Top 10 Overlooked but Incredible Travel Destinations

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey
There are still some secrets off the beaten track. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 overlooked but incredible travel destinations. For this list, we're looking at amazing but underappreciated cities, territories and countries that should be on your travel radar.
Top 10 Overlooked but Incredible Travel Destinations

There are still some secrets off the beaten track. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 overlooked but incredible travel destinations. For this list, we're looking at amazing but underappreciated cities, territories and countries that should be on your travel radar.

#10: Slovenia

Rustic, pastoral, and sophisticated all at once, Slovenia is nonetheless often overlooked in favour of its larger neighbours. But Slovenia is a land of rare natural beauty, where the Alps and Mediterranean meet, dotted with picturesque alpine hamlets and coastal villages. Its capital, Ljubljana, is one of the most underrated cities in Europe, with a thriving cultural scene, lively nightlife, and well-preserved medieval Old Town. Nature-lovers should head for the lush hills of the Savinja and Šalek Valley, while history-buffs can beeline to Bled for its baroque island church and imposing castle.

#9: Malta

For sun-chasers, food-lovers, and explorers of ancient ruins, Malta is a true treasure-trove. First settled in the Stone Age, the island nation’s strategic position in the Mediterranean means it’s passed hands many times, leaving a rich architectural and cultural legacy. From Neolithic temples and ancient cities, to golden beaches and local delicacies in world-class restaurants, the archipelago’s main island has something for everyone, while the ancient megaliths and rural quiet of Gozo are just a short ferry ride away. In between is tiny Comino, with its dazzling Blue Lagoon.

#8: Luxembourg

Sure, it might seem diminutive from the outside. But once you’re inside, the charm of Luxembourg’s leafy river valleys and UNESCO-listed Old Town packs a surprising punch. Wedged in between France, Belgium, and Germany, the landlocked nation is the second richest country in the world, with lax taxation and an admittedly high cost of living. But the prices are worth it for the fairytale forts, scenic walks, and the historic charm of its capital. While there, make sure to soak in nature’s splendour on the Müllerthal Trail . . . and the world-famous wine produced along the Moselle river.

#7: Medellín, Colombia

The “city of eternal spring” has come a long way. Famous as the hometown of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, it's now a bustling metropolis known for innovation and public infrastructure. Cradled in valley walls that remain green all year long, it boasts colorful barrios, a vibrant nightlife, and cable cars with panoramic views over the city's red-tiled rooftops. A few hours drive away is La Piedra in Guatape, a natural geological formation that affords a sweeping vista of the countryside. Time your visit right, and you can make it for Medellin’s Flower Fair in August. Or in December, the city’s spectacular Christmas lights.

#6: Western Australia

Most international visitors to Australia flock to the more populated east coast. But they’re missing out on Western Australia’s endless empty beaches, immaculate Ningaloo reef, and Margaret River’s bucolic wineries . . . and let’s not forget Rottnest Island’s quokkas. The state’s isolated capital, Perth, is a relaxed but cosmopolitan city with surprising cultural diversity. On your way up the coast, make sure to check out the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park and Shark Bay’s ancient stromatolites, formed by primeval cyanobacteria. Or if you’re heading inland, scratch your head at Wave Rock, a flared granite slope with the seemingly improbable shape of a breaking ocean wave.

#5: Nagaland, India

Tucked away in India’s far north-east, Nagaland was once the haunt of headhunters renowned for resisting foreign rule. Today, the Naga people remain proud of their traditions, folklore, and distinct tribal identities . . . just without the fresh trophies. Nestled at the feet of the Himalayas, the state is a land of untamed forests, undulating hills, and secluded rural villages. One of the best times to experience tribal culture is during the Hornbill Festival in December, at Naga Heritage Village just outside state capital Kohima. Be aware: while Nagaland’s political situation has improved, insurgents remain active near the Burma border - so check travel advisories as part of your travel planning.

#4: East Timor

It’s rare to be the only traveler about town these days. But in East Timor, a paradise of beautiful beaches, misty forests, and age-old traditions, you have a pretty good chance of being just that. Indonesia’s invasion in 1975 plunged the region into decades of conflict, until in 2002 it was recognized as Asia’s newest sovereign nation. Nowadays, East Timor is an adventure-traveler’s delight, with sublime mountain treks, pristine coral reefs, idyllic coffee plantations, and warm and welcoming locals, for whom foreign tourists are still a bit of a novelty.

#3: Namibia

It’s one of the most arid and sparsely populated countries in the world. Yet its extreme natural conditions have also created a diverse geography of sun-blasted pans, towering dunes, battered coastlines, and broad grasslands, making it a place ideal for both adventure sports and viewing wildlife. The safaris at Etosha National Park are second to none, with good chances to see lions, zebra, giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, and rhinos. If adventure is your middle name, Walvis Bay is perfect for kitesurfing, while the dunes outside of beach resort Swakopmund are practically begging to be surfed.

#2: Seychelles

A far-flung wonderland of natural splendor, Seychelles is one of Africa’s best kept secrets. Strung out in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar, the archipelago’s granite inner islands are ringed with white sand beaches and chromatic coral reefs. With a seductive, easy-going Creole culture, and mouth-watering seafood to boot, Seychelles is island life at its very best. For beaches, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island and Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue are among the most beautiful in the world. Those with the means can also consider a luxury, once-in-a-lifetime cruise to nearby Aldabra Atoll - an unspoiled coralline Eden ruled by giant tortoises.

#1: Bhutan

Hidden high up in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan’s breathtaking landscape and traditional Buddhist culture have earned it the moniker “The Last Shangri La”. It’s a country like no other: a place where cellphones and wifi coexist with a commitment to custom that extends to government-regulated formal dress and architectural styles. Life in Bhutan proceeds at a different pace, with national progress measured in “Gross National Happiness”. While there’s plenty to see in Thimpu, the nation’s capital, the hotspot for travelers is undoubtedly the iconic, cliff-hugging Tiger’s Nest monastery. The daily fee for a Bhutanese visa isn’t cheap; but it includes food, transport, accommodation, and a guide, in addition to access to the world’s most reclusive kingdom.