Pack your bags.
As I grow older, my travel bucket list is getting longer, even though I usually tick off one or two destinations every year.
Of course I’ve done the standard must-see trips to many metropoles and pretty beaches, but there is so much more this beautiful planet has to offer.
And as most of us aren’t travel bloggers who get paid to fly around the world (#lifesucks); with a little careful budgeting, we do have the ability to get out and see some pretty incredible places in our vacay time, including the following travel destinations – which, chances are, you probably haven’t even heard of, thanks to the fact they’ve been kept so secret…until now.
The bonus to putting these destinations at the top of your bucket list? You won’t have to share their beauty with hordes of other tourists…
1. Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale is considered one of the healthiest places on earth thanks to its thermal water terraces that look like snow, but are in fact, calcium cascades. Besides looking absolutely stunning, these natural pools offer various health benefits when bathing in them.
2. The Wave, Arizona
This incredible sandstone rock formation is the result of millions of years of erosion and arguably one of the most picturesque hiking trails in the US. Due to its fragile nature, only 20 people each day are permitted to complete the hike here, making it all the more worthwhile to tick off.
3. Reine, Norway
This quiet fishing village nestled in between stunning fjords feels out if this world. In Winter, it’s one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, while in Summer, kayaking in the crystal clear water here and hiking to the highest viewpoints this secret town has to offer will give you more photo ops than you could ever imagine.
4. Valparaiso, Chile
This vibrant port city is a paradise for bohemians and creatives alike, with bright, quirky houses and murals in every street. There’s something cool to see around every corner of the hilly streets, and the nightlife is said to be one of the best in Chile.
5. Namaqualand, South Africa
This arid region that stretches from South Africa to Namibia is the place of one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena. Each Spring, millions of yellow and orange wild flowers bloom from the desert ground, turning it into the largest, prettiest field of flowers you’ve ever seen.
6. Huacachina, Peru
This town is the epitome of the word ‘oasis’; located in between gigantic sand dunes in the Peruvian desert. The natural lake is surrounded by a handful of shops and hotels offering sand buggy rides and sand boarding adventures. Watching the sunset from the top of the dunes here is as surreal as it is magical.
7. Lake Louise, Canada
This small town and its namesake glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies make for the ultimate Winter wonderland, with incredible skiing opportunities on offer. The extra cool factor of this place? During very cold Winters, the lake freezes over, making way for a giant, breathtakingly beautiful ice-skating rink.
8. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Morocco’s ‘blue city’ got its nickname due to the hue of its buildings, which are repainted blue every year to mirror the mostly cloudless sky over Chefchaouen. Foodies will love this place thanks to its spice markets, while adventurers can hike along the mountains surrounding this Insta-worthy city.
9. Marburg, Germany
Marburg is the lesser-known version of Heidelberg, which can get overcrowded with tourists. Set on a steep mountain, this small town with picture perfect cobble stone streets and half-timber houses has an elevator which takes you from the lower level streets to the ‘Oberstadt’ (translated: top city) at the top of the mountain, complete with its own castle overlooking the countryside.
Images via instagram.com.