Top 9 Destinations Off the Beaten Tracks

 1. Svaneti, Georgia       2. Faroe Islands      3. Luang Prabang, Laos    
 4. Salta, Argentina     5. Mafia Island, Tanzania     6. Gjirokastër, Albania   
 7. Socotra, Yemen     8. Raja Ampat, Indonesia     9. Tatra Mountains, Slovakia   


In a world where travel has become increasingly accessible, finding those hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations is more rewarding than ever. This summer is the perfect time to explore unique, lesser-known locations that offer new experiences away from the usual tourist trails. Whether you're seeking solitude, adventure, or cultural immersion, these destinations promise to deliver. Here are our top off-the-beaten-track travel recommendations for this summer.


1. Svaneti, Georgia

Discover the Untouched Beauty of the Caucasus Mountains. Nestled in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains, Svaneti is a remote region in Georgia that boasts breathtaking landscapes, medieval towers, and a rich cultural heritage. This hidden gem is perfect for travellers seeking an authentic experience away from the tourist crowds.

What to Do:
  • Hiking: Enthusiasts will revel in the challenging trails that offer stunning views of snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys. Popular hikes include the trek from Mestia to Ushguli, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ancient stone towers.
  • Cultural Immersion: Visit the ancient villages of Mestia and Ushguli, where time seems to stand still. Explore the local traditions that have been preserved for centuries, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Svan people.
  • Historical Sites: Discover the medieval Svanetian towers, which were built as defense structures and are now a symbol of the region's rich history.

Svaneti's remote location and rugged terrain have kept it relatively isolated, preserving its unique culture and pristine natural beauty. This makes it a perfect destination for those looking to explore a lesser-known part of Georgia.


2. Faroe Islands

Explore the rugged North Atlantic Archipelago. The Faroe Islands, a group of 18 volcanic islands located between Iceland and Norway, are a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. With dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque villages, the Faroe Islands offer a unique blend of stunning scenery and rich Viking history.

What to Do:
  • Hiking: The islands are crisscrossed with trails that offer breathtaking views of the rugged landscape. A hike to the Kallur Lighthouse on Kalsoy Island is a must for panoramic views of the surrounding seas.
  • Bird Watching: The Faroe Islands are home to large colonies of seabirds, including puffins. The cliffs of Mykines Island are a great spot to observe these charming birds..
  • Cultural Experiences: Visit the charming village of Gjógv, known for its natural harbor and traditional Faroese houses. The capital, Tórshavn, offers a mix of old and new, with historic buildings and modern amenities.

Despite its stunning beauty, the Faroe Islands remain relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourism. Its remote location and challenging weather conditions contribute to its off-the-beaten-track allure.


3. Luang Prabang, Laos

Experience tranquil charm and spiritual richness. While Southeast Asia is renowned for its bustling cities and popular tourist spots, Luang Prabang in Laos remains a serene escape. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its well-preserved architecture, vibrant night markets, and spiritual ambiance.

What to Do:
  • Temples and Monasteries: Explore the numerous temples and monasteries that dot the city, including the majestic Wat Xieng Thong. Participate in the alms-giving ceremony at dawn, where monks collect food offerings from locals and tourists alike.
  • Natural Attractions: Visit the stunning Kuang Si Falls, a multi-tiered waterfall with turquoise pools perfect for swimming. Take a boat trip on the Mekong River to enjoy the tranquil scenery and visit nearby caves.
  • Cultural Experiences: Wander through the night markets, where you can sample local delicacies and purchase handmade crafts. Visit the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the history and culture of Laos.

Luang Prabang offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling tourist hubs of Southeast Asia. Its blend of natural beauty and cultural richness makes it a hidden gem that provides a more authentic experience.


4. Salta, Argentina

Discover the cultural and natural wonders of Northwest Argentina. Salta, located in the northwest of Argentina, is a region rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. With its colonial architecture, vibrant folk music, and delicious cuisine, Salta offers an authentic Argentine experience.

What to Do:
  • Historical Sites: Explore the colonial architecture of Salta City, including the San Francisco Church and the Cabildo. Visit the MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology) to see the famous Inca mummies.
  • Natural Wonders: Venture out to the stunning Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its dramatic rock formations and vibrant colors. Explore the surreal landscapes of the Salinas Grandes salt flats.
  • Cultural Experiences: Enjoy traditional Argentine folk music and dance at a local peña (folk music club). Sample regional cuisine, including empanadas and tamales, at local restaurants.

Salta's remote location in northwest Argentina makes it less frequented by tourists compared to other regions. Its unique blend of cultural and natural attractions offers a rich and varied experience away from the usual tourist routes.


