Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, Sugar Loaf in Rio, Uluru Rock and Great Barrier Coral reef in Australia... Most of us know those exceptionally beautiful sights that make us wonder how lucky we are to live on this extraordinary planet. They are continuously shown on TV, in travel magazines like National Geographic and all over the mass media. What I want to do in this article, is to show (contrary to popular belief) how breathtaking are the places which you don't usually see on TV and which are not associated with being beautiful or worth visiting in general, public opinion. I often have to prove to my friends and people I meet that I am not out of my mind to have decided to visit Albania instead of Spain, Kazakhstan instead of France or Armenia instead of Thailand. So, let this list be the proof!
The following list consists of the places that travelers almost always skip on their way to some popular destinations, for example: those who visit Austria, Italy and Croatia often left out Slovenia and Albania, those who visit Thailand and Cambodia hardly ever stop somewhere in Central Asia, those who go to Eastern Europe, rarely go beyond Czech Republic or Poland. And even there, they miss out on some absolutely amazing sights - because they weren't even aware those natural wonders exist. So, have a look at the list of 10 unknown breathtaking wonders, get inspired and don't miss them next time!
The cover photo, from top left: Ghipe beach in Albania, Yangykala Canyons in Turkmenistan, Soca River in Slovenia and Lakshadweep Islands in India.
Watch the youtube video and scroll down to see the list:
10. Albanian Riviera
Crystal clear turquoise sea, white sand beaches, breathtaking coastline - and we have an image of paradise in front of our eyes. First thing that comes in mind is some exotic, tropical island. But few know that this piece of paradise is right in the center of Europe, a stone's throw from popular countries like Italy and Croatia. And what's even more strange - most of travelers simply skip it! Virginal beaches, unspoiled nature, blue sea, cozy little towns - you'll find it all in... Albania. A country that has a bad opinion internationally, mostly thanks to the western media. But the nature doesn't care what people's opinions are - the nature is just there - for you to enjoy!
9. Lencois Maranhenses, Brazil
Of course everybody knows Rio de Janeiro but has anyone ever heard about Lencois Maranhenses? This natural phenomenon is located close to the charming city of Sao Luis in the north of the country which is undeservedly left out by most of the tourists coming to Brazil. Lencois Maranhenses looks like Sahara Desert with pools of water in between the dunes. The whole scenery is unique and absolutely breathtaking, especially when viewed from an airplane - if you're lucky, you can even admire it during a normal passenger flight!
8. Armenian Countryside
Khor Virap is a tiny monastery perched on a hill overlooking the impressive biblical Mount Ararat - where Noah's Ark supposedly landed after the great flood. Barren landscapes, mountains and cliffs make Armenia an incredibly attractive country to travel. The landscapes are stunning, the people are nice and you can admire Mount Ararat even from the capital - Yerevan!
7. Black Beaches, Iceland
The black beaches of Reynisfjara in Iceland are definitely a natural wonder that will make your jaw drop. There is something fascinating in the coldness and remoteness of this place. The black sand and basalt columns make it even more mysterious. You might know Reynisfjara from the recent Hollywood film about Noah - it was filmed in Iceland (not in above mentioned Armenia where the biblical story supposedly happened!)
Soon I will write a full post about the Black Beaches.
6. Tatra Mountains National Park, Poland
Tatra Mountains in Poland are pretty well known among locals, however the ordinary foreign tourists visit only the town of Zakopane and Morskie Oko lake at most. But to appreciate the exceptional beauty of the Tatra National Park - you must get off the beaten path and climb higher! Hike in Dolina Pieciu Stawow (Five Lakes Valley), Dolina Gasienicowa (Dry Water Valley) or reach one of the peaks. The views - unforgettable!
5. Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan
Wadi Rum is a must for all visiting Jordan. Yes, there's so much more to the country than Petra! Wadi Rum resembles Mars so much that a few science fiction films were recorded here, including the 2013 "The Last day on Mars" and the 2015 "Martian" by Ridley Scott. Red sand, breathtaking rock formation, camel riding, rock climbing, desert camps - you'll really feel like you've left the Earth and found yourself on a different planet!
I'll write about Wadi Rum soon.
4. Adrspach-Teplice Rock Town, Czech Republic
Yes, I admit, Prague is amazing, especially early morning at the sunrise when Charles Brigde is completely empty and illuminated by the rising sun. But who has heard about the amazing natural wonder located in the west of Czech Republic? The Adrspach Teplice rock town is a unique labyrinth of rocky cliffs, walls and formations. There is also an orange river, some beautiful waterfalls and a turquoise lake within the area. So close to Prague and yet unknown. Don't miss it!
3. Lakshadweep Islands, India
Lakshadweep Islands, off the eastern coast of India are located not far above the famous Maldives. However, no one seems to know about this hidden paradise. It has everything that an adventure seeker will love - pure, empty beaches without segregated resorts and hotels, local villages that you can cycle around, coral reefs perfect for diving and snorkeling and even a coconut factory. It's a completely different world, not contaminated by western spas, hotels and posh resorts. It's as authentic, pure and real as you can imagine. The only disadvantage is the problem with getting there - but when you do, you'll forget all the hassle, you're in paradise indeed!
2. Triglav National Park, Slovenia
As I mentioned before, Slovenia is left out by the tourists heading south to the beaches of Croatia or Venice in Italy. This little country, however, has so many attractions to offer that it could share half of them with its neighbors and would still be worth visiting. Caves, castles, coastal Mediterranean towns, amazing lakes, gorges, rivers and my favorite - Triglav National Park. Spectacular views, silver Julian Alps, crystal clear mountainous ponds and streams - it's a true feast for the senses!
1. Yangykala Canyons, Turkmenistan
Yangykala Canyons deserve as much attention as the famous Grand Canyon in the US. However, they are literally unknown. Why is that? Because they are less spectacular? No - it's because us, humans and divisions we build between ourselves. Nevertheless, if you ever have the chance to see the white-red sandstone formation in Yangykala, do it - absolutely zero percent of tourists and one hundred percent of satisfaction. I'm not going to even try to describe it as the words are not enough. Turkmenistan is of the most exciting and off the beaten path destinations ever.
Copying without permission is not allowed. If you wish to use any of the site's content (photos or text) or work with us, please contact us.
We welcome questions, advice, support or criticism. However, spam comments will be removed.