Most Under-Appreciated Holiday Adventure Destinations from Most Under-Appreciated Holiday Adventure Destinations

Most Under-Appreciated Holiday Adventure Destinations

Full Story

Shuttertstock

Most Under-Appreciated Holiday Adventure Destinations

Whether your final stop is in some obscure corner of Earth or right in your own state, outdoor adventurers know to keep their eye out for the up-and-coming spots that are lesser-known and therefore less crowded.

Shuttertstock

Poland

Tourists who travel to this part of Europe usually go to Germany and the increasingly popular Czech Republic. But Poland won’t disappoint. Visit Kraków, located in the southern part of Poland on the Vistula River. The pulse of the city can be felt at the Rynek Glówny, a lively medieval market lined with shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars. The medieval town of Torun, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a delight. Poland's capital, Warsaw, is also a fascinating destination as it constantly reinvents itself. Accommodations, food and entertainment are also quite affordable.

Shuttertstock

Kyrgyzstan

The rugged Central Asian country along the Silk Road is not a popular tourist destination by any means. But it has a lot of potential. It was off limits to foreigners during the Soviet era and it was used as a buffer with China, according to Exodus Travel. Adventurous travelers will love hiking in the sharp white spears of the celestial Tien Shan Mountains, explore the arid grassland where nomadic tribes of eagle hunters roam, and see the gorgeous Issyk Kul Lake, the second largest alpine lake on the planet. Meet with nomads whose yurts and horses are scatted along the landscape.

Shuttertstock

Northern Ireland

Winter is the low season in this wonderful country that Americans often overlook. You can find amazing package deals that include backpacking and tours. Prices in general in the country are not very high. A major tourist attraction, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, is also one of the scariest. The Dunluce Castle, an iconic Medieval Irish castle on the Antrim Coast, is a must-see. Visit Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder on the northern coast. It features 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which came from a volcanic eruption.

extravagantni/istockphoto.com

Wales

Wales is off the beaten track for many visitors to the United Kingdom but should be on the must-visit list of every nature-lover. From the mountainous splendor of Snowdonia in the north to the windswept Brecon Beacons in the south, and a twisty, vertiginous 870 mile-long coast path, Wales packs into an area smaller than New Jersey a stunning variety of terrain. Improve your mountain skills in Snowdonia, walk and marvel at the Gower Peninsula, go rafting in Cardiff Bay, and go biking at Coed Llandegla.

istock

Mongolia

“A place still in its infancy with tourism but mature in scenery and natural beauty,” Lee Abbamonte, the youngest American to visit every country, says. “It's only a matter of time before the world catches on and they start building luxury resorts in the Gobi Desert!” How many people have you heard saying they want to live a Nomadic life in rural Mongolia for a week? You can also go on a cycling tour around the county that includes nine nights of wild camping. Bike across wide, open steppe, into expansive mountain scenery and through larch and pine forests.

iStock

Lofoten Archipelago, Norway

Lofoten is recognized for outstanding fishing, remarkable nature attractions such as the Northern Lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten path, according to Visit Norway. Kayak between the islands, go fishing for the catch of your life, or look for sea eagles soaring in the sky. The islands are draped across the Norwegian Sea, far above the Arctic Circle. This rare wilderness outpost offers an unrestricted landscape of majestic mountains, deep fjords, squawking seabird colonies and long, surf-swept beaches.

Shutterstock

Slovenia

Other than being the home country for First Lady Melania Trump, the wild, beautiful and small Central European nation is known for its mountains and lakes. Most tourists usually go to Lake Bled but the lesser-known Lake Bohinj offers equally awe-inspiring backgrounds. After all, it is the country’s largest glacial lake, snuggled between Bohinj’s mountains. Popular activities in and around this serene lake include fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking. The Soča River is a popular spot for kayaking and canyoneering.

iStock

Nicaragua

Visit this increasingly popular tourist destination before it becomes a hotspot. Its evolving atmosphere has begun to welcome visitors from around the world. The country boasts both a beautiful landscape and culture that invites travelers to explore its recent revolutionary history via colonial cities, markets and even rainforests. Once you get there, you won’t spend more than $30 a day. Surfing is generally a somewhat expensive hobby but you can take advantage of the cheap prices in Nicaragua to ride awesome waves. Hiking and volcano boarding range from $10 to $30. Food, too, is cheap.

