Most people go on holiday to unwind and relax, but some destinations are so overcrowded with people who all have the same idea, that it becomes a stressful week away. Instead of having a place to lay in the sun, you have to get up really early to put your towel on a sun lounger before anyone else. Sometimes all you really want to do is just switch off from everything around you and avoid the hustle and bustle of tourists, which is why we’ve put together a list of hidden gems guaranteed to get you away from it all.
Thailand might have been overrun by British backpackers on their gap years, but Vietnam remains a bit less touristy. The country offers both mountains to hike if you are looking for adventure, or beaches to lounge on if you are looking to unwind. There is also the chance to sail past the floating islands of Halong Bay, where you can kayak through the caves of the islands and see inside.
If you’re looking for some natural beauty, then Reykjavik is the place to be. In the summer, the world’s most northern city has 22 hours of daylight and in the winter it is battered with blizzards. The city has a rich history dating back to the Vikings, as well as a great arts scene, wild nightlife and beautiful spas where you can recover from your wild nights.
Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, USA
Does being completely off the grid, camping out in the wild and hiking in beautiful surroundings appeal to you? This state park is over 2,300 acres and you can hunt, hike, fish and camp to your heart’s content. It plays host to over 200 campsites, most of which have showers and toilets (so don’t worry, you won’t need to go full-on wilderness experience). With forests, caves and waterfalls to explore, adventure-seekers need look no further.
Camogli is a fishing village on the west side of Italy. Hidden within the hillside it is an amazingly well-kept secret, picturesque and slow paced, with less crowds than in neighbouring villages. The town offers sunshine on the beach and beautiful views if you choose to hike up the surrounding hills.
If all these places seem a little too far away, then why not visit Knockvologan in Scotland. This beautiful hidden gem offers white sands and on a sunny day, crystal clear water. The beach is located on the Isle of Mull, where there are quirky cafes, beautiful streets to wander and a 13th century castle.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
This little Slovenian secret is surrounded by mountains and is completely off the beaten track. Lake Bled is a peaceful haven in both the summer when it becomes a place to row and in the winter when it freezes over and becomes a place to ice skate. Row to the middle of the lake and you’ll find yourself on the lake’s island which boasts a 17th century castle.