economic boost to the local wildlife conservation projects.
Despite what some people may try to tell you, Northern Cyprus is perfectly safe to visit. Yes, the political situation is tense but it is not actively violent or unsafe in any way.
The heavy military presence at the buffer zone can look a little intimidating but crossing the border into Northern Cyprus is actually pretty straightforward and you won’t have any trouble.
Unique things to do in Northern Cyprus
Volunteer at a turtle project.
SPOT is an amazing organisation that I have had the privilege of working with (If you didn’t know my day job is as a conservationist) and I can’t recommend their volunteer program enough!
They have projects to protect turtle nesting sites, work with local fisheries to reduce bycatch and illegal fishing practices, monitor monk seal populations and I believe they are even starting to work on protecting sharks and rays.
The old walled city of Famagusta
Walking around the city of Famagusta is like walking around a huge outdoor museum. There is history everywhere!
The old town is surrounded by an incredibly well-preserved fortress wall dating back to the 1300s. Nearby you will find the beautiful Othello castle, named after Shakespeare’s play, which is believed to be set in Famagusta. The castle is well worth a visit and has some fantastic views.
I also recommend visiting the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, the sea gate and the Armenian church for a nice mix of architectural styles and historic time periods.
How to get to Northern Cyprus
The easiest and most straightforward way to get to Northern Cyprus is by flying into Larnaca airport in South Cyprus from most major cities in Europe. From there you can take a bus or taxi over the border, which takes about 2 hours.
The alternative is to cross the border directly from Turkey but this is not as easy and usually requires some paperwork.
Where to stay in Northern Cyprus
Budget: Club Alda, Lapithos
Midrange: Bella view art Boutique, Bellapais
Luxury: Elexus Hotel, Kyrenia
Tips for visiting Northern Cyprus
– Bring plenty of cash as credit and debit cards don’t always work in Northern Cyprus. Remember that North Cyprus uses the Turkish Lira, unlike the South which uses Euros.
– Make sure to bring a valid passport or ID card, they are strictly enforced at the border.
– Try the local food, it is unique and delicious!
– Don’t forget your camera, the scenery in Northern Cyprus is stunning.
– Make sure to respect the local culture and customs. Avoid talking about the Turkish invasion unless they bring it up first.
Tours in Northern Cyprus
Unique travel destinations #7: Pisa, Italy
Ok, I know what you are thinking:
“What are you talking about JJ? The leaning tower of Pisa is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, what’s it doing on a list of unique travel destinations?!”
and whilst you are absolutely right, the truth is that the vast majority of tourists only make a quick stop in Pisa to visit the tower and then continue on their way to other destinations around Italy.
Very few tourists seem to stay for longer than a day in the city itself. I’ve even seen travel blogs recommending NOT to stay in Pisa at all!
This is crazy to me as I spent 4 days in Pisa and loved it, in fact, I was so busy enjoying all that the city had to offer that I didn’t get around to seeing the tower until 1am the morning I was due to leave! (oops! 🤦♀️)
Why you should visit Pisa
Pisa is a charming city with a lot to offer.
After the tour busses leave it’s actually quite a tourist-free city, so you will have a much more leisurely time strolling the streets than you would in other Italian cities, such as Florence, which are always super busy.
Pisa is a very walkable city with nice restaurants, shops and some quirky street art to spot.
Another great thing about Pisa is that it makes an excellent base for exploring other parts of Italy.
Even though Italy has some of the most visited tourist sites in the world it still has some hidden gems away from the crowds. Such as Lucca, a city nestled in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, Argegno, a charming offbeat town on the shores of Lake Como or the many gorgeous coastal towns in Puglia.
Unique things to do in Pisa
Visit the leaning tower of Pisa
Obviously, you should visit the leaning tower, after all, it is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, but I would suggest leaving it until late afternoon when most of the day-trippers have disappeared. But maybe don’t leave it as late as I did!
Spend time at Marina di Pisa
Take a short bus ride from the city centre out to Pisa’s beach resort.
A swim in the sea of Marina di Pisa makes for a nice escape from the heat of the city and is a very pleasant way to spend the day.
The beach is free but there are chairs and umbrellas available to rent 7 days a week.
There are also plenty of beach bars, restaurants and gelato stores around the area, once you’ve had enough beach time.
Eat delicious (and cheap) food with the locals in Pisa
There are many pretty piazzas in Pisa full of authentic local cuisine.
Take an evening walk along the river and simply follow your nose and you’re sure to stumble upon a piazza full of locals enjoying their dinner from one of the many cute outside restaurants.
Pisa is the perfect base for a Tuscan adventure.
Just hop on a train or bus and you can visit many stunning nearby Tuscan towns and villages.
Rent a bike and cycle the old city walls of Lucca, Climb the towers of San Gimignano or explore the historical streets of Siena. All 3 can be visited on an easy day trip from Pisa.
How to get to Pisa
Pisa is served by Galileo Galilei International Airport which has direct flights to many cities in Europe and beyond.
If you are travelling from within Italy there are regular trains from Rome, Florence and other large cities.
There are also buses available from most Italian cities.
Once you arrive in Pisa, the city centre can be easily explored on foot or you can use the local bus system to get around.
Where to stay in Pisa
Budget: Safestay, Pisa
Midrange: Hotel Roma
Luxury: Grand Hotel Duomo
Tips for visiting Pisa
– Visit the leaning tower late in the afternoon when the crowds have died down
– Take a day trip to explore the Tuscan countryside nearby
– Try as much local food as you can, it’s delicious!
– Pack comfortable shoes for exploring this charming city on foot.
Tours in Pisa
Unique travel destinations #8: Eilat, Israel
Eilat is Israel’s most southern city and sits on the edge of the red sea between the borders of Jordan and Egypt.
When I first visited Eilat I was just passing through on my way to Jordan and didn’t think much of it, it seemed like a tacky resort town that wasn’t worth much time to me.
However, on my way back from Jordan I ended up spending several days in Eilat and its charm really grew on me. I ended up becoming very fond of this beachy city.
Why you should visit Eilat
If you want to experience the red sea at a fraction of the cost of the busy megaresorts in nearby Egypt, then Eilat is a really good option.
The weather is fantastic, there are some great opportunities for snorkelling on the coral reef and the main promenade is really fun, especially on an evening.
Unique things to do in Eilat
Enjoy a beach day by the red sea in Eilat
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy such as volleyball, snorkelling and browsing the many swanky shops along the promenade. Be sure to catch the sunset from the beach too, it’s magical.
Oh and here’s a fun fact… From the beach in Eilat, you can see 4 different countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia!
Take a day trip to nearby Petra
Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world and is definitely worth a visit whilst you are so close by!
A day trip to Petra from Eilat is totally doable as it is only a 2hr drive away. However, you may want to consider spending at least 1 night in Petra to get the most out of your visit or combining it with a trip to Jordan’s capital city Amman.
But if you are strapped for time then there are many tour companies offering day trips to Petra from Eilat, although some are better than others so do be sure to shop around.
Explore the stunning Timna national park
Timna Park is located 25 km north of Eilat and covers around 15,000 acres of the Negev Desert and is one of the best outdoor attractions in Israel.
The park has an amazing history, it was used as the world’s first-ever copper mine in ancient times!
The geological features of the park are absolutely stunning. I’m sure if it was located in a more visited area of the world then it would be crawling with tourists, but as it is, exploring Timna park feels like you have discovered a secret all for yourself.
I took a tour with Abraham tours and as I was the only person who turned up it ended up being a private tour and I also didn’t see any other tour group the entire time we were there. It felt like the huge rock formations were my own personal playground!
How to get to Eilat
There are direct flights from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to Eilat airport, so if you want to fly then this is a great option.
You can also get there by bus from Tel Aviv but it takes around 6 hours.
The majority of people who visit Eilat tend to drive there, especially as the scenery is stunning and there are some great places to stop off along the way.
Where to stay in Eilat
Budget: Abraham, Eilat
Midrange: Custo club
Luxury: Royal Shangri-la
Tips for visiting Eilat
– Make sure you bring good sun protection – the sun can be really strong in Eilat!
– If you’re visiting Petra then make sure you book your entry ticket online before you arrive, as it will save you time when getting there.
– Don’t miss out on exploring Timna National Park
Tours in Eilat
Unique travel destinations #9: Skopje, North Macedonia
Bizarre, unnecessary, weird… These are all words that you could use to describe the capital of North Macedonia, and yet it is so easy to fall head over heels in love with this quirky Eastern European gem of a city.
Why you should visit Skopje
In 2014 the North Macedonian government inexplicably decided to spend an estimated €500 million on installing hundreds of statues, buying fake London buses from China, plonking a massive pirate ship in the river and covering many buildings in fake romanesque facades.
The citizens of Skopje were (rightly) pissed, as they felt that since North Macedonia is a relatively poor country, that amount of money should have been spent on better things.
Ya know… like healthcare, education and alleviating poverty!
The citizens protested by throwing paint over many of the statues and facades.
What all of this has left is a capital city full of pure weirdness that feels something like Disneyland and something like a dystopian fantasy, but nevertheless somehow manages to retain an endearing charm.
Unique things to do in Skopje
Find all the unique statues in Skopje
You literally can’t walk more than a few feet through the city centre without bumping into a statue.
Some of the statues are nice, I guess, but mostly they are just super kitschy at best and downright gaudy at worst!
But still, going on a statue hunt and trying to find as many of these odd statues as you can is a really fun way to spend an afternoon in the city.
Be sure to check out the HUGE central statue of Alexander the great which lights up and shoots water. It is literally the tackiest thing you will ever see.
Take a free walking tour of Skopje
Skopje is a really fascinating city with a varied and colourful history. The best way to learn about all this is through a walking tour. I took this free tour and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Kayak in Matka canyon
Matka canyon is a short taxi ride out of the city (or catch the number 60 bus) and is well worth a visit.
You can rent kayaks for around €3 per person.
For a real adventure paddle to the Vrelo cave, which is only accessible by water, where you can explore the unique cave system filled with bats!
How to get to Skopje
The best way to get to Skopje is by plane, with many cheap flights available from a variety of European cities.
Alternatively, you can also get there by train or bus – the journey takes around 8 hours from Belgrade.
Where to stay in Skopje
Budget: Shanti hostel
Midrange: Moodeight apartments
Luxury: Hotel Arka
Tips for visiting Skopje
– Make sure you check out the unique art throughout the city, it’s a great way to explore some of Skopje’s unique charm.
– Be sure to visit Matka canyon and go kayaking or Cave exploring.
– Don’t miss out on trying traditional Macedonian cuisine – especially the famous “Tavche Gravche” – one of the national dishes that you simply have to try! Tavche Gravche is North Macedonia’s answer to baked beans but way tastier!
– Don’t forget to bring your camera, there are some unique sights in Skopje that you won’t want to miss out on capturing.
– Wear comfortable shoes as Skopje is a city best explored on foot.
Tours in Skopje
Unique travel destinations #10: Semuc Champey, Guatemala
When it comes to unique travel destinations, few can match up to Semuc Champey.
Semuc Champey is a gorgeous natural paradise hidden away in the jungles of Guatemala. It is a long way from anything and not exactly easy to access, making it one of the world’s most beautiful hidden gems.
Why you should visit Semuc Champey
6 limestone pools, a gorgeous turquoise river, a dense jungle and an extensive cave system complete with underground waterfalls make up this unique natural site.
No words or pictures could ever do justice to the pure beauty of Semuc Champey so it is best to simply experience it for yourself
Unique things to do in Semuc Champey
Hike up to the el mirador viewpoint in Semuc Champey
Despite the intense humidity of the jungle, the short hike up to the viewing point will be a really enjoyable experience.
Keep your eyes out for the absolutely huge butterflies and adorable monkeys up above you!
Once you reach the viewing platform you will be rewarded with an incredible view of the limestone pools below. It’s hard to believe that what you are seeing is actually real as it is so intensely beautiful.
Jump off of an underground waterfall
The safest way to get the most out of your visit to Semuc Champey is to join a tour with an expert guide.
The tour I went on was one of the best days of my life. We started with an adrenaline-pumping jump from a 7m (23ft) high bridge, then spent the next few hours climbing over the limestone rocks, jumping off the small waterfalls and swimming in the turquoise pools before we headed into Kanba cave.
We were given candles to hold above us as we swam through the pitch-black cave.
We explored around 1000m into the cave system before the absolute highlight of the day, jumping from a 10m (~30ft) tall underground waterfall!
This was such a unique experience and something I will never forget.
We finished the tour by enjoying a beer as we floated down the river in rubber tubes.
Fall asleep whilst listening to the sounds of the Guatemalan jungle
After such an adventure-filled day, you will be exhausted.
So get to bed early but be sure to listen to the magical sounds of the jungle as you fall asleep.
Drifting off whilst listening to the animals around me was so special, I just wish someone had warned me about how loud the frogs are, as it came as quite a shock!
How to get to Semuc Champey
Lanquin is the nearest town to Semuc Champey at around 11km away, although don’t expect to find much there in the way of amenities and comforts.
However, recently some really nice hostels have started opening up here so there may be more infrastructure put in place as tourism to the area grows.
Your most convenient option is to base yourself in Antigua where you will find plenty of options for 2-3 day trips to Semuc Champey, which will include transport and accommodation.
Antigua is also a great place to visit. There is plenty to do there such as visiting markets, hiking the nearby volcanoes and admiring the beautiful colonial architecture.
Where to stay in Lanquin, Guatemala
Budget: Vista Verde Hostel
Midrange: Zephr lodge
Luxury: Greengo’s Hotel
Tips for visiting Semuc Champey, Guatemala
1. Bring bug spray! The jungle can be really humid and there are plenty of bugs to come with this humidity, so an insect repellent will be your best friend when you visit.
2. Visit during the dry season (November – April). Semuc Champey is at its most stunning during the dry season when the water is at its clearest and most vibrant.
3. Don’t forget your swimsuit! You will definitely want to take a dip in one of those turquoise pools.
4. Take plenty of snacks with you as there are limited food options around Semuc Champey, especially if you plan on spending a whole day there.
5. Make sure you join a tour for the full-day adventure as it’s the best way to experience Semuc Champey and all it has to offer. It will be worth every penny!
Tours in Semuc Champey
Unique travel destinations #11: Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum is a desert valley located in southern Jordan.
It was occupied by the Nabataeans, an ancient Arabian people who settled here in the first century BC.
The valley has been known as the Valley of the Moon because of its unique, otherworldly landscape. Today, Wadi Rum is most famous for being the home of Lawrence of Arabia and being used as a filming location for movies such as Star Wars and The Martian.
Wadi Rum is an incredible place to explore unique landscapes and experience one of the most unique travel destinations in the world.
Its dramatic desert canyons, towering red sandstone mountains and unique rock formations make for a truly breathtaking destination. It’s not hard to understand why the area has been dubbed the “Valley of the Moon”.
Why you should visit Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum is one of the most unique and spectacular places in the world.
It is a huge desert valley of towering sandstone mountains and rugged canyons. From camel rides and jeep safaris to stargazing, sand boarding and even rock climbing, Wadi Rum is an ideal destination for alternative travellers who are looking for unique experiences.
If you’re lucky enough to catch the sun setting over this unique desert landscape, it will be a moment you won’t forget!
Unique things to do in Wadi Rum
Enjoy tea with the Bedouin tribesmen who live in Wadi Rum
One of the most unique experiences to be had in Wadi Rum is to enjoy tea with the Bedouin tribesmen who live there.
Tea is an important part of Bedouin culture and has been embedded in their daily routine for centuries.
During your visit, you will be invited into a traditional tent, or ‘Bedu’ and have the unique opportunity to experience a lifetime of Bedouin culture.
If you are a Brit like me then you might be surprised to find that you won’t be offered milk and sugar to go with your tea. Bedouin tea is served black and very strong!
Go on an adrenaline-filled jeep tour of the Wadi Rum desert and explore the unique rock formations
This was my favourite thing that I did in Jordan!
Going on a jeep tour of the unique rock formations in Wadi Rum was an amazing experience.
The unique crags and canyons make for some truly breathtaking views, and you never know what you’ll find around the corner!
We drove to some of the filming locations for popular movies like The Martian and Star wars and climbed the sandstone rock formations to get spectacular views of the valley.
Stargaze in the incredibly dark night sky of Wadi Rum
The unique landscape of Wadi Rum makes it one of the best places in the world for stargazing.
Its remote desert location and lack of light pollution mean that on a clear night, you can see an incredible array of stars, planets and constellations.
The experience of sleeping out under the stars surrounded by this unique desert scenery is something you will never forget.
So, if unique travel destinations and experiences are what you’re looking for, then Wadi Rum is definitely one place you should add to your list!
