Top 10 Underrated Travel Destinations Around the World
We can all reel off the destinations that are renowned for their bucket-list-worthy status - we're looking at you Dubai - but what about the amazing locations that haven't quite made the cut? We've highlighted a few of, what we think, are the most underrated travel destinations around the world in a bid to boost their holiday rank - and quite rightly, too! Browse our list below and you might just be surprised at the outcome...
Barbados may be a beautiful, tropical island and beach paradise in Eastern Caribbean, but can often be underestimated because of its isolated location in the Atlantic - the nearest neighbor being roughly 150km away. In our opinion, this is in fact a bonus, especially if you love nothing more than to soak up the year-round sun and relax on exotic stretches of white sand. You’ll find many gorgeous stretches of sand and inviting turquoise bays in Barbados, not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital of Bridgetown too, plus spectacular nightlife, quirky underground limestone caves and more. Some of the finest Rums are made in these parts, and paying a visit to Mount Gay, Barbados’ oldest distillery will give you an idea of the process of brewing, history and taste the brew at the Testing Room. The St. Lawrence Gap, a semi-circular road is buzzing with of hotels, restaurants, and shops, such as Bubba’s Sports Bar, The Old Jamm Inn. In Holetown, Red Door Lounge and Duke’s Night Lounge on the 1st and 2nd streets (off the main highway) are good to spend a relaxing evening or revelry-filled night in.
Rhodes is a Greek Island bestseller for a multitude of reasons, from it's gorgeous east coast beaches to its ancient historic towns - it may not be the most remote island but once you explore beyond the tourist traps you'll understand what all the fuss is about. Usually overshadowed by the likes of Santorini and Mykonos, Rhodes makes for a diverse holiday spot that ticks the boxes for having both coastline and culture in the bag. Rhodes Old Town has held its UNESCO World Heritage Status since 1988, so you can potter around the cobblestone squares and admire the medieval surroundings - get a photo next to the Colossus statue or discover the Acropolis of Lindos with its labyrinth of temples and towers, all in an easy day trip. If you are seeking a day on the sand, The Prasonisi located on the southernmost tip of the island is a haven for watersport lovers. At the end of the day, dine on fresh seafood and colourful roasted vegetables at a local taverna, the family run joints are usually where you'll find the most authentic Greek food.
Why stop there? We've rounded up 12 spectacular places to visit if you want to island hop in Greece.
You've got your classic beach resorts including Varadero, where you'll find 5-star hotels frindged by a string of bright white sand and mystical blue-coloured waters, you'll step back in time with a visit to the bustling capital of Havana, and you'll admire the colonial buildings and classical cars in Vinales. With year-round pleasant weather, paradise beaches, unique colonial architecture and a laid-back pace, Cuba oozes an atmosphere that's rare to find elsewhere. Havana is a city of revelation, cobbled streets are equally dotted with swanky building and decrepit apartments, vintage cars wait curbside for tourists and old-school factories still roll out the thick handmade cigars. Visit the Museo de la Revolucion in Havana, for an insight in to Cuba’s Great Revolution, take a walking tour of the bustling streets of Havana Vieja which goes to the Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza de Armas with its book market, Plaza Vieja and the Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas. Head west to Vinales and discover the beautifully sprawling Casa de Caridad Botanical Gardens, wander the limestone hills of the Vinales Valley and horseride through the tobacco fields.
Better still, Cuban food is delicious. Order a freshly made Baracoa—a traditional dish melding shrimps, octopus and lobster in coconut sauce and wash it down with a mojito or piña colada!
The Emerald Isle has bundles to offer, and at such a short hop away we should be crossing the waters more often! Ireland may have unpredictable weather, but it isn't a destination people flock to for sun. This small country has a big reputation, with a handful of diverse coastal towns and villages that ooze culture, history and natural beauty - not to mention the breathtaking landscapes. Enthusiastic locals and tourists are likely to sprawl the capital of Dublin, a lively destination best-loved for its famous Temple Bar area and pretty parks, but its the lesser known villages such as Doolin, where you'll see the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast, and Killarney, a historic inland town in southwest County Kerry home to the famous 200km Ring of Kerry walking trail - that are arguably the most beautiful spots in Ireland. When you're not admiring beautiful churches and casltes or hiking the rolling countryside hills, be sure to spend time sampling a pint (or two) of the black stuff in a cosy local pub - the live Irish music is sure to get you toe-tapping, too!
