The most underrated tourist spots in the world from 50 Most Underrated Tourist Spots in the World [Gallery]

50 Most Underrated Tourist Spots in the World [Gallery]

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The most underrated tourist spots in the world

Just because these locations aren’t the top-visited tourist destinations in the world doesn’t mean they don’t have amazing quests in store for travelers willing to pick the road less traveled.

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1. Albania

Just north of Mediterranean hot-spot Greece lies Albania, a country full of snow-capped mountains and sunny beaches but without the hype. Albania was under communist control until 1991, but in the almost two decades since, it’s become what some describe as an unspoilt Eastern European version of the Amalfi Coast.

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2. Amman, Jordan

Though it’s nestled between Israel, Iraq and Syria, places of intense instability and unrest, Jordan is considered an oasis for travelers. On top of visiting famous archaeological sites such as Petra and natural wonders such as the Dead Sea, visitors to Jordan can camp out in the Wadi Rum desert with Bedouins or tackle hiking the Jordan Trail.

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3. Andaman & Nicobar

India has plenty of coastal towns, but did you know the country also governs a tropical island group of more than 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal? While some of the more developed islands have luxury amenities, others are more peaceful and remote, perfect for relaxing or camping. Andaman and Nicobar is home to the only active volcano in India, miles of beachfront perfect for watersports and snorkeling, and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities both in the wild and at nature reserves.

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4. Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

Most travelers think of Punta Cana when considering a trip to the Dominican Republic, but Bayahibe offers local charm with more secluded beaches and some of the country’s best places to scuba dive.

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5. Bhutan

This magnificent Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas is a vacation spot you may have never heard of before. It has plenty of monasteries, fortresses, subtropical plains, steep mountains and valleys. Thimphu is one of the most captivating places to visit. Make time to visit Phajodhing. The hike to get there is amazing as you pass by forests and valets. If you are looking for authenticity, the Snowman Trek is the place to be. The spectacular 200-mile, 25-day high-altitude adventure includes some of the most untouched rocky countryside with snowcapped peaks and glacier covered terrain.

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6. Bolivia

Bolivia, one of the world’s highest countries, is also one of its prettiest. It’s certainly unique. The Uyuni Salt Flats on their own are reason enough to go – and stay in a salt hotel. Bike down Yungas, also known as Death Road; visit the Witches Market. See hundreds of flamingos at 14,000 feet at the stunning red lake, Laguna Colorada, and the equally beautiful Laguna Verde. The Incallajta is a must-see, too. This ancient site, with a surface area of 67 hectares, is among the main Inca sites in the country.

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7. Brittany & Normandy, France

France has many world-famous cities and regions: Paris, Provence, Bordeaux and Champagne. But if you’re traveling through France, don’t pass over the chance to spend time in the northwest regions of Brittany and Normandy. History buffs can visit the beaches of D-Day and other WWII locations as well as tour medieval towns and castles, such as the island of Mont Saint-Michel. Art and food lovers can view the Bayeux tapestry and visit creperies, fromageries and wineries.

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8. Budapest

The city has been an up-and-coming destination for a few years now. Resting on both sides of the Danube River, Hungary’s capital city is often referred to as the “Little Paris of Middle Europe.” Tourists are drawn to Budapest for its rich history and modern allure. Visit numerous World Heritage Sites such as the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, and Millennium Underground Railway (the world’s second oldest metro line). The city is a place where music and art thrive and history is ever-present.

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9. Dakar, Senegal

Founded in the 15th century, Dakar, the capital of Senegal and the westernmost city in Africa, combines rich history with vibrant modern culture. Visitors can relax or surf along the coast, learn about the city’s role in the slave trade, dance to mbalax music and shop at the famous Village des Arts, a complex where local artists create and sell their wares. Dakar is also home to Africa's highest statue, the African Renaissance Monument.

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10. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is so underrated that it’s actually among the places that will pay you to live there. The city has been all over the news due to its financial troubles after it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013. But the always shines after a storm, and the city is going through a revival. It’s now more of a hipster place. The Eastern Market neighborhood is one of the oldest and most charming in all of the U.S. Small and family businesses such as mom-and-pop shops are on the rise. Also, sports fans will always be entertained as there are four professional teams in the city.