Whether it’s exploring unique rock formations or stargazing in a desert landscape, Wadi Rum truly has it all.
How to get to Wadi Rum
The best way to get to Wadi Rum is by flying into King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba and then renting a car or taxi to take you to the desert. It’s about a 1-hour drive from Aqaba.
Alternatively, you can take a bus directly to the Wadi Rum visitor centre. The bus runs daily at 8am from Aqaba’s bus station.
Best Wadi Rum camps
I recommend that you try camping out in the desert for an unforgettable experience. The best way to experience Wadi Rum is to stay overnight at a bedouin desert camp.
There are several camps to choose from, here are a few of my favourites…
Budget: Martian desert camp
Midrange: Hasan Zawaideh camp
Luxury: Wadi Rum bubble luxotel
Tips for visiting Wadi Rum
1. Take plenty of water and sun protection with you as it can get very hot!
2. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dusty.
3. Be aware of the unique customs of the Bedouin people, respect their culture and be prepared to receive hospitality from them.
4. Make sure to bring your camera so that you can capture some amazing memories from your trip!
Tours in Wadi Rum
Unique travel destinations #12: The Namib desert, Namibia
The stunning Namib desert is an incredible place that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.
This vast and wild landscape stretches across the southern coast of Africa, providing a unique atmosphere that promises adventure and discovery.
With its unusual flora and fauna, ghost towns, shipwrecks and enormous sand dunes stretching down to meet the south Atlantic ocean the Namib desert is truly unique.
You won’t find another place like this anywhere on Earth!
Why you should visit The Namib desert
The Namib desert was made for adventure!
Did you know that the Namib is the oldest desert in the world and is one of the few places where the desert meets the sea?
I first visited the Namib desert in 2009 and was instantly blown away by its uniqueness, I had never experienced a place like it!
If you are looking for unique travel destinations and experiences that will stay with you forever then the Namib desert should definitely be at the top of your bucket list, as it is definitely a one-of-a-kind destination.
Unique things to do in The Namib desert
Visit the ghost town of Kolmanskop
The unique and mysterious ghost town of Kolmanskop, in the Namib desert of Namibia, can be an unforgettable experience.
Nestled deep in the desert, this abandoned town is a fascinating reminder of Namibia’s diamond mining past. The town was abandoned in 1959 and is now slowly being reclaimed by the desert.
Exploring the old abandoned buildings is great fun and a dream for photographers as you will be able to get some truly unique shots here.
Spot shipwrecks along the skeleton coast
I bet you didn’t expect spotting shipwrecks to be included on a list of things to do in a desert!
The Namib desert is a one-of-a-kind destination as it is one of the only places in the world where the desert meets the ocean.
Driving the skeleton coast is an incredible experience and here you will be able to see the rare sight of shipwrecks stranded on the edge of the desert!
The shipwrecks can be hard to spot as they are slowly being buried in the sand, so it is best to go with a guide.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the seals and sea birds that now call some of the shipwrecks home.
Explore Deadvlei and climb ‘Big Daddy’
Deadvlei (which means dead marsh) is a landscape, unlike anything you will ever see elsewhere in the world.
The contrast of the flat basin floor and the dead black trees against the backdrop of towering sand dunes is sure to leave you awestruck!
The unique landscape of Deadvlei has been featured in many movies and is a haven for photographers.
One of the unique experiences you can have here is to climb ‘Big Daddy’, the highest dune in the area. Standing at 381 metres, it is definitely a challenge but one that will be well worth the effort for the unique view it provides.
The Namib desert is an incredibly unique destination that should be on every alternative traveller’s bucket list.
How to get to The Namib desert
To start your journey to the Namib Desert you will need to first fly to Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek.
The Namib desert is wild and remote so the best way to explore it is with a guide who knows the desert well.
The guide will be able to drive you to all the best places without getting lost. If you are staying at a lodge in the desert they will be able to organise transport for you.
Where to stay in The Namib desert
Budget: Namib desert campsite
Midrange: Solitare desert farm
Luxury: Desert whisper
Tips for visiting The Namib desert
– Bring malaria pills, the Namib desert is a malaria-free area but it is always best to be safe, especially if you are also planning to visit the North of Namibia.
– Pack plenty of sunscreen and a sunhat, temperatures can get very hot!
– Try staying in one of the unique ecolodges in Namibia
– Be sure to take lots of pictures, the unique landscape is captured best from behind the lens.
– Respect the unique nature of the area
Tours to The Namib desert
Unique travel destinations #13: Puglia, Italy
The Puglia region of Italy is a unique and fascinating place that should definitely be on the list of any alternative traveller.
This under-the-radar region is home to some of the most unique and unusual sights in all of Italy.
From ancient villages to stunningly beautiful coastlines, Puglia has something for everyone but is an often overlooked region of Italy.
Why you should visit Puglia
Alternative travellers should visit Puglia because it is a unique and fascinating region of Italy that is often overlooked.
Compared to more popular Italian cities like Rome and Florence, Puglia offers a unique and different experience that is well worth exploring.
From ancient villages to stunningly beautiful coastlines, Puglia has something for everyone.
So if you are looking for an alternative to the more popular tourist destinations in Italy, be sure to add Puglia to your list!
Unique things to do in Puglia
Visit the unique Trulli houses of Alberobello
These strange, cone-shaped houses are one of the defining features of Puglia and no trip here would be complete without seeing them.
The Trulli are thought to have been built sometime in the 1500s and their origins remain a mystery.
Today, there are over 1000 Trulli houses still standing in Alberobello and they make for a very unique sight.
Explore the ancient city of Matera
Matera is an ancient city that dates back to the Paleolithic era!
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the oldest man-made structures in the world. Walking through the narrow streets and alleys of this ancient city is like stepping back in time.
Beach hop along the stunning coastline of Puglia
Puglia is blessed with some truly spectacular coastline. You can spend an excellent few days hopping from town to town along Puglia’s stunning coastline.
Some of my favourite towns and villages in Puglia are Monopoli, Bari and Polignano a Mare.
How to get to Puglia
The easiest way to get to Puglia is by flying into Bari, the regional capital. From here you can easily rent a car and explore all of the unique places on your own or take a tour and have someone else do the driving for you.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Rome or Bologna directly to Bari and then take a bus, train or taxi to many of Puglia’s top destinations from there.
Where to stay in Puglia
I recommend staying in Bari as a base and exploring the region by train or renting a car.
Budget: Guesthouse Bari
Midrange: Central rooms
Luxury: B&Z luxury hotel
Tips for visiting Puglia
1. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit! The beaches in Puglia are stunning and you will definitely want to take a dip in the crystal clear waters.
2. Be sure to try the different local cuisine, from delicious seafood dishes to unusual varieties of pasta and bread that you won’t find elsewhere, Puglia has a unique culinary heritage you won’t want to miss out on.
3. Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes! Exploring Puglia’s ancient towns and unique scenery is best done on foot.
Tours in Puglia
Unique travel destinations #14: Sennen Cove, Cornwall, UK
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path travel destination, look no further than Sennen Cove in Cornwall, UK.
This unique and charming village is home to some of the most stunning coastal scenery in all of England.
From dramatic cliffs and rocky coves to beautiful sandy beaches, Sennen Cove has something for everyone.
Why you should visit Sennen Cove
Sennen Cove is a unique and charming village that is well worth visiting if you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track in Cornwall.
With its dramatic cliffs and rocky coves, beautiful sandy beaches and charming homes, Sennen Cove has something for everyone.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to the more popular tourist destinations in England, be sure to add Sennen Cove to your list!
Unique things to do in Sennen Cove:
Take a walk along the stunning South West Coast Path
This picturesque walking trail hugs the coastline for miles, providing amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. A walk along the South West Coast Path is a must when visiting Sennen Cove.
From this stretch of the southwest coast path, you can explore the shipwreck of the RMS Mulheim, a German cargo ship that ran aground on Cornwall’s rocky coastline back in 2003.
You can also stop to admire the breathtaking views from the old coastguard lookout and hunt for the ruins of an iron age fort!
Visit Gwynver Beach
This secluded beach is one of my favourites in Cornwall and can be reached by walking the coastal path from Sennen beach.
Learn how to surf
Sennen cove is a great place to catch some waves.
Most surf schools in the area offer lessons for all abilities so you can get out on the water and learn how to ride those waves!
Sennen surf school is located right on the beach and offers a variety of lessons and surf packages as well as boards and wetsuit hire.
How to get to Sennen Cove, Cornwall
The easiest way to get to Sennen Cove is by car. However, public transport is also available.
The nearest train station is Penzance which has regular services.
You can also take an open-top bus from Penzance which takes in the spectacular scenery as it drives along the coastline.
Where to stay in Sennen Cove
Budget: The old success Inn
Midrange: Sennen cove cottage
Tips for visiting Sennen Cove, Cornwall
1. Don’t forget to bring a sweater! Even in the summer months, the weather can be unpredictable and much cooler than expected.
2. Make sure you pack your binoculars – you never know when you might spot dolphins or seals from the beaches of Sennen Cove!
3. Be sure to check the tide times before heading out to the beach – some stretches of coastline can be dangerous if you’re not careful. You can also check the Sennen harbour webcam to keep an eye on the surf conditions and weather in real time.
Tours in Cornwall, UK
Psst. If I’ve won you over and convinced you to plan a trip to Cornwall then be sure to grab a copy of my Cornwall Roadtrip Itinerary which is packed full of info and tips.
Unique travel destinations #15: Vilnius, Lithuania
If you’re looking for a quirky and off-the-beaten-path travel destination, Vilnius, Lithuania is definitely worth considering.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of over half a million people.
It’s a unique and fascinating city with a rich history that spans over 800 years. From beautiful Baroque architecture to lively nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Vilnius.
Why you should visit Vilnius
Vilnius is an underrated gem and when compared to most European capital cities it is fairly off the radar too.
That means that it is less expensive and less crowded than other cities, making it perfect for budget travellers, you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck in Vilnius!
Unique things to do in Vilnius
Explore the breakaway republic of Uzipis
Uzipis is one of the smallest independent republics in the world, covering just 1 sq km of land within the city of Vilnius.
Founded by a group of artists in 2002, Uzipis boasts its own constitution, its own currency and its own diplomatic ambassador, who just so happens to be a large ginger cat!
Užupis has not been recognised by foreign governments as an official nation. However, the self-proclaimed micro-nation has become a source of pride in Vilnius and throughout Lithuania.
Take a tour of Uzipis to learn more about this unique corner of the world.
Visit the former KGB prison and learn about Vilnius’s Soviet past
Lithuania was under occupation by the soviet union until 1991. During this time Over 1000 prisoners were executed at the KGB prison which stood in the centre of Vilnius.
The building is now home to the fascinating Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights (sometimes informally referred to as the KGB museum).
The museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting documents relating to the 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union, the anti-Soviet Lithuanian partisans, and the victims of the arrests, deportations, and executions that took place during this period.
The museum is equal parts horrifying and heartbreaking but is a very important reminder of the recent history of the region.
Climb Gediminas tower for amazing views of the city.
Gediminas tower is a unique and historic landmark in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Located atop Gediminas Hill, this tower was built in the 14th century by Grand Duke Gediminas and has served as a defensive structure against invaders.
Today it stands as a symbol of Lithuanian independence and is open to visitors.
Climb to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of Vilnius and its surrounding countryside.
So if you’re looking for a unique travel destination, consider making a trip to Vilnius, Lithuania! With its rich history, unique attractions and friendly locals it’s sure to make your trip one to remember.
How to get to Vilnius
Vilnius is well connected to other European cities via air as well as train. The Vilnius Airport is the main international airport in Lithuania, with many low-cost flights available from all over Europe. There are also regular trains from Warsaw and Moscow that arrive in Vilnius throughout the day.
Where to stay in Vilnius
Budget: Downtown Forest Hostel & Camping
Midrange: Hotel Vilnia
Luxury: Congress Avenue Hotel
Tips for visiting Vilnius
– Bring a jacket and winter clothing as it can get quite chilly in Vilnius during the winter months.
– Be sure to visit some of Vilnius’s unique micro-breweries, for a unique and tasty experience.
– Take time to explore the city on foot, you’ll find all sorts of hidden gems just off the beaten path!
– Don’t forget to visit the unique breakaway republic of Uzupis, you’ll have a unique experience unlike any other.
-Vilnius has a fantastic food scene so be sure to check out some of the best restaurants in Vilnius or take a food tour of Vilnius
Tours in Vilnius, Lithuania
Unique travel destinations #16: Zagreb, Croatia
If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel destination, be sure to add Zagreb, Croatia to your list.
Situated in the heart of the country, Zagreb is a charming and vibrant city with plenty of interesting attractions to explore.
From its beautiful architecture and lively nightlife to its tasty food and rich culture, there’s something for everyone in Zagreb.
Why you should visit Zagreb
Zagreb is an ideal destination for alternative travellers looking for unique experiences they won’t find anywhere else in Europe.
Zagreb is unique among European cities because it blends both Eastern and Western influences into a unique and fascinating mix.
The city also has a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere which makes it perfect for alternative travellers who are looking for an unconventional European experience.
Zagreb is the perfect destination for alternative travellers because it offers so much variety.
There’s something for everyone in this charming Croatian city, from historical landmarks to trendy nightclubs, from peaceful parks to lively markets.
So if you’re looking for an interesting and eclectic European city break, be sure to add Zagreb to your bucket list!
Unique things to do in Zagreb
Laugh and cry at the museum of broken relationships
This quirky museum is one of my favourite museums in the whole world and one of the best things to do in Zagreb!
The museum of broken relationships started as a travelling exhibit before finding its permanent home in a baroque palace in Zagreb.
People from all over the world have donated items to be displayed alongside their stories of how their relationships ended. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some are uplifting and others are downright hilarious!
The exhibits give a fascinating look into human behaviour and how we handle our relationships.
Ride the world’s shortest funicular
Did you know Zagreb is home to the world’s shortest funicular?
At only 66 metres long it connects Zagreb’s upper town and lower towns and takes less than a minute to reach the top.
Supposedly, it is also the world’s safest funicular railway, never having a single accident since it opened in the 1890s! You can grab a ticket for just 4HRK which is about 50p.
Escape the crowds by travelling through underground WWII tunnels
The Grič tunnel was built to protect citizens during World War II, but it rapidly became run-down and unused following the war’s end.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that people renewing interest in the space held one of Croatia’s first raves there, as well as using it as a shelter again during the Croatian War of Independence.
The city gave the long-neglected tunnel some much-needed TLC in 2016 by remodelling it before opening it back up to tourists and locals alike for cultural events.
How to get to Zagreb
The easiest way to get to Zagreb is by plane, with regular flights from most major European cities.
There are also trains and buses that depart from other parts of Croatia as well as neighbouring countries such as Slovenia and Austria.
Where to stay in Zagreb
Budget: Chillout hostel
Midrange: Timeout heritage hotel
Luxury: Hotel Jagerhorn
Tips for visiting Zagreb
-Remember that Croatia doesn’t use the Euro and has its own currency: the Croatian Kuna.
– Try some of the delicious Croatian cuisines – don’t miss out on čevapčići, štrukli and rakija!
– Make sure you bring your camera to capture the beautiful architecture and vibrant colours in each unique neighbourhood.
– And finally, don’t forget to visit some unique attractions, such as the Grič tunnel and the museum of broken relationships.
Tours in Zagreb
Unique travel destinations #17: Aveiro, Portugal
Aveiro, Portugal is a unique and charming city that should be on the list of any alternative traveller.
Located on the west coast of Portugal, Aveiro is a city built around the Aveiro lagoon and its network of canals. This has earned Aveiro the nickname ‘the Venice of Portugal’.
The city has a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere which makes it perfect for alternative travellers who are looking for an unconventional European experience.
Aveiro is home to some interesting attractions, including the Costa Nova Wooden Houses, the Avenueiro Salt Pans and the Igreja de Santa Maria church.
Why you should visit Aveiro
Aveiro is a charming and colourful city which is well worth a visit.
It is very popular with tourists from Portugal but has not yet attracted much attention from International travellers. This will leave you feeling like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Unique things to do in Aveiro
Take a ride on one of The traditional moliceiro boats in Aveiro
The first thing you should do upon arrival in Aveiro is take a ride on the charming moliceiro boats that fill the city’s canals.
Molicerios are traditional boats that were once used to harvest seaweed for fertilizer but have since become iconic symbols of Aveiro.
You can either take one of the popular molicero tours or simply admire them from afar.
These boats are special because of their decorations – two painted panels at the bow and stern. They usually depict references to historical and religious events or humorous erotic nature paintings.
Admire the colourful Art Nouveau architecture
Aveiro is renowned for its unique and vibrant architecture.
