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Escaping the crowds just got that little bit easier. We’ve compiled our definitive top ten unusual destinations for getting off the beaten track, ranging from the obscure, the hard to get to and the simply overlooked. These are our hidden gems…
Onion-domed mosques in glittering gold, their minarets silhouetted against the sky, inside intricate handcrafted geometric designs – this is Islamic art and architecture at its finest. Iran is a Middle Eastern powerhouse of culture set against the backdrop of the desert – be one of the few to appreciate its beauty.
Over 7,000 islands make for innumerable adventures in the Phillippines. From exquisite white sand beaches to an eight-kilometre subterranean river, with tropical forests, volcanic craters and emerald rice terraces in between, the scenery is never short of exceptional.
Uzbekistan tours richly rewards those who venture to this uncommon destination. This land once hosted the caravans of the Silk Road, and the modern traveller is greeted with the same hospitality as those ancient traders once were as they wandered the same markets and mosques in the city streets.
Find out more: Uzbekistan Holidays
With North Korean politics dominating the news, few realise South Korea holidays are so safe for travellers. Rich with ancient culture, superb underrated cuisine and boasting no fewer than 12 World Heritage Sites, how it remains so little-known is a mystery.
Myanmar / Burma
Away from the tried and tester backpacker circuit of South East Asia, Myanmar remains an ideal off the beaten track adventure spot. See the glittering temples at Bagan, enough to rival Angkor Wat and the fishermen on Inle Lake.
If you want to be surprised, look no further than Macedonia. The small land-locked nation is packed with unexpected gems: gorgeous lakeside beaches, stylish Skopje, sleek spa towns and the House of Mother Teresa.
Find out more: Macedonia Holidays
Underrated and all too often overshadowed by popular neighbour Costa Rica, Nicaragua is a true hidden gem for travellers looking for something a little different. Cloud forests cloak the rumbling volcanoes, colonial cities ooze charm and opportunities for adventures abound.
Find out more: Nicaragua Holidays
Orthodox monasteries, enchanted caves with mythical histories, and forests that echo with the plaintive cry of Europe’s remaining wolves: Bulgaria wins in the fairytale stakes. Far from the beaten path, head out on trails deep into the mountains and away from it all.
Find out more: Bulgaria Holidays
This could be the trekking world’s greatest secret. The wild Hajar Mountains and rugged, dramatic cliffs are the ideal backdrop for a week trekking through deep gorges, narrow but beautiful wadis and along soaring escarpments.
Find out more: Oman Holidays
Discover more of our unusual destinations below.