The best less touristy holiday destinations to visit now

Looking for a place to escape the crowds? Check out the best less touristy holiday destinations for your next travels. Put them on your bucket list for unforgettable, less crowded and one of the lifetime holiday experience!

top tourist free holiday destinations to visit this summer

Many people choose to travel during summer holidays, which makes the popular holiday destinations even more crowded. Where to go for some quiet time, but to not to miss on the amazing sights?

I prepared the list of perfect summer holiday destinations to visit soon, all tested for the best quality.

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*Remember, before travelling to any destination, always check the current political, environmental and climate situation.*

#1 Senja, Norway

There’s no need to introduce Norway, as everyone should know its stunning landscapes and picturesque fjords. However, not many are aware of Norwegian hidden gem far away in the north – Senja island. With dramatic mountains open to the sea, wonderful beaches and wild areas, it is a north version of the summer paradise. While more and more people flock to Lofoten island, Senja is still a less visited destination.

Although the island is located within the Arctic Circle, it has much milder temperatures thanks to the warm Gulf Stream. In the summer you can experience the “white nights” and until middle July the “midnight sun” when the sun continuously stays above the horizon.

I visited Senja at the beginning of June, which was a quiet time. However, also during summer, you can find there your quiet spots and breathe in the beauty of the mountains emerging straight from the sea.

Where to stay in Senja in Norway?

The Senja island is so beautiful, that you can just wild camp anywhere you want. However, if you are tired of camping you can find some nice hotels, as well.

Some of the recommended hotels in Senja:

#2 Jordan

A country, that is slowly getting more and more popular, but still can be visited off the main path, so hurry up!

From the well-known one of the 7 World Wonders – Ancient city of Petra to the Bedouin camping in the Wadi Rum desert, climbing the highest mountain of Jordan on the border with Saudi Arabia, to floating in the Dead Sea, hiking in Dana Reserve or clubbing in Amman. There is plenty to do in Jordan and something to choose for everyone. You can find more information in the full 10-day Jordan itinerary here, that will help you to plan your trip to this Middle Eastern country.

View to the Monastery in Petra, Jordan itinerary
View to the Monastery in Petra. And the cat. The cats are everywhere 🙂
On top of Jabal Umm ad Dami, the highest mountain in Jordan
On top of Jabal Umm ad Dami, the highest mountain in Jordan

Shaq ar-Reesh Canyon, Dana Reserve, Jordan

#3 Ladakh, India

Sometimes, I am surprised by people, who are not aware that India has access to the Himalayas. Ladakh, or “the land of high passes”, is a region located in the north of India, in the Kashmir and Jammu states. The least populated place in India also creates a home for Tibetan people.

Read more: Temples of Halebid and Belur

The colourful praying flags dance on the wind. Tall Himalayan peaks are towering above. You will pass small villages located in the middle of nowhere with people who are used to the harsh climate and having their home high in the mountains. You will fall in love with traditional masala chai – milk tea, sold by the road and taste of the real Indian food, that is to-die-for. 

Trip (especially the first one) to India requires throughout preparations, understanding of the culture, research of places to see, stay and eat at (your stomach will thank you for that). When you go to the Himalayas, you also need to account for the altitude sickness and plan your route well.

It requires effort, but the beauty of nature and the spirituality connected to the mountains located on the top of the world will make the trip to that region a very special one. If you plan to hike in Ladakh (highly recommended), get a proper map – we had this one and it was very useful.

Huge help for us in the preparations before, as well as during the trip, was this Lonely Planet guide. It is quite a thick book, but it’s packed with all the necessary information that you need – I wouldn’t go on my first trip to India without it. If you want a lighter version, there is always an e-book, or a condensed North India one.

Where to stay in Ladakh?

Base yourself in the center of the Ladakh region, beautiful Leh town, located on the 3500 m. Find the best places to stay in Leh, Ladakh here.

Ladakh, Himalayas India, one of the best non touristy holiday destinations to escape the crowds
Empty roads, high in the mountains of Ladakh
Ladakh temple, Leh, India
Temple in Leh, India

#4 Georgia

No, not the state in the USA. Georgia is a small country located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. I am surprised how little it is known and it definitely should be considered as one of the top travel destinations to visit.

With its access to the Black Sea beaches, Caucasus mountains with hidden villages, and historical architecture, it has something for everyone. You will be surprised by the hospitality of the Georgian people, blown away by the beauty of the landscapes and fall in love with tasty food, delicious wine, and strong chacha.

Mountain lovers should definitely visit Svaneti – Georgian historic province. You can hike there to the some of the highest located villages surrounded by 5000 m peaks. One of them – Ushguli is recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting the Kazbegi National Park is also a rewarding experience with multiple hikes and treks available in the region.

For beach enthusiasts and for those who want to cool down from the hot summer temperatures, Black Sea coast will have a lot to offer.

Where to stay in Georgia?

