21 January 2012

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12 Beautiful Places You've Never Heard Of

What with all the travel deal search engines and the number of travel blogs that abound, one might think all the unknown exotic places are commonplace already. Not these 12 – we’ve put together THE list of the most beautiful locales you’ve not heard of that have not been explored to death.

  1. Namje, Nepal

  • Location: Nepalese village at the foot of the Himalayas, no transport after Biratnagar except walking
  • Sights: The world’s fifth-tallest peak, Mount Makalu and the ancient spiritual traditions of Namje
  • Lodging And Food: Nearby Hotel Himalaya and local hospitality.
  • Activities: A visit to the ancient burial ground at Thumki Hill, trekking the footpaths between villages, viewing fabulous views, sunrises and sunsets.
  • Noted For: Remoteness, extreme beauty, cultural and technological isolation.
  1. Tusheti, Georgia

  • Location: High in the hills of the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, Russia.
  • Sights: Picturesque villages precariously placed on steep slopes, old defensive towers, stone shrines, mountaintop castles, stone-hewn hamlets and churches and houses decorated with lacy wood balconies.
  • Lodging and Food: Old castles now serve as hotels for lodging and food.
  • Activities: Exploring rolling grasslands, glacial lakes, white-water gorges and ridged peaks on foot or horseback, drinking local drinks such as chacha out of a ram's horn.
  • Noted For: Beauty, quaintness, historical intrigue and the old culture.
  1. Iles De La Madeline, Senegal

  • Location: Two spiky outcroppings 2.5 miles off the Darkar coast in Senegal.
  • Sights: High cliffs, hidden lagoons and much to explore and watch.
  • Lodging and Food: No place for food and lodging, except at La Cabane du Pêcheur on the mainland.
  • Activities: Cliff climbing, swimming, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, watching birds such as cormorants and red-billed tropic birds that nest in dwarf baobab trees.
  • Noted For: Rare birds, unique geography, remoteness and natural beauty.
  1. Ohrid, Macedonia

  • Location: Located near Lake Ohrid, west of Resen and Bitola, near Albania.
  • Sights: Sveti Naum, a 10th-century monastery complex; 365 church chapels, great stretches of blue green water, a beautiful frescoed church
  • Lodging and Food: There are several hotels in Ohrid where travelers can stay.
  • Activities: Swimming, water activities on Lake Ohrid, exploring ancient churches and chapels
  • Noted For: Listed as a Cultural and Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO.
  1. Sigulda, Latvia

  • Location: Located in the Vidzeme Region, close to Riga, capital city
  • Sights: Picturesque scenery, clear air, ski slopes, lovely castles and much more.
  • Activities: Skiing in the premier cross-country and downhill ski resort, bobsledding, balloon riding, cave exploring, bungee jumping and so on.
  • Lodging and Food: Popular tourist spot; lodging and food are available
  • Noted For: Beautiful ski slopes, year-around beauty. Sigulda is considered the Switzerland of Vidzeme.
  1. Budva, Montenegro

  • Location: Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro
  • Sights: Beautiful beaches such as the Mogren beach nestled amidst 500 meter high cliffs, intriguing architecture and remnants of a 3500 year old history.
  • Activities: Cliff climbing, exploring, water sports, beach lounging and much more.
  • Lodging and Food: Notable town hotels are the Sveti Stefan and Miločer
  • Noted For: Mediterranean architecture, sandy beaches and exciting, diverse nightlife
  1. Utrecht, Holland

  • Location: Located in Holland, capital city of the Netherlands
  • Sights: Early Middle Age structures, old churches, museums and cultural monuments.
  • Lodging and Food:  Utrecht is a vibrant city, like Amsterdam; lodging and world cuisines are available.
  • Activities: Active cultural and nightlife, theaters, musical festivals, opera and art galleries
  • Noted For: The UNESCO world heritage site, the 1924 Rietveld Schröder House
  1. Bruges, Belgium

  • Location: Bruges is the capital city of Flemish Belgium
  • Sights: 122.3 meter tall Church of Our Lady, Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child sculpture, 13th-century belfry with 48 bells.
  • Food and Lodgings: Plenty of hotels, resorts, bars, cafes and restaurants
  • Activities: City exploration, music concerts, theatre, museums
  • Noted For: City center listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its historical value.
  1. Grotte Di Frasassi, Italy

  • Location: The Frasassi Caves are located in Genga, Ancona Province, Italy.
  • Sights: Beautiful karst cave system full of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites
  • Lodging and Food: Hotels in the civil parish of San Vittore a few miles away
  • Activities: Guided tours to the karst caves, rock climbing and trekking.
  • Noted For: Centuries old natural karst formations
  1. Tallinn, Estonia

  • Location: Tallinn is Estonia’s capital city, located near the Gulf of Finland
  • Sights: Lower Town and Toompea for historical value and the Estonian Open Air Museum
  • Food and Lodging: Tallinn is a tourist spot now, food and lodging are available.
  • Activities: City exploration, viewing architectural marvels, participating in the local culture.
  • Noted For: Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  1. Wuppertal, South Africa

  • Location: Located deep in the Cedarberg Mountains, South Africa
  • Sights: Hidden water holes, fabulous scenery, cottage homes on high terraces, and miles of open wilderness.
  • Lodging and Food: Several town cottages are available plus the Algeria Campground on the Rondegat River.
  • Activities: Wildlife spotting, trekking, exploring, hill climbing and so on.
  • Noted For: Sheer natural beauty, laid back local lifestyle
  1. Lord Howe Island, Australia

  • Location: Located at a distance of two hours by air from Brisbane and Sydney, part of New South Wales,.
  • Sights: Crystal clear waters, coral reef border, colorful tropical and subtropical fish, turtles and other marine life.
  • Lodging And Food: There are many luxury lodges and fine dining establishments here.
  • Activities: Group and kids’ activities, tough hikes on Mt. Gower, bushwalks, scuba diving and much more.
  • Noted For: UNESCO World Heritage site, listed for extreme beauty and heritage value

About today's Guest Writer:
Teena is a writer for Adrenalin - an adventure gift idea company with more than 2,000 gifts for men across Australia and New Zealand.

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