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11. Dubrovnik, Croatia

It might not have a world-famous reputation, but celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Oprah, Jay-Z and Beyoncé have all discovered the hidden gem that is Dubrovnik, Croatia. The historic walled medieval city, which stands in for King’s Landing on “Game of Thrones,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site that you can take in while enjoying its local food and wine scene and coastal views.

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12. Ethiopia

Visit before the world gets out; you won’t regret it. Ethiopia has long lived in the shadows of neighboring Kenya even though it has as much to offer – glorious mountains, mysteries, food, and Gelada Baboons. Make it to the Bale Mountains, which will soon be a World Heritage site. The park is known for its abundant wildlife, dramatic landscapes, glacial lakes and volcanic ridges. Meet the unique and diverse cultures of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley and learn about the rich traditions tribes there have maintained for centuries.

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13. Faroe Islands, Denmark

The Faroe Islands, between Norway and Iceland, are home to more sheep than people, making it a perfect place to get away from it all. The lush, gorgeous scenery is mostly unchanged from when ancient Vikings first settled there, and no city is more than three miles from the coast. Hike, drive, bike or horseback ride to take in the countryside. Visitors can rappel and cliff jump as well as take in the sights underwater as the islands are an unlikely hot spot for scuba diving.

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14. Glacier National Park, Montana

Less visited than Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park in Montana is still beloved by outdoor enthusiasts for the wildlife, waterfalls, glaciers, mountains and lakes spread across its more than one million acres that are ideal for fly fishing, hiking and more. The park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is also considered to be one of the world's most breathtaking drives.

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15. Havana, Cuba

This is an unforgettable trip you can totally do on a budget, but soon. It is becoming a hot spot so go now before prices skyrocket. Stay at the historic, and renovated, Hotel Saratoga on the outskirts of Old Havana. Don’t miss a chance to enjoy the rooftop pool from which you can see the entire city and its classic beauty. Running the country’s legendary sea boulevard, the Malecon, is a must-do. Go to The Jaz Club for an authentic Cuban jazz performance, party in any night club, or visit in December during the famous Jazz Festival. 

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16. Iran

Even though major sanctions were lifted two years ago, some still consider Iran to be a hostile nation and won’t go. It is, however, becoming an ‘it’ destination for trend-setting travelers, thanks in part to British Airways launching direct flights to Tehran. European hospitality brands are making plans to open new hotels to capitalize on, what the Wall Street Journal calls an “uptick in tourism.” However, in light of recent events - the Trump Administration being against the nuclear deal reached in 2015, and Iran supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which the U.S. opposes - the country could very well soon become a no-go for U.S. citizens again. 

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17. Java, Indonesia

This is where you go for a budget beach vacation. While most tourists flock to Bali, its neighboring island of Java, a 30-minute ferry ride away, is even a great bargain. There are fewer tourists and not as many expensive Western-style shops and restaurants (think, Hard Rock Café) to spend money at. It also has a lot to offer in the beach department. The pebble beach of Cimaja is popular with surfers who care more about the waves than the sand. Karimun offers white sand and calmer water—perfect for diving and snorkeling among the coral reef.

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18. Kathmandu, Nepal

This diverse historic city will captivate you with breathtaking Newari architecture, centuries old Hindu and Buddhist religious sites and restaurants. The country’s capital is a result of diverse culture and lifestyle, a long history of faith and beliefs, and of arts and architecture, according to Welcome Nepal. Go ballooning above the Kathmandu Valley or bungee jumping off a 500-foot suspension bridge snuggled within the mountains, high above the river. Canoeing and rock climbing are other popular summer adventures.

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19. La Paz, Mexico

La Paz might not have the name recognition of Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas, but many visitors prefer it that way. The capital of the Baja California state of Mexico, La Paz is less flashy, more laid back and less crowded but still offers a beautiful waterfront, cosmopolitan cuisine, unique cultural history and water activities like swimming with whale sharks.

