While sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum are amazing, the world holds many hidden gems that most travelers don’t know about. These must-see destinations are often located in remote areas of the world where most tourists don’t venture. Here’s a list of 15 secretly incredible destinations that are both spectacular and magical.
Shrouded in the picturesque Rif Mountains in northwest Morocco, is the sleepy village of Chefchaouen. Behind the walls of this rustic city are homes and buildings painted in hues of soothing blues. It emerges like a blue pearl when strolling through the streets. Cloudless skies and distinct palette of blues create a silence and tranquility. Enjoy the blue maze-like town with Andulasian architectural styles incorporating courtyards, tiled roofs and hanging balconies. Although the village is quiet, it’s a paradise for shopping junkies. Stroll the cobble-stoned streets and find vendors offering up Aztec-patterned bags, Moroccan silver teapots and shawls made of camel hair. Other scenic landmarks include the cascading Ashour waterfalls and the Ker Toghobeit Cave. Plus, who needs an excuse to ride a camel?!
Cappadocia is a historical region in Turkey and unique for its moon-like terrain, underground cave towns and cities. Enjoy a stay at a cave hotel underground and surrounded by ancient churches and surreal scenery. Float over fairy chimneys in a hot-air balloon, hike through the rose-tinted gorges, and marvel at the Byzantine frescoes. Visit shopping bazaars dating back to the Ottoman era and enjoy demonstrations of the caravanserai. Cappadocia has a village rhythm and unique scenery that you can’t find anywhere else on the planet.
Vezac is a charming village in France and home to one of the most magnificent landscapes. The world-renowned Gardens of Marqueyssac are perfectly landcaped in bubbly, rounded forms and meticulously manicured. Stroll around 5 kilometers of walking trails to view these stunning sculptured gardens perched above the scenic Dordogne valley and wrapped around a magnificent 17th century chateau. Its magnificent design is over 300 years old. On summer nights, the gardens are lit by over 2,000 candles and highlight the ambiance of the park and cliffs.
Located in the region of Basilicata and province of Matera, Craco is an Italian medieval village with undulating lands. Although the village is uninhabited, it’s absolutely beautiful and has been the set for many movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Nativity.” Walk among old ruins, castles, prisons and 8th century tombs. This ghost town is definitely a step back in time. Throughout the year, there are religious festivals.
Bishop Castle was constructed by one man named Jim Bishop. It’s definitely a unique and crazy vision worth seeing. It’s nestled on a mountain in the San Isabel National Forest and looks like a structure straight out of “Lord of the Rings.” A metallic dragon’s head juts from the apex. It even shoots fire from its large maw with a burner. Venture over the intricate iron bridges and walkways and warm up at the castle’s fireplace where warm air exudes from a dragon nose. For the adventurous, it’s ideal for wedding ceremonies or just some plain inspiration.
The Quinta da Regaleria is an historic estate and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. What makes it incredible is its mysterious wishing well. Its 27-meter deep well looks just like a spectacular inverted tower. Make a wish and then take a stroll through the hidden nooks and crannies of the gardens. There are a series of underground tunnels, and the turrets deliver a panoramic vista of the verdant rolling hills.
The medieval village of Albarracin in northern Spain is wonderfully preserved. Discover and explore the amazing rock paintings in Albarracin Cultural Park. The cliff-foot caves showcase the Levantine prehistoric art of Spain. Take a walk along the Guadalaviar River, visit ancient cathedrals and trek old palaces. A visit to Albarracin is like being transported back to medieval and ancient times.