Wondering what are the most amazing off-the-beaten-path destinations to visit?
I asked fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite ones and the result was this massive guide to all the best unique destinations worldwide.
I hope they will inspire your wanderlust as they did to me. Here you will find many incredible destinations that you may never think about.
So without further ado, let’s dive into it.
The Coolest Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel Destinations to Visit in 2023
1. Guam – Oceania
An off-the-beaten-path destination that’s located in the Northern Pacific Ocean is the small island of Guam.
This island is known for its gorgeous beaches, verdant interior, and vibrant culture.
And since there are plenty of cheap public transportation options available, it’s relatively easy to navigate around the island, making it an excellent destination for solo female travelers to explore.
When visiting Guam, there are lots of natural attractions that you can enjoy! For example, a crowd favorite is Tumon Bay, where you can admire the picturesque views of crystal-clear waters. Or, to get a closer look at Guam’s lush interior and observe the native wildlife, hike along one of its numerous trails.
Swimming and snorkeling are also a must if you’re looking to have some fun in the water. However, you’ll want to do this on the northern side of the island to avoid crowds scaring away marine life.
For those interested in visiting the small island, fly into the Guam International Airport. And anytime is a good time to go because the island is fortunate enough to experience consistent tropical weather year-round. So if you’re looking for an exciting less frequented destination to explore this year, consider a trip to Guam!
Contributed by Kristin from Global Travel Escapades
2. Maine Coast – US
The state of Maine is wonderful but underrated, with hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline and lots of bucket-list hiking trails in places like Acadia National Park.
There are also a total of 65 historic lighthouses in Maine to see along the coast, and some of them will let you climb to the top of the light tower, while others will even let you rent the keeper’s house and stay overnight at the lighthouse, which is a great experience!
Summer is possibly the best time to visit Maine if you’re looking for the nicest weather, although spring can also be good if you really want to avoid crowds.
The most beautiful time to visit Maine would probably be during the fall foliage season, which usually peaks in October. The leaf colors are amazing during the fall!
Maine is one of the safest states in the U.S. so it’s also great for solo travelers or anyone looking for a safe place to vacation.
You can fly into the city of Portland if you want to get started sightseeing right away, or the Boston airport also has lots of flight options, which may be better in some cases. Overall, Maine is a great choice for underrated adventures!
Contributed by David & Intan from The World Travel Guy
3. Transylvania, Romania
If your idea of “off the beaten path” includes giggles and exclamations of “wait, is that a real place?” when talking about it, Transylvania should be on your list.
Transylvania, a vast interior region of Romania, is home to a dizzying variety of breathtaking landscapes, folklore, and traditional arts.
Although is off the beaten path, the tourist infrastructure is robust, and it’s easy to navigate, and there are plenty of places to stay for every budget.
For solo female travelers, Transylvania offers the opportunity to travel to an “exotic” destination while still enjoying the safety and comfort of traveling within the European Union.
Transylvania offers charming old towns, awe-inspiring castles, opportunities for outdoor adventure, and an assortment of incredible Romanian foods to try.
Although modern Transylvania won’t live up to the myths created by American cinema, you will find one of Europe’s largest bat colonies, unique Transylvanian architecture, and an incredible depth of culture and folklore.
Transylvania is a year-round travel destination, however, travelers should avoid visiting during Halloween when this budget-friendly destination suddenly gets very expensive and very crowded with tourists.
Buses are the most popular transportation in Transylvania, but traveling by train in Eastern Europe offers an opportunity to travel slower and enjoy the journey.
Contributed by Lynli Roman from WanderBig.com
4. Jardin, Colombia
Jardin, Colombia is a small town deep in the jungles of coffee country. It is a 3 to the 4-hour bus ride from Medellin, along roads that wind through the mountains.
The bus drops you close to the center of town, and you can easily walk to your accommodation.
The surrounding countryside is beautiful- with fields of palms, coffee and banana all around. You’ll also find some excellent local restaurants offering everything from tacos to Italian.
Jardin has a lovely central square that is lined with coffee shops, a central cathedral, and beds of roses.
Enjoy a cup of coffee at Café Macanas, then head out to explore the local area. This is a small, walkable, safe town for solo travelers.
One of the best things to do in Jardin is to visit a coffee farm- you’ll see the coffee plants, pick some beans yourself, learn about how they are processed, and then taste some coffee yourself.
Run by 5th generation farmers, Finca Los Angeles is a great coffee farm to visit. They will help you arrange a taxi to and from their farm.
