Beautiful Hot Spots Around The World Most Tourists Don’t Know About

Popeye village, Malta. Photo by Jose A./Flickr

There are some truly amazing places visit in this world of ours. Pick any country and you’ll find books and websites dedicated to both natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be explored.

Today we’ll take a look at little-known but incredibly beautiful places that are well worth seeking out.

The Mild Village Under The Cliffs

Blagaj is a picturesque village nestled among small waterfalls and surrounded with azure waters in the south-eastern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was most likely named for its mild weather patterns since “blaga” in Bosnian means “mild.”

Charming white houses and a historical monastery are located under a sheer cliff. The Blagaj Tekija (or Dervish monastery) was built around 1520, with elements of Ottoman architecture and Mediterranean style and is considered a national monument.

A Snowboarder’s Desert Oasis

Huacachina is a desert oasis in Southern Peru, a small lagoon surrounded by palm trees and gigantic sand dunes. A popular spa destination in the 1940’s, it fell out of favor sometime in the 50s and was largely abandoned for decades.

It’s seen a revival since the turn of the century though, and nowadays tourists can experience the beauty of the desert on a dune buggy tour or try sandboarding down the huge sand dunes on a snowboard.

A Lake Of A Different Color

Located on Middle Island just off the coast of Western Australia and accessible only by plane is Hillier Lake. First discovered in 1802, it’s not exactly known what gives the lake its unique pink color, though scientists think it has something to do with the presence of microalgae and bacteria. 

Since the lake lies just next to the Pacific Ocean, the contrast between the mellow pink of the lake and the blue of the ocean is striking. Unlike other pink lakes around the world, its water is still distinctively pink even when it is in a glass.

A Hidden Beach Of Love

The Marietas Islands are about an hour long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta. Originally formed thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, they are home to a large variety of plant and wildlife.

The true hidden gem of these islands, however, is a beach affectionately nicknamed the “hidden beach” or “beach of love.” It’s concealed from view and accessible only by swimming through a short tunnel carved by the sea from the ocean side and into the crater.

Touch Two Continents At Once

Located in the Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, the Silfra Fissure is one of the most unique places on this planet. Divers and snorkelers from all over the world come to dive and float between the American and Eurasian continental plates in some of the clearest water in the world. There are even places where you can actually touch both continents at the same time!

The beautiful underwater landscape has earned it its place as one of the Top 5 dive sites in the world by many international dive magazines.

An Island Garden Paradise

Once nothing but a rocky island in the middle of a lake inhabited by a small community of fishermen, it took 400 years and the work of hundreds of skilled tradesmen to transform Isola Bella into the paradise it is today.

The Borromeo family took an interest in the island in the 1630’s, beginning work on the palace and the terraced gardens. The project was then pursued, expanded and revised by generations, resulting in spectacular multilevel blooming gardens with grottos, terraces, artwork and fountains that occupy almost the whole island.

The Village That Spinach Built

This charming little village on the island nation of Malta, just south of Italy, was constructed in late 1979 for the purpose of filming the 1980 musical production of “Popeye.” To construct this authentic wooden village, tree trunk logs were trailered overland from Holland, and wood shingles were imported from Canada.

Today, tourists can enjoy tours of the restored set, an amusement park, cruises around the bay, water trampolines, and a winery offering free wine tasting.

Unknown Natural Wonder

Dongchuan Red Soil is a mountainous valley to the southwest of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Despite its obvious beauty, you won’t find it on a tourist map, due to its remote location and lack of infrastructure.

One look at its undulating landscapes of red soil, punctuated by layers of green grass, golden wheat, and colorful flowers will make you realize why photographers from all over the world brave the trek to shoot its magnificent vistas.


The Door To Hell

In the middle of the Karakum desert is the Darvaza Crater, also known by more colorful names such as the Door To Hell, the Gate to Hell, and the Crater of Fire.

Make the trip north of Ashgabat and you can watch fire erupting from a giant crater in the middle of the desert. While drilling in 1971, geologists tapped into an underground gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse.

Hoping to burn the gas off in a few hours or days, the geologists decided to light it on fire. It’s been burning ever since.

The Bed Sheet Park

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is one of Brazil’s top natural attractions. It appears to be a picture-perfect desert with miles and miles of white sand and sculpted sand dunes whipped by powerful Atlantic winds. It isn’t a desert at all, however. For half the year, the area is inundated with rainstorms and rainwater pools in the valleys between the dunes creating thousands of gorgeous crystal clear lagoons.

The best time to visit the lagoons is between July and September, Brazilian winter, when they are at their most full and temperatures aren’t too hot.