Shutterstock

Mozambique

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. It is blessed with hot and sunny weather year round, with little or no rainfall through most of the year, according to Azura Retreats. This is a place for people who want to relax while zip-lining through a rainforest and bungee jumping during the day. Snorkeling adventures and hiking up active volcanoes are also exciting options. Fishing there is prolific; you’ll encounter an abundance of different species.

Shutterstock

Albania

Albania has been advertised as a cheap alternative to Greece and Italy, as it features a rich history without the typical European price tag. The history shines through in the capital, Tirana, from the architecture to the museums, this city is a must-see. Travelers in Albania can get by on a budget of $40 a day. It’s catching up with the rest of Europe as it’s breaking away from its Communist past. Go now to see stunning mountains and rustic villages before they are commercialized. 

Shutterstock

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is often referred to as “Africa’s adventure capital.” This 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.

Shutterstock

Georgia

Georgia is near the border of Europe and Asia. It has been well-known for good wine but recent safety concerns in Ukraine have forced many cruise lines to reroute their ships to Georgia, more specifically in Batumi, a beautiful Black Sea resort and port city. Its 108-hecatre botanical garden, which has been open since 1912, is one of the one the largest and richest in the world. The flow of tourists is leading to major hotel brands settling there. For a more authentic experience, now is the time to go.

Shutterstock

The Marshall Islands

The scattered atolls and quite remote. They form a nation that is known for its marine life – about 160 species of coral surrounding the islands – and stunning diving opportunities. Make sure you go for nature diving at Rongelap. Visiting the islands may seem like you’re in two different worlds. The capital of Majuro Atoll leans towards Western lifestyle and standards, and the outer islands are the real tropical wonders, according to World Travel Guide.

Shutterstock

Congo

Long overshadowed by the violence of its larger neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the smaller Republic of the Congo is just starting to show up on tourists’ radars. Stay at a safari cam in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park and explore the pristine rainforest. Make the most of the wildlife-spotting opportunities in the rugged Congo Basin, which produces approximately 40 percent of the world’s oxygen. Visitors can track Western Lowland gorillas and elephants with local guides.

iStock

Austria

Austria is ranked among the most adventurous countries in the world. Mountain biking, river surfing and wakesurfing, as well as skydiving are equally popular among adventurous tourists. Start off the New Year in style in one of the most fabulous places on the planet – Vienna. Visit City Hall Square and head to the Prater for celebrations. Attend their famous New Year’s Eve Gala and spend the night enjoying performances by international artists and the Weiner Hoftball Orchester.

Shutterstock

Madagascar

Culturally and geographically exceptional, Madagascar detached from the African mainland millions of years ago. The island nation is coming back after several recent years of diplomatic and financial isolation. Plus, discoveries of new lemur species excite wildlife enthusiasts, who hope to see the rare and adorable primates up close. The remote island is home to spectacular biodiversity—many of the plant and animal species that live there can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

Shutterstock

Salta, Argentina

Most people go to lively Buenos Aires, but Salta, located in the north-west of Argentina, is growing in popularity. This old colonial town boats gorgeous architecture. Take a ride on the Tren a las Nubes, which mean “train to the clouds” and take a cable car up the San Bernardo Hill for the best views of the city. Everything around it is also amazing and provides plenty of adventurous opportunities. Imagine what you can do in rugged, mountains, vineyards and valleys without huge crowds.  

Most Under-Appreciated Holiday Adventure Destinations