The best views of the town are from the Mirador Cristo Rey. It’s a lovely hike up if you are up for a stroll, or you can take a car or tuk-tuk up, you’ll see them buzzing around the main square.
There is a small café at the base of this Christ statue overlooking the town. You can sit with fresh juice or the dessert of the day and marvel at the town below you.
Closer to town, don’t miss the Reserva Natural Jardín de Rocas. These loud, odd-looking birds are the national bird of Peru.
To visit the red-headed rocas, also called cock-of-the-rock, head south on Calle 9. Just before the bright yellow bridge, turn down a steep road. You’ll see a wooden door to the preserve on your right.
Ring the call button and a woman will let you in and take a small admission charge for your visit. The garden is usually open from 3-5:30 in the afternoon when the birds are most active.
The best time to visit Jardin is in the dry season, which is from December to February, and from July to September.
It rains a lot in Jardin, so you’ll notice all the café tables are overhand on the main square. Carry a rain jacket with you for any surprise showers.
Contributed by Cynthia Matthews von Berg from Sharing the Wander
5. Olomouc, Czech Republic
Olomouc, the sixth largest city in the Czech Republic can be found in the Eastern part of the country and gets usually overlooked by tourists.
The city with a uniquely beautiful historical center has everything one might want to see in Europe, yet without crowds.
Olomouc’s heart is made up of two interconnected Squares. There’s a stunning city hall and a UNESCO site of 20 years – the Holy Trinity Column built in the 18th century. The whole city center is dotted with incredible fountains – the oldest comes from the 17th century!
What’s more, the city center is encircled by greenery. There are wild parks, groomed parks, botanical gardens… There are so many angles to Olomouc!
You can find cafés of all styles, Baroque churches, lots of street art, and a unique smelly variant of cheese called Tvarůžky.
Olomouc is a student city – students represent a third of the inhabitants. That becomes apparent, especially in summer. There’s still a lot going on, just with fewer people. It’s a real balm for the soul especially after visiting Prague in summer.
It’s easy to get to Olomouc from Prague by direct train – it takes up to 2.5 hours. Once there, you can even walk everywhere, or hop on a tram. Olomouc is safe for everyone including solo female travelers.
Contributed by Veronika from Travel Geekery
6. Gdansk, Poland
While not many people may put Poland at the top of their list, the city of Gdansk makes for an excellent off-the-beaten-path destination!
This small city sits right near the Baltic Sea and is perfect for those who love to spend their time walking and enjoying the sights.
The architecture of the Old Town truly makes the city a hidden gem. There are plenty of things to do in Gdansk as the city also holds a lot of history.
When you visit, you’ll learn that Gdansk is the amber capital of the world, so you will find many stores selling authentic amber jewelry pieces and collectives.
You can also visit the Amber museum inside the city, to find out the history and many interesting facts about this natural phenomenon.
Gdansk is a very safe and walkable city. It is well connected by public transport, but most of the time you will only need to walk, as everything is in or around the Old Town.
While summer is always a great time to visit, Gdansk is also a lovely destination for fall, as it tends to be pretty sunny and has perfect timing to see the fall colors.
Contributed by Jori from The Tejana Abroad
7. Big Island, Hawaii, USA
The Big Island of Hawaii is less popular than the islands of Ohau and Maui, but it has so much to offer and is a very special place to visit with volcanoes, rainforests, and unique black, green, and white sand beaches.
The winter months of December to April are the best months to travel to Big Island due it its warm temperatures, as compared to the freezing winters elsewhere.
Winter is also the whale-watching season and an opportunity to see majestic whales.
Flying to the Kona International airport is the best way to reach Big Island. Getting a rental car is the best way to explore Big Island.
Big Island is a great destination for solo female travelers as most popular places are always busy with tourists, thus making it safe to explore.
Most tourists stay in the beach town of Kona or the resort area of Waikoloa. There are a lot of things to do in Kona like snorkeling with the manta rays, visiting the National Historic sites to learn about Hawaiian history, and hiking the Captain Cook Monument.
The town of Hilo is in the eastern region of the Big Island and has amazing rainforest hikes to see waterfalls like the Akaka falls and Rainbow falls.
The Volcanoes National Park has a lot of unique hikes like the Kilauea Iki trail. The black and green sand beaches in the southern part of the island are very unique to Big Island and worth the drive.
Contributed by Anu Agarwal from Destination Checkoff
Central Asia is an up-and-coming travel destination. And, Uzbekistan is at the heart of it, rich in history, culture, and culinary delights.
