Looking to avoid the holiday crowds? Tired of hearing about the same tourist hotspots over and over? Try one of these 10 lesser-known destinations.
Avoid the tourist traps
In 2019, there's almost nowhere on the planet that's immune to mass tourism. One by one, beloved cities, towns and even whole countries are falling prey to the same old boom and bust cycle. But there are still corners of the earth that haven't yet experienced the pitfalls of too much love. Some of these destinations are still under-the-radar, and some have been in the spotlight for years, intentionally keeping a low profile. Whatever you choose, all of them are guaranteed to give you a stress-free holiday off the beaten path.
1. Santo Antao, Cape Verde
This lush island is usually a surprise favorite among visitors to Cape Verde. While other islands like Maio and Boa Vista might have luxurious beaches, Santo Antao has some of West Africa's best hiking. The dry and arid landscape on the southern side of the island gives way to brilliant green mountains on northern side of the island. It's truly a land of contrasts.
2. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
The Perhentian Islands haven't yet exploded as a destination for foreign tourists, with most people traveling to nearby Thailand. But these delightful hangars of paradise are guaranteed to offer just as much as their Thai neighbors. Glassy sea, golden sand and languid palm groves are a recipe for tranquility.
3. Maribor, Slovenia
The current darling of travel Instagram, Slovenia's dense forests and teeming lakes are undoubtedly tantalizing, but Maribor has plenty to offer in its own right. Nestled among rolling green hills, the cobbled streets and open markets of this charming red-roofed city are ideal for a stroll. Maribor is also home to the oldest fruit-bearing vine in the world. The plant has been growing for 440 years across an iron fence in front of a historic building in the Lent neighborhood. Slovenia may be small, but take a balloon ride over the nearby countryside and the vast greenery will take your breath away
Upon entering Palau, visitors must sign the Palau Pledge, a poem stamped in their passports, promising to be thoughtful tourists during their stay. The island nation in Micronesia is working overtime to preserve its natural beauty for future generations. It's a diver's paradise, full of tropical coral and delightful aquatic life, and at times it feels as if the land and water merge into one entity. This unique paradise has yet to become a major tourist destination, and the government is trying to ensure their tourism strategy is focused on quality over quantity. While prices can get steep here, it's with good reason.