Lord Howe Island, Australia
Lord Howe Island is a small island located two hours away from Sydney, Australia. The island earns its “hidden gem” tag because there are only officially 350 residents on the whole island while only 400 tourists are allowed to visit at any given time. With no overcrowding, there is ample opportunity to appreciate the unspoiled paradise boasting pristine beaches, clear waters, rainforests, volcanic peaks, unique wildlife and a stunning crystal lagoon bordered by coral reef.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov is a medieval town located near the Vltava River in the Czech Republic and is part of UNESCO’s world heritage list. Dating back to the thirteenth century, the fairytale town is a little known tourist gem – replete with a towering castle, cobbled alleyways, and surrounding rolling hillside. The town is renowned for its magnificent architecture, particularly of Baroque design. The name, befittingly, translates as ‘crooked meadow’.
Although Rajasthan is a popular tourist destination, eager tourists sometimes bypass the small city of Bundi, favoring popular haunt Jaipur instead. As such, Bundi is a lesser known and traveled destination – although a historically and aesthetically rich one. The city is a marvel of sprawling hillsides, majestic castle (Bundi Palace) and fort (Taragarh), intricately carved architecture, large step wells and beautiful artworks. It was also the site that inspired various artistic and literary minds including writer Rudyard Kipling and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
Si Phan Don, Laos
Beach bumming holidays find their ideal in Si Phan Don, which is high on relaxation and scant on things to do. The name translates as the Four Thousand Island in English, and is befitting for the archipelago that scatters across the Mekong River. Bordered by a labyrinth of rocks, rivulets and sandbars, Si Phan Don has been able to preserve southern Laos culture and is a virtually untouched haven. It also boasts of the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia – the Khone Phapheng.
Guanajuato is a small city located in the heart of Mexico, halfway between Mexico City and Guadalajara. Rich in colonial history, Guanajuato was inhabited by Spanish settlers because of the discovery of silver mines in the surrounding mountains. At the height of the colonial period, the city was one of the most influential in the world and accounted for two-thirds of the world’s silver production. This rich history is evident in the vibrant city that stands today. Guanajuato is accessible via two major streets and is a colorful labyrinth of alleyways, houses, churches and Spanish architectural marvels.
Wine aficionados can escape the tourist traps of the Tuscan wine country in Cinigiana. Idyllically, the town is surrounded by sprawling vineyards, serves splendid wine and offers true Tuscan sunsets.