Recently opened to the world again, the cities of Uzbekistan were once key parts of the Silk Road.
As such, the design of the cities and the cuisine represents a fusion of cultures also influenced by Uzbekistan’s Soviet past. It really is a place like no other.
Getting around the country is easy with its cheap and convenient train network. Tashkent is the industrial capital that was once a Soviet stronghold.
Take a trip to the markets and visit the TV tower for sweeping city views.
From Tashkent, you can take the train to 3 beautiful Silk Road cities: Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva.
All are full of stunning temples, complexes, forts, and towers that can be wandered for hours.
Make sure you check out the Registan in Samarkand, the Ark of Bukhara, and the walled old city of Khiva.
Come with plenty of spare room in your bag though, you’ll definitely want to pick up a few souvenirs.
Gorgeous hand-made pillows and blankets as well as traditional clothing, ornaments and keepsakes, all make for great gifts to others or yourself.
The best time to visit Uzbekistan is in late spring when the temperatures are pleasant but not sweltering and attractions aren’t yet crowded.
Uzbek locals are kind and welcoming to international visitors and the country feels safe. Although, there isn’t really a backpacking scene yet or any hostels outside of Tashkent.
That said, Uzbekistan’s tourism industry is only going to grow. With good accessibility to neighboring countries, Central Asia is really putting itself on the map as the next big travel destination.
Contributed by Zoe from zoegoesplaces.com
Georgia, the country, is a beautiful place to explore and an excellent choice for solo female travelers.
It’s affordable; the Georgian people are friendly and welcoming; the food and wine are fantastic, and getting around by local transport is simple, albeit a little scary, on some of those windy mountain roads.
Begin your journey in Tbilisi, Georgia” s capital. Explore the fascinating old town, take the cable car up to the Narikala fortress, and then wander back down past waterfalls to the famous spa district.
On your way back down, be sure to visit Tbilisi’s beautiful botanic gardens.
From the city, head up to the mountains around Kazbegi for some great hikes and snowy vistas. It’s possible to visit Kazbegi as a day trip, but to appreciate the region truly, spend a few days in the mountains.
And while you’re there, be sure to visit the Gergeti Trinity Church, high up in the mountains.
Then head south to Sighnaghi, a gorgeous little town in Georgia’s Kakheti region, an area famous for its wine.
Visit the local wineries, explore the town’s narrow streets, and admire the incredible vistas with the Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop.
The best time to visit Georgia is during spring or autumn. Winters can be brutally cold and summers stifling hot.
Contributed by Sarah from Life Part2 and Beyond
10. Alausi Ecuador
Alausi is a beautiful mountain village that is nestled picturesquely in the Chimborazo Province of Ecuador.
Most travelers visit Alausi as a LONG day trip from the colonial city of Cuenca to take the zig-zagging ride on the Devil’s Nose Train. For those who love to get off the beaten path, this traditional town warrants much more than a few hours.
Alausi is considered to be one of Ecuador’s “pueblos magicos,” a program that helps bring awareness to overlooked cultural areas in the country.
Alausí is charming, inviting, and safe for solo female travelers. The walkable streets are colorful and a delight to stroll.
There are many incredible things to do in Alausi. Adventurous travelers can opt to hike the breathtaking trail to the Devil’s Nose, rather than hop on the train.
Stop in one of the many local shops selling handmade artisan goods and the daily indoor market offers fantastic and authentic Ecuadorian cuisine.
Relax in one of the inviting plazas, or appreciate the many spectacular viewpoints, like the Mirador San Pedro.
The best time to visit Alausi is on a Sunday when the entire town turns into a bustling and lively outdoor market.
Communities from all across the province come to sell anything and everything you could possibly think of and eat at the plentiful food stalls on the streets.
Alausí is spoiled by being surrounded by untouched beauty. Take a day trip to the pristine lakes of Lagunas de Ozogoche.
Advanced trekkers can experience the remote and isolated first three days of the Great Inca Trail.
The challenging trail follows the ancient Inca road system to the Ingapirca ruins.
Contributed by Megan from Packing up the Pieces
11. Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia. At different times Armenia fell under the rule of various other nations, including Roman, Turkish, Persian and Russian rule.
Elements of each period can still be seen and felt today in Yerevan.
The city is a perfect blend of traditional Armenian culture and history against modernization. It’s budget-friendly and vibrant, and generally safe for solo females.
Yerevan is where many tourists will enter the country, and deserves a spot on every Armenia itinerary.