The city centre, in particular, is full of stunning Art Nouveau buildings with unique designs and colourful facades.
Many of these buildings were constructed in the 1900s by local artists and architects who were inspired by the unique landscape of Aveiro’s canals and lagoons.
I recommend that you spend some time strolling the colourful streets and admiring all the gorgeousness.
Enjoy a glass of wine by the canal
Another of my favourite things to do in Aveiro is to simply stop and take some time relaxing with a glass of wine in hand.
There are many nice restaurants and bars that line the canal that are perfect for simply spending a laid-back afternoon in Aveiro’s unique surroundings.
How to get to Aveiro
Aveiro is easy to reach by train from Porto, making it an excellent day trip from Portugal’s second city.
Train tickets can be purchased online or at the station.
Where to stay in Aveiro
Budget: HI Aveiro
Midrange: Hotel Aveiro palace
Luxury: Estrela Palace
Tips for visiting Aveiro
– Make sure you try some of Portugal’s unique seafood dishes such as bacalhau and caldeirada de peixe.
– For a unique experience, try taking one of the traditional moliceiro boats down the canal.
– To get around, you can rent bicycles or take a taxi – they are both reasonably priced options.
Tours in Aveiro
Unique travel destinations #18: Brasov, Romania
Brasov is a unique and charming city that should be on the list of any alternative traveller.
Located in the heart of Romania, Brasov is a city that is full of history and culture. The city has a unique mix of medieval and baroque architecture which makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.
Brasov is also home to some interesting attractions, including the Black Church, Rope Street and Council Square.
Why you should visit Brasov, Romania
Brasov is an excellent destination for alternative travellers who are looking for an unusual European experience.
The city has a unique mix of cultures and styles which makes it a fascinating place to explore.
There is plenty to see and do in Brasov such as take a walk down Rope Street, one of the oldest (and narrowest!) streets in Brasov. Rope street gets its name from the ropes that were used to tie horses up during medieval times.
Or you can troll around Council Square, one of the largest squares in Europe and the centre of medieval Brasov.
It is also home to some unique architecture such as a baroque clock tower, a gothic fountain and an entrance gate from the 17th century.
Unique things to do in Brasov
Visit the Black Church
The black church is one of the most iconic landmarks in Brasov. The church was built in 1477 and is named after its black exterior walls which were caused by centuries of smoke from fires lit inside.
Take a cable car up to the iconic ‘Brasov’ sign
If you’re familiar with the Hollywood sign, then think of Romania’s very own version: The Brasov Sign! You can take a cable car up to the hills where it’s located or hike if you’re feeling adventurous.
Explore Dracula’s castle in the heart of Transylvania
If you’re looking for an unusual and unique travel destination, then you should consider visiting Castle Bran – otherwise known as Dracula’s castle.
Located in the heart of Transylvania, Romania, Castle Bran is a fascinating and imposing structure that is steeped in history and legend.
Built in the 14th century by Prince Vlad III Dracul, Castle Bran is said to be the home of Count Dracula aka Vlad the impaler – the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s famous novel.
Although there is no concrete evidence that Dracula ever lived here, the castle does have a dark and haunted atmosphere that will appeal to any horror fans. The castle is just a short distance from Brasov and can be easily reached by taxi or public bus.
So if you’re looking for an adventure and want to explore one of the most famous castles in Europe, then make sure to add Castle Bran to your list!
How to get to Brasov
Brasov can be easily reached by train from many other cities in Romania. Alternatively, you can reach the city by bus or car.
Where to stay in Brasov
Budget: Secret boutique hostel
Midrange: Casa Chitic
Luxury: Aro Palace
Tips for visiting Brasov
– Make sure you try some of Romania’s unique culinary specialities such as sarmale (rice and meat wrapped in cabbage leaves) and mititei (grilled minced beef sausages).
– Most of the attractions in Brasov are free to visit, so don’t forget to bring your camera!
– Make sure you check out some of the unique architecture that can be found around the city such as the Black Church, the Rope Street and the Council Square.
– If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a day trip to Dracula’s castle? It is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
– Don’t forget to pack some comfortable shoes – Brasov is best explored on foot!
Tours in Brasov
Unique travel destinations #19: Kosovo
Kosovo is a unique and little-known travel destination in Europe that offers an alternative and unusual experience for travellers.
Located in the heart of the Balkans, Kosovo is a young country that is still emerging from a turbulent past.
The country has a rich history and culture which makes it an interesting place to explore.
Kosovo made the decision to declare its independence from Serbia on February 17th, 2008 and has since then been recognized as a sovereign state by 101 member countries of the United Nations. Although, Serbia still disagrees with this choice.
Why you should visit Kosovo
Although tourism is slowly starting to grow in Kosovo, the country remains largely undiscovered by tourists. This means that you can enjoy all the benefits of travelling to a foreign country without having to deal with the crowds.
So if you’re looking for an adventure and want to explore a little-known corner of Europe, then make sure to add Kosovo to your bucket list!
Unique things to do in Kosovo
Visit the ugliest building in Europe
The National Library of Kosovo, built in the controversial brutalist style, has been nicknamed the “ugliest building in the world.” It’s definitely strange-looking and somewhat resembles a Tetris game gone wrong!
Explore Prizren’s unique old town
The city of Prizren is one of the most beautiful cities in Kosovo and its unique old town is definitely worth exploring.
The city is filled with cobblestone streets, colourful houses, mosques and churches – all set against a backdrop of stunning mountains.
Learn about Kosovos’s fascinating recent history
If you’re looking to learn more about Kosovo’s fascinating recent history, then I recommend taking a walking tour in Pristina.
The city is home to many interesting historical landmarks and sights which offer a unique insight into the country’s past.
I think that one of the best ways to learn about a new place is by talking to the locals, and what better way to do that than on a walking tour? You’ll visit some of Kosovo’s most important historical sites such as the newborn monument, the old clock tower and many more.
How to get to Kosovo
Due to the political tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, getting to Kosovo will require a little bit of careful thought and pre-planning.
If you intend to visit both Serbia and Kosovo then you will need to visit Serbia first. The Serbian authorities do not recognize Kosovo as a separate country, so attempting to travel from Kosovo to Serbia would be considered as you entering the country illegally.
In order to get to Kosovo, you will need to fly into either Pristina, Kosovo (only if you don’t plan on also visiting Serbia) or Belgrade, Serbia airport.
You can also take a bus from many other cities in the Balkans.
Where to stay in Kosovo
Budget: Pristina center hostel
Midrange: Hotel Opera
Luxury: Swiss Diamond Hotel Pristina
Tips for visiting Kosovo
– If you are visiting the city of Pristina, make sure to check out the unique ‘Newborn’ monument that was unveiled in 2008 to celebrate Kosovo’s independence.
-Try the delicious and unique local cuisine such as “burek”
– Take a guided tour of the unique Mount Gazmend Shkodra Mosque which was built in 1535 and is one of Kosovo’s oldest surviving Islamic monuments.
– Don’t forget to try some unique local beers such as Birra Peja and Bajraku – they are sure to be a memorable experience!
– Learn some basic phrases in Albanian or Serbian – the locals will really appreciate your efforts!
-There are some occasional tensions and violent clashes that flare up from time to time so be sure to be up to date with the current political situation and all the latest travel advisories for the area.
Tours in Kosovo
Unique travel destinations #20: Botswana
Botswana is a unique and alternative travel destination for those looking to explore the African continent in an off-the-beaten-path way.
Boasting stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cultures, Botswana offers an unforgettable experience for travellers of all kinds.
From game drives in the Okavango Delta to walking safaris in Moremi Wildlife Reserve, there’s something to suit every traveller’s preference.
For those wanting a unique cultural experience, head over to Tsodilo Hills or Ghanzi District where you can find traditional villages with ancient rock paintings that have been around since prehistoric times!
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation – Botswana has it all!
Why you should visit Botswana
If you’re seeking an incredible wildlife experience, Botswana is the ideal destination for a safari getaway.
Unlike neighbouring South Africa’s Krueger National Park which may be crowded with tourists, nature reserves in Botswana are largely unfenced which allows animals to roam freely and naturally!
Unique things to do in Botswana
Explore ancient rock paintings
Take a cultural tour of Tsodilo Hills and explore ancient rock paintings dating back to prehistoric times. Learn about the unique culture of the San Bushmen and get an insight into their traditional way of life.
Go on a game drive in the Okavango Delta
Take a guided game drive through Botswana’s stunning landscape and spot Africa’s iconic wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, lions and more!
Sail down the Chobe river in search of the Big 5
Spot some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife at Chobe National Park on a guided game drive or boat cruise.
Take an unforgettable boat trip on the Chobe River and watch elephants, buffalo, hippos, and more wandering by riverbanks.
You can also take part in unique cultural experiences such as visiting local villages and learning about traditional customs.
How to get to Botswana
The most convenient and direct way to travel to Botswana is by air. International flights are available to Gaborone’s Sir Seretse Khama International Airport from countries such as the UK, Germany, and South Africa. From there, you can take a connecting domestic flight or hop on a bus to get to your destination.
Where to stay in Botswana
Budget: Bananyana backpackers camp
Midrange: ASKIESBOS – Samochima Bush Camp
Luxury: O Bona Moremi Safari Lodge
Tips for visiting Botswana
– Bring plenty of sun protection and a hat as the sun can be intense.
– Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for wildlife spotting!
– Pack lightly and make sure to include comfortable walking shoes.
– Make sure you have a valid passport and visa before travelling if required.
– Carry cash
Tours in Botswana
Unique travel destinations #21: Spiti Valley, India
Deep in the Himalayan Mountains lies a hidden gem known as the Spiti Valley.
This remote valley is one of the most unique destinations you could imagine. With unique landscapes and unique cultures, this mostly unexplored spot is perfect for alternative travellers looking to experience something a little different.
Why you should visit Spiti Valley
The unique landscape of Spiti Valley can be found nowhere else on Earth.
Here, you will find breathtaking mountain vistas, unique Buddhist monasteries, turquoise lakes and some of the best stargazing opportunities you’ll ever experience.
Unique things to do in Spiti Valley
Visit Key Monastery
For an unprecedented look into Spiti Valley’s remarkable culture, pay a visit to the venerable Key Monastery.
This is one of India’s longest surviving monasteries that offers visitors breath-taking architecture, exquisite artwork and spiritual Buddhist ceremonies.
To experience its beauty in full force, make sure you go there during late July for the Chaam festival which spans three days with orchestras playing traditional music, masked dances taking place and prayer wheels spinning gracefully around. It promises to be an unforgettable journey!
Trek to Chandratal Lake
Take an unforgettable trek to Chandratal lake, and hike through the unique landscape of the Spiti Valley to reach this stunning lake.
Enjoy spectacular views, unique flora and fauna and a unique experience that will stay with you for life.
Take a yak safari
Yaks are abundantly found in the valley as rearing yaks is a means of sustenance for the villagers. In recent years entrepreneurial locals have started to offer yak safaris as an alternative to the often difficult treks in the area.
Travelling through the unique landscape of the Spiti valley on the back of a yak is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experience!
Visit the world’s highest post office
The world’s highest post office is situated at an altitude of 4,389 meters between the villages of Komik and Langza in Hikkim.
This unique postal facility operates at a much higher altitude than any other post office in the world!
The trek up here is well worth it and the breathtaking views of the snow-covered Himalayas only add to the experience!
View a 500-year-old mummy
A renowned destination for visitors to Spiti is Giu village.
Situated between Sumdo and Tabo, the small village of Giu can be accessed via a strenuous 8 km trek.
Once you’ve reached the village you will find a 500 year old shrine with an entombed body – this mummy has become rife with lore that it belongs to a meditating Lama, making it an alluringly mysterious experience.
How to get to Spiti Valley
There are two main routes to get to Spiti Valley. You can either take a long overnight bus ride from Manali or take the more scenic option and drive through Kunzum Pass – both of which will provide you with unique experiences on their own!
Where to stay in Spiti Valley
Budget: Mochilero Ostello Dhankhar
Midrange: Jichun Dolma Guest House
Tips for visiting Spiti Valley
– Bring warm and waterproof clothes as temperatures can drop below zero at night.
– Make sure you have plenty of cash to cover any expenses, as there are very few ATMs in the valley.
– Accommodations tend to book up quickly so make sure you book ahead of time.
– Don’t forget to bring your camera – the unique landscape is worth capturing!
– Carry high-energy snacks with you as many hikes are quite strenuous.
Tours in Spiti valley
Unique travel destinations #22 Lapland, Finland
Lapland is one of the best unique travel destinations in Europe!
Explore the region’s culture and visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi or venture into the wilderness and explore a unique landscape of snow-covered forests.
Why you should visit Lapland
Wildlife lovers will love Lapland as it is home to some unique wildlife, such as reindeer, Arctic foxes, wolves and even elusive lynx. The unique landscape of the area provides plenty of opportunities for adventure – you can go dog-sledging, skiing or snowmobiling!
Lapland also offers unique experiences like ice fishing and Aurora Borealis viewing so there’s sure to be something to satisfy your taste for adventure.
Unique things to do in Lapland
Visit Santa Claus Village
Located in Rovaniemi, this unique village is open year-round and is sure to make you feel like a kid again! For the full experience, you can take an overnight train, known as the Santa clause express, to reach the village.
Take a reindeer sleigh ride
Enjoy the truly unique experience of being pulled by reindeer through the snow-covered forests of Lapland.
Experience an ice hotel
Discover a unique and unforgettable accommodation – the Icehotel!
Located in Jukkasjärvi, Swedish Lapland, this hotel is made entirely from ice and snow carved from the nearby Torne River.
If you’re wanting to stay warm, worry not – there are Warm Rooms available as well. And if that wasn’t enough reason to book your next trip here already, why not add on an unbeatable sauna experience? For a fee, you can enjoy a sauna, wood-burning hot tub and refreshing ice bath together – all at once!
View the Aurora Borealis
Lapland is one of the best places to view this unique natural phenomenon – also known as the Northern Lights. For the best experience book a glass igloo so that you can watch the lights above you from the comfort of your bed.
How to get to Lapland
Flights to Lapland are available from most major cities and airports in Europe.
From Helsinki, you can take a two-hour flight to Ivalo Airport, which is located near the Swedish/Finnish border. From here, you can rent a car or take organised tours of the area.
Where to stay in Lapland
Luxury: Snow hotel and glass igloos
Luxury: Ice hotel in Swedish Lapland
Tips for visiting Lapland
– Bring warm clothes and waterproof boots, as temperatures can drop below freezing at night.
– Make sure you have plenty of cash to cover any expenses, as credit cards may not be accepted in some places.
– Accommodations tend to book up quickly so make sure you book ahead of time.
– Don’t forget to bring your camera – the unique landscape is worth capturing!
– Be sure to plan out your itinerary in advance, as it can take a long time to reach some of the unique destinations.
Tours in Lapland
Unique travel destinations #23: Bahia Drake, Costa Rica
If you are a fan of nature then Bahia Drake could be your ideal unique travel destination.
This remote bay on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica features an incredible rainforest home to some of Central America’s most stunning wildlife; from monkeys to macaws and everything in between!
Why you should visit Bahia Drake
Bahia Drake is a beautiful paradise for nature and thrill-seekers alike.
As one of the least visited regions in Costa Rica, Drake Bay does not feel like you are vacationing in Central America’s most popular country – rather, it feels as if you have just stepped into an enchanted rainforest from a dreamy fairytale.
The pristine rainforest surrounding the bay is home to an incredible variety of wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, toucans, sloths and more!
You can also spot some unique species of marine life in the water around Bahia Drake; humpback whales can be spotted from December to April, as well as several species of dolphins, sharks and sea turtles.
Unique things to do in Bahia Drake
Explore the Corcovado National Park
This unique park covers 130 000 hectares of pristine rainforest and is home to some of Central America’s most unique wildlife.
For a truly incredible experience, I recommend taking a nighttime tour of the jungle with an expert naturalist. You’ll get the chance to experience the sight of some of the more unique and elusive wildlife of the region, that you wouldn’t see during the day, such as rare frogs, snakes and other nocturnal creatures.
Go Snorkeling at Caño Island
Experiencing the underwater wonders of Caño Island is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Nestled within Costa Rica’s coveted Caño Island Biological Reserve, divers and snorkelers alike can explore some of its bluest virgin waters teeming with an astonishing array of marine life – from turtles to dolphins, manta rays to eels, grouper and even sharks or whales!
With such extraordinary sightings in store for you each day at Caño Island, it’s no surprise why it has earned itself as one of Drake Bay’s most cherished attractions!
