Some destinations are extremely well known and popular, but there are other places around the world that deserve one’s attention. Stunning nature, amazing sights, delicious food and because they are not on the forefront of every tourist ad they are usually extremely affordable. Here are just six examples of countries that you should consider putting on your bucket list.
Underrated destinations that should be on your bucket list
Montenegro is a tiny country in Eastern Europe, bordering Croatia and just as stunning. Think: long beaches along the Adriatic sea, beautiful nature and mountain ranges with pristine lakes and tiny historic villages nestled in between. The best examples of the must-see villages are Kotor and Perast with their 15th-century forts and churches and amazing views over the sea and the bays. Whether you are after an action-packed trip or want a luxurious oceanfront holiday with a bit of party, this country is a budget-friendly choice.
All of the Balkan states (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) are worth a trip. I once did a bus tour through all three of them and I was surprised at all the beauty and history. For me, Estonia took the top place out of the three. What I love is the fabulous mix of history and modernity. Tallinn, the capital, is one of the best-preserved medieval cities with stunning castles and fortresses, dozens of museums and a very cute city center. It is surrounded by a beautiful landscape right on the Baltic sea. It is also a city on the forefront of digital innovation. Have you heard of Skype or Transferwise? Estonia is where those were invented. It was also the first country in the world to have an official digital nomad visa.
Endless mountain ranges known as “Heaven Lake” (Tian Shan) that cover around 80% of the country and marvelous buildings in the capital Bishkek are just two of the many reasons the Central Asian country should be on your list. If you want to learn about nomadic culture, you can stay in a yurt camp, surrounded by stunning landscapes. You can even take a dip in one of the 2,000 lakes or in the hot springs that can be found all over.
Uzbekistan is definitely an underrated country that should be on your list. The Central Asian country is probably most famous for being an important stop on the Silk Road trading route. Places such as Samarkand and Bukhara have played a significant part in the ancient trade in the region. The most well-known site is the Registan Square in Samarkand, a halfway point on the Silk Route between Europe and Asia, which used to be the city’s main square. Or visit the last stop of the Silk Route before the way into the desert began. Khiva, an UNESCO-city, is a charming town with labyrinthine streets and many amazing things to explore.
The small country between Asia and Europe has a lot to offer. Ancient buildings, the Caucasus mountains with their beautiful nature, delicious food and wine as well as a lot of history, whether it is from the 6th century (when Tbilisi with its colorful old town became the capital of Georgia) or more recent Soviet rule. While walking the streets of the capital you will find cathedrals, Fortresses and much more. Another fascinating city is Mtskheta, the religious heart of the country, where they have found traces of human settlements that are older than 4,000 years. Once you are done with the cities head into the mountains and take in breathtaking views. Then visit Vardzia, a monastary from the 12th century or Uplistsikhe, the “Lord’s Fortress,” a rock-hewn town that was founded around 1,000 BCE.
One of the largest countries in the world, this Asian nation has many things to do and see. The Almaty region is filled with natural beauty ranging from deserts to lush greenery and snow-covered mountains. A country like Kazakhstan also has some stunning national parks, such as the Ile-Alatau National Park with a diverse wildife and many amazing lakes. A visit to the Charyn Canyon is also a must. The canyon has been sculpted by nature for more than 12 million years. Technically, it isn’t just one canyon, but five in total: the Valley of Castles, the Temirlik Canyon, the Yellow Canyon, the Red Canyon and the Bestamak Canyon. Take your time and explore this magnificent piece of the world.
Of course, these are just a few examples. There are so many underrated countries out there that should be on people’s radar. Mozambique, Belize, North Macedonia, Laos… the lost goes on and on. What is your most underrated destination?
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