Boasting over 300 days of sunshine each year, Malta is a fantastic choice if you want a short haul beach holiday. You've got everything here. From golden sands including St. Paul's Bay and Paradise Beach, to the historic UNESCO-listed capital of Valletta, plus secluded lagoons, grottos and islets just waiting to be uncovered - it's a wonder why this European gem isn't at the top of everyone's bucket list! Crowned as the capital of culture 2018, Malta's architecture is unrivalled, with winding cobbled streets featuring vast open-air museums, 16th-century cathedrals, famous theatre's and more. Day trip to the sister islands of Gozo and Comino, where you'll stumble upon baroque churches, old stone farmhouses and historical sites and temples to uncover - ideal if you wish to find out more about the isles that are steeped in myth. In addition, you have no dearth of rocky pools, hidden turquoise lagoons and secluded bays that dot the rugged Mediterranean coastline.
Got the kids in tow? Check out our itinerary for a fabuluous family holiday in Malta...
Whether its glistening white-sand beaches, jungle gateways or colonial towns, Mexico and her resorts are jam-packed with diversity. It's hard to understand why this gem on the Caribbean Coast is overlooked, especially when you have the popular resorts of Mexico City and Cancun to experience - maybe you prefer something a little more under the radar? If so, Mexico has bundles of must-visit spots that are yet to find their place on the map, too. Once you've ticked off the must-sees like the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and the main temples, experience the local culture first hand and head out to the pre-Hispanic town of Malinalco (two hours from Mexico City), known for its archaeological ruins and charming streets. Or nature lovers can head to Puerto Morelos, an old fishing village and port town less than 30 minutes from bustling Cancun home to the Reef National Park, freshwater cenotes and incredible offshore dive sites.
Morocco is a melting pot of culture, beautifully blending African, Arab and European influences. At a fairly short flight journey, this is as diverse as a holiday resort can get, boasting a spectacular landscape which ranges from the rugged sands of the Sahara, to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and long, sandy beaches the Atlantic coastline. Marrakech, the Imperial City of Morocco situated at the base of the Atlas Mountains, offers a taste of local culture with its colourful, noisy bazaars, sweet-smelling spice souks, intriguing snake charmers and story tellers, and hustle and bustle of the famous Jamaa el Fnaa market, located in the old city. Sample the authentic food cooking at the sizzling street stalls, unwind with a traditional Hammam bath or simply wander Old Morocco and soak up the sights. Seeking an afternoon on the sand? The beach at Essaouira is windy and has shallow waters, once preferred by the likes of Bob Marley and Jimmy Hendrix and a favourite spot for wind and kite surfing!
Browse our list of the top things to do in Marrakech and start planning your itinerary today!
Turkey has seen a drop in visitors in recent years due to security concerns, however this diverse resort is trying to crawl back and retain its title as a top beach destination. Straddling Eastern Europe and Western Asia, this all-round resort is only a 4-hour flight from the UK, yet as soon as you land you'll feel like you've stepped into another world entirely. Effortlessly blending history, culture and coastline, Turkey's tourist resorts including Bodrum, Antalya, Dalaman and Izmir offer the best of the turqouise coast, with lashings of snorkelling and diving activities plus pretty harbours and busy towns to explore. The streets of Istanbul are even more colourful and mesmerizing as you can imagine; potter around the Grand Bazaar, explore the sights of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque or bite into a delicious meze platter in a quaint street-side cafe, few things are as magical as the city lights from a Bosphorus cruise, too.
Can't decide which resort to visit first? Our guide to holiday resorts in Turkey should help you decide...