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Like most travelers, you probably have a bucket list of places you want to see before you die. But what about those places that are off the beaten path? The ones that aren’t overrun with tourists? In this blog post, we’ll share our top 5 under-the-radar destinations for travelers who want to avoid crowds.
1. Pai – Avoid The Tourist Crowds in Thailand
If you’re looking for an under-the-radar destination in Thailand that will help you avoid the crowds, look no further than Pai. This small town, located about 3 hours outside of Chiang Mai, is a hidden gem slowly gaining popularity with travelers.
The best way to get to Pai is by taking a bus from Chiang Mai. Several companies operate daily buses to and from Pai; the journey takes 3-4 hours. We recommend booking your tickets in advance, as buses can fill up quickly during peak season. Once you arrive in Pai, you’ll be dropped off at the town’s central square. From there, it’s a short walk to your hotel or guesthouse.
Where to Stay in Pai
There are accommodation options to suit all budgets in Pai. For those on a tight budget, several guesthouses near the central square start at around $5 USD per night. Mid-range travelers can find nice hotels starting at around $30 USD per night (check out The Quarter Hotel!), and there are also several upscale resorts if you’re looking to splurge a bit. We love the Pai Village Boutique Resort and the Reverie Siam Resort.
What to Do in Pai
Pai is the perfect place to relax and escape the busyness of everyday life. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring the surrounding jungle, and there are also several waterfalls worth visiting if you’re up for a bit of adventure.
We recommend visiting the Pai Canyon (also known as Kong Lan), a canyon with steep 100 feet drops and spectacular views.
When you’re ready to take a break from all the outdoor activities, head into town for some shopping or Thai massages – they’re incredibly cheap here! You can also spend an afternoon exploring one of the many Buddhist temples in Pai.
Pai is fast becoming one of Thailand’s more popular tourist destinations – but it’s still possible to find a sense of tranquility and avoid the crowds if you know where to go. With its breathtaking scenery, charming town center, and an endless list of things to do, it’s easy to see why Pai will attract more and more visitors in the future. Go before it gets too busy!
2. Cinque Terre – Enjoy Italy’s Charme Without The Crowds
Thinking of traveling to Italy but don’t want to deal with the large crowds in places like Rome and Florence? Then consider visiting Cinque Terre instead! Cinque Terre literally means “five lands” and comprises five small villages on the Italian Riviera. The villages are connected by a network of hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Cinque Terre is a popular destination for Italians and foreigners alike, but it still has that small-town feel.
Cinque Terre is located on the northwest coast of Italy, about halfway between Genoa and Pisa. The best way to get there is by train; the nearest airport is in Genoa, but there are also smaller airports in Pisa and Florence. Once you’re in the area, taking the train is the best way to get around since the villages are not very car-friendly. In fact, cars are actually banned in some of the villages!
Where To Stay
There are plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and Airbnbs to choose from in Cinque Terre. Prices vary depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation, but you can expect to pay around $100 USD per night during the high season.
What to Do
There are plenty of things to do in Cinque Terre. One of the most popular activities is hiking; there are several trails that connect the villages, offering stunning views of both the coastline and inland areas. The villages themselves are also charming and full of character; make sure to explore them all! Of course, no trip to Cinque Terre would be complete without trying some of the local seafood; it’s some of the best in Italy.
When to Go
The best time to visit Cinque Terre depends on what you want to do while you’re there. If you’re interested in hiking, late spring or early fall would be a good time to go since the weather will be milder than during the summer months. However, if you want to enjoy one of Cinque Terre’s many festivals, you’ll need to visit during the summer.
Cinque Terre is a great option for travelers who want to experience everything that Italy has to offer without dealing with large crowds. With its stunning scenery, charming villages, and delicious seafood, Cinque Terre has something for everyone! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
3. Lapland – Northernmost Part Of Finland
Lapland is the largest and northernmost region of Finland. It’s a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, but there’s also plenty to do in the summertime. In fact, the midnight sun shines 24 hours a day from June to July! Lapland is also home to Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the man himself and even go on a reindeer sleigh ride. What’s not to love?
Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and the official hometown of Santa Claus. It’s located right on the Arctic Circle, so you can expect plenty of snow and winter activities. But Rovaniemi has a lot to offer in the summertime as well, including midnight sun hikes, river rafting, and even a visit to Santa’s summer cottage. No matter what time of year you visit, Rovaniemi is sure to charm you with its festive atmosphere.
