How can you escape the hordes of travelers all going to the same places? Let’s try exploring less popular travel destinations to get away from the crowds. TimeOut.com. a leading global media and hospitality business worldwide, queried their agents who contributed their less popular destinations.
Cancún and even Tulum have drawn the crowds wishing to explore this Caribbean side of Mexico. Much less popular is Lake Bacalar, the second largest lake in Mexico. It is also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors because peacock shade of blue. This is a long, narrow lake stretching 26 miles long while only 1.2 miles wide.
Away from the coast, Lake Bacalar is in the state of Quintana Roo near the border with Belize. The spring breakers have not yet discovered this lake. You can take a kayak tour, including lunch, for about $89.00. You can also spend your time on the white sand beaches. A collection of new eco-hotels has sprung up, so accommodations are easy to find.
Srebrenik, Bosnia and Herzegovina
To take a look at a 13th Century fortress, you will have to cross the pond to Sarajevo, the capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina. An 89-mile trip north will bring you to Srebrenik, outside of which stands the best preserved of many forts in B-H. It was originally the home of the first Bosnian king.
This fort stands today high in the mountains, offering a commanding view of the area. There is only one narrow road up the mountainside. Then you have to cross a rickety bridge to enter. The fort has been very difficult to penetrate, that even the Ottomans were unable to overtake it. Tread with care, as the fort has not been adequately preserved. It is possible you could fall off the edge of the mountain.
Helsinki is the “first” city in Finland and Turku is the “second” city. Actually, Turku is the oldest city in Finland and was originally the country’s capitol (until 1812). Turku does not have to play second fiddle to Helsinki, as it is equally as charming. If you can’t afford to visit Paris, consider visiting the “Paris” of Finland: Turku.
This second city straddles the banks of the Aura River and has a bustling eatery culture. Today, the past remains with its medieval castle and cathedral, while the present looks to adopt a green culture. See here for a tour of the city.
Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe
Exploring less popular travel destinations must include the ubiquitous waterfall. In Zimbabwe, everyone heads to Victoria Falls, but the eastern side of the country draws fewer people. There you will find the country’s highest waterfalls, the Mutarazi Falls. Try ziplining here or cross the skywalk; these are not for the faint-hearted, though.
In Eastern Zimbabwe, the terrain is made up of three hilly ranges with Mount Nyangani topping out as the region’s highest peak. This area is popular with hikers. Further south are the Bvumba Mountains, shrouded in mist and reminiscent of the moors of Scotland.
All Irish roads lead to Dublin, but only 12 miles south is the town of Bray. The city went through a period of decline, but has begun its ascendancy to a must-see tourist experience. Bray is the oldest seaside town on the Irish coast, and its mile-long row of Victorian buildings are filled with cafes, restaurants, and pubs. The 1872 Harbor Bar was once named by Lonely Planet publications as the best bar in the world.
Bray is very much a walkable city. There is a wide esplanade along the beach, while the cliff walk on the east side of the town is the most popular hiking trail offering spectacular views of the Irish Sea. From pizza, to horse riding, to golf, there is no lack of activities for your enjoyment.
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Forget the hub-bub of San Juan, everyone’s destination in Puerto Rico, and go to the island’s west side. At Cabo Rojo, you will feel like this could be any of the Caribbean islands. It has the same offerings of white, sandy beaches, alongside the green-blue waters of the sea. Located a three-hour drive from the capital city, Cabo Rojo will give you that more peaceful, away-from-it all, lay enjoyment. There is a large variety of beaches that you may end up sharing with the locals. There are no mega or even large establishments here but, instead, you will feel comfortable in the many restaurants and small inns. Since the area is on the west side of the island the sunsets are big and beautiful.
Not just another island, Karpathos is unlike the crowded islands of Santorini or Mykonos. It is more like the island of Hydra, discussed earlier. Relax on a four-hour ferry rise from Rhodes and arrive on an island that Greeks in the know chose to visit. You will find the sandy beaches nearly deserted, mostly visited by seals.
The island of Karpathos is a throw-back to earlier times, where women still wear the traditional, colorful garb, and the only traffic noise you may hear is the braying of donkeys. Experience traditional Greek food in one of the many tavernas in Olympos, the mountain village that seems to have defied the contemporary world.
Fact: Take the road less traveled to find the unique
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