Despite the obvious draw of big cities like Paris or Rome, there are plenty of off-the-radar destinations you should consider. There’s a lot to see here, from hidden gems like Bergen, Norway, and Valparaiso, Chile, as well as tropical paradises like Pangkor Island, Malaysia. Check out what can be considered the world’s most underrated tourist destinations that need to be on your bucket list.
Hill Country, Texas, United States
Counted among Texas’ eight designated wine-growing regions, the Lone Star State’s Hill Country spans nine million acres and has 25 counties. Along with being one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country, Lonely Planet included it on its list of the best places to visit in America in 2017.
Although often overshadowed by Oslo, Norway’s capital, Bergen, the country’s second city, boasts plenty to offer. The charm and natural beauty of the area can be witnessed in the vibrant buildings that adorn Bryggen, a historic harbor district and UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to kayaking and rafting through Norway’s famous fjords, watersport enthusiasts can also enjoy Norwegian culture.
Valparaiso is colorful, to put it simply. The second-largest town in Chile boasts colorful street art and eye-catching graffiti, as well as a wide variety of houses lining its steep streets, among which is a house once owned by Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. It can be tiring walking up Valparaiso’s incline, but the funicular offers a new perspective on the maze-like geography.
Faroe Islands, Denmark
The Faroe Islands are situated about halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic, and they consist of 18 volcanic islands covering about 70 miles of coastline. The Danish archipelago of Lofoten is known for its tiny, colorful houses, but it’s also full of spectacular scenery, from basalt cliffs to waterfalls.
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama, Japan
With their thatched roofing, farmhouses in the Gassho style – a traditional Japanese design adapted to endure the elements – the Historical Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama sit charmingly on the banks of a river in the central region of Japan. All three villages, Ogimachi, Ainokura, and Suganuma, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
While Lake Bled might be the popular one, another body of water in the Julian Alps should also be on your radar. Lake Bohinj is a nature lover’s paradise, which is both remote and just as beautiful. Those visiting can explore the beautiful surroundings on foot, by bicycle, and kayak.
Garni Gorge, Armenia
The Garni Gorge of Armenia is easily accessed by car or on foot from a village of the same name. There are several vertical cliffs in the gorge that feature well-preserved basalt columns. A temple here dates back to the first century, possibly making it the eastmost Greek temple in the world.