40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don't Know About
The Eiffel tower, Golden Gate Bridge and the Colosseum may be amazing in their own right, but there's something special about going to a spectacular location that few travelers venture to. Take a virtual journey with me to these secretly underrated places...
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy
Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, nestled in the caves of Polignano a Mare beach, is one of the greatest places to eat in all of Italy, if not the world.
Chichilianne, Rhone Alpes, France
The breathtaking Mont Aiguille is nearly 7,000 foot tall and offers amazing views of the French Prealps.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro Valley, Bhutan
This 17th century temple sits on the edge of a cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro valley. The holy site was built to protect the cave in which Guru Padmasambhava, a leader of Buddhism, meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours.
Dubrovnik is a medieval city is still largely intact. So much so, that parts of the city are used as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. The city is brimming with amazing architecture and surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and walls on the other.
Albarracín, Aragon, Spain
Albarracín is a beautifully preserved medieval village in Northern Spain. The rock paintings in the cliff-foot caves of the Albarracin Cultural Park (some of the most important evidences of the Levantine prehistoric art of Spain) and the "Picaportes" (door knobs) are something to marvel at!
Bagan is an ancient city hidden deep inside Burma. At the height of the Kingdom of Pagan, the city had over 10,000 Buddhist temples. Today, over 2200 of these are still standing, making it an amazing place to visit.
Aescher hotel is so high up on the Appenzellerland mountains that you have to hike or get a cable car to reach it. Amenities are intentionally basic but the food is hearty and the nearby trails lead to exhilarating adventures.
Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
Known as the Stairway to Heaven, this fairly unknown hiking trail can be found on the island of O’ahu. The trail is steep and ends at a peak 2,800 feet above the sea, which offers amazing views of the island.
Þingvallavatn Lake, Iceland
Found deep within this huge National Park is the boundary between North America and Europe. Lucky divers can swim in between the tectonic plates of these two continents, which is getting 2 centimeters wider every year.
Chefchaouen, Northwest Morocco
Chefchaouen is best known for its blue buildings, painted in a spectrum of soothing hues. If you want to escape the city, make sure to check out the nearby Rif mountains and the Cascades d'Akchour!
This beautiful island is mostly untouched by man, with a tiny native population and only 400 tourists being allowed to visit each year. The limit is in place to protect the amazing natural landscape of Howe Island, which is home to a beautiful crystal lagoon and coral reef.
Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado
Bishop Castle is undoubtedly one of the craziest castles in the world, created by the one-man castle builder Jim Bishop. It's an incredible place to get married or just to visit for inspiration.
Huacachina, Peruvian desert
Huacachina is a tiny village of just over 100 people built around a lush oasis in an otherwise barren desert. For a few bucks, you can rent sandboarding equipment and try one of the locals' favorite thrills.
The Bastei Bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Germany
Visit also Lilienstein, one of several small mesas in Saxony - it's surreal to watch the fog roll over.
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, best known for its unique moon-like landscape, underground cities and cave towns. All of which is best seen from the sky, with dozens of hot air balloons offering amazing bird eye views.
Hallstat is a medieval village which is home to less than 1,000 people. High in the mountains of Hallstat, you can explore prehistoric mines that were some of the first in the entire world.
Leptis Magna, Tripoli, Libya
Leptis Magna was once a major city of the Roman Empire. Now, its ruins act as an adventurer's playground. If you want to experience the amazing sights of ancient Rome, but avoid competing with the crowds, this is the place to go.
The Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia is a stone fortification, located in the old part of the city. It's one of the most distinctive castles in Spain by the virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship.
Alter do Chao, Brazil
This town straddles the Amazon rainforest and an amazing beach known as the Island of Love. Only a few meters from the beach is a huge lagoon, Lago, Verde, which is home to myriad animals and can only be explored by canoe.
Hotel Moulin de Roc, France
Deep in the province of Dordogne, you'll find an old mill transformed into an amazingly quaint hotel on the banks of a peaceful river, with nothing around for miles. It's also home to the renowned Michelin Star restaurant, with plenty of outdoor seating.
