Forget the stereotypical tourist attractions and unoriginal selfie sites – they’re a thing of the past. Today’s traveller is all about exploring the unexplored and venturing off the beaten track. With this in mind, Topdeck Travel has compiled a list of the top 10 most amazing unknown travel destinations – a list of the world’s best hidden gems. Canadian travellers are invited to indulge their wanderlust and explore these little known destinations.
1. Mostar, Bosnia
Steeped in history and an unusual right of passage, Mostar is a breath of fresh air for culture seekers bored of the popular city break destinations. Visitors can gasp at the local Bosnians jumping off the Stari Most Bridge, which spans the Neretva River in the heart of the city – those with a faint heart beware.
2. Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
Often overlooked by the common traveller, this quiet Venetian neighbourhood was home to the Jewish community in the 16th century. Explorers can escape the crowded tourist sights and lose themselves down one of its many small alleyways whilst making friends with the locals.
3. Skibotn, Norway
Located on the northern tip of Norway, Skibotn is an arctic haven famous for its majestic landscape and midnight sun in the summertime. The more adventurously inclined can take the polar plunge into the Lyngen Fjord that stays cold throughout the warmer seasons.
4. Grasse, France
Producing over two-thirds of France’s fragrances, Grasse is considered the centre of the world’s perfume industry, located along the French Riviera. Visitors can take a deep breath amidst a sea of lavender on the purple fields and imagine life as a perfume creator or ‘Nose’ who avoid alcohol, tobacco and spicy food in order to maintain their nuanced sense of smell.
5. Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal
Poised on the edge of the European continent, the fairytale town of Sintra boasts idyllic rolling hills, mystical gardens and extravagant palaces. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has the perfect combination of history and fantasy for the romantic of heart.
6. Volubilis, Morocco
Remember the Romans on a visit to Volubilis – less Gladiator battle ground, more 3rd Century township of pristine mosaic floors and regal columns, sitting pretty within a rolling green landscape.
7. Mount Srdj, Croatia
Most of Croatia’s beauty (including the Adriatic Sea) can be seen from Mount Srdj’s 413-metre peak. Adventurers can take a ride in a cable car up the mountain, known to locals for its role in the ‘Siege of Dubrovnik’ during the Croatian War of Independence.
8. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
This may not be on the checklist for U.S. visitors but Antelope Canyon, a Navajo site, hosts the longest natural bridge, red sand landscapes and impressive rock formations which form spiral arches.
9. Hierapolis, Turkey
A city built by the Romans, Hierapolis (meaning ‘sacred city’) is home to ancient ruins with many tales to tell. Boasting rich calcium pools and hot springs, the site is also a well-loved spa destination for locals and travellers alike looking for a piece of tranquillity.
10. Chipata, Zambia
Largely untraveled, Chipata is a bustling hub of African culture in Zambia. As the capital of the Eastern Province, it’s full of colourful fruit and vegetable markets and amazing traditional and local delicacies. Visitors can trek up Kanjala Hill for inspiring views of the town.