Spend the night sleeping in the jungle canopy
Searching for an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind sleep adventure? Look no further! A platform 15 meters up from the ground is just what you need.
The jungle platform is very basic and simple with only a double bed and mosquito net included, however, the opportunity to slumber in the jungle presents itself so rarely that it’s definitely worth forgoing comfort for one night.
At nightfall, you will be delighted by all of nature’s melodies coming alive; listen intently as monkeys cry out in the distance and frogs croak on the floor below – there’s nothing like it!
a night on the platform costs $75 per person.
How to get to Bahia Drake
The best way to get to Bahia Drake is by plane.
The closest international airports are in San Jose (Juan Santamaria International Airport) and Liberia (Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport).
From either of these airports, you can take a domestic flight to the Palmar Sur regional airport, which is located about an hour away from Drake Bay.
From the airport, you can take a 4×4 taxi to your accommodation in Drake Bay.
Alternatively, you can take a boat to Bahia Drake from Sierpe, a small riverside town about 1 hour south of Uvita.
With unique wildlife, stunning rainforest scenery and marine life that is truly out of this world, Bahías de Drake is an unforgettable unique travel destination! So if you are looking for somewhere unique and exciting to visit on your next vacation, Bahías de Drake should definitely be at the top of your list.
Where to stay in Bahia Drake
Midrange: Sunset Tucano Lodge
Luxury: Casa Drake Lodge
Tips for visiting Bahia Drake
– Pack insect repellent and long sleeves clothes in order to keep the mosquitos away.
-Bring cash, there are no ATMs in Bahia Drake!
– Consider Bringing your own snorkelling gear as it can be expensive to rent or buy on location.
– Be aware of local wildlife; some areas may be dangerous if you come across large predators such as jaguars, snakes or crocodiles.
– Plan your activities in advance to make the most of your time in this unique destination.
– Bring plenty of sunscreen, as the tropical sun can be intense!
– Enjoy the unique cuisine and hospitality that Costa Rica has to offer!
Tours in Bahia Drake
Psst. If I’ve won you over and convinced you to plan a trip to Costa Rica then be sure to grab a copy of my Costa Rica itinerary which is packed full of info and tips.
Unique travel destinations #24: Eritrea
Eritrea is a unique and alternative travel destination for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience.
This small East African nation boasts stunning natural beauty, unique culture, and rich history that will captivate the adventurous traveller.
From its vibrant capital city of Asmara to its mountainous terrain, Eritrea offers travellers unique experiences such as trekking in the Dahlak Archipelago or exploring the ancient ruins of Adulis.
With its diverse landscapes ranging from lush rainforests to arid deserts and beautiful coastlines, Eritrea provides a unique blend of adventure and discovery that can be found nowhere else on earth.
Why you should visit Eritrea
Eritrea has, unfortunately, become one of the world’s most overlooked countries and there is certainly good reason for it. Eritrea is sometimes referred to as ‘the north Korea of Africa’ due to the secretive nature of the Eritrean government.
Travelling around Eritrea is not easy as obtaining a visa is no easy feat and you’ll need individual permits to travel anywhere outside of the capital.
But don’t let this stop you!
Eritrea is a safe and friendly country for travellers, so you won’t need to worry about your safety. That doesn’t mean that it’s not important to do your research beforehand and be respectful of the locals – don’t expect them to openly discuss politics with outsiders.
However, if you take the time to explore this hidden side of Africa, you’ll find yourself in an amazingly unique place surrounded by beautiful people who are sure to make your visit truly special!
Unique things to do in Eritrea
Visit the tanks graveyard in Asmara
Nestled outside of Asmara, lies a large terrain hallmarked by an array of extraordinary tanks, army vehicles, buses and cars – the Tanks Graveyard in Eritrea.
Initially created as a junkyard, it has since become a memorial to commemorate the 30-year long war between Ethiopia and Eritrea; granting us all with insight into this turbulent chapter of African history.
Enjoy the incredible food in Eritrea
Eritrea is home to unique and delicious cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds.
If you haven’t yet indulged in the scrumptious Eritrean cuisine, now’s your chance! Eating this delightful food is a fun experience, with incredibly large flatbreads that come accompanied by an assortment of delectable dips.
Splitting the plates and eating it all with your hands makes for great conversation starters – so gather some friends around and explore this amazing culture through its gastronomy.
Trust me when I say you won’t regret trying out Eritrean food!
Travel through Eritrea on an old coal train
For many years, Asmara and Massawa had a direct train connection; however, this route has been shut down.
Nowadays, tourists have the option to book an exclusive ride on this old coal train that circles just outside of Massawa.
How to get to Eritrea
Flights to Eritrea are available from many major cities, with most flights arriving in the capital city of Asmara.
There is also an international airport in Massawa which can be reached by a 3-hour bus journey from Asmara.
Once you arrive in Eritrea, there are buses and taxis that can take you around the country.
Where to stay in Eritrea
Accommodation in Asmara is limited. If travelling with a guided tour then your tour company will arrange accommodation for you. However, if you are travelling independently then Hotel Asmara palace is your best option.
Tips for visiting Eritrea
– Make sure you have a valid visa before entering the country, these can be difficult to obtain
– Be aware of local customs, culture and politics in order to respect the locals.
– Bring appropriate clothing for the climate; temperatures range from warm during the day to cool at night.
-Do your research in advance and be aware of what permits you need to obtain to travel in Eritrea
-Always take the time to respectfully ask people’s permission before taking their pictures. Some people in Eritrea believe that when you snap a photo of someone, it captures part of their soul – so be sure to be mindful and demonstrate your sensitivity.
Tours in Eritrea
Unique travel destinations #25: Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a unique and alternative travel destination for those looking to explore something a bit different.
Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Baku offers visitors fascinating cultural experiences and incredible opportunities for adventure travel. With its unique mix of traditional architecture and modern amenities, Baku has something for everyone.
From ancient mosques to bustling bazaars filled with colourful items from all over Central Asia, there’s plenty to see and do in this vibrant city.
Why you should visit Baku
Azerbaijan, or the romantically titled “Land of Fire”, is a country caught between modernity and ancient tradition.
No other nation has seen such an incredible shift in culture since leaving the Soviet era behind than Azerbaijan; nowhere else can you observe this transformation with greater clarity than Baku—the capital city of Azerbaijan.
As soon as you step into Baku’s limits, its pristine cleanliness will astound you. Old stone structures rusticly stand next to hypermodern buildings throughout the old town, offering visitors a plethora of opportunities for discovery and exploration.
From ancient mosques to bustling bazaars filled with colourful items from all over Central Asia, there’s plenty to see and do in Baku.
You can experience local culture, take in the unique architecture of the old city, explore local cuisine and traditional markets, enjoy the many nightlife opportunities or get unique adventure travel experiences such as hiking or mountain biking in nearby Absheron National Park.
Visiting some of the oldest mosques in Central Asia is also an unforgettable experience that should not be missed!
Unique things to do in Baku
Admire the futuristic modern architecture
Baku is home to some of the most futuristic-looking architecture in the world.
From the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Centre to the world-famous flame towers, Baku’s hyper-modern architecture is a wonder to be seen.
You can enjoy the surreal experience of viewing these futuristic designs from the medieval old town which dates back to the 12th century. This juxtaposition of old and new within the city is what makes Baku one of the most unique capital cities in the world.
Visit The Mud Volcanoes of Gobustan
Gobustan National Park is a unique and alternative travel destination located just 45 kilometres south of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The park is home to an incredible landscape filled with unique natural features, including dozens of unusual mud volcanoes that have formed over time as a result of seismic activity in the region.
It’s also home to unique flora and fauna, ranging from wild boar and lizards to cacti and flower species unique to the region.
The park also contains some of the oldest evidence of human habitation in Azerbaijan, dating back more than 30 thousand years. Visiting Gobustan National Park is an incredible experience.
Marvel at Heydar Mosque At Night
Visiting Heydar Mosque at night is an incredible experience that should not be missed!
Located in the historical centre of Baku, this unique and iconic mosque is one of the most photographed sites in Azerbaijan.
The mosque was designed by famous Azerbaijani architect-engineer, Heydar Aliyev, and its unique design has made it one of the most unique mosques in the world.
During the night, its unique design is illuminated by a dramatic display of lights, making for an unforgettable experience for visitors.
For those looking for unique travel experiences and alternative destinations, Azerbaijan—especially Baku—is definitely worth exploring.
How to get to Baku
Getting to Baku is easy and convenient, with direct flights from numerous European cities. You can also take a train or bus from Istanbul to Baku, which is a unique experience in itself.
No matter how you choose to get there, Baku has something unique to offer for all types of travellers!
Where to stay in Baku
Budget: Sahil hostel and hotel
Midrange: Holiday Inn Baku
Luxury: Hilton Baku
Tips for visiting Baku
1. Be mindful of the culture and customs of Azerbaijan when visiting Baku.
2. Make sure to bring comfortable clothes, as temperatures can range from hot during the day to cold at night.
3. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and sunglasses!
4. Bring cash with you for convenience, as many places do not accept credit cards.
5. Don’t forget to try the unique Azerbaijani cuisine for an immersive experience!
6. Make sure to take advantage of the unique opportunities for adventure and exploration in Baku and its surrounding areas.
Tours in Baku
Unique travel destinations #26: Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is a unique travel destination that offers an alternative experience to the more traditional tourist destinations.
This Central Asian country is mainly known for its frightening politics, its vibrant cities such as Ashgabat – the capital of Turkmenistan and for a giant gas crater burning in the middle of the desert!
From exploring ancient ruins to taking in breathtaking views of the Karakum Desert, there are endless opportunities for exploration and adventure in this fascinating land for those that are brave enough to venture into it.
Why you should visit Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan, an isolated and politically difficult nation, is the least travelled of all “Stans”–and arguably one of the most exciting!
Shrouded in mystery, it’s a fascinating country to explore. You won’t be disappointed if you’re brave enough to set foot there.
Turkmenistan is a nation under the strict control of an authoritative regime.
Despite the government’s official support for tourism, the compulsory (and pricey!) guided tours and continuous police surveillance can definitely be off-putting to regular travellers wishing to visit the country.
However, if that doesn’t put you off, then Turkmenistan actually has a lot to offer and is one of the few places left where you can still have a real adventure!
Unique things to do in Turkmenistan
Visit the white city of Ashgabat
Visit the bizarre city of Ashgabat with its eclectic mix of Soviet-style buildings and flashy new structures.
The unique architecture, which is a mix of white marble monuments, golden statues, bright fountains and modern skyscrapers makes it one of the most unusual cities in the world.
Visit Yangykala Canyon
The unique Yangykala Canyon is one of the most stunning places in Turkmenistan.
The unusual landscape of this canyon, with its towering cliffs and striking rock formations, is a must-see.
The sunrise and sunset are the best times to experience the unique pink and orange hues of the canyon.
See The Darvaza crater (the gateway to hell)
The Darvaza Crater, also known as the Door to Hell or the Gates of Hell, is an awe-inspiring sight located in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan.
This unique and mesmerizing phenomenon was first discovered by Soviet geologists in 1971 after a drilling accident caused the surface to collapse, leaving behind a huge crater of fire.
It has been burning ever since.
Visit ancient ruins in Konye-Urgench
Konye-Urgench is a unique archaeological site located in the Turkmen Desert.
It is home to the ruins of an ancient city, which was once one of Central Asia’s most powerful states.
Explore this unique archaeological site and discover its fascinating cultural heritage, from temples and minarets to mausoleums.
How to get to Turkmenistan
The main options for getting to Turkmenistan are flying or taking the train.
You can fly from various European and Asian destinations, including Tashkent, Istanbul and Moscow. The flight takes about 4-5 hours depending on your departure city.
You can also take the Trans-Caspian railway from Azerbaijan, which takes around 20 hours.
Whatever you do, make sure to plan your trip carefully in advance and be prepared for the unique experience that Turkmenistan has to offer.
Where to stay in Turkmenistan
It is only possible to visit Turkmenistan via a compulsory guided tour. Your accommodation will be arranged for you as part of your guided tour.
Tips for visiting Turkmenistan
In order to obtain a visa and to travel around Turkmenistan, you must have a pre-booked tour with an authorized guide and a letter of invitation to enter the country.
the internet is heavily censored by the Turkmenistan government so have a VPN service installed on your phone.
If you need to pay your Ashgabat tour company in USD, make sure to bring it along with you before entering Turkmenistan – as US dollars are not available within the country.
Be aware that public transport is non-existent outside of the capital.
Tours in Turkmenistan
Unique travel destinations #27: Socotra Island, Yemen
For nature lovers seeking to explore somewhere truly untouched, Socotra Island is the ideal destination.
This Yemeni oasis is surrounded by both the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean and is separated from Somalia and Yemen – making it one of Earth’s most isolated pieces of land.
It boasts a unique biodiversity that makes this island unrivalled in beauty; it simply has no equal!
Why you should visit Socotra Island
Because of its remarkable endemic flora, this UNESCO World Heritage site has been hailed as the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean.” With 825 plant species and 90% reptile species that are not found elsewhere on Earth, more than a third of Socotra’s biodiversity is unique to it.
Unique things to do on Socotra Island
Spot the unique dragon blood trees
The unique dragon blood tree (Dracaena cinnabar) is an iconic species of Socotra Island.
This unusual tree has a rather strange appearance; its canopy looks like a giant umbrella with bright red resin dripping from it, which gives it its name.
The unique species are found only in Socotra and nowhere else on earth.
Swim in the crystal clear waters of Detwah lagoon
Blinding white sands and crystal clear blue waters make the lagoon look beautifully otherworldly.
Spend a day here swimming, relaxing and checking out the island’s unique marine life.
Explore the Hoq cave
Nestled throughout Socotra are over 50 infamous caves, yet none are as renowned as Hoq Cave. With its towering walls and majestic entranceway, this iconic cavern stands out amongst the rest of the spectacular grottos residing on this magical island.
Hoq Cave is an awe-inspiring 3km cave system, providing rare insight into the underground realm of caves.
After traversing 350m through a picturesque landscape for around an hour, one will arrive at the opening of Hoq Cave.
A team of experienced guides will guide you on your 2-hour subterranean journey, taking in all the amazing crystal splendours nature has to offer!
How to get to Socotra Island
Socotra was cut off from travellers for a few years due to the ongoing war on the mainland of Yemen. However, it is now possible to once again fly to Socotra island from Cairo, Egypt.
Where to stay on Socotra Island
Midrange: Heathrow hotel
Tips for visiting Socotra Island
-Unfortunately, Socotra island isn’t somewhere that you can just go on a whim. Instead, it will require a lot of pre-planning! You will need to obtain a visa through a Socotra-based travel agency. The travel agency will get the visa approved by the Yemeni government and send you a paper copy – you will need this in order to book your flights.
-Women should dress conservatively, covering their shoulders.
-USD is widely accepted on Socotra island
Tours in Socotra Island, Yemen
Unique travel destinations #28: Oman
Oman is an ideal destination for those looking for unique and adventurous travel experiences. From the stunning beaches of Salalah to the rugged terrain of the Jebel Akhdar mountain range, Oman offers some fantastic cultural and natural attractions.
Why you should visit Oman
From its imposing Arabian fortresses to its 3000km of stunning coastlines, Oman is the destination of choice for intrepid adventurers seeking untouched landscapes and miles upon miles of deserted roads.
With seemingly endless dunes, this exotic country offers an unparalleled experience that will stay with you long after your journey has ended.
From spectacular desert safaris to breathtaking marine life encounters, Oman has many experiences that are unavailable anywhere else in the area.
It is also an incredibly safe and welcoming country, especially for female solo travellers.
Unique things to do in Oman
Drive the coastal road from Salalah to the Yemeni border
Very few tourists visit this remote part of Oman which is home to some of the most dramatic coastline scenery in the Middle East.
Rent a 4X4 and take in all the unique sights like peaceful fishing villages, beautiful beaches and local wildlife.
Explore Al Hoota Cave
This unique cave system is located near the small town of Bimmah and is one of the most spectacular caves in Oman.
Stretching over 1km long, Al Hoota Cave is home to numerous unique species of plants, animals and birds. An experienced guide will take you on a tour through the caves, giving you an insight into the unique ecology and geology of this area.
Swim in a sinkhole
Going for a swim in Binmah sinkhole is one of the best things to do in Oman.
Legend has it that the sinkhole was created by a falling star, although science would say it’s actually the result of collapsing layers of Limestone.
There is a stairway down to the water within the sinkhole which makes it accessible to everyone and the brave can even try diving in.
Explore ruined cities and abandoned villages
Hidden among the majestic mountains of Oman, lies the haunting remains of long-deserted villages that have been forgotten for many years.
The Omani Government generously offered incentives to villagers with hard-to-reach settlements so they could relocate to more accessible towns.