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20. Leon, Nicaragua

This is the most authentically colonial Spanish city in country. It is surrounded by volcanoes. The Pacific Rim is truly visible here, with great opportunities for “volcano boarding.” This new adrenaline sport is sweeping northwest Nicaragua. Twenty minutes out of town and you’ll hit some of the best surfing in the region on the deserted beaches of Poneloya. Another attraction is the Cathedral of León, the biggest cathedral in Central America. For the best view over the city, go to "el fortin", an old Somoza stronghold southwest of León, according to Nicaragua Guide.

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21. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is ideal for millennials. The city features intricate works of street art. This one-of-a-kind capital is starting to gain major popularity with travelers. Lisbon has become popular with them for its food and beer. Lisbon has monuments, museums, cathedrals; it’s home to incredible galleries. Ancient alleyways lead you past old pastel-colored homes, but new office buildings sit not far away and beautiful beaches. Let the brightly-colored cityscape steal your heart.

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22. Luxembourg

Bordered by France, Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg is full of exciting sites and attractions. There are tons of castles, a variety of cultures to experience, and the food is delicious. Active people have plenty to do due to the plethora of leisure activities easily available. From climbing and cycling, to nautical sports and aviation; Luxembourg sports combine physical challenges with entertainment for both young and old.

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23. Madagascar

The Galapagos Islands in the Pacific are famous for their biodiversity, but the African island nation of Madagascar is also brimming with creatures and plants, 80 percent of which cannot be seen anywhere else on earth. Lemurs, aye-ayes, fosas, the world’s smallest chameleon species, baobab trees and thousands of kinds of orchids are just a few of the many breathtaking sites you’ll see while hiking, biking or driving through the countries national parks.

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24. Malawi

Most people think of other counties if they want to go on a safari, making Malawi a crowdless safari spot. The mixture of beautiful landscapes and rich culture makes the tiny country such a wonderful place to visit. There are nine national parks and wildlife reserves. Make time for Lake Malawi, the jewel crown of the country. It is best explored by kayak. In just one trip you will get to see amazing remote beaches, uninhabited deserted small islands and rich wildlife.

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25. The Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific is one of the least-visited countries in the world. Only 10,000 tourists visited in 2016, while more than 80 million people passed through France, one of the most visited countries. If you don’t mind unwinding without Wifi in more humble accommodations, the island offers pristine, secluded beaches, fascinating local culture and history, and the world’s largest shark sanctuary.

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26. Middleburg, Virginia

Napa Valley in California has earned an international reputation as a wine destination, but what about Virginia? Rolling from the D.C. suburbs to the Blue Mountains, Virginia wine country is being heralded as the next Napa, with more than 250 wineries and counting in the up-and-coming area. The northern Virginia wine area includes the town of Middleburg, home to some of the most prominent wineries, makes for a good home base for those going on a tasting vacation, according to CNN.

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27. Mongolia

How about living a nomadic life for a couple of weeks in rural Mongolia? This is a wonderful trip to take between jobs. It can be a challenge, but a worthy one. Hiking, biking, rafting, and kayaking are often involved. You’ll get to see where Genghis Khan set out to conquer the world. You'll live in a Nomad’s ger, and ride horses while learning archery and garment-making skills. You may have to get up early to help your hosts with chores like milking the cows and making your own dairy products for breakfast. Make sure you explore Ulaanbaatar, the capital and one of the coldest places in the world.

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28. Mozambique

This is a nation most Americans often overlook. South Africa is the more obvious choice in the region. But people get have an unforgettable island vacation in Mozambique, on the Benguerra Island, to be exact. This is a place for people who want to relax while zip-lining through a rainforest and bungee jumping during the day. Fishing there is prolific; you’ll encounter an abundance of different species. Other popular areas are Ponta de Ouro where you get to swim with dolphins, Gaza where paragliding and kite-surfing are typical pursuits, and Vilanculos, a gateway to the Bazaruto Archipelago which consists of six Islands.

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29. Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has only been open to foreign tourists since 2012 after five decades of shutting them out. While it doesn’t have the infrastructure or attract millions of visitors like Thailand or Malaysia, Myanmar offers thousands of ancient temples and archaeological sites, including the stunning Shwedagon Pagoda, as well as unspoiled beaches and unique local culture.

