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13 Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

Another summer, another year of packed crowds at the same cliche beach spots and tourist-clogged cities. As a wanderlust-driven travel blogger, I crave adventure off the beaten path. I want to explore the hidden gems and underrated places that most vacationers overlook but deliver magic and meaning in spades.

In this article, I’m sharing my shortlist of underrated summer destinations that promise to make this the most extraordinary season yet. No more uninspired summer vacations – it’s time for an adventure! From European secrets to natural wonders begging to be explored, these underrated spots have risen to the top of my travel bucket list. Let’s rediscover the joy of summer in places tourists have yet to tarnish. I’m already dreaming of the memories I’ll be bringing home.

Exploring the Tranquil Beaches of Zanzibar

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Let me whisk you away to Zanzibar, an archipelago off Tanzania’s coast that remains an untouched tropical paradise. While famous beaches swarm with crowds, Zanzibar enchants with its tranquil white sand shorelines, azure waters teeming with marine life, and swaying coconut palms. Lose yourself in the tropical spell of this island gem – spend lazy days beach-hopping, diving with sea turtles, feasting on fresh catches, and exploring Stone Town’s rich history. Zanzibar offers an idyllic escape with its languid pace, vibrant culture, and sheer natural beauty. Its remote location keeps crowds away, so be daring – follow my lead and venture off the beaten path to this little-known tropical haven.

Unveiling the Enchanting Beauty of Slovenia

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Let me share Slovenia’s secret – this underrated European gem has “paradise” written all over it. Cascading waterfalls tumble through its verdant national parks, while Lake Bled’s crystal waters and tiny island church beckon you to its shores. Quaint seaside villages line the Adriatic coast, and a visit to the capital Ljubljana feels like walking into a real-life fairy tale. With romantic castle stays, epic hiking trails, and lip-smacking local cuisine, Slovenia dazzles all who venture off the beaten path to its lands. Free from the crowds plaguing its neighbors, the country unravels like a private Eden where relaxation and natural splendor go hand in hand. Take it from me – Slovenia should top your list for a dreamy, crowd-free European summer escape.

Discovering the Rich History of Luang Prabang, Laos

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UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang in Laos. As you explore its winding streets, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve stepped into a time warp. Saffron-robed monks weave past French colonial mansions on their morning alms rounds. The earthy aroma of incense wafts from ancient Buddhist temples dotted with gleaming golden spires. When the sun sets, the lively night market springs to life with colorful textiles, steaming street food, and crafts made by local hill tribes. With its serene meandering pace and fusion of eras past, Luang Prabang radiates an intoxicating aura that casts its spell over visitors, leaving you longing for just a few more days in this captivating haven.

Roaming the Picturesque Landscapes of Faroe Islands

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Let me reveal one of Europe’s best kept secrets – the Faroe Islands. Located in the wild North Atlantic, this remote archipelago is a nature lover’s dream come true. As you stand atop its sprawling cliffs, gazing out at crashing ocean waves and vibrant green landscapes dotted with cascading waterfalls and grazing sheep, you’ll swear these 18 islands just emerged from a fantasy novel. With its coastline lined with quaint villages, awe-inspiring sea stacks, and magical ever-changing weather, the Faroes cast a surreal spell. Here, rainbows stretch across the sky at a moment’s notice and the Northern Lights dance overhead on clear nights. Get ready to have your heart stolen by this hidden Nordic paradise that remains blissfully untouched by mass tourism. The Faroe Islands await – come discover their untamed, captivating magic!

Embarking on a Cultural Journey in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Let me take you on a fiesta for the senses in Oaxaca, Mexico’s colorful cultural epicenter. In this southern city, Indigenous traditions pulse vibrantly through the streets. Elaborate festivals explode with dancers in fantastical masks and feathers. On dusty hills, ancient Monte Albán and Mitla sites wisp you back to Mesoamerica’s mystical past. Oaxaca springs to life with the buzz of markets hawking handmade textiles and aromas of mole negro simmering at bustling food stalls. Sip smoky mezcal at a high-energy cantina as mariachis roar. From Zapotec temples to riotous Día de Muertos revelry, Oaxaca dazzles the eyes, rouses the spirit, and seduces the taste buds. Immerse yourself in the city locals proudly call “land of the seven moles” – with its feast of experiences, I guarantee you’ll be hooked after one taste of Oaxaca’s infectious culture.

Trekking the Majestic Rila Mountains in Bulgaria

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Adventure junkies, set your sights on Bulgaria’s Rila Mountains for the ultimate summer thrill! Home to the Balkans’ highest peaks, Rila offers adrenaline-pumping hikes across alpine ridges with panoramic views. Lace up your boots, fill your camera, and get ready to trek through untamed wilderness and glistening turquoise lakes. With its rugged crags towering over 26,000 feet, Rila rouses your spirit of adventure like nowhere else. Join me in answering the call of the wild Balkan peaks this summer!

Unwinding in the Serene Backwaters of Kerala, India

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Ditch the chaos and come bliss out in Kerala’s tranquil backwaters – India’s soothing soul-medicine. As your houseboat putters along these serene channels, breathe deep and exhale away the stress. Here, life drifts by at the pace of lapping waves and fluttering palms. Marvel at cotton-candy sunsets over endless emerald fields. Savor fiery fish curries and sweet chai as you bond with fellow passengers. With its hammocks strung between calm shores, yoga retreats, and rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments, Kerala is the tonic we all need right now. Its backwaters call to relax, reset, and heal your spirit. I dare you not to fall in love with this hidden side of India that provides the perfect escape from our hurried world.