One such example is Manah, found near Nizwa in the Sultanate of Oman; this town was constructed from mud and straw bricks and was inhabited up until the 1970s but has since been abandoned and left to deteriorate over time.
How to get to Oman
Oman is accessible through Muscat International Airport located just outside the capital city of Muscat. There are regular flights to and from other destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
You can also fly into Salalah airport or Sohar airport if you prefer to explore more remote areas of Oman.
Where to stay in Oman
Budget: Sur plaza hotel
Midrange: Arabia oryx camp
Luxury: Luxury desert camp, Wahiba Sands
Tips for visiting Oman
Public transport is pretty much non-existent throughout the country so you will need to rent a car or take a guided tour to see most of the sights.
Be sure to dress modestly when visiting Oman, especially around religious sites. It’s polite to ask for permission before taking photos of locals or sensitive places.
The currency in Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). ATMs and exchange bureaus are widely available throughout major cities and towns.
Tours in Oman
Unique travel destinations #29: Lundy Island, UK
Lundy Island, a unique and secluded destination off the coast of Devon, England, is an unspoilt haven for alternative travellers.
Located in the Bristol Channel twelve miles from the mainland and covering three square miles in area, Lundy is home to an abundance of wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
The island is comprised mostly of granite and is surrounded by unique and picturesque bays, cliffs and coves.
Visitors can explore the island on foot, take boat trips along the coast or even join wildlife tours to get up close and personal with the unique creatures that inhabit the island.
Why you should visit Lundy Island, UK
Visiting Lundy Island is perfect for those looking for unique and alternative travel experiences.
With its unspoilt beauty, unique wildlife, and breathtaking scenery, it’s an ideal destination for adventurers seeking a more offbeat location.
Lundy Island offers plenty of activities such as exploring the island on foot or by boat, tours to get up close and personal with unique creatures that inhabit the island, and incredible photographic opportunities.
There are also historic sites around the island including lighthouses, churches and fortifications that offer an insight into the history of this unique place.
Visiting Lundy Island is sure to be an adventure you’ll never forget!
Unique things to do in Lundy Island, UK
See Puffins in the UK
Lundy Island is one of the best places to see wild Puffins in the UK.
The puffin is the star of Lundy Island, and bird watchers flock to see this charming specimen. What’s more, there’s even a bit of history behind them – “Lundy” comes from Norse origins meaning Puffin (Lund) Island (-ey).
So if you’re looking for an incredible experience with these flamboyant birds, be sure to check out Lundy!
Stay in an old lighthouse
Accommodation on Lundy island is very limited. However, For a truly unique travel experience, you can stay the night in an old lighthouse on Lundy island.
In 1820, Daniel Asher Alexander constructed Old Light – an awe-inspiring structure composed of Cyclopean granite blocks. Stretching towards the sky atop the highest point on the island, its two distinct flats – Upper and Lower – are still available to rent to this day.
Be sure to bring your binoculars as the lighthouse offers great views of the surrounding scenery and is an excellent place to spot wildlife!
Lundy is known for its remarkable 27 ‘letterboxes’ which are actually small hidden boxes crafted from an array of materials.
You will need to follow some clues to find the boxes, turning the island into a treasure hunt! At each location, you can uncover a unique rubber stamp which can be registered on your map as proof that it’s been found. If you are familiar with geo-caching then it is a similar concept.
Make sure to swing by the shop and pick up a letterbox pack! With it, you can embark on an adventure that will lead you to Lundy’s hidden treasures.
It is an unforgettable experience for the entire family that provides insight into all of what this beautiful island has to offer.
How to get to Lundy Island
Lundy Island can be reached by ferry from the mainland. You can catch the ferry from either Ilfracombe or Bideford. The journey takes approximately 2 hours, with regular crossings running between March and October.
In the winter months, it is also possible to take a helicopter to the island.
Where to stay in Lundy Island
Accommodation on Lundy Island is limited, so be sure to book in advance when planning your visit. There are 23 very individual self-catering properties available which are managed by the landmark trust.
Tips for visiting Lundy Island
– Pack appropriate clothing. The island has a unique climate and can be windy even on warm days.
– Bring your own food. Lundy Island is quite remote, so it’s best to bring snacks and supplies with you.
– Make use of the amenities located around the island, such as toilets and refreshment points
Tours to Lundy Island
Unique travel destinations #30: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan is a unique and vibrant city located in the heart of Central Asia. It is the capital of Uzbekistan, with a population of more than 2.3 million people.
Tashkent has served as an essential caravan trading post for centuries but has recently been transformed into the modern metropolis it now is.
Why you should visit Tashkent
Tashkent often gets overlooked in favour of some of Uzbekistan’s more famous silk road cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand. However, Tashkent is unique in that it combines ancient history and modernity.
It’s a great city for exploring unique architecture, culture, and cuisine from the Silk Route era.
Visiting Tashkent will give you an insight into the unique culture of Central Asia while also offering plenty of modern conveniences.
Unique things to do in Tashkent
See one of the world’s most beautiful metro stations
The ornately decorated Tashkent metro system is thought to be one of the most unique and beautiful in the world.
Built in 1977 and often referred to as a ‘museum on wheels’, this unique transportation system offers visitors an insight into Uzbekistan’s unique cultural heritage by showcasing Uzbekistan’s history through portraits, plaques, or architectural features.
Each station is designed around a different theme and the unique decorations of each station range from mosaics, stained glass and sculptures to unique Soviet-era artworks.
Explore relics of the soviet era
Since Uzbekistan wasn’t liberated from Soviet rule until 1991, you can still find numerous unmistakably communist features that are exclusive to the country.
Most obviously is the Hotel Uzbekistan: a grandiose edifice built during the Soviet era which serves as one of Tashkent’s most iconic landmarks.
You can also visit Chorsu Bazaar, which is housed beneath an immense dome constructed by the Soviets and now contains countless stands selling all kinds of exotic goods; or maybe opt for discovering some classic soviet locomotives at the Railway Museum.
No matter what draws your attention to this bewitching nation, its unique Stalinist heritage will surely amaze you!
Visit beautiful mosques and mausoleums
Tashkent is home to a number of unique Islamic sites, such as the imposing Kukeldosh Madrasah and Imam al-Bukhari Mausoleum. The city is also home to some of the oldest mosques in Central Asia, including the Barak Khan Mosque which was built during the 16th century and is one of the oldest surviving mosques in the world.
How to get to Tashkent
Tashkent is easily accessible by air with regular flights arriving in the city from across Europe and Asia.
There are also direct trains running between Moscow and Tashkent, making it a great option for budget travellers.
Once you arrive, getting around is fairly easy, as there are plenty of local buses
Where to stay in Tashkent
Budget: Topchan hostel
Midrange: Demure hotel
Luxury: International hotel Tashkent
Tips for visiting Tashkent
When visiting Tashkent, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:
1. Dress modestly when you’re out and about in the city, especially when visiting religious sites.
2. Be aware of local laws and customs – some activities that may be considered normal in your home country may be illegal or frowned upon in Uzbekistan.
3. Ask for permission before taking photos of locals or sensitive places.
4. Tashkent is generally quite affordable and there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options.
5. Make use of public transportation whenever possible and don’t forget to bargain at the bazaar!
Tours in Tashkent
Unique travel destinations #31: Iraqi Kurdistan
Not to be confused with federal Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region of Iraq that is desperate for independence.
This fascinating region offers a unique combination of ancient sites, beautiful nature and one-of-a-kind cultural experiences that will delight and amaze anyone who is bold enough to travel to this often misunderstood land.
Why you should visit Iraqi Kurdistan
Despite what you might think, the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan is one of the safest areas of the Middle East and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Kurdish people are incredibly friendly and offer some of the best hospitality that you will find anywhere on Earth.
Unique things to do in Iraqi Kurdistan
Visit the abandoned palaces of Saddam Hussein
During his brutal regime, Saddam Hussein had many palaces scattered across Iraq and Kurdistan. Today many of them are abandoned and can be easily explored.
In Sulaymaniyah you can visit the Red Security Museum, aka Saddam Hussein’s House of Horrors, located in what used to be the headquarters of Saddam’s regime. Today it is a museum dedicated to remembering the victims of the deadly regime.
Attend the Nowruz celebrations
the celebration of Nowruz is the Persian New year, where every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather over bonfires and fireworks.
Whilst attending Nowruz, you can witness the hundreds of Kurds taking part in the celebrations, wearing traditional clothes and climbing down the mountain with lit torches for a truly unique celebration.
Explore the ancient ruins of Erbil Citadel
Erbil is the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan and it’s home to one of the oldest inhabited areas in the world. The most popular attraction in Erbil is the ancient citadel, which has been continuously inhabited since approximately 6,000 BC. The citadel offers unique insights into Kurdish culture and history and is a must-see destination for anyone who visits Iraqi Kurdistan.
How to get to Iraqi Kurdistan
The easiest way to get to Iraqi Kurdistan is by flying into the international airport located in Erbil. The airport has direct flights from cities around the world, including Paris and London. Once you arrive, getting around is easy, as there are plenty of local buses and taxis available.
Where to stay in Iraqi Kurdistan
Budget: Soulmate Hotel
Midrange: Hayali Boutique Hotel
Luxury: Dedeman Erbil Hotel
Tips for visiting Iraqi Kurdistan
When visiting Iraqi Kurdistan, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:
1. Dress modestly when out and about in the city, especially when visiting religious sites.
2. Be aware of local laws and customs – some activities that may be considered normal in your home country may be illegal or frowned upon in Iraqi Kurdistan.
3. Ask for permission before taking photos of locals or sensitive places.
4. Do not fly a drone in Iraqi Kurdistan! You will be immediately arrested as drones were used by ISIS spies so even bringing one into the country will place you under suspicion.
Tours in Iraqi Kurdistan
Unique travel destinations #32: Ciudad Perdida (The lost city) Columbia
When thinking of bucket list-worthy hikes in South America, most people think of the famous peaks of Peru and Chile. However, for the bold and the daring, an ancient path lies hidden in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
It beckons those with a penchant for exploration to uncover its sacred secrets – believed to be more than 650 years older than Machu Picchu!
Embark on the Lost City Trek (La Ciudad Perdida), a multi-day journey filled with humidity, early starts, smelly clothes and blisters.
You will confront your own physical limits as you battle through this tough trek that is certainly not for everyone.
However, by doing so you will discover an amazing reward at the end of this challenge – finding out what dwells within yourself during your hike to one of our planet’s most impressive jungle ruins!
The biggest adventures are those we have to work for!
Why you should visit The lost city, Columbia
The unique trek to Ciudad Perdida (literally ‘The Lost City’) in northern Columbia is a must-do for any alternative traveller looking for an unforgettable experience.
The hike up the steep and treacherous terrain of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region of Colombia can take anywhere from four to six days, depending on how far you want to go, and takes you past unique archaeological sites.
As you ascend the dense jungle pathways, discover ancient temple ruins woven in with lush vegetation and unique wildlife.
The trek is often referred to as the ‘Colombian Machu Picchu’ and its unique location makes for some of the most spectacular views in all of South America.
Unique things to do in The lost city, Columbia
Spend time in Santa Marta
Santa Marta is the town from where you will begin and end your trek. Here, explore the unique colonial architecture and vibrant local culture that this Caribbean port town has to offer.
From the local markets to a range of delicious seafood restaurants, Santa Marta is a great place to relax after your trek.
Climb the 1200 steps up to the lost city
In order to gain access to the mysterious Lost City, you must make your way up a daunting 1,200 steps.
These ancient and narrow stairs rise from the Buritaca River and are incredibly steep and treacherously slippery even during the dry season and even for experienced climbers!
Enjoy the view from the Lost City Ruins
The view from the ruins of Ciudad Perdida will take your breath away. Take in the beauty of this unique and magical place as you admire the depths of wisdom and culture that were once enshrined here long ago.
How to get to The lost city, Columbia
You will need to book a guided tour to reach the lost city. The tour will take you from Santa Marta and includes transport, accommodation, food, and a guide to Ciudad Perdida.
To get to Santa Marta, you can fly directly to Simón Bolívar International Airport (SMR), or take a bus from other cities in Colombia.
Where to stay for The lost city trek, Columbia
During the trek, you will be camping but you will need to book accommodation in Santa Marta for the nights before and after your trek. Here are some options:
Budget: Fatima Hostel
Midrange: Journey Hostel
Luxury: Casa Carolina
Tips for visiting The lost city, Columbia
1. Bring plenty of insect repellent and sun cream – it can get very hot and humid on the trek!
2. Invest in a good quality pair of hiking boots as your feet will thank you later.
3. Drink lots of water throughout the trek to avoid dehydration.
4. Be prepared for rain
5. Bring some extra pairs of dry socks as your feet will definitely get wet!
Tours to the lost city, Colombia
Half-day food tour in Santa Marta, Columbia – refuel after your trek!
Unique travel destinations #33: Juneau, Alaska
Did you know that Alaska’s compact capital city of Juneau is the only US capital city with no road access? As it can only be reached by plane or boat Juneau is quite literally an off-the-beaten-path destination!
Why you should visit Juneau
Juneau, Alaska is the unique and off-the-beaten-path destination that alternative travellers dream of.
Located in the Alaskan Panhandle, this picturesque city is surrounded by majestic mountains and forests, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking or fishing.
The unique wildlife of Juneau offers a one-of-a-kind experience with opportunities to see whales breaching in the ocean, as well as bald eagles soaring overhead.
With its stunning natural beauty and unique cultural experiences such as traditional totem pole carving demonstrations or visiting local artisan shops, Juneau provides something for everyone who seeks an unusual travel adventure!
Unique things to do in Juneau
Explore Mendenhall glacier and its ice caves
Mendenhall Glacier is a stunning natural wonder located 12 miles from Juneau, Alaska. It has long been a popular destination among alternative travellers who seek unique and off-the-beaten-path adventures.
The glacier was formed over thousands of years, with glacial ice originating from the British Columbia Coast Mountains and flowing down to the Mendenhall Valley.
The ice caves of the Mendenhall Glacier are incredibly unique and can only be accessed by a short hike from the visitor centre. Once you venture inside you will feel like you have entered another world!
Take a whale-watching tour
Juneau, Alaska is known as one of the best places to spot whales in all of North America.
With its unique coastline and abundant wildlife, Juneau is the perfect spot for a unique whale-watching tour.
You will be able to witness majestic whales breaching in the ocean and observe other unique wildlife such as sea lions, eagles, seals and porpoises!
Spot bears on Admiralty island
Admiralty Island is a unique destination for alternative travellers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Located near Juneau, Alaska, the island has one of the highest densities of brown bears in the world.
With an estimated bear population of 1,500 living on the island, there is no doubt that Admiralty Island is a unique place to visit.
How to get to Juneau
The only way to get to Juneau, Alaska is by plane or boat. There are daily flights from other major cities in the US and Canada including Seattle, Vancouver, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
For those who prefer to travel by sea, there are regular ferries from nearby towns such as Ketchikan and Skagway.
If you’re looking for a unique off-the-beaten-path destination then Juneau is definitely worth a visit!
Where to stay in Juneau
Midrange: Alaskas capital INN B&B
Luxury: Ramada Juneau
Tips for visiting Juneau
1. Pack layers – the weather can change quickly in Juneau so it’s best to be prepared!
2. Bring your own binoculars for wildlife viewing as some tours don’t provide them.
5. Wear waterproof shoes!
6. Use cash wherever possible as some places may not take credit cards.
8. Bring a map or GPS as cell service can be spotty in some areas.
Tours in Juneau
Unique travel destinations #34: Patagonia
Patagonia is a unique and beautiful destination that draws alternative travellers from all around the world.
Located at the southern tip of South America, this vast region spans Chile and Argentina, with some parts extending into Uruguay and Brazil.
Why you should visit Patagonia
Patagonia is home to breathtaking landscapes such as the jagged peaks of the Andes mountains, towering glaciers, verdant valleys dotted with lakes and rivers, ancient forests filled with wildlife, and rugged coastlines lined by pristine beaches.
Patagonia also offers unique cultural experiences for those looking for something off-the-beaten path such as traditional gaucho villages or indigenous communities living in harmony with nature.
From outdoor adventures to unique cultural experiences – Patagonia has it all and is a truly unique travel destination for those looking for adventure!
Unique things to do in Patagonia
Hike the most remote trek on Earth
Patagonia is a paradise for trekkers and hikers looking for unique adventures in some of the most spectacular landscapes imaginable.
The Dientes de Navarino Circuit is a unique and unforgettable trekking adventure located in the wild Patagonia region of southern Chile.