5. Mafia Island, Tanzania

Unwind on the pristine shores of a hidden paradise. For those seeking an idyllic island escape, Mafia Island in Tanzania is a perfect choice. Far from the tourist crowds of Zanzibar, Mafia Island offers pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rich marine life.

What to Do:
  • Diving and Snorkelling: Explore the vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life at the Mafia Island Marine Park. The island is a prime location for swimming with whale sharks, especially between October and March.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visit traditional fishing villages to learn about the local way of life. Explore the ruins of Kua, an ancient Swahili settlement on Juani Island.
  • Relaxation: Enjoy the tranquil beaches and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The island’s laid-back atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for relaxation.

Mafia Island's relative seclusion and lack of large-scale tourist infrastructure keep it off the radar for many travellers. Its unspoiled natural beauty and rich cultural heritage make it a hidden gem in Tanzania.


6. Gjirokastër, Albania

Gjirokastër, known as the "City of Stone," is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in southern Albania. This charming town is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman architecture, cobblestone streets, and stunning hillside setting.

What to Do:
  • Historical Sites: Visit the Gjirokastër Castle, which offers panoramic views of the town and surrounding mountains. Explore the Ethnographic Museum housed in the former home of dictator Enver Hoxha.
  • Cultural Experiences: Wander through the old bazaar to experience traditional Albanian culture. Enjoy local cuisine at one of the town’s many restaurants, where you can sample dishes like qifqi (rice balls) and byrek (savory pie).
  • Cultural Experiences: Wander through the old bazaar to experience traditional Albanian culture. Enjoy local cuisine at one of the town’s many restaurants, where you can sample dishes like qifqi (rice balls) and byrek (savory pie).

Gjirokastër’s relative obscurity and its preserved historical and cultural heritage make it a fascinating destination for travellers seeking an authentic experience in the Balkans.


7. Socotra, Yemen

Discover the alien landscapes of the Arabian Sea. Socotra, an archipelago in the Arabian Sea, is often referred to as the "Galápagos of the Indian Ocean" due to its unique flora and fauna. The island's otherworldly landscapes include the iconic Dragon's Blood Trees, pristine beaches, and rugged mountains.

What to Do:
  • Nature Exploration: Hike through the Haghier Mountains to discover the unique Dragon's Blood Trees and other endemic plant species. Visit the Detwah Lagoon, known for its stunning turquoise waters and diverse birdlife.
  • Beaches and Snorkeling: Relax on the pristine beaches of Qalansiyah and Arher. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters to explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visit local villages to learn about the traditional way of life of the Socotri people and experience the island’s unique culture and hospitality.

Socotra’s remote location and limited accessibility have kept it largely untouched by mainstream tourism. Its unique biodiversity and stunning landscapes offer a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure for intrepid travellers.


8. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Dive into the pristine underwater world of the Coral Triangle. Raja Ampat, located off the northwest tip of Papua in Indonesia, is a diver's paradise. Known for its rich marine biodiversity, this archipelago boasts some of the world's best diving spots.

What to Do:
  • Diving and Snorkeling: Explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Dive sites like Cape Kri and Misool are renowned for their underwater beauty and biodiversity.
  • Island Hopping: Discover the lush green islands and hidden lagoons of Raja Ampat. Take a boat tour to explore remote beaches and enjoy the stunning scenery.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visit local villages to learn about the traditional customs and lifestyle of the indigenous people. Participate in cultural performances and events.

Raja Ampat’s remote location and challenging access have kept it relatively undiscovered by mass tourism. Its pristine natural beauty and rich marine life make it a hidden gem for diving enthusiasts and nature lovers.


9. Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

Embrace the wild beauty of the Tatra Mountains, spanning the border between Slovakia and Poland, offer stunning alpine scenery and a wealth of outdoor activities. This lesser-known gem in Central Europe is perfect for adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

What to Do:
  • Hiking: The Tatra Mountains are crisscrossed with trails that offer breathtaking views of the alpine landscape. Popular hikes include the trail to Rysy, the highest peak in Poland, and the scenic path to Štrbské Pleso.
  • Winter Sports: In the winter, the Tatra Mountains transform into a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Resorts like Tatranská Lomnica and Jasná offer excellent facilities and slopes for all skill levels.
  • Winter Sports: In the winter, the Tatra Mountains transform into a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Resorts like Tatranská Lomnica and Jasná offer excellent facilities and slopes for all skill levels.

The Tatra Mountains are often overshadowed by more famous European mountain ranges, making them a hidden gem for those seeking a quieter and more authentic alpine experience. Their stunning natural beauty and diverse outdoor activities make them a must-visit destination in Central Europe.