From the historic Blue Mosque to the stunning Republic Square to the somber Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex, there is a lot to see here.
And, though a relatively obscure travel destination, there are plenty of tourist sights within walking distance of the city center.
The summers in Yerevan can be sweltering, and winters can see snow. Therefore, the best time to visit is during the spring and fall.
During these months, the weather is pleasant for exploring the city. If you head outside of Yerevan, this is a great time for hiking and camping, too.
The best way to get around the city is by rideshare apps or taxis. For long distances, travelers can grab a spot in shared vans called marshrutkas.
And, if you are able, the best way to explore farther corners is by rental car.
Contributed by Monica from This Rare Earth
12. Eguisheim, France
At the foothills of the Vosges mountains in eastern France, lies one of the most off-the-beaten-path travel destinations, Eguisheim.
This quaint town is known for rows of colorful medieval houses, pristine hiking trails, and endless vineyards.
It even holds the title of the most beautiful town in France. There’s no denying that it’s small, but there are so many things to do in Eguisheim.
Not only that but it’s perfect for solo female travelers.
Meander along the cobblestone streets and stop in a traditional brasserie for some hearty Alsatian cuisine.
Or rent a bike and explore the lush vineyards that surround the village. Then, if you’re feeling adventurous, bike or walk the Route des 5 Châteaux.
You’ll pass the Three Castles of Eguisheim as well as two other impressive ruins.
It’s an uphill climb, but your efforts will be rewarded with magnificent views over the region.
Of course, no trip to Eguisheim is complete without sampling a glass of Alsatian wine. There are several wine cellars and restaurants that offer tastings in town.
While it is a year-round destination, the best times to visit are from May to June.
During these months houses are decorated in hanging baskets full of red, pink, orange, and white flowers.
It looks like a fairytale. Then, to get to Eguisheim, you’ll first need to get to Colmar. The nearest international airports are in Paris and Basel.
And from there, trains run regularly to Colmar and take one to two hours. Buses and taxis are available at Colmar’s train station with an average travel time of about 15 minutes.
Contributed by Jen from Dabbling in Jet Lag
13. Jaffna, Sri Lanka
If you wish to travel off the beaten path in Asia, then head to Jaffna, a hidden gem on the northern shores of Sri Lanka.
Leaving behind painful memories from years of civil war and unrest, Jaffna is making its way towards becoming a coveted travel destination.
Jaffna is a treasure house of history, culture, and natural beauty. There are many amazing things to do in Jaffna including visiting the colonial Jaffna Fort that is 400+ years old and checking out the Public Library, a place that stands as a poignant reminder of Jaffna’s turbulent past.
You can hop through numerous Hindu temples in Jaffna. The prettiest ones are the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Naguleswaram Temple, and the Nagapooshani Amman Temple on Nainativu island.
For an insight into local culture, be sure to head to the Yalpanam local market where you can shop for local food and palmyra handicraft as well as spot some stunning street art.
The best time to visit Jaffna is from January – March when the weather is cool and dry. However, if you’d like to experience the festive spirit, visit Jaffna in August when locals celebrate the 25-day Nallur Annual Festival.
The easiest way to get to Jaffna is by train from Colombo. You can also do a road trip from Colombo to Jaffna. The road trip is dotted with beautiful vistas and can take 9 – 10 hours.
Contributed by Soumya from Stories by Soumya
14. Cadiz, Spain
One of the most underrated destinations in Spain is the southern city of Cadiz. In fact, it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in western Europe.
In the shade of Seville, it has all the Andalusian charm of the capital of Andalucia, but on top of that, it is a coastal city with a laid-back atmosphere.
Among the locals, you can hear them refer to the province as Cadifornia due to the great surf and there is no arguing that there are absolutely breathtaking beaches in Cadiz.
The best season for enjoying the beaches is between June and October/November. Besides that, Cadiz boasts enchanting cobblestoned streets, a stunning cathedral, a Roman Theater, and you can climb the 45-meter-tall Tavira Tower for sweeping views of the city and its coast.
This is the only remaining watch tower that is open to the public. But Cadiz also boasts a whole lot of green space and is perfectly walkable.
While you always have to watch up for pickpockets in crowded areas, Cadiz is a fairly safe city to travel to for solo female travelers and there is a number of vibrant hostels to connect with other travelers.
There is no airport in Cadiz, but there is a train connection from both Seville and Jerez de la Frontera which are the closest airports.