Starting in Puerto Williams, the southernmost city located on Isla Navarino, this unique trek takes you through some of the most remote and untouched landscapes imaginable.
The trekking circuit traverses unique landscapes stretching from the Martillo Glacier to Cape Froward and includes unique attractions such as breathtaking views of the Dientes Mountains and the unique marble caves at Caleta Marmol.
The trek is challenging and requires some planning, but it’s definitely worth the effort for those looking for unique and unforgettable experiences in Patagonia!
Stay at an Eco-Lodge
Patagonia is also home to several eco-lodges located in some unique and pristine locations. These lodges offer unforgettable experiences such as bird watching, star gazing, and wildlife spotting.
One of the most unique eco-lodges is the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa. Located near Torres del Paine National Park, this stunning lodge offers gorgeous views of the unique Patagonian landscape and fun experiences such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and wildlife spotting.
The decor at Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa is inspired by the unique local culture and features amenities such as a sauna and yoga studio.
Visit the beautiful marble caves of Patagonia
Chile’s Northern Patagonia has something unique and special to offer to alternative travellers – the Marble Caves, or ‘Capillas de Marmol’.
These unique geological formations have been carved by the waves of General Carrera Lake into beautiful and breathtaking patterns that create an unforgettable experience for visitors.
The unique shape of the caves is created by eroding layers of calcium carbonate, giving them a pretty blue-green colour.
The caves can be visited by boat or kayak only, making for an unforgettable experience in Patagonia!
How to get to Patagonia
Patagonia is located at the southern tip of South America, making it a unique and special travel destination for alternative travellers.
The main gateway to the region is Santiago de Chile, from where you can fly or take a bus or ferry to the towns of Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas (Chile), El Calafate (Argentina) or Ushuaia (Argentina).
From these main towns, you can use buses to reach unique destinations throughout Patagonia.
The unique landscapes and experiences of Patagonia will make your trip an unforgettable one!
Where to stay in Patagonia
Budget: Hospedaje Magallanes B&B – Punta Arenas
Midrange: Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
Luxury: Arakur – Ushuaia
Tips for visiting Patagonia
– Respect the unique environment of Patagonia and follow all conservation regulations.
– Be aware of the weather conditions before starting a trek or any outdoor activity.
– Take time to appreciate and explore unique cultural experiences during your visit to Patagonia.
– Have fun and enjoy unforgettable experiences that are unique to the region!
Tours in Patagonia
Unique travel destinations #35: Palau
Uniquely situated in the Western Pacific Ocean, Palau is an isolated paradise made up of its main island Babeldaob, several smaller islands and over 300 limestone rock islands, scattered about 800km east of the Philippines and 1330 km northeast of Guam.
Uncontested by other travellers, this untouched nook provides a haven for exploration away from bustling tourist sites. Come to Palau if you’re seeking a genuine escape!
Why you should visit Palau
This hard-to-reach region of the Pacific Ocean is known for its pristine beaches, unique cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty.
From the awesome Jellyfish Lake to the ancient Koror Island Tombs, Palau has lots to offer to adventurous souls who make the long trip out there.
Unique things to do in Palau
Visit Palau’s famous Jellyfish lake
One of Palau’s most unique attractions is Jellyfish Lake, an isolated marine lake with millions of stingless jellyfish.
Get up close and personal with these unique creatures on a snorkelling tour.
Sea Kayaking around Palau’s rock islands
Explore the nooks and crannies of Palau’s secluded islands by kayak. It’s a unique and serene way to get up close and personal with nature.
Get a unique underwater experience while you helmet dive in Palau!
You’ll be fitted with a special helmet that will allow you to remain dry, even when submerged in up to 20 metres of water.
How to get to Palau
You can fly to Palau from Manila, Taipei and Guam.
Where to stay in Palau
Budget: Yogi Dives B&B
Midrange: Cove resort Palau
Luxury: Palau pacific resort
Tips for visiting Palau
– Respect the unique environment of Palau and abide by cultural norms.
– Be aware of the weather conditions before starting a trek or any outdoor activity.
– Take time to appreciate and explore unique cultural experiences during your visit to Palau.
– Have fun and enjoy unforgettable experiences that are unique to the region!
Tours in Palau
Unique travel destinations #36: Antarctica
Antarctica is a unique and awe-inspiring destination that attracts adventurers from all around the world.
With its pristine landscapes, unique wildlife, and dramatic vistas, it’s easy to see why travellers are so eager to embark on a journey to this most remote continent.
The best way to get there is by taking an Antarctic cruise aboard a specially designed research vessel.
Why you should visit Antarctica
This unique destination offers a unique and thrilling experience like no other in the world. From its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife and incredible vistas, it’s easy to see why travellers are drawn to its majesty.
Plus, travelling by ship allows for an up-close view of some of the world’s most unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders!
Unique things to do in Antarctica
Kayak amongst icebergs
Explore the unique ice formations up close by embarking on a kayaking adventure through the frozen waters of Antarctica. It’s an unforgettable experience!
Visit a scientific research station
For a truly unique travel experience, you can visit the Vernadsky Research Station and the world’s Southernmost bar.
This is the research station where scientists first discovered the hole in the ozone layer!
It is possible to take a small-group trip to the base where you can have a tour of the research facility led by one of the scientists who work there.
This is a wonderful insight into what life is like for the people working and living in Antarctica, as well as an up-close look at the amazing work being conducted there.
Take the polar plunge
Swim in the crater of an active volcano from Deception Island for a truly unforgettable adventure!
Deception Island is a unique, horseshoe-shaped volcanic island located in the South Shetland archipelago off the Antarctic Peninsula.
Home to an active volcano, this unique destination offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim in its crater.
How to get to Antarctica
The best way to reach Antarctica is by taking a cruise from Ushuaia, Argentina. These cruises typically last anywhere from 10-30 days depending on the tour operator and the route you take.
Where to stay in Antarctica
Most tours will include accommodation onboard the ship, which is the most common option for travellers visiting Antarctica.
Tips for visiting Antarctica
– Dress appropriately for cold temperatures.
– Respect the unique environment of Antarctica and abide by cultural norms.
– Be aware of the weather conditions before starting a trek or any outdoor activity.
– Take time to appreciate and explore unique cultural experiences during your visit to Antarctica.
– Have fun and enjoy unforgettable experiences that are
Tours to Antarctica
Unique travel destinations #37: The Stone Forest of Madagascar (Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park)
The unique and awe-inspiring Stone Forest of Madagascar is one of the most unique travel destinations in the world.
Located within Madagascar’s Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, this unique limestone formation creates an incredible landscape filled with unique rock formations.
Why you should visit The Stone Forest of Madagascar
A majestic landscape, the Tsingy de Bemaraha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that rightfully merits its prestigious designation.
Here one can observe truly extraordinary and awe-inspiring geological formations, it appears as though you’ve stepped foot onto another planet!
The unique landscape of jagged limestone pinnacles (known as ‘tsingy’) is unique to the region and offers unrivalled opportunities for exploring, hiking and camping.
Unique things to do in The Stone Forest of Madagascar
Explore unique limestone formations
The unique tsingy limestone formations are unlike anything else found in the world.
As you explore the park, you’ll be able to take in the beauty of the unique shapes of the limestone formations.
Hike through unique karst caves
Explore the karst caves, formed over millions of years by rainwater dissolving and eroding limestone.
These cave systems offer a unique view into Madagascar’s geology and an unparalleled opportunity to explore a unique subterranean environment.
How to get to The Stone Forest of Madagascar
The Stone Forest of Madagascar is located in the western part of Madagascar, near the city of Morondava.
The nearest airport is Morondava Airport (MOQ). From there you can arrange a taxi or hire a car to take you to the park.
Where to stay in The Stone Forest of Madagascar
Camping in the park is a great option and there are several campsites available that rent out tents to travellers.
Most visitors who aren’t camping out in the park stay in the village of Bekopaka, The grand hotel is a good option here.
Tips for visiting the Stone Forest of Madagascar
– Dress appropriately for the warm climate.
– Respect the unique environment of Madagascar and abide by cultural norms.
– Be aware of the wildlife in the area before you start exploring or any outdoor activity.
– Take time to appreciate and explore unique cultural experiences during your visit to The Stone Forest of Madagascar.
Tours to The Stone Forest of Madagascar
Unique travel destinations #38: Zhangjiajie, China
If you’re an Avatar fan, then the majestic mountains of Zhangjiajie National Park in China will look familiar!
This UNESCO World Heritage Site served as a source of inspiration for Pandora and its magnificent scenery has attracted tourists from all over the world.
With towering peaks and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder why this park is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Why you should visit Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie national park is one of the most unique travel destinations in the world!
Although it is not easy to get to Zhangjiajie national park is definitely worth the effort.
The unique landscape of sandstone peaks and lush forests gives it a unique atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else.
This unique terrain has served as an important source of inspiration for Chinese culture, art and literature for centuries.
Unique things to do in Zhangjiajie
Marvel at the unique sandstone peaks
Also known as the Avatar mountains, the incredible sandstone formations of Zhangjiajie are among the most unique in the world.
With its pinnacles, spires and towers, this landscape will take your breath away!
Take a cable car up to Tianzi Mountain
Take a cable car ride up to Tianzi Mountain and witness breathtaking views of the unique landscape below.
How to get to Zhangjiajie
Zhangjiajie, a small city situated in the northern region of Hunan province, may be difficult to reach due to its lack of high-speed railways. Depending on your origin point, travelling here can prove tricky.
Zhangjiajie is located in Hunan Province, China. The nearest airport is Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport (DYG).
Where to stay in Zhangjiajie
Budget: Easy house
Midrange: Whispering mountains boutique hotel
Luxury: No. 5 valley lodge
Tips for visiting Zhangjiajie National Park
– Respect the unique environment of Zhangjiajie National Park and abide by the cultural norms.
– Dress appropriately for the climate.
– Be aware of the wildlife in the area before you start any outdoor activity.
– Take time to appreciate unique cultural experiences during your visit to Zhangjiajie.
Tours to Zhangjiajie
Unique travel destinations #39: Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi is the vibrant and beautiful capital of Georgia. Located on the banks of the Kura river, this unique destination offers a fascinating mixture of modernity and ancient history.
From its beautiful architecture to its unique blend of cultures, Tbilisi is an enchanting city that draws in visitors from all over the world.
Why you should visit Tbilisi
Tbilisi is a unique and enchanting travel destination that offers a fascinating blend of modernity and ancient history.
Its stunning architecture, unique culture, diverse cuisine, vibrant nightlife and hospitable locals make it the perfect place to explore and experience something truly unique.
From its iconic landmarks to its unique souvenir shops, Tbilisi truly has something for everyone!
Unique things to do in Tbilisi
Experience The Sulphur Baths of Old Tbilisi
The Sulphur Baths of Old Tbilisi are one of the best historic and unique cultural experiences that you can experience in Georgia.
Located in the heart of the city, these ancient baths have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.
Today, visitors can take a tour to learn more about this unique cultural experience, as well as take a dip in the sulphur-rich waters.
If you’re looking for a bathhouse to relax in, there is an abundance of options. Most feature both male and female sections within their public baths, with the entrance fee usually ranging from 5-10 GEL.
For those seeking more privacy, private rooms are available too; these cost around 40-90 GEL per hour depending on what room type you choose.
Visit the bank of Georgia headquarters
If, like me, you are a fan of Soviet architecture, then be sure to check out the Bank of Georgia Headquarters, one of the weirdest things to see in Tbilisi!
Perched south of the bustling city hub, en route to Mtskheta and crafted from 5 cube-shaped modules arranged (somewhat randomly) atop one another, stands this impressive structure.
I think it looks like a game of Jenga gone wrong!
Zipline into the botanical gardens
Zipin Tbilisi is an exhilarating, urban zipline experience like no other.
Since its July 2017 opening, it has proudly connected Narikala fortress and the Botanical Gardens in a swift ride, becoming one of Tbilisi’s most unique attractions!
Zipin offers you an exciting way to traverse the cityscape; why not give it a try?
If you’re looking for an adventure, departing right next to the Kartlis Deda viewpoint is a zip line that ends 270 meters below at the Botanical gardens.
The ride doesn’t last long – just 30 seconds! But it’s best enjoyed during daylight hours, particularly around sunset when the views are most spectacular.
If you prefer late-night rides, no worries – this one operates until 9 PM!
How to get to Tbilisi
The best way to get to Tbilisi is by air, with direct flights available from many major cities around the world. You can also take a train or bus into the city, which will take a bit longer but is often more cost-effective.
Where to stay in Tbilisi
Budget: Envoy hostel
Midrange: TbiliSee Hotel
Luxury: Penthouse hotel
Tips for visiting Tbilisi
1. Learn the Language – Georgian is the official language in Georgia, and although many locals speak English, it is always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases before your trip. Pick up a few words, such as “hello” (gamarjoba) and “thank you” (madlobt) and people will appreciate the effort!
2. Watch Out for Pickpockets – As with any major city, pickpocketing is something to be aware of when visiting Tbilisi. Be sure to keep your belongings close at all times and don’t leave them unattended in public areas.
3. Use Public Transport – Tbilisi has an extensive public transport system and this is the best way to get around the city if you are on a budget. Make sure to have coins or small change with you as many of the buses only accept cash payments.
4. Taste The Georgian Wine – Georgia is renowned for its unique wine-producing region, and tasting different wines is a must when visiting the city. Be sure to try some of the unique local varieties, as well as any international offerings that you may come across.
5. Try The Traditional Food – Georgian cuisine is unique and delicious, so don’t miss out on trying some of the local dishes during your stay in Tbilisi!
Tours in Tbilisi
Unique travel destinations #40: The Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains in Morocco are an incredible sight to behold.
Spanning 2,500 km from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The highest peak of the range stands at 4,167 m above sea level and is topped by snow for much of the year.
Why you should visit The Atlas Mountains
This unique mountain range is home to elusive wildlife, unique vegetation, and some fantastic cultural experiences.
Take a tour of the Atlas Mountains, where you can experience unique local cultures and traditions, explore desert landscapes, and go trekking through mountain passes.
Explore this unique travel destination in Morocco today!
Unique things to do in The Atlas Mountains
Hike to the Summit of Mount Toubkal
Hiking to the summit of Mount Toubkal is an unforgettable experience that is sure to make for a unique travel adventure!
Standing 4,167 meters high, Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas mountain range and offers spectacular views from the top.
While it can be a challenging hike, it is possible for anyone with a decent level of fitness and determination.
Visit Aït Benhaddou
Aït Benhaddou is an ancient fortified city located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, near Ouarzazate.
This unique site has been used as a backdrop for many popular films including Gladiator, The Mummy and Game of Thrones.
A visit to this unique destination will take you back in time as you wander through the narrow alleyways and explore traditional mud-brick houses that were once inhabited by Berber families.
Stay at a Traditional Kasbah
For unique accommodation, stay at one of the many traditional kasbahs located throughout the Atlas Mountains.
A kasbah is a unique type of fortress that often features unique turrets and balconies, as well as magnificent gardens and courtyards.
Many of the traditional kasbahs have been converted into unique guesthouses that offer comfortable accommodations in unique surroundings.
How to get to The Atlas Mountains
The closest major cities to the Atlas Mountains are Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
You can either take a bus or hire a car to get to the mountains, but be sure to plan your route in advance so that you know where you’re going.
There are also some guided tours available for those who want an informative and unique travel experience
Where to stay in The Atlas Mountains
Budget: Dar boumida
Midrange: Le village de Toubkal
Luxury: The Capaldi hotel
Tips for visiting The Atlas Mountains
1. Respect local cultures and traditions – when visiting the unique villages in the Atlas Mountains, make sure to be respectful of local customs and dress appropriately.
2. Have a plan – it’s important to have an idea of what you want to do while in the Atlas Mountains so that you can make the most of your time there.
3. The weather in the Atlas Mountains can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to bring warm clothing even if you’re visiting during the summer months.
4. Bring plenty of water – staying hydrated is essential when exploring unique destinations like the Atlas Mountains, so make sure you always have enough water on hand.
Tours in The Atlas Mountains
Unique travel destinations #41. Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa is a unique destination for adventure travellers.
From fun wildlife encounters to unique cultural experiences, this lively city has something for everyone.
Explore historic sites, unique markets, and vibrant neighbourhoods in this spirited and dynamic urban landscape.
Why you should visit Johannesburg
Most travellers to South Africa skip Johannesburg in favour of Cape Town or Durban. But this is a shame as Johannesburg has a lot to offer.
I first travelled to Jo’burg in 2009 when it still had a pretty bad reputation for being unsafe. However, I instantly fell in love with this bustling African city.
As long as you practice common sense Jo’burg is no more dangerous than any other major city. So ignore what you may have heard and give it a chance!
