10 Incredible Places to Visit Before Word Gets Out
Get ahead of the next hottest travel trends
Planning a vacation? Good for you! But before you book that flight to Thailand or Iceland (so last year) consider one of these ten under-the-radar destinations that won’t be overrun with tourists.
Republic of Georgia
The word on Croatia may be out, but for a similar experience, look no further than the equally scenic and quaint Republic of Georgia. From the historic taverns of Tbilisi to the gorgeous Caucasian Mountains and the stunning Black Sea Coast, this former Soviet state is a friendly, slow-paced country with a burgeoning wine scene (with more than 500 types of indigenous grapes). Several luxury hotels are primed to open in the next few years, so go now before you can't get a reservation.
This French territory some call “the poor man’s St. Bart’s” is located just south of Antigua and is quite arguably the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Expect gorgeous unspoiled beaches, jutting mountains, French-Creole cuisine and a taste of European culture at a fraction of the cost. The best part? Norwegian Air is now offering direct flights from Boston, New York and Baltimore!
This off-the-beaten-path Swedish county is the up-and-coming hot spot for Nordic cuisine. The popular city of Malmö might remind you of Amsterdam, thanks to bustling nightlife, hipster cafés and bicycles galore. But the real reason to go is the restaurants, which range from the chic Bastard, known for its pork-centric menu, to the Michelin-starred Vollmers,
If you’re a history buff, you might remember Saint Helena as the remote island where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled. But what you might not know is that’s also commonly called the Galapagos of the south Atlantic thanks to marine biodiversity and stunning hiking trails. At the moment, the 47-square-mile island located halfway between Brazil and South Africa is accessible only by boat, but an international airport is scheduled to be completed this year and a four-star eco-friendly hotel is also in the works. Go now, before everybody else does.
LOFOTEN ISLANDS, NORWAY
Yawn, Iceland is so last year--go off the radar and visit these more remote islands on the Norwegian Sea instead. Spend your vacation hiking, ocean rafting, scuba diving, skiing, fishing and surfing. Or hey, just kick back on the beach and soak it all in.
NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Locals have been visiting “Straddie” for years to find solace from busy city life and soak up the sun. Relax on the white sandy beaches and you might spot some wildlife--Point Lookout is the best on-land location in the entire world to whale watch.
SRI LANKA, SOUTH ASIA
There’s almost too much to see on this small island south of India: Visit the ancient fortress Sigiriya (above), snap a photo with Anuradhapura, the world’s oldest living tree, and hang out with hundreds of elephants at Minneriya National Park--all in one trip.
RANGIROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA
This is the second largest atoll in the world, people--that means it’s basically a gigantic coral reef hanging out in the middle of the ocean. Located northeast of Tahiti, Rangiroa is more remote (aka less crowded and more relaxing) than its touristy big sister.
HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA
Nope, those aren't the sandy shores of Maui. Touted as China's answer to Hawaii, this tropical island is a beautiful, unexpected place to unwind and soak up some sunshine. While you're there, check out the giant sculpture of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara near the Nashan Temple of Sanya--it's the fourth largest statue in the world.
NICARAGUA, CENTRAL AMERICA
Adventurers, you can now cross the following off your bucket list: surfing down an active volcano, canoeing through waters with alligators and swimming through underwater caves. Best of all, there are no crowds of tourists doing it with you.