Contributed by Linn Haglund of Amused by Andalucia
15. North Macedonia
North Macedonia is probably the most underrated and overlooked country in the Balkans (or even in Europe) yet it offers plenty to see and do.
While the majority of tourists who actually decides to visit North Macedonia tend to stop only in the quirky capital Skopje and the stunning Lake Ohrid (one of the most beautiful places in the region), there are so many more great and diverse places to visit in Macedonia.
You can enjoy their breathtaking mountains, ancient sites, centuries-old monasteries, charming towns, and unusual architecture and everything is scattered in a relatively small area, making it easy to see all the country has to offer.
Unfortunately, some of the sites are available only by car but even if you decide to rely on public transport only you still can see a lot.
North Macedonia is also one of the safest countries to visit, also for solo female travelers, with friendly and welcoming locals and a rather low crime rate.
And since it’s still not so popular you don’t need to worry about many scams aimed at tourists. The best time to visit North Macedonia is between May and September.
However, if you go there in late summer / early autumn you will be accompanied by the view of drying peppers and the smell of this roasted vegetable everywhere you go – it is the most common ingredient in the local cuisine, and September and October are months when the whole country is stocking it up for upcoming months.
Contributed by Kami from MyWanderlust
16. Bari, Italy
Bari is the beautiful seaside capital of Italy’s Puglia region and often flies under the radar compared to bigger cities, like Rome.
Situated along the Adriatic Sea, Bari is a historically important harbor city that changed hands under many rulers, including the Romans.
Today, it is enthralling to wander the tangled streets of Old Town Bari, as well as a stroll on top of the remaining sections of its defensive wall.
Visitors will notice locals socializing in chairs outside their homes and enjoy smells emanating from households and tiny restaurants.
The best things to do in Bari include admiring the architecture, learning about the history, and exploring the food scene.
Old Town Bari is made up of a maze of streets, where there are hidden squares, beautiful archways, and ancient cathedrals to uncover.
To learn about Bari’s history, the best place to start is by visiting Bari Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century.
For 3 euros, visitors can even wander beneath the structure to see the ruins of an excavated Christian basilica, a mosaic floor, and part of a Roman road.
Finally, Bari is a wonderful foodie city and a great place to do a food tour. This is the perfect opportunity to try local specialties like focaccia, orecchiette pasta, and fresh octopus.
Visitors can reach Bari by flying into Bari International Airport. While it is possible to rent a car from the airport, it might be better to take the 17-minute train and avoid the city’s crazy traffic.
The best time to visit Bari is in late spring or early fall, when the crowds are thinner and the temperatures are not sweltering.
Although Old Town Bari used to be known for rampant petty crime, the city has really cleaned up over the past decade and is perfectly safe to wander today.
A solo female traveler would feel perfectly fine wandering the Old Town.
Contributed by Theresa McKinney From Fueled By Wanderlust
17. The Georgia Coast
The Georgia Coast is known for its beautiful barrier islands, and Cumberland Island National Seashore is one of the most untamed and secluded options of them all.
The island is only accessible by ferry, and no more than 300 visitors are allowed each day. It’s quite possible to go for a stroll along the beach and not even run across another person!
Even though the island is remote, it’s still quite safe for solo travelers.
The slim possibility of running across a wild boar or alligator is the biggest concern, but the ferry captain will provide helpful tips for avoiding them.
You can bring a bike across on the ferry to cover more ground on the island, but if you don’t, you’ll be exploring using your own two feet! Vehicles are for island residents only.
Cumberland was once home to some of the wealthiest families in America, and many remnants of their presence are still visible today.
Visit the Dungeness Ruins and the Plum Orchard Mansion to get an idea of how the Rockefellers lived or stay overnight at the luxurious Greyfield Inn, which was home to the Carnegies.
Its grounds are dotted with stunning Southern live oaks and the inn’s library is filled with first editions from the Carnegie family library.
If you prefer less luxurious options, Cumberland Island also has two beach campsites and three options deep in the maritime forest.
Be sure to make reservations well in advance since campsites book up quickly!
Summertime is probably the worst time to visit; it’s uncomfortably hot and the “no-see-ums” (annoying biting gnats) are out in full force.
Note that August and September are peak hurricane seasons, and you will have to evacuate if one comes along.
The island is nicest in November and early spring. Since it’s a maritime forest, the island stays green year-round.
Contributed by Erin from Savannah first timer
18. Stanley, Idaho
The tiny town of Stanley, Idaho serves as the gateway to the epic Sawtooth Mountains, a range whose dramatic peaks rival the jaggedness of the Tetons.