Unique things to do in Johannesburg
Learn about South Africa’s recent history at the Apartheid museum
The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa is a unique destination for those who wish to learn about the recent history of the country.
This super interesting museum offers a unique insight into the struggles and triumphs experienced by South Africans during the apartheid era.
At the Apartheid Museum, visitors can explore various interactive exhibits that cover different aspects of the apartheid era. From art installations to informative films and interactive displays, this fascinating museum offers an experience that no traveller should miss out on.
Take a Tour of Soweto township
For those looking for a unique travel experience in South Africa, a guided tour of Soweto is the perfect option.
Soweto is South Africa’s largest and most famous township. Soweto was at the forefront of the fight against apartheid, with many conflicts taking place here.
Despite its troubled past, Soweto is now a vibrant and thriving area with many interesting sights to see.
Most tours of Soweto will include a stop at Nelson Mandela’s house, Desmond Tutus’s house and the Soweto towers, a decommissioned power station which is now painted in brightly coloured murals.
On a tour of Soweto, visitors will also get to explore vibrant markets, meet local artisans, learn about unique foods and drinks, and discover the unique music scene of Soweto.
Bungee jump from the Soweto towers
Bungee jumping off the Soweto towers is an adrenaline rush like no other.
Located in the township of Soweto, a unique and vibrant area of South Africa, this fun attraction is one of the most popular experiences for thrillseekers looking to get their blood pumping.
The Soweto towers were originally built as a power station but now stand as one of the premier bungee jumping destinations in South Africa.
Standing at an impressive 70 metres tall, this unique attraction offers a thrilling experience that is rarely found elsewhere.
How to get to Johannesburg
Johannesburg is a bustling city and the gateway to South Africa for many international visitors.
There are several ways to get to Johannesburg from around the world, including flights from most major cities as well as buses and trains from other parts of South Africa.
Where to stay in Johannesburg
Budget: Lebo’s Soweto backpackers
Midrange: Lucky bean guest house
Luxury: The Fairway Hotel & Spa
Tips for visiting Johannesburg
Although Johannesburg is safer than it used to be, it is still worth being cautious. Don’t wander around by yourself after dark and avoid being flashy with money or expensive jewellery.
It is also worth being aware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Tours in Johannesburg
Unique travel destinations #42.Paleokastritsa, Corfu
If you’re looking for an unusual and unique travel destination, look no further than Paleokastritsa on the island of Corfu.
This tiny village is located in a secluded valley and is home to some of the most unique and stunning scenery in all of Greece.
The locals are warm and welcoming, and there’s never a shortage of things to do or see.
So if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s sure to amaze, be sure to add Paleokastritsa to your list!
Why you should visit Paleokastritsa
You should visit Paleokastritsa because it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, yet has much fewer visitors than many of Greece’s other popular beach destinations such as Zante or Mykonos.
Paleokastritsa is a little more remote and so feels a lot less crowded and commercialised than most greek beaches. It’s a fantastic alternative if you are looking for a more unique greek holiday destination.
Unique things to do in Paleokastritsa
Relax on the beach
Paleokastritsa Beach is a unique and unforgettable experience that promises to be an escape from the mundane.
Located in a secluded valley on the island of Corfu, the beach is beautiful with its unique turquoise waters, white sand and startlingly clear blue skies.
Offering some of the best beach views in all of Europe. It’s best to spend the whole day here simply soaking up the best of those greek beach vibes.
Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard
I spent my 28th birthday paddleboarding around Paleokastritsa and it’s a day I’ll never forget!
The water here is so incredibly clear that you can see all the way down to the seabed below you.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such clear waters anywhere else in Europe.
How to get to Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa is located on the northeastern side of Corfu and can be reached by car or public transport from the nearby town of Acharavi.
Where to stay in Paleokastritsa
Budget: Paleo Inn hotel
Luxury: Tango beachfront apartment
Tips for visiting Paleokastritsa
-Paleokastritsa is a unique and beautiful destination that doesn’t have to break the bank. When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of budget-friendly options with several Airbnbs and apartments available for rent at reasonable prices. Additionally, dining on a budget can also be done easily as there are numerous local eateries serving up delicious Greek dishes at very affordable prices.
– If you want to experience the very best of what Paleokastritsa has to offer, then you should definitely book yourself onto one of the many guided tours available here. Whether it’s kayaking around the island or a snorkelling safari out on the open sea
Tours in Paleokastritsa
Unique travel destinations #43. Greenland
Greenland is one of the most unique and exotic travel destinations in the world. From its vibrant culture and unique landscape to its arctic wildlife, it is sure to leave any traveller with an unforgettable experience.
During your stay, you can explore the unique geography of Greenland, from its stunning fjords to its massive glaciers and towering icebergs.
You can also experience some amazing activities, such as kayaking and husky sledging, or enjoy an affordable gourmet meal of freshly-caught Arctic seafood.
Why you should visit Greenland
Greenland is one of the last unexplored destinations on earth! With incredibly low population density and no roads connecting its towns, venturing here gives you a sense of true exploration.
Here you can experience what it’s like to explore uncharted terrain without any traffic or tourists in sight!
Unique things to do in Greenland
Experience the unique adventure of riding on a husky sledge around Greenland – it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Climb up a glacier to experience the unique landscape of Greenland from an entirely new perspective.
Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feel the remarkable feeling of standing inside an ice cave on a glacier in Greenland? How about walking and trying some exhilarating ice climbing while you’re at it? Not to worry, there are plenty of tours available even suitable for those who have never climbed before!
Kayak through stunning fjords
Kayaking is a traditional part of Inuit culture and is still an important part of everyday life in Greenland.
Paddle through some of the unique fjords and inlets to see up close what life is like in one of the most remote places on Earth.
How to get to Greenland
The best way to get to Greenland is by plane, either from Denmark or Iceland.
Air Greenland operates two daily flights from Copenhagen and Reykjavik, with connections from various other cities in Europe.
Where to stay in Greenland
Budget: The red house
Midrange: Hotel Sisimiut
Luxury: The Aurora Hut
Tips for visiting Greenland
-It can be quite difficult to find accommodation in Greenland, but luckily there are plenty of unique Airbnbs, guesthouses and camping sites available.
-If you’re planning on doing any activities, make sure you book well in advance as some can get booked up quickly during peak season.
-Be sure to pack for extreme weather as temperatures can vary greatly due to the unique climate in Greenland.
-Finally, don’t forget to bring plenty of cash with you
Tours in Greenland
Unique travel destinations #44. Darwin, Australia
Darwin, Australia is one of the most unique and alternative travel destinations in the world.
Located in the Northern Territory, Darwin offers a unique mix of culture, nature and adventure that is sure to satisfy any traveller’s needs.
From its vibrant markets and unique wildlife to its stunning coastal views and outback experiences, there’s something for everyone in this often-overlooked city.
Why you should visit Darwin
Most tourists visiting Australia tend to head for the southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne or the famous gold coast.
This means that Darwin is often forgotten by most travellers. However, it is very much worth adding to your bucket list.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities such as fishing or kayaking or simply want to explore some of the unique cultures found here, Darwin has it all.
With its beautiful beaches, lush rainforest hikes and friendly locals, Darwin is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an exciting alternative travel experience in Australia.
Unique things to do in Darwin
Get up close and personal with saltwater crocodiles
Taking a cruise on the Adelaide River is an unforgettable way to get up close and personal with wild saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat.
With guides who are experts in all things crocodilian, this unique experience will leave you with some amazing memories.
Take a helicopter pub crawl
Aussies love a good pub crawl. But why not get chauffeured around in a helicopter rather than walk between the different pubs?
This is one of the more unique travel experiences available in Darwin. Travelling by helicopter allows you to reach more remote watering holes that you otherwise couldn’t reach in a single day and soak up the authentic Northern Territory vibes while enjoying the outback views from above.
Attend the Mindil beach markets
The Mindil Beach Markets are one of the highlights of Darwin and a unique experience for any traveller.
This beachside market takes place every Thursday and Sunday night during the dry season, offering food from all over the world, unique artworks, live music performances and more.
Explore Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is located just one hour away from Darwin and is home to some of the most unique wildlife and scenery in Australia.
From towering gorges to stunning waterways, this unique park will have you mesmerized.
Make sure to take some time to explore the Aboriginal cultural heritage of this unique national park, as well as some of its unique wildlife species such as crocodiles and wallabies.
How to get to Darwin
The best way to get to Darwin is by plane, with flights from all major cities in Australia as well as some international destinations.
Alternatively, you can also take a road trip and get here by car or rent a campervan for a unique adventure.
Where to stay in Darwin
Budget: Youth shack backpackers hostel
Midrange: Darwin city hotel
Luxury: Travelodge resort
Tips for visiting Darwin
-Be sure to pack for extreme weather, as temperatures can vary greatly due to the unique climate in Darwin.
-Don’t forget some insect repellent, as there are lots of mosquitoes and other insects around during the wet season.
Tours in Darwin
Unique travel destinations #45. Iquitos, Peru
Iquitos is a unique and alternative travel destination in Peru, located deep in the Amazon rainforest.
This unique city is accessed only by boat or plane, providing travellers with an opportunity to explore some of the world’s most remote and exotic locations.
From its bountiful wildlife, fascinating cultures, incredible landscapes and untouched rivers, Iquitos offers a unique travel experience that few will ever get to experience.
Why you should visit Iquitos
A journey to the Amazon River is something everyone should experience in their lifetime!
From its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and bold biodiversity to its vibrant cultures along the banks of this grand river, you will not be disappointed.
Iquitos, located directly on the magnificent Amazon River, caters specifically for explorers who are passionate about nature.
This city serves as your gateway into an incredible world that awaits you on a visit to Amazonia.
Unique things to do in Iquitos
Explore the Amazon rainforest
The unique environment of the Amazon rainforest is one that you won’t soon forget.
From navigating through its lush and dense jungles, spotting rare and elusive wildlife along the riverbanks and discovering hidden waterfalls, there’s something for everyone to explore in this unique part of the world.
Visit the unique floating markets
Iquitos is home to unique floating markets that are held on the Amazon River, offering an unforgettable experience and insight into how the Amazonian communities trade and operate. Take part in some of their unique cultural and traditional practices as you explore the riverbanks.
Experience native wildlife in the Amazon Jungle
The Amazon rainforest is home to some unique and incredible wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Spot some rare species such as toucans, sloths, monkeys, capybaras and more during your visit!
How to get to Iquitos
The best way to get to Iquitos is by plane, with direct flights from Lima and some international destinations.
Alternatively, you can also take a unique boat journey from other major cities in Peru such as Tarapoto or Yurimaguas.
Where to stay in Iquitos
Budget: Amazon house hostel
Midrange: Avatar amazon lodge
Luxury: Pacaya Samiria amazon lodge
Tips for visiting Iquitos
-Be sure to pack for the tropical climate and a variety of terrains, as Iquitos is located deep in the Amazon rainforest.
-Don’t forget some insect repellent, as there are lots of bugs around during the wet season.
-Make sure to stock up on supplies before you head out into the rainforest.
-Be sure to book a tour guide to help you navigate your way through the unique environment of the Amazon.
Tours in Iquitos
Unique travel destinations #46: Taormina, Sicily
Taormina is one of Sicily’s most unique and picturesque destinations.
Located in the stunning Ionian Sea, the town is perched atop a mountain overlooking an incredible panoramic view of the coastline.
The vivid blue waters, rolling hills and lush vegetation provide an idyllic backdrop for exploration and relaxation.
Why you should visit Taormina
Taormina is a unique travel destination that offers visitors an opportunity to explore the culture of Sicily and its varied landscapes.
From the rolling hills of Etna’s slopes to the vibrant nightlife scene in town, there is something for everyone here.
Taormina is a great place to get off the beaten path in Sicily. I fell in love with Taormina when I visited back in 2018 and I now consider it to be one of my favourite destinations in all of Italy.
I highly recommend everyone to come to Taormina to experience a unique and offbeat destination in Italy.
Unique things to do in Taormina
Marvel at the Greco-Roman theatre
Taormina’s unique amphitheatre sits right on the coastline and offers one of the most stunning views that you imagine.
It’s an incredible sight to behold and a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Italy.
Visit Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.
Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the most unique places to visit in Sicily.
The best way to take it all in is from the top. You can ride the cable car, hike around or even take a jeep tour up to its summit for an unforgettable experience.
Explore the hilltop village of Castelmola
Castelmola is a unique hilltop village located near Taormina in Sicily.
Its unique position gives it incredible views of the surrounding area and the Ionian Sea beyond. It’s a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a much-needed break from the everyday.
History buffs will love the unique artefacts in Castelmola, such as an ancient olive press, a castle and a unique Greek temple.
Plus, there are plenty of lovely restaurants and cafes where you can try some local delicacies such as the famous almond wine of Castelmola.
How to get to Taormina
Getting to Taormina is relatively easy with several airports located nearby including Catania, Palermo and Reggio Calabria.
You can also get to Taormina by train or bus from many of the other major cities in Sicily.
Where to stay in Taormina
Budget: Hostel Taormina
Midrange: Taormina Panoramic Hotel
Luxury: Unahotels Capotaormina
Tips for visiting Taormina
-Bring comfortable shoes – the cobblestone streets and hilly terrain make it ideal for a bit of exploration, so be sure to bring along some good walking shoes.
-Explore nearby towns and villages – From Castelmola to Taormina Mare, there are plenty of interesting and off-the-beaten-path villages that are worth visiting.
-Plan your trip in advance – With unique attractions all around Taormina, you’ll want to plan out a few days in advance so that you don’t miss anything.
-Try the local food and wine – Sicily is known for its amazing cuisine, so take the time to try some of the unique dishes and wines that Taormina has to offer.
Tours in Taormina
Unique travel destinations #47: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a unique destination located in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe.
It is bordered by Croatia and Serbia, making it a great place to explore the unique culture and history of the region.
Why you should visit Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina offers a unique insight into Balkan culture, with its unique blend of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Byzantine and Slavic influences.
Tourism is slowly starting to recover since the Bosnian war ended in the 1990s.
However, this corner of Europe is still very much off the beaten path for most travellers. This means you will likely be able to enjoy Bosnia’s historic sites, beautiful landscapes and awe-inspiring waterfalls all to yourself without the crowds that you would expect if these sites were elsewhere in Europe.
Unique things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Explore an abandoned Olympic bobsled track
Exploring Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track is a unique way to spend an afternoon in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city of Sarajevo.
The abandoned bobsleigh and luge track is situated on Trebević mountain overlooking the City of Sarajevo.
Constructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, this unique wonder of engineering has stood the test of time despite its tumultuous past. Today the track is covered in colourful graffiti and provides an interesting backdrop for photos.
Marvel at a waterfall in the middle of a city
While most cities around the world have a square or fountain at their centre, Jajce stands out from them all with its 17-meter tall waterfall cascading in the very heart of this small city located in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The epic waterfall in the middle of town definitely makes Jajce one of the most unique cities to visit in the world.
Watch the bridge jumpers of Mostar
Mostar is a unique city located in the southern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It is known around the world for its iconic bridge, Stari Most, which was built in 1566 and destroyed by shelling during the Bosnian War in 1993. However, the bridge has since been reconstructed and has become a symbol of peace and reconciliation.
But the unique thing about Stari Most is that it acts as a magnet for thrill-seekers, who come from all over the world to jump off the bridge.
Watching these brave individuals leap into the Neretva River below makes for quite an unforgettable experience!
How to get to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is easily accessible by plane, train or car.
There are several international airports located in the country such as Banja Luka, Sarajevo and Mostar, making it easy to get there from many European cities.
Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from neighbouring countries such as Croatia and Serbia.
It’s worth shopping around for flights as you may find that the cheapest way to reach Bosnia is to fly into Split, Croatia or Belgrade, Serbia and then take a bus from there.
Where to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Midrange: Hotel Mepas – Mostar
Luxury: Hotel Pasha
Tips for visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. Explore unique sites like the abandoned Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track in Sarajevo and the waterfall in Jajce for unique experiences.
2. Watch brave bridge jumpers take a leap from Stari Most, the iconic bridge of Mostar that was rebuilt after the Bosnian War in 1993.
3. Visit during one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s many festivals to experience authentic Balkan culture up close.
4. Spend time outdoors hiking through Sutjeska National Park or rafting down Tara River for an unforgettable adventure-filled day out!
5. Sample some traditional Bosnian cuisine such as burek (savoury pastry filled with meat), ćevapi (grilled meat dishes served with pita bread) and klepe (ravioli-style dumplings).
6. Take advantage of Bosnia’s low prices by bargain hunting at local markets or shopping for unique souvenirs to bring home as gifts for friends and family back home!
