If you are already etching out your travel plans for 2020, we have a few dreamy destinations to add to that list. While the usual tourist trails are certainly worth exploring, perhaps you are keen to step off the beaten track and discover something a little bit different. Intrepid, wild, and handpicked by us for their wealth of natural wonders – these are the under the radar places we are itching to explore…
Accursed Mountains, Albania
For those who are truly intrepid travellers nowhere will capture the imagination like Albania’s ominously named Accursed Mountains. Having recently opened its doors for tourist business after a tempestuous history, Albania is still very much off the beaten track. The mountains in the north are one of Europe’s last enigmas, with jagged green peaks that could rival Hawaii, blue plunge pools, and villages seemingly lost in time. This one of those spots where the road just stops, where guesthouses are few and far between, but where the wilds remain untouched by the outside world.
Mississippi Delta, USA
Strange, surreal and often misunderstood, the Mississippi Delta still feels as though its as far from the average day as you can get. Swamplands groan beneath the weight of Spanish moss, plantations now abandoned take on a ghostly vibe, and you forever feel caught between Robert Johnston’s devilish crossroads and the sweet taste of southern hospitality. Swing by Clarksdale to unravel the history of the blues, ride along the famous Highway 61, and marvel at antebellum architecture in Vicksburg.
While other travellers flock to the warmer climates of the south, the North Coast of Spain is home to a multitude of wonders. Swathed in velvet greens, often wet, and with a wild surfable coast and jagged mountain interior, Asturias is glorious. All along the coast, you will find colourful fishing villages, sleepy havens and rustic bliss. The Picos de Europa National Park is an absolute must with its kingdom of crowned peaks and deep-cut valleys tempting hikers and nature lovers off the well-trodden track.
Skip the tourist trails of Sydney and Melbourne in favour of something completely different. Tasmania may be famed for its devils, but it brings more than you could imagine to the table. Home to ethereal landscapes like Wineglass Bay, world-class natural wonders, endless craggy coastlines, fabulous festivals and elaborate earthy tastes – if you love places that tap into all the senses, Tasmania is sure to tantalize in every way.
Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa
Swirling colours, stars and sand seem to merge together in the wild landscape of the Kalahari Desert. One of Southern Africa’s most out-there places, you can take your pick of where to wander it – as the vast desert covers most of Botswana before edging into the dunes of Namibia and even as far as Angola. Despite its seemingly unhospitable layout, desert safaris are a dream here and a wealth of wildlife can be found. There are plenty of reserves, national parks, and even vineyards forever marking Southern Africa on the map as a surprising stay.
Norway’s winding fjords and impressive islands certainly seem to strike a chord with cold-weather travellers, but Alesund remains a little too far north to be as popular as Scandinavia’s other destinations. Alesund is utterly adorable, a vision of colourful buildings jumbled onto a patch of land surrounded by crystal clear fjords on every side. Stroll the historic harbour, marvel at the mountainous backdrop, feast on freshly baked cakes, and take a boat tour to spot puffins and seals.
Which off the radar destinations are calling you? Share your travel plans in the comments.