The peacock room in Castello di Sammezzano, Tuscany
Within the abadonded castle Castello di Sammezzano you can find the Peacock Room. A hidden jewel features intricate Moorish designs and a breathtaking assortment of patterns and colors. The beauty of the memorizing interiors is simply beyond comparison.
Deception Island, Antarctica
This ring shaped island is so remote that it can only be accessed by tour boats. The inside of the island offers sanctuary from storms and icebergs for a host of creatures, including hundreds of penguins. If you want to escape the cold, the island is situated on an active volcano and home to hot springs galore.
Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece
In Greek mythology, nymphs (female nature deities) inhabited this breathtaking cave and lured men in with their beauty. Under a high sun, the amazingly blue is illuminated for any lucky swimmers.
The hills of Meghalaya receive nearly 40 feet of rain every year, meaning that the valley floors of this beautiful but remote forest are often transformed into rivers. Complex series of skybridges help you to navigate the environment.
Craco, Matera, Basilicata
The medieval village of Craco is part of an incredible region with undulating shapes and vast farmland. Since the sudden abandonment of the village, rumour has it that the ruins have become inhabited by ghosts.
Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal
Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Make sure to check out the Gruta do Labirinto (the Labyrinthic Grotto) and it's mysterious wishing well! This 27 meter deep well resembles an inverted tower. Depending on the direction you choose, either a journey down into the depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light awaits.
Weißgerbergasse, Nuremberg, Germany
Be sure to also visit the small town of Bamberg and the Altenburg castle, which sits on the tallest of the seven hills, overlooking the city!
Procida is a beautiful Mediterranean island paradise. Terra Murata is the highest point on the Island aswell as its heart.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands are a group of islands found in Northern Norway, within the arctic circle. The islands are home to seductively quaint fishing villages, the world’s deepest coral reef and amazing views of the Northern lights.
Cocos Island is an uninhabited island located 300 miles off the shore of Costa Rica. As a national park, the island is untouched by civilization and acts as one of the best scuba diving spots in the entire world because of its spectacular marine fauna.
Rock tombs in Myra, Lycia, Turkey
After visiting the tombs you can go to the real Saint Nicholas Church. The perfect place to go to ask Santa why he got you the wrong gift last year.
Herrenchiemsee New Palace, Lake Chiemsee, Germany
In 1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location for his new Royal Palace. Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built as a "Temple of Fame" for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian monarch fervently admired. And trust me - Ludwig II was absolutely crazy - the "mad king" even had a “magic table” inspired by the Grimm’s Fairy Tale in his dining room!
You're looking at the Leather Souq, the oldest leather tannery in the world. Don't miss the marvelous Bab Boujloud (the blue gate) as well!
Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovin
Blagaj stands at the edge of the beautiful Buna river.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
This town was first founded in the 13th century and little has changed since then. Stepping into the castle grounds is like going back in time, specially if you go during the Renaissance festival which is held every June.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia
You should go inside, I have never seen such a colorful church in my whole life! The city has so much more to offer, like the State Hermitage Museum or the inaugurated Amber Room in the Catherine Palace!
Both pronouncing and getting to Ittoqqortoormiit can be difficult, but it’s totally worth the effort. From the capital of Iceland, you’ll need to get on a once-weekly plane to Greenland and then get a helicopter ride to this small, colorful town which sits by the longest glacial river system in the world.
Mount Ai-Petry, Crimea, Ukraine
Located on the Kastron mountain, the fortress of Cembalo is also nice to visit. It's a facade of spectacular views overlooking the sea off the Bay of Balaklava.
Home to Marsaxlokk fish market, a sprawling and endless market held each Sunday in town!
Monument Valley, Utah
If you think this valley seems familiar, it’s because the area was commonly used as a filming location in the heyday of Western movies. The vast sandstone structures dominate the landscape of this vast valley which is far quieter than similar sights like the Grand Canyon.