Tours in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Unique travel destinations #48: Armenia
Armenia is a unique destination tucked away in the South Caucasus region, which sits between Europe and Asia.
The country is renowned for its ancient culture and stunning natural beauty, encompassing majestic mountains, lush forests and tranquil lakes.
Armenia has an incredible variety of attractions to explore, from historical sites to awe-inspiring monasteries and beautiful landscapes.
Why you should visit Armenia
More than just the home of the Kardashians, there are many great reasons to visit Armenia!
The country has an incredible variety of unique attractions to explore, from historical sites and awe-inspiring monasteries to beautiful landscapes.
The unique geography also makes for great outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and exploring the many national parks.
Armenia is also known for its delicious food, vibrant culture and friendly people – all perfect reasons to add it to your travel bucket list!
Unique things to do in Armenia
Visit Geghard Monastery
This unique monastery is nestled in the hills of Kotayk and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries.
The unique architecture and unique combination of Armenian and Greek styles make it a must-see destination in Armenia.
Take a Hike in Khosrov Forest State Reserve
This unique nature reserve is located in the Ararat Province and spans over 24,000 hectares. Here you can explore forests, wetlands, rivers and unique animal species.
Get to know Armenia’s unique cafe culture in Yerevan
Yerevan is the bustling capital of Armenia and is renowned for its unique cafe culture. It is even known as the ‘city of cafes’!
The city is full of cafes, each offering its own unique atmosphere. Whether you want to relax with a coffee or sample some of Armenia’s unique cuisine, Yerevan is the perfect place for it!
Stepanakert is the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, a unique and disputed territory located in between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The city has a unique charm and offers great opportunities to explore unusual architecture, visit historical sites and experience the local culture.
Unfortunately, the political situation is very unstable in Nagorno-Karabakh and tensions often flare here between the Armenians, Azerbaijan and the Russian peacekeepers; meaning that it is not always safe or even possible to visit.
How to get to Armenia
Armenia is easily accessible by plane or trains from many major European cities.
Alternatively, you can take a bus from neighbouring countries such as Georgia and Turkey.
It’s worth shopping around for flights as you may find that the cheapest way to reach Armenia is to fly into Tbilisi, Georgia and then take a bus from there.
Where to stay in Armenia
Budget: Kantar hostel – Yerevan
Midrange: Anga Yerevan
Luxury: Radisson Blu – Yerevan
Tips for visiting Armenia
Be aware of the unique political situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which can be dangerous and lead to escalating tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Make sure to pack appropriate clothing for cold weather or heat depending on what time of year you’re visiting!
Learn some basic Armenian phrases like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ before travelling—it will go a long way with locals!
Respect local customs such as not touching people’s heads, taking off your shoes indoors, and asking permission before taking photos of individuals or religious sites.
Try out unique Armenian dishes like dolma (stuffed vegetables), Khorovats (BBQ meat) or Harissa (porridge)!
Don’t forget to barter when shopping at local markets—it is customary in Armenia!
Take part in unique events like the Aragast Festival held every summer in Yerevan or an ancient pagan ritual known as Surb Tznund performed annually near Lake Sevan!
Tours in Armenia
Unique travel destinations #49: Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, is an unusual and mysterious destination located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
This unique island is renowned for its intriguing set of large stone head sculptures called Moai, which were carved by ancient Polynesians between 1250 and 1500 AD.
Touring Easter Island is a unique experience that should not be missed!
Why you should visit Easter Island
Easter Island is remote, making it an expensive and difficult destination to get to. However, this unique island should not be overlooked as there are many incredible reasons to visit.
Not only does Easter Island boast massive stone head sculptures called Moai that were carved by ancient Polynesians between 1250 and 1500 AD – a sight that must be seen to be believed – but the island is also home to unique wildlife, stunning landscapes and vibrant culture.
Moreover, Easter Island’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes it an ideal destination for those looking for a unique travel experience.
Unique things to do on Easter Island
Tour the mysterious Moai
Touring the mysterious Moai is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed!
Located on Easter Island, these unique stone head sculptures were carved by ancient Polynesians between 1250 and 1500 AD.
Standing up to 10 metres tall, each one of the nearly 900 statues depicts unique characteristics and features, making them a unique sight to behold.
Take part in unique cultural events such as Tapati Festival
The Tapati Festival is an annual celebration unique to Easter Island that takes place every February.
The festival celebrates the unique culture and traditions of the Rapa Nui people, with a week of festivities filled with cultural activities.
The word ‘Tapati’ means ‘sun’ in the Rapa Nui language, and the festival marks the start of the summer solstice. During the festival, activities such as traditional dance performances, music shows, and sporting events take place around the island.
Trek to Orongo, an ancient ceremonial village on the cliffs of the Rano Kau volcano
Trekking to Orongo, an ancient ceremonial village on the cliffs of the Rano Kau volcano, is one of the most unique experiences you will have on Easter Island.
Located on the southeastern edge of the island, this fascinating ancient site contains many stone structures and ruined houses that are believed to be connected to religious ceremonies and rituals conducted by ancient Polynesians.
The surrounding scenery is spectacular. Descending from Orongo, one will find a 300-meter barren cliff on one side that plummets to the sea and a less steep but still daunting grassy incline at its opposite end which descends into an elevated caldera with a freshwater marsh inside.
How to get to Easter Island
Getting to Easter Island can be expensive, as it is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
There are two main ways to get there: by air from Santiago or Lima and by sea from Valparaíso. Both journeys require careful planning along the way, but they both offer unique experiences and amazing views of the vast ocean.
Where to stay on Easter Island
Budget: Kona Tau Hostel
Midrange: Easter Island Ecolodge
Luxury: Nayara Hangaroa Eco Village
Tips for visiting Easter Island
• Make sure to plan your trip in advance and book accommodation as far ahead of time as possible.
• Always respect the unique culture, wildlife and landscape of Easter Island.• Pack light and comfortable clothes for trekking around the island.
• Don’t forget to bring sunscreen (the sun is intense on Easter Island)!
Tours of Easter Island
Unique travel destinations #50: Uraguay
Uruguay is an often overlooked destination for alternative travellers.
Located in South America between Argentina and Brazil, this unique country offers a unique blend of culture, nature and history that make it an ideal destination for those looking to explore somewhere off the beaten path.
Why you should visit Uraguay
From its stunning beaches and vibrant cities to its rich heritage, Uruguay has something to offer everyone!
With miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, visitors can enjoy sun-soaked days on some of the continent’s most beautiful beaches.
Inland, they can explore charming colonial towns such as Colonia del Sacramento or take part in unique cultural experiences like the Carnaval de Montevideo.
For nature lovers, there are opportunities to spot wildlife in Punta del Este or trek through lush rainforests in Tacuarembó National Park.
Unique things to do in Uraguay
Visit the capital city of Montevideo and explore its unique architecture, take part in Carnaval festivities or just relax on one of its stunning beaches.
Go trekking in Tacuarembó National Park
Tacuarembó National Park is a unique landscape of lush rainforest, rolling hills and unique wildlife. Here, visitors can go hiking on trails that traverse the park or explore its unique flora and fauna up close.
Take a trip to Colonia del Sacramento
Take a trip to Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique blend of Portuguese and Spanish colonial architecture.
Go whale watching in Punta del Este
Explore the unique wildlife at Punta del Este, one of the best spots in South America for whale watching.
How to get to Uraguay
Uruguay is easily accessible by air and bus from major cities in the region such as Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. There are also ferry services available from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento and Punta del Este.
Where to stay in Uraguay
Budget: MedioMundo Hostel – Montevideo
Luxury: El Mirador Hotel & Spa -Colonia Del Sacremento
Tips for visiting Uraguay
• Make sure to respect the unique culture, wildlife and landscape of Uruguay.
• Pack light and comfortable clothes for exploring the country.
• Don’t forget to bring sunscreen (the sun is strong in Uruguay)!
• Be aware of your belongings while travelling and always use a trusted form of transportation.
Tours in Uraguay
Unique travel destinations #51: The Buzludzha monument, Bulgaria
The Buzludzha Monument, located in Bulgaria, is one of the most unique and unusual travel destinations for alternative travellers.
Built by the communist regime in the 1970s, this unique structure stands out from its surroundings and offers a unique experience for visitors.
Why you should visit Buzludzha
The Buzludzha Monument, a breathtaking saucer-shaped colossal building tucked away in the Bulgarian mountains, is an emblematic reminder of Bulgaria’s past.
When the Soviet government fell from power in 1989, this unique structure was sadly abandoned and left vulnerable to all sorts of vandalism.
Currently, its main entrance remains sealed off and closed to public access. However, for those daring enough, there’s still a route into the building!
Inside you’ll find most artworks have been removed or ruined by time but somehow its concrete frame has withstood Mother Nature’s test of endurance through the years.
Unique things to do in The Buzludzha monument
Explore the unique soviet architecture
The unique structure of the Buzludzha Monument is a sight to behold. The unique saucer-shaped building is a unique example of Soviet architecture and an iconic symbol of Bulgaria’s past.
Take in the unique views of the Buzludzha Monument:
From the top of the monument, you can take in sweeping views of the Balkan Mountains and surrounding landscape.
How to get to The Buzludzha Monument
When planning a trip to Buzludzha, travellers leaving from either Sofia or Plovdiv have two choices- rent a car and drive themselves, or hire an experienced tour guide.
You can also travel to Buzludzha from Bucharest, Romania.
Where to stay when visiting The Buzludzha Monument
The best place to stay in order to visit the Buzludzha monument is the nearby city of Veliko Târnovo.
Budget: Kings View
Midrange: Park Hotel Raya Garden
Luxury: Park Hotel
Tips for visiting The Buzludzha Monument
There is now security around the monument so it may not be possible to sneak inside anymore but it is still worth making the trip just to see this incredible soviet relic up close.
Be sure to bring a flashlight, as if you do get to go inside then the interior of the monument is pitch black!
Wear comfortable walking shoes, the area surrounding the monument is quite steep.
Remember to be respectful of this unique site and leave it as you found it!
Tours to The Buzludzha Monument
Map of Unique Travel Destinations For Your Bucket List
Unique travel destinations and unique travel experiences FAQ
Why travel off the beaten path?
There are many reasons why you might choose to travel off the beaten path.
Such as to challenge yourself, broaden your horizons, escape your comfort zone or to gain unique travel experiences that you won’t find elsewhere.
What is an offbeat tourist?
An offbeat tourist is someone who seeks unique and alternative travel experiences away from the typical tourist hotspots.
They often venture to places which are not usually frequented by tourists and seek unique opportunities such as post-conflict destinations, former soviet states, internationally unrecognised countries, occupied territories, remote destinations or places that are lacking in tourist infrastructure.
They value unique experiences over mainstream activities and prefer exploring local cultures rather than following the path of traditional tourism.
This type of traveller typically chooses unconventional routes and values authenticity above all else.
What is dark tourism?
Dark tourism is the practice of travelling to sites associated with death, suffering, and injustice.
It includes visiting historical places such as battlefields, and concentration camps and natural disasters like volcanoes or tsunamis.
Dark tourists may also visit sites related to specific events that have had an impact on society such as 9/11 in New York or Chornobyl in Ukraine.
The motivations behind dark tourism vary from learning more about a specific event to paying respect to people who suffered injustices or simply wanting unique travel experiences.
Is dark tourism ethical?
Whether or not dark tourism is ethical depends on how it is approached.
If a traveller takes the time to understand and respect the difficult history of a site and focuses on learning more about its context, then it can be a positive experience that brings attention to real events from history.
However, if someone merely seeks out unique experiences without proper understanding or sensitivity to the place they’re visiting, this might not be an ethical form of tourism.
Especially as many dark sites are still inhabited by people living in places where bad things happened in the past – these people have feelings too!
So overall, education is key when considering dark tourism: make sure you’re properly informed before signing up for any trip that promises unique travel experiences in unusual destinations.
Is offbeat travel safe?
Whether or not offbeat travel is safe really depends on the destination and the individual traveller.
It can be riskier to visit destinations that are politically unstable, have a higher rate of crime and/or lack reliable access to medical care.
That being said, there are many unique and alternative travel experiences available in more stable countries. These can provide travellers with unique opportunities to explore local cultures at a slower pace, away from the crowds.
Ultimately, it’s important for travellers looking to go off the beaten path to do their research beforehand about any potential health risks and safety concerns associated with their chosen destination, so they can make an informed decision before booking any trips. If you are feeling nervous about travelling to an off-the-beaten-path destination then you can always join an organised tour to put your mind at ease.
How to find off-the-beaten-path locations?
One way to find off-the-beaten-path locations is to look beyond traditional travel hotspots and explore alternative destinations.
Consider researching unique cultures, hidden gems or places that don’t usually attract a lot of tourists.
The internet is a great resource for researching these kinds of locations – reading travel blogs (like this one!), using online maps and searching local hashtags can help you uncover some unique and undiscovered places around the world.
Talk to people who have recently visited interesting locations that are not typically frequented by tourists – they’ll likely be able to provide you with some helpful advice or suggestions on unique points of interest that aren’t widely known about.
Finally, if you’re looking for unique experiences in different countries then consider communicating directly with locals through social networks such as Couchsurfing or Meetup – this will give you an authentic insight into the lives of people living in offbeat areas all over the world.
Additionally, attending tourism events like fairs or exhibitions can give you more information about unique offbeat destinations around the world and present potential opportunities for unique travel experiences.
What is the most underrated travel destination?
The most underrated travel destination is often determined by personal preference, but some unique and undiscovered places around the world that are worth considering include South Africa’s Wild Coast, Mexico City’s lesser-known chapels and temples, Oman’s off-the-beaten-track beaches, Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province or Jordan’s Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve.
For those looking for unique experiences closer to home, then consider exploring the mountainous regions of Utah or the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
Ultimately it depends on what type of experience you’re looking for – there are plenty of unique travel destinations all over the world waiting to be discovered!
What are the 10 least visited countries?
- South Sudan
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Equatorial Guinea
- Marshall Islands
What is the most unique place to visit?
The most unique place to visit really depends on what kind of unique experience you’re looking for, as there are a variety of unusual destinations all over the world.
Some unique and undiscovered places worth considering, that aren’t included in the above list, include Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Peru’s Cusco Region, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mongolia’s Lake Khövsgöl or Bhutan’s Tiger Nest Monastery.
If you’re looking for unique experiences closer to home then consider exploring Canada’s caves in Alberta or the cliffside diving spots of Puerto Rico.
Ultimately it depends on what type of unique experience you’re seeking – there are plenty of unique travel destinations waiting to be explored!
Where can I go off the beaten track in Europe?
Exploring Eastern Europe and the Balkans is a great way to get off the beaten path as these areas of Europe have much lower numbers of tourists visiting them.
Consider visiting unique locations such as Romania’s Bran Castle, Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Stari Most Bridge or Kosovo’s Rugova Canyon.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a unique experience closer to home then consider exploring the mysterious chalk figures on England’s Salisbury Plain.
What are the best travel destinations for unique cuisine?
The best travel destinations for unique cuisine are places that offer a unique blend of flavours and cultures.
For example, India is known for its flavorful curries, Mexico has its delicious tacos and burritos, and Italy offers the classic combination of pasta, pizza and gelato.
Other unique places to experience delectable cuisine include Morocco with its tagines and couscous dishes, Vietnam with its pho noodle soups or Peru where you can find an array of unique fusion dishes like ceviche or Lomo saltado.
Personally, I fell in love with the food in Palestine!
Whether you’re in search of spicy local street food or fine dining restaurants around the world – sampling unique cuisines can be one of the most enjoyable experiences on any traveller’s journey!
What are some unique and affordable travel destinations outside of the US?
Some unique and affordable travel destinations outside of the US include Colombia, Indonesia, India, Oman, Guatemala or Cambodia.
These countries have unique cultures to explore with plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options available.
For unique experiences closer to home then consider exploring parts of Canada such as Newfoundland or Ottawa; South America such as Peru or Ecuador; Central America like Nicaragua; Africa like Rwanda; Europe such as Croatia and Hungary; Asia-Pacific like Taiwan or Japan.
Ultimately it depends on what type of unique experience you’re seeking – there are plenty of unique travel destinations all over the world!
Summary of unique travel destinations
I hope you have found this list of Unique places to travel useful and that it has given you some ideas for interesting travel destinations for your next vacation.
From unique natural phenomena and unique cultures to unique cuisine and unique experiences, there are plenty of unique travel destinations throughout the world.
From the stone forest of Madagascar to the west bank in Palestine, Albania’s beaches or Bulgaria’s soviet relics – unique places await you!
So go on an adventure! Embark on a unique journey to some of the world’s most unique travel destinations.
What are your favourite unique travel destinations? Comment below!
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