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30. Namibia

Namibia is “perhaps the most beautiful country on the African continent,” Lee Abbamonte, the youngest American to visit every country, says. “The desert scenery is unmatched by anything I’ve seen.” It’s primitive and overshadowed by neighboring South Africa but a great still-hidden gem. Mnemba, just of the north east coast of Zanzibar, is a destination for barefoot luxury– you can snorkel straight off the beach and onto pristine reef.

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31. Nara, Japan

Often overlooked by travelers in favor of Tokyo and Kyoto, Nara, the country’s first permanent capital, also deserves a spot on your Japanese itinerary. Visit eight historic World Heritage sites in Nara, including Todaiji Temple, home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha. While wandering between ancient cultural landmarks at Nara Park, you can feed some of the 1,200 friendly wild deer that roam freely. The deer were once considered divine, but are now protected as national treasures.

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32. Newfoundland, Canada

Newfoundland isn’t just a breed of dog, but an island off the southeastern edge of Canada that offers much more than the shaggy pups that originated there. St. John's, the capital, is one of the oldest cities in Canada and claims to have the most bars and pubs per square foot in the world. The fishing village of Twillingate is considered the iceberg capital of the world. Watch them float on land or take day trip to get up close and personal.

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33. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With its first Super Bowl win ever, the city will be getting a lot of new visitors. Aside from that, Philadelphia is already one of the cities with the best bike paths in the U.S. It’s known as a great place to celebrate Fourth of July (after all, it’s nickname is America’s birthplace) and spring flowers displays. The City of Brotherly Love is also home to one of the must-visit haunted attractions in America – Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary.

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34. The Philippines

The Philippines offers so many adventures, there are just not enough hours in the day for all. Go swimming in many of the pristine beaches and then cool down by hiking through underground caves. Go trekking in Luzon, diving in Mindoro, surfing crazy waves on the island of Samar, and canyoneering at Montaneza Falls. Book flights early, stay at local people’s houses, eat at the markets and you won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a mixture of adventure and tranquility, you will find it in Palawan, which is full of amazing landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and a vast marine life.

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35. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

The world’s largest cave wasn’t discovered until 1990 and didn’t open to the public until 2013. It’s a must-visit for adventure travelers who want the chance to marvel at Mother Nature’s creation. In fact, more people have stood at the summit of Mt. Everest than experienced this natural wonder. Soon Doong Cave, which is in Vietnam’s Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, can only be reached on a five-day expedition. It is so large it has its own weather system, including clouds, inside.

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36. Prague, Czech Republic

The breathtaking city attracts people with its rich history, unique architecture, and delicious beer. The Czech capital is home to one of the most gorgeous bridges in the world – the Charles Bridge. Fairytale castles and incredible culture are just some of the many things you and your loved one have to look forward to in Prague. Enjoy the street music in Old Town Square and make sure you visit Prague’s National Museum. With nearly 800 bars and restaurants, as well as 300 gigs per month, you will never be bored.

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37. Quebec City, Canada

The capital of the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, Quebec City, is almost 1/5 the size of Montreal, the region’s biggest tourism hub, but that it is very much the epicenter of French-Canadian history and culture, according to Lonely Planet. One of North America’s oldest settlements, its Old Quebec neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage site whose iconic crown jewel is the Chateau Frontenac.

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38. Queensland, Australia

While sunning yourself in Sydney or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef seem like must-dos in Australia, you are missing out if you don’t also visit the state of Queensland. This northeast region of the country is known for its natural beauty, including access to the reef, but there are plenty of gorgeous sites to see inland. The world’s largest sand island, mangrove forests, limestone caves, tropical rainforests, peat swamps, mountains, mangrove forests and sand dunes are there for exploring. The area’s national parks are also home to many unique and endangered plant and animal species.

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39. Quito, Ecuador

The capital of Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 9,350 feet, according to UNESCO. This is one of the inexpensive cities in South America. Quito sits high in the Andean foothills. Its “Old Town” is a World Heritage Site.

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40. San Sebastian, Spain

When travelers visit Spain, they usually flock to the large metropolises of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia or well-known beach towns like Ibiza. But the seaside community of San Sebastian offers a unique blend of beautiful, less crowded beaches and a glimpse at the unique Basque culture. Visitors can sample the Basque version of tapas, pintxos, as well as dine at 10 different Michelin star restaurants, including some named among the best in the world.

