10 Enchanting Travel Destinations Off the Beaten Path

Do you want to explore a travel destination off the beaten path? Here are ten highly recommended hidden gems that very few people know of. 

1. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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Samarkand, Uzbekistan, is a city brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. “Once the largest stop on the Silk Road, there is nothing more awe-inducing than Registan Square with its three towering and ornate mosques. Tamerlane is buried there in a solid jade coffin. The observatory on the edge of town is also one of the oldest in the world. The city is at the foothills of the Tien Shen mountains, and sunrises there hit so different – the glimmer off of the myriad of blue domes throughout the city makes for some amazing memories.” one man said.

2. Białowieża, Poland

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“Białowieża Poland. It is a tiny village where you can see the last remaining wild European Bison, and it really feels like a step back in time to what Europe used to look like before everything was turned into farmland,” one woman said. If you're a nature lover, you'll appreciate the serenity of the forest and the opportunity to spot some of the most elusive animals in Europe.

3. Eswatini, Africa

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This small country is located in southern Africa, often overshadowed by neighboring countries. “Eswatini. I had no idea Africa could look like this. Green – mountains – incredible canyons- waterfalls and rivers and wonderful people. And very affordable.” 

4. National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India

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This state has several wildlife reserves, including Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Pench National Parks. “The national parks in Madhya Pradesh, India. They're just like African safaris, but with tigers. Seeing tigers, leopards, and sloths in their natural environment was incredible. The lodges were also beautiful. And, of course, the food.” one woman commented.

5. Gyeongju, South Korea.

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Gyeongju, South Korea, is a city steeped in history and culture. “It's this historic capital of Korea with beautiful architecture, and the city center is a sprawling park with over 30 hills. Every hill is the tomb of an ancient King that has never been excavated. They have one hill where you can go inside and see all the ancient stuff the king was buried with,” someone shared.

6. The Turkish Kurdistan

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Turkish Kurdistan is a region often overlooked by travelers, but it's a place rich in history and culture. “The Turkish Kurdistan. Absolutely stunning view of Mesopotamia, the birth of modern civilization, from the rooftops of the cafes in Mardin. I don't think I'll ever experience something quite like it besides the absolutely delicious Turkish cuisine.”

7. Ventotene, Italy

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“There is a small island in Italy called Ventotene. Not many people there, and the island is full of ancient and untouched Roman ruins. For example, the Marina where I parked my boat is still an original Roman marina built by Emperor Augustus. The cleat I tied my boat up to was carved out of rock at a time when Jesus was alive. Mind-blowing history,” someone said. If you're looking for a laid-back and tranquil escape, Ventotene is the perfect destination.

8. Pantanal, Brazil

Pantanal, Brazil, is the world's largest wetland and is home to an incredible variety of wildlife. “Pantanal, Brazil. Stunning wildlife, so much better than the Amazon. Only place on earth you're all but guaranteed to see a Jaguar in the wild. Plus giant anteaters, giant river otter, tapirs, hyacinth Macaws, and Toco toucans.”

9. Miyakojima, Japan

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Miyakojima, Japan, is often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, but it's a destination worth exploring. “Miyakojima, Japan. This is well known to Japanese people, but I've never heard it mentioned outside of that. Miyako is the most beautiful part of the Okinawa island chain. Worth the trip,” someone said.

10. Donegal, Ireland

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Donegal, Ireland, is a beautiful countryside escape. “Donegal, Ireland. It's the most postcard-looking place I've ever been. Highly recommend staying in Bunbeg. Plenty of B&Bs and the pubs are perfect for a cozy evening-in after exploring the countryside,” one person shared.

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