There are many wonderful regions to stay in Georgia:

Gergeti Trinity church under mount Kazbegi in Georgia, non touristy holiday destinations to escape the crowds
Gergeti Trinity Church under the Mount Kazbegi
Svanetia, mountains in Georgia
View to the Svaneti mountains in Georgia
Tent in Georgia
Sleeping under the million starts in Svaneti, Georgia
Ushguli, Georgia, non touristy holiday destinations to escape the crowds
Small town Ushguli, hidden in the mountains in Georgia
Traditional defence towers, Svaneti Georgia
Traditional towers in Svaneti

#5 Madagascar

Africa and Madagascar are often ruled out as a holiday travel destination for two main reasons – it’s too expensive to get there and people have blurry ideas about safety.

Well, none of it should really be an issue. Last year, I went to Madagascar paying €300 for a ticket from Europe. Yes, it was a cheap deal and I was lucky, but since then I’ve already seen similar deals several times. You just need to look out for them and make it happen. You can find some deals by checking several flight comparisons and deals websites, such as this or this one (it has a cool feature of showing you the cheapest flights anywhere at any time).

We were two girls travelling there and we felt entirely safe. We had one unpleasant accident, but this could happen in any place and also happens very often in our home countries in Europe.

Read more: Our first day backpacking in Madagascar

Madagascar is a place that’s one of its kind. Not entirely Africa, nor really Asia, it was created by the split of two supercontinents over 160 million years ago. Thanks to that, the fourth biggest island in the world, is now a home for unusual animals and plants, that exist only there.

It’s unlike anywhere else you’ve been before. Still not very explored, a bit challenging to travel independently, but because of that – so interesting and rewarding. The unique package of the unspoiled nature, extremely interesting species of unusual animals and the wonderful culture of the Malagasy people is worth going for.

Madagascar will steal your heart and leave you asking for more, giving you the best holiday memories of your life.

Where to stay in Madagascar?

We mainly travelled to the north of Madagascar, since it is a huge country. The district we travelled to is called Diana. You can find some good places to stay in Diana here. The tropical paradise can be found on the island of Nosy Be, where we also spent several days.

Lemur in Madagascar, non touristy holiday destinations to escape the crowds
Lemur, photo by Pawel
Malagasy girl, photo by Pawel

#6 Balkans

Europe is a popular summer travel destination for many people. What always makes me wonder, is why most of them limit themselves to visiting only the western part. Sure, countries like France, Spain, or Portugal are all wonderful, but at the same time – packed in the summer.  Instead of following everyone else’s steps, try to add something else to your European travel itinerary and look broader on the eastern and southern part of Europe – Balkan Peninsula.

Visit sandy beaches of Montenegro with hills towering over the sea, discover little villages, hidden waterfalls and beautiful cities with difficult history in the unspoiled Bosnia and Herzegovina. Wonder in the high mountains of Romania, driving on the winding roads of Transforgarasanthe world’s best road trip according to Top Gear. Visit the Albanian coastline with turquoise waters, camp by the Ohrid Lake in Macedonia. Explore a wonderful mix of cultures in Serbia, party on the coast of Bulgaria.

Every one of those countries has a special story to tell. You will find there the real eastern European spirit with overwhelming kindness and hospitality. Soak up the hot summer sun, relax on the beach and breathe in the sweet smell of fresh melons.

Once you get there, you feel the special spirit of the region, that will stay deep in your heart, making you want to come back over and over again.

Where to stay in Balkans?

The Balkan region is quite big, so depending on which countries you are visiting, that’s where you can find places to stay. Here are the ones, that I think you definitely shouldn’t miss:

Kotor bay in Montenegro
View to the Kotor Bay in Montenegro
Transforgarasan highway Romania
Transforgarasan highway, the most picturesque road in Europe, Romania

#7 Svalbard

Located high up in the Arctic circle, Svalbard is a place from another world. Massive glaciers, rich wildlife, lots of outdoor activities and more polar bears than people make this place one of its own. There are a lot of things to do in Svalbard, both during winter and summer.

In the summer months, you can experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun. Go there soon, before it gets more popular!

Where to stay in Svalbard?

During our visit to Svalbard, we stayed in Gjestehuset 102, which is built in the traditional style. The miners used to stay there and there are amazing views! More luxury option is Radisson Blu Polar hotel, with the hot tubs.

Colourful houses in Longyearbyen - Best things to do in Svalbard tour arctic adventure
Colorful houses in Longyearbyen

What are your bucket list travel destinations to visit this year? Have you been in any of the above ones?

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16 thoughts on “The best less touristy holiday destinations to visit now

  1. I definitely can agree with the Balkans! We just spent two weeks driving around down there for our honeymoon!! #blogpostsaturday

  2. This is freaking awesone! I honestly don’t travel during the summer because outs so freaking much! It’s hot almost everywhere, there are too many people, and everything is expensive. I’ll have to try some of these places next summer. Thanks!

    1. I’m the same, I usually travel out of the high season. But sometimes, for personal reasons, that might be the only time to travel. For example when I was at university, I just had time off during summer holidays for longer trips, so I tried to visit some amazing places, but still not over-crowded, and yes, it’s possible 😉

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that, Anuradha. Would you mind sharing what type of experience it was?
      Unfortunately bad things can happen in every country. We need to be aware of that, be vigilant and travel smart, but I believe those things shouldn’t put us off from traveling to particular countries.
      All the best in your travels!

  3. Great suggestions! Top of my list would be Madagascar, but Svalbard looks awesome! That is a destination not previously on my radar and now I’m super interested!

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