I just came across a tripadvisor article about the most popular summer destinations. Again and again, the same places are being featured mercilessly: Paris, Las Vegas, Miami etc. This makes me think, is there no sense of wonder in us anymore? Do we just blindly follow the masses to stay in the fenced resorts or overcrowded cities just because they are trendy?
Based on my own amazing travel experiences, I have prepared a list of 10 unique summer destinations that possess everything in order to offer a great vacation: the sea, beach, amazing cuisine and local traditions. They are 100% authentic, beautiful and perfectly safe yet have little or virtually zero exposure in the media. Why is that? Probably not enough western corporations.
I'd love to inspire you so you could open your eyes, see the world beyond what's in the media, set out on a great, adventurous journey, surprise yourself and enjoy discovering a new, different world you probably didn't know exists!
10. Batumi, Georgia
Batumi is also nicknamed as a "Little Las Vegas of the Black Sea". Because it's completely unknown in the west (most of people don't even know about the existence of the country named Georgia), Batumi is a perfect place if you want to surprise yourself: enjoy extremely modern architecture unseen anywhere else, beautiful coast of the Black Sea, superb Georgian cuisine, good prices and many options of great entertainment. You can go clubbing, visit a restaurant in a ship or play in a spectacular casino which dominates the city skyline. Or, if you wish to stay in, you can choose from many options of affordable accommodation with a sea view and play online on Mobile casino!
Batumi was probably the most colorful seaside town I've ever been to. Every palm tree and every building is illuminated at night. Don't miss the moving monument of love - two statues literally come close to each other and "go through" themselves in order to get separated and get close again! Have a look at my full post about Batumi here.
9. Dead Sea, Jordan
The Dead Sea is a truly unique place for a few reasons: it's the lowest point on Earth, the salt content is so extremely high that it's impossible to sink and the natural mud treatments are fun and greatly beneficial for the skin. The Jordanian side is very quiet, unknown and lacks the ordinary crowds of loud tourists.
The shores of the Dead Sea are white, covered in layers of salt crystals which resembles snow and makes this summer spot even more extraordinary. Not too mention the nearby attractions that you can see in Jordan after relaxing in the saline waters of the Dead Sea: Petra, Wadi Rum desert or the magnificent biblical sites. I've described the whole Dead Sea experience in this post.
8. Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Macedonia is a tiny country in the Balkans. Contrary to its bigger and famous neighbor - Greece, it receives very few foreign visitors. And this is so unfair! Lake Ohrid is a perfect summer destination, it has absolutely everything: beautiful beaches (both wild and filled with hotels), warm, clear waters, spectacular Ottoman architecture, rich history, delicious cuisine and amazing prices! I really have no idea why such places remain completely unknown.If you want more information, take a look at my full article about Lake Ohrid where I've described it in detail.
7. Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Kotor Bay is getting more and more popular but it's still considered unknown in the west. Thanks to this, the prices remain lower than in the neighboring Croatia. Montenegro has a very similar vibe to Croatia indeed - old, beautiful houses made of stone, spectacular beaches, impressive fjord-like mountainous coast, amazing food and friendly locals. In no way it is less attractive than let's say the famous French Riviera full of stuck up people! Soon, I'll prepare a post about the Kotor Bay.
6. Recife, Olinda and Porto de Galinhas, Brazil
Through this blog, I am often trying to prove that Brazil is not only Rio! Modern Recife, extremely picturesque Olinda with its colorful architecture and carnival culture are perfect for a great holiday! Top it up with the paradise beaches and natural pools formed by coral reefs where you can swim with tropical fish as well as feed them - you have an amazing summer spot all year round!
How surprised I was when I didn't see even one western tourist there! It really pays to stray from the beaten trail! I have prepared a full, detailed post on Porto de Galinhas here and Olinda here. Soon I'll also write about Recife.
I decided to include the whole country of Slovenia as an amazing summer destination as it's so tiny and has so much to offer: Mediterranean coast with cozy little towns, amazing crystal clear lakes, spectacular mountains if you love to hike, castles, caves and medieval architecture. All this within very short distances makes it a perfect holiday spot!
Slovenia, just like Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania still remains unfairly relatively unknown comparing to its big competitors in the Balkans: Greece and Croatia. I'm posting articles about Slovenia regularly, check it out here, new ones will keep appearing!
4. Cape Verde
The Cape Verde archipelago is getting popular with European tourists because of cheap flights from many European cities. The islands of Sal and Boa Vista have everything you need for a lazy beach holiday - long strands of white sand and many hotels and resorts.
But cape Verde is not only about lying on the beach - if you're more of an adventurous type, you'll be shocked when you realize how diverse the islands really are! Apart from the "beach" islands, visit the volcanic and green ones, like Fogo or Brava - they will blow your mind! Climbing the volcanic peak which erupted as recently as in 2014 is an unforgettable experience, and the green Brava with its own micro climate offers beautiful towns, cliffs and natural pools made of volcanic rock. Have a look at the series of posts I wrote about Cape Verde here.
3. Coast of Crimea
So close and so far - beautiful Crimean coast appeared on the media for all the wrong reasons - mainly the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Putting politics aside, Crimean peninsula boasts beautiful, dramatic coastline, sunny beaches, little towns, amazing food and it's so cheap comparing to the western seaside towns. It's a pity that no one tries to show and emphasize its beauty, focusing only on the negative side. I have filled this gap and here you can see my posts depicting Crimea the way it deserves - with its full beauty and grandeur.
2. Cornwall, England, UK
Now, you might be thinking that there is something wrong with the list or that I've confused the photo above with some exotic paradise. Especially that most of the English people flee south from their homeland seeking for sun and guaranteed good weather.
But I've been to Cornwall recently and few places enchanted and surprised me in such a way. Beautiful little towns, narrow windy roads, unspoiled green countryside and... paradise beaches. All this will easily can make it up for the bad weather and occasional rain you may encounter. Soon I'll describe my trip to Cornwall in detail.
1. Albanian southern coast
I have included Albania in a few lists already but I just can't help it and must put it in this one too. Albania is a perfect country for an adventurous backpacker - it's cheap, easy to get to, wild, chaotic, extremely beautiful, safe and friendly. European South America. The beaches are like in paradise, the food is superb, everything is authentic and few places are destroyed by mass tourism. Not too mention the fairy tale-like little towns with absolutely unique architecture, ruins of ancient Greek cities, rafting in Osum canyon, admiring the clearest ever Blue Eye spring and lake... It's a phenomenon considering the location in the middle of the old continent. So many attractions and it's still fully hidden from the mass media. Here you can read about my experiences in Albania and find out all the information and beautiful photos that will surely convince you to visit this little piece of the Balkans that most of the tourists tend to skip unaware of what they are missing!
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