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41. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is one of the most underrated cities in the U.S. Whether you're drawn to Sedona by its beautiful red rock formations or the energy vortices rumored to exist there, this city is for active people who love the outdoors. The desert town draws in artists, healers and wanderers, while the surrounding landscape brings adventurers. Take to Submarine Rock on a mountain bike, head off the beaten path with ATVs and hike Red Rock State Park. When you’re worn out take to the lively town and enjoy authentic art and eats. 

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42. Slovenia

This gorgeous country has an emerging food and wine scene. The Hiša Franko Hotel is said to be the place where Ernest Hemingway wrote his bestselling novel, A Farewell to Arm. Another major attraction is the historical castles. You can even stay in a 16th century castle called the 'Gredic Castle Hotel.  Most tourists usually go to Lake Bled but the lesser-known Lake Bohinj offers equally awe-inspiring backgrounds

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43. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a dollar-friendly destination, which you should visit before it gets overrun with tourists. You can find spicy foods, unusual fruits, and sweets that you won’t see anywhere else. The exotic island offers access to lavish rainforestsstunning beaches, misty mountains, elephants, and leopards. Sri Lanka is home to one of the largest concentrations of pygmy blue whales on earth. You can go on a unique safari that offers diving with blue whales, giving you a chance to get very close to them.

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44. St. Helena

Off the West coast of Africa lies the little-known British island of St. Helena, which is where Napoleon died while in exile. Previously, it could only be visited on cruises from Cape Town, but recently, flights from Johannesburg have allowed visitors easier access to the island’s remote beauty and unique history. The island, which has been visited by Charles Darwin and Edmond Halley, is ideal for astronomy. It’s also home to Jonathan, a more than 100-year-old tortoise that’s on the local five pence coin, and wirebirds, a species that can only be found on the island.

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45. Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is a hot destination for adventure sports and “Lord of the Rings” fans, but when you’re not trekking across Middle Earth or black water rafting, you could be checking out Tiritiri Matangi Island. The island serves as a community-lead  nature reserve off the coast of Auckland that protects the country’s rare native birds. You can also snorkel, kayak or swim around the island before spending the night on the island’s bunk house and awaken to the birds’ sweet songs.

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46. Turkmenistan

North of Iran and Afghanistan along the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan is one of the least visited countries in the world. Despite being ruled by a dictator, the country is considered safe for tourists and boasts some incredible natural sights, including Darvaza crater, known as the “gateway to hell.”

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47. Udaipur, India

While many visitors swoon at the romantic backstory of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the most romantic destination in India might be Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan. It’s earned the nickname “the Venice of the East” because its built along five major lakes. Historic towers, palaces, temples and forts line the waterfront, and visitors can even stay at the Lake Palace, a seemingly floating island hotel originally built for royalty but that’s since hosted Jackie Kennedy, Vivien Leigh and Queen Elizabeth.

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48. Wales

Many people planning a U.K. trip know to explore outside of England, but it's usually Ireland and Scotland that get visitors venturing outside of London. Located on the west side of the island of Great Britain, Wales has one of the highest concentrations of castles in Europe, gorgeous coastlines and national parks, and unique language and culture.

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49. Zhangjiajie, China

The Inspiration for the lush planet Pandora in Avatar came from the Hunan province of China. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park spans 185 square miles and its otherworldly natural features include thousands of massive sandstone pillars sprouting trees. The park is also home to macaques and the endangered clouded leopard. View the park’s grand canyon from above on the world’s tallest and longest glass bridge.

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50. Zimbabwe

An underrated adventure spot in Africa, Zimbabwe is the best country on the continent for walking and canoe safaris – providing the opportunity to really be "in the adventure,” according to The Africa Adventure. Tourists also enjoy all kinds of other thrilling experiences – from bungee jumping to exhilarating helicopter rides. Other top adventures include canoeing the Mana Pools Trail, rafting down the Zambezi River, running the Victoria Falls Marathon, and camping in the wilderness.

50 Most Underrated Tourist Spots in the World [Gallery]