The best way to get to Lapland is by flying into Rovaniemi Airport. There are direct flights from Helsinki, as well as from other major airports in Europe. Once you’re in Rovaniemi, getting around is easy; there’s an extensive public transportation system that includes buses and trains. You can also rent a car if you prefer.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses to choose from in Rovaniemi, as well as a few camping sites if you’re looking for something different. Our favorite paces to stay are the Santa Claus Holiday Village, the Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos and the Apukka Resort.
What to Do
There’s no shortage of things to do in Rovaniemi. In the winter, you can go skiing, snowboarding, or even try your hand at ice fishing. And in the summer, you can enjoy activities like hiking, river rafting, and mountain biking. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s sure to be something to keep you busy.
When to Go
The best time to visit Rovaniemi depends on what you want to do while you’re there. If you’re interested in winter sports, the best time to go is between December and February. However, if you want to enjoy the midnight sun, you’ll need to visit between June and July.
Rovaniemi is the perfect destination for travelers who want to experience all that Finland has to offer. With its festive atmosphere, stunning scenery, and wide range of activities, Rovaniemi is sure to charm you no matter what time of year you visit!
4. Shetland – Enjoying Solitude in Scotland
Shetland is a group of over 100 islands located northeast of mainland Scotland. It’s known for its rugged landscapes, wildlife, and archaeological sites. The island is also home to some pretty amazing puffin colonies. So if you’re looking for a remote and wild place to explore, Shetland is the perfect destination for you!
Shetland is accessible by air and sea. The main airport is located in Lerwick, on the island of the Mainland. From there, you can take a short flight to one of the smaller islands or take a ferry to your final destination. If you’re coming from Scotland, you can take a ferry from Aberdeen or Kirkwall. The journey takes between 12 and 15 hours, depending on which ferry you take.
Where to Stay
When it comes to finding somewhere to stay on Shetland, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering cottages are scattered throughout the islands. To really get away from it all, consider booking a stay in one of Shetland’s ‘bothies’ – basic huts located in some of the most remote parts of the island that offer breathtaking views but few creature comforts!
What To Do
There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied during your stay on Shetland. If you’re looking for some adventure, you can go hiking, climbing, or kayaking. Or, if you prefer something more low-key, there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching or simply relaxing on one of the many beaches. make sure to check out our articles about things to do in the Shetland Islands.
One of the most appealing things about Shetland is that it’s relatively unknown compared to other Scottish destinations like Edinburgh or Glasgow. As a result, you can expect fewer crowds – even during peak tourist season. So if you’re looking for a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, look no further than Shetland!
5. Kotor, Montenegro – European Gem With Fewer Crowds
Looking for a place that has all the beauty of Europe without the hordes of tourists? Then look no further than Kotor, Montenegro! This hidden gem is situated in southern Europe on the Adriatic Sea and boasts stunning medieval architecture, a picturesque coastline, and friendly locals. It’s known for its Venetian architecture, medieval old town, and beautiful bay. Although it’s becoming increasingly popular with tourists, Kotor still feels like a hidden gem.
Kotor is accessible by air, road, and sea. The nearest airport is Tivat Airport, which is located about 7 miles from the city center. If you’re coming from Dubrovnik, the journey takes about 2 hours by bus or car.
Where To Stay
Kotor has a wide range of accommodation options and the prices are very reasonable. There are plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and apartments to choose from. Our favorite hotel is the 4-star Astoria Boutique Hotel in located in the heart of Kotor in a palace built in the 13th century.
What To Do
When you wander through the narrow streets of Kotor’s Old Town, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The architecture is a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, with Venetian influences evident in many of the buildings. Be sure to visit some of the town’s most notable landmarks, such as Saint Tryphon Cathedral, Saint Luke’s Church, and Maritime Museum.
In addition to its impressive architecture, Kotor is also blessed with plenty of natural beauty. The town is situated on Emerald Bay, which is flanked by towering mountains. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike up one of these mountains (or even both!) for stunning panoramic views of Kotor and its surroundings. Or if you prefer to stay at ground level, there are plenty of lovely parks and gardens to explore. For a truly relaxing experience, take a boat ride around Emerald Bay or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront.
Kotor is a hidden gem that is slowly but surely gaining popularity as a must-see destination, but it still remains relatively unknown and therefore uncrowded. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more authentic experience, Kotor is the perfect place for you.
There are plenty of unique places to visit if you want to avoid crowds. From Rovaniemi, Finland, to Shetland, Scotland, these under-the-radar destinations offer stunning scenery, plenty of activities, and a chance to truly get away from it all.
So whether you’re looking for an adventure or a relaxing escape, add one of these places to your travel list!