7 Most Astonishing Underrated Places You Should Visit
Now with the beginning of spring, my mind is already wandering all over the world trying to find the new dream destination to discover during the holidays and some inspirational quotes to motivate me to plan a new trip. I find myself checking out tickets to basically anywhere I can afford. I am interested in any country and any place as long as it is within my budget. My usual answer to the question “What’s your favourite place?” is the last place I’ve visited.
But regardless of my openness to any destination, I enjoy mostly the less known beauties of a country. These hidden jewels of nature and history are secretly kept out of many tour guides because they are either hard to get to, either underestimated by what most tourists want from their vacation.
So, while thinking what places to choose for this article, I decided to share some of my favourite destinations found without making a research about them but just by asking local people for recommendations. You’ll find beautiful inspirational quotes that will at least determine you to check out more about these beautiful sights of Europe and not only. Check out my favorite 7 most astonishing underrated places you should visit! And because I am overly excited dangerously fast heart beating with emotions when I found out about a new mysterious place, please, please, write me of any places you discovered by mistake and that it’s far away from the loudly crowds of tourists.
1. Bled Lake, Slovenia
Most people underestimate a small country that they haven’t heard about in the news or that hasn’t stood out specifically in something. Slovenia is one of those countries that many don’t even know where to point it on the map. Despite this, Slovenia is the country where “The Chronicles of Narnia” was filmed, a part of the Alps are crossing it, its official symbol is a dragon, and their capital Ljubljana is translated “the loved one”.
Slovenia never ceased to surprise me while visiting it, finding the oldest vine in the world and a beautiful island in the middle of a lake, Bled Lake. The mirific feeling I had when I climbed a mountain around the lake and I saw this:
Slovenian quote: “One today is better than two tomorrows.”
I think that was the moment where I could truly understand the meaning of peace of mind and spirit. I instantly remember the quote of Alanis Morissette saying: “Peace of mind for five minutes, that’s what I craved.” and that was what I needed!
With the wind softly blowing and the beautiful view, I believe that holiday was all about relaxing and enjoying amazing sights. As you’ll walk around the lake you’ll realise how easy it is to let go of all your stress and just enjoy the wonders such a small country is hiding.
2. Sevanavank, Armenia
With an amazing history and culture, Armenia is an enclave of the Caucasus characterised by mind-blowing facts that blend in a fascinating list of places to see and find out about.
Being considered by many theologists as the first country to convert to Christianity, there are many beautifully old churches and monasteries to confirm that rumour. One of them is the Sevanavank monastery that I found out about while I was visiting Yerevan, the capital city, translated as “the pink city”.
The monastery is located on the high hill shore of Sevan Lake, the largest lake in the Caucasus. While sitting on a bus waiting to arrive at this ninth century build monastery, the sights of the country seen on the window and the beautifully sad songs of Djivan Gasparyan, could only make me melancholic and dreamy.
Once I got there, on the top of a former island that with time transformed in a peninsula, I could just be silent and mesmerised by this view:
Armenian quote: “God does not bestow all his blessing on the same person.”
Lucky enough I got to participate in a service held in Armenian that simply reconnected me with my spirituality. An Armenian proverb says: “If you speak too much, you will learn too little.” So, I advise you to go to Armenia if you want to connect yourself with your spiritual side and want to learn more about Caucasus.
3. Kabak beach close to Fethiye, Turkey
Turkey is well known for its beautiful beaches, great history, monuments, Ancient cities, world wonders, nature and so on making the entire territory explored by thousands of tourists every single day. It is hard to find a quiet and unique beach to relax with your family. I had the same problem until some locals recommended me Kabak beach close to Fethiye resort, on the shore of Mediterranean Sea.
Not only you will enjoy accommodation in tree houses, but the trail to the beach is filled with historical monuments of Ancient cities on a side and apple yards on the other side. Once you arrive at the beach you’ll be surprised by the exquisite turquoise waveless waters.
There’s nothing like a couple of days far away from the pop dance music noisy bars on the beach since this beach has only smooth sand, rocks surrounding it making it look like a lagoon and an untouchable horizon.
After visiting, Kabak beach I totally relate with what Kyle Minogue said: “I have had a holiday, and I’d like to take it up professionally.”
Turkish quote: “A good man will appear when talked about.”
4. Island hopping between Pag, Rab and Krk in Croatia
Alexandra Stoddard said that “When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” This is what happened to me after visiting Croatia. Croatia isn’t all about Dubrovnik where king’s landing scene from Game of Thrones was filmed.
Croatia is the home of Nikola Tesla and of some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. With over 1200 islands, one of the best activity to enjoy in your summer holiday in Croatia is island hopping. Book a hotel room for a couple of days on an island and then just take ferries every day to visit other beautiful islands around.
I camped in Pag and then just went along north taking ferries to Rab and Krk ending up in Rijeka, an amazing port city. If you are going during the summer it’s most likely to catch one of many crazy music festivals Croatia is known for.
Croatian quote: “If you ask for too much at once, you will come home with an empty bag.”
5. Pogradec, Albania
I always wanted to be in two places at the same time. When I went to Pogradec, Albania I was so close to doing it. The city is on the shore of Lake Ohrid that creates a natural border between Albania and Macedonia that enlightens you with a wonderful view of Macedonian shore. Too bad I didn’t know to swim back then because I would have definitely swim in the centre of the lake where the imaginary border is drawn.
Albanian quote: “Promise little but with respect.”
The quote of Mother Teresa, that was born in Albania, “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” would best describe the view and the relationship between the two countries.
While the city of Pogradec is small and quiet, with beautiful small streets and amazingly generous people, the surroundings of the city will be the ones to make up a great holiday with your family.
6. Lake Como, Italy
“Eat well, laugh often, eat much” because “la vitta e bella”! Italy is just too hard to be described in words and it’s useless to even try to do it. Everyone knows about Rome, Milan, Sicily, and the beautiful beaches that the boot-shaped country offers. But few take the time to discover other places to enjoy and relax. I recommend Lake Como! It’s one of the biggest from Italy and around it are countless villages and towns where many celebrities like George Clooney, Donatella Versace or Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of Muse have holiday houses. I bet it will make a hell of a story to actually see one of them while visiting the lake.
Italian quote: “To every bird his nest is beautiful.”
There are plenty to do on the shore of Como like take ferries and eat different gelato flavours from different villages.
7. Mdina, Malta
A one week holiday in Malta was surprisingly enough to visit almost the entire country with all of its three islands. Malta is an astonishing country with so much to offer but the amazingly good arranged public transportation gives you a freedom of movement all over the country in less than an hour.
But with the entire history of many colonisations, Malta remained a country of influences from Arabas, English, and Italians. What else could be more interesting than to observe the mixed blend and clash of civilisations in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea?
Once I walked through the gates of Mdina city my skin covered in goose bumps since the streets were covered in silence. I think Maltese living in Mdina really value the following quote said by Confucius: “Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”
Maltese quote: “Charm is stronger than beauty.”
The city is actually a fortress and its yellow bricks reminded me of the Arab cities I’ve seen in the movies. It was a fascinating experience to walk through a city with hidden gardens and a vibe that I haven’t encountered anywhere in my travels.
The more you venture yourself in the hidden places of a country the more you understand its history and culture and it’s more likely to stumble upon mirific sights and landscapes that will create a great unique photo album.
There aren’t enough quotes to describe the beauty of the world and the incommensurable experiences you can live.