Getting Lost in the Charming Towns of Cotswolds, England

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Fancy a one-way ticket into an English country fairy tale? Then join me in the utterly storybook villages of the Cotswolds, where the pages of your favorite picture books spring to life. As you stroll down roads lined with honey-colored cottages straight out of a Jane Austen novel, you’ll soon be pinching yourself to make sure it’s not all just a dream. Around each bend awaits yet another scene of rural perfection – wooly sheep grazing on emerald fields, vines of roses framing intricately built stone walls, and lanes so narrow you can reach across and touch the ivy. Pop into a cozy tearoom, bite into a freshly baked scone, and watch as time stands blissfully still. The Cotswolds offer a portal into the English countryside of our most idyllic imaginations. One visit and your heart will remain permanently charmed.

Experiencing the Vibrant Festivals of Salvador, Brazil

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Let your spirit soar in Salvador, Brazil’s capital of African-infused revelry! Sway to samba rhythms, join Capoeira dancers on the beach, and immerse yourself in the spectacular Carnival celebrations. With its pastel colonial buildings, Candomblé traditions, and infectious energy, Salvador ignites the senses. Feel the pulsating rhythms course through your veins in this lively city!

Indulging in the Tranquility of Gili Islands, Indonesia

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Craving a tranquil tropical escape? Then set your sights on Indonesia’s Gili Islands, where swaying palms and seaside bliss beckon. Once you arrive by boat, prepare to slip into island time. Dig your toes into powdery white beaches that gleam against the crystal blue waters. Don a snorkel mask and dive into an underwater world exploding with color and teeming with sea turtles and reef sharks. Sip fresh coconut water while soaking up a fiery sunset that melts into the horizon. At night, swing in a hammock under a ceiling of shooting stars. With no cars or crowds, the Gili Islands exude a carefree, castaway vibe. Here, your only itinerary is deciding beachside happy hour or oceanfront massage. Let your worries float away in this laidback island paradise.

Exploring the Mystical Temples of Bagan, Myanmar

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Let’s journey back through the sands of time to Bagan – an ancient temple kingdom in Myanmar with mystical charm. As you glide by bicycle through this archaeological wonderland dotted with over 2,000 pagodas, you’ll swear you’ve slipped into a bygone era. Keep your camera ready, because watching the sun peek over a horizon of golden stupas is an unforgettable moment. Pedal down dusty lanes to uncover age-old shrines adorned with crumbling frescoes hidden from tourist trails. Climb solitary temple steps just before dusk to marvel at the sea of spires stretching into the distance, silhouetted by the setting sun. Lose yourself in the magic of Old Bagan’s sprawling plains, where the magnificence of former empires elicits awestruck gasps around each turn. The temples of Bagan retain their impressive power to enthrall visitors centuries later.

Venturing into the Pristine Wilderness of Yukon, Canada

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Craving outdoor adventure on a grand scale? Then set your compass due north to Canada’s rugged Yukon, where the call of the wild beckons like nowhere else. Here, Mother Nature shows off on a staggeringly beautiful scale – think massive lakes reflecting endless midnight sunsets, majestic moose foraging tundra tundra, and golden eagles soaring over mountain-framed vistas. Lace up your hiking boots, grab a paddle, and get ready to dive into Canada’s famed frontier land where the word “remote” takes on new meaning. Whether you’re panning for gold like the Klondike prospectors of yore, camping under the magical glow of the Northern Lights, or sledding through snowy woodlands, the Yukon offers a summer of wilderness, wildlife, and wonder at every rugged turn. Our inner adventurer’s paradise awaits here in Canada’s scenic Far North!

Marveling at the Stunning Landscapes of Iceland

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Pack your camera and get ready to have your mind blown in Iceland – the aptly named “Land of Fire and Ice.” This Nordic island channeled all of Mother Nature’s powers when dreaming up its scenic repertoire. Prepare to traverse mystical lava fields, gaze up at raging waterfalls sending mist into rainbows, and trek across crunchy black sand beaches. Visit bubbling hot springs then walk on ancient glaciers in the same day. Drive the famous Golden Circle to experience iconic treasures like Gulfoss’s thunderous cascades and the erupting geothermal bursts of Geysir. Or venture off onto the lesser-known paths and marvel at the raw, untamed natural beauty around each bend. After days spent stunned by the diversity of the dramatic landscapes, you’ll wind down by soaking in the Blue Lagoon’s thermal waters. Trust me, Iceland will ignite a passion for nature’s wonders like no other destination!


The siren song of summer is calling once again. It’s beckoning us to venture beyond the predictable, overcrowded hotspots and set our sights on roads less traveled. As a travel blogger, I’m always chasing that next captivating destination waiting to be uncovered by intrepid, open-minded travelers. That’s why I’m unveiling this curated list of underrated places that promise to make this your most memorable summer yet.

Picture yourself soaking in vistas so beautiful they don’t seem real, immersing in fascinating cultures off the tourist trail, or having adventures you never thought possible. Whether you seek outdoor thrills, serene tropical escapes, or charming historical finds, you’ll discover it all in these places. This summer, why stick to the status quo when there are stunning hidden gems waiting to be explored? I dare you to lean into that fearless wanderlust spirit. Choose your transformative destination, pack your bags, and get ready for the summer of a lifetime!