In the last couple of years, airlines became so affordable that we can easily close our eyes, point any destination on the map, and reach it in the next couple of days. In this article, we’ve listed the 10 ‘off the beaten track’ destinations for you to visit in 2017.
Baikal Lake, Russia
Siberia is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the tourist destinations we should visit. On the other hand, the lack of tourists means this destination is unique and pristine. Baikal is the biggest source of fresh water in the world. On this lake, you can spot the only salt-water seals on the rocks of Khuzhir Island, eat smoked fish delicacies at the Listvyanka resort, wander around the taigas of Irkutsk and Zabaikalsk regions and go ice fishing or ice hiking in the winter months. The most interesting and authentic way to reach this lake is the 5-day train ride from Moscow, down the famous Trans-Siberian railway.
During the last century, Berlin was the center of the turbulent European history. Here you will find the painted ruins of the infamous Berlin wall and the renovated Reichstag building, the witness of this city’s biggest rises and falls. Still, the Berliners have managed to overcome the Nazi dictatorship and the walls and divisions that followed. Today, Berlin is the hipster capital of Europe. On the colorful streets of Kreuzberg and Neukoln, you will find hundreds of alternative bars and restaurants, and Mauer Park flea market is probably the most spontaneous gathering of alternative artists, craftsmen and hipsters alike.
New Orleans, LA, USA
New Orleans is a one big melting pot that has produced the blossoming culture and the several world-famous music genres. Its music and cuisine heritage feature French, Creole, African-American, Irish, Haitian and German influences and the day-to-day city life represents a huge mix of all these cultures. New Orleans also features the world-famous Mardi Gras, the carnival that even the disastrous Hurricane Katharina couldn’t stop. People come to New Orleans to dance, sing, try Cajun delicacies and enjoy the moving jazz beats.
Cuba is currently opening to tourists, and you should visit it before it gets spoiled by millions of vacation goers. Fortunately, Cuba is still one of the most authentic tourist destinations, where you can share meals with Cuban families at a casa particular and ride around Havana in Ladas and US old-timers from the fifties. Of course in addition to this Cuba offers clean beaches, the warm Caribbean Sea and plenty of organic produce.
This northern European island country offers the perfect blend of ice and fire. It’s the place where people are heading to experience the Hobbit landscapes and to enjoy surreal outdoor spas. In the capital city Reykjavik, you can join the Saturday night craze and go clubbing or walk around the buzzing city streets.
This country is the best destination if you want to escape the busy streets of Bangkok and Phuket. Laos features many natural sights, from the dreamy Oudomxay mountains in the north to the chill and relaxed Si Phan Don region in the south, where tourists can experience the local life, socialize with villagers and take dozens of island trips on the Mekong River. In Laos, you will also find many interesting historic sites, from Plain of Jars archeological landscape to Luang Prabang monastery and the ‘Hidden City’ built in caves, which supported more than 20,000 people during the American bombing in the sixties.
This pearl blue town in the mountainous regions of Morocco was the most famous hash getaway for the European hippies during the Summer of Love. Today, it has turned into an aspiring tourist destination. Almost all walls are painted in blue, and the village also has a beautiful medina and number of authentic lodging options. Chefchaouen is also a very popular base for the hiking tours around the nearby Atlas Mountains.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
This volcanic archipelago hosts some of the most luxurious resorts in the world. Fortunately, the tourism had changed since the sixties when only the rich and famous were staying at Bora Bora. Now many middle-class Westerners visit this island and enjoy the enchanting blue sea, as part of their affordable layby holidays or Pacific cruises. On Bora Bora, you will find endless rows of tall coconut palms, white sand, blue and warm sea, and many tasty Polynesian delicacies and cocktails. Marlon Brando is one of the celebrities who has fallen in love with this island while residing in the famous overwater bungalows.
Bolivia is the most remote country in the Western Hemisphere. It’s located high up in the Andes. The whole country looks like a big national park, with numerous waterfalls, mountain lakes, and rivers. Bolivia also has the Salar de Uyuni a huge salt plain, with numerous salt lakes and incredible white landscape. The brave tourists can also drive up the El Camino del Muerte, the dangerous road that crosses high-altitude jungle terrain and connects the capital La Paz with Coroico.
Tanzania is the oldest continually inhabited place on Earth. This fact doesn’t sound strange after you see the incredible flora and fauna this place has to offer. Tanzania offers the best safari spots on the whole African continent, and there’s the incredible Ngorongoro crater and its majesty the Kilimanjaro.
Low-cost airlines opened the world to millions of tourists. They have deleted the geographic barriers, and we should use this opportunity to enrich our life with new experiences from distant destinations, you’ve always dreamed of.