If you’re an outdoor lover, Stanley is perfect for you, given the sheer volume of hiking, camping, and other activities that will take you into the Great Outdoors.
So, as long as you’re a solo female traveler who doesn’t mind hitting the trail or pitching a tent on your own, Stanley will be perfect for you.
The area has countless hiking trails, many of which snake past one of the literally hundreds of glacial lakes in the surrounding valley.
For example, the Alice Lakes trail passes three stunning alpine lakes, climbs craggy mountain peaks, and provides sweeping views over the Sawtooth Valley.
Once you’re done exploring its hiking trails, Stanley has something perfect to help you relax- hot springs!
You’ll find several picturesque and undeveloped hot springs sprinkled around Stanley, along the Payette and Salmon River, where you can soak in their steamy waters and take in the natural beauty around you.
To reach Stanley, fly into Boise and make the two-hour and 45-minute drive east along the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Byway.
The drive itself is absolutely jawdroppingly beautiful and you’ll pass several hot springs, like Pine Flats and Kirkham, that are worth a stop along the way.
Stanley has its charms, regardless of the season you visit, but unless you enjoy the snow and bitter cold, visiting from July through September will be your best bet. The skies will be clear and the temperatures perfect for exploring Stanley’s epic scenery.
Contributed by Jess of Uprooted Traveler
19. Nagaland, India
For an off-the-beaten-path travel destination head over to Nagaland, India.
Nagaland is a state located in northeast India. It became the 16th state of India in 1963. Numerous tribes live in the area and conflict between them and the government of India has been ongoing for many years.
While in Nagaland visiting the local tribes in the area is quite possibly the best experience to have there.
Plan to stay in the capital city of Kohima. Native Stories offers clean rooms at a fair price and ideal location.
You can reach tribes in the area by taxi and bus. Be sure you know how you’re getting back to Kohima *before* leaving. Arrange a return trip with your taxi driver and or make sure you know the bus schedule in advance. (Note that buses can be infrequent and undependable).
If you’d like to spend a night or two visiting a tribe, the best thing to do is talk to the chief and ask for a place to stay.
The chief will frequently offer you a place to stay with them. If not that, they’ll likely know a local within the tribe who would let you sleep under their roof.
As a worst-case scenario, plan to camp (or makeshift camp, ie sleeping outdoors) for a night or two.
Be advised that this isn’t a destination best suited for women traveling solo. Traveling in a group of three preferably with at least one male would be ideal.
Contributed by Chelsea from Adventures of Chels
20. Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Vietnam is already a bit of an off-the-beaten-path destination in Southeast Asia, with most people choosing to visit Bali or Thailand.
However, Vietnam is an incredible place to visit, with delicious food, friendly people, cheap costs, and gorgeous landscapes.
In Vietnam, Ninh Binh is a hidden gem, seeing far fewer tourists than other cities and destinations.
Ninh Binh is special because it’s an area filled with rivers, streams, and waterways that are lined with cattails, rice fields, and lush tropical vegetation.
But, the real star of the area is the limestone mountains, known as karsts. These cliffs rise dramatically, providing a surreal landscape of winding waterways through narrow valleys.
Exploring this beautiful area on a boat tour is simply a must-do activity, and the local guides navigate you expertly to ancient shrines, through caves, and around these memorable vistas with skill.
To round out your day in Ninh Binh, you have other amazing experiences to try, like climbing to beautiful viewpoints, exploring ancient temples, and admiring pagodas.
And to top it all off, the area is designed for exploration by scooter and cycling through the peaceful countryside.
The most beautiful time to visit Ninh Binh is in June when the lotus flowers bloom. These pink blossoms are gorgeous and fill the lakes in the area.
For the best weather, visit in March and April or September – November, as you will have lower temperatures and be in the dry season.
Contributed by Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast
21. Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
People often think that the island country of Mauritius constitutes only one island. Ooh boy, they’re missing out!
The archipelago of Mauritius comprises several other islands, but Rodrigues is the one that’s easiest to visit.
Many people – even Mauritians themselves! – think that two days on the second island is enough, but actually, there are tons of things to do in Rodrigues to warrant a four-month stay.
Rodrigues has a lagoon that’s twice as big as the island itself. Many activities are on the water, such as kayaking and kitesurfing.
This remote island’s biodiversity is incredible, with parks where you can learn about the Rodriguan megabats, medicinal plants, and giant tortoises.
The culture of Rodrigues is also unique within the context of the Mascarene islands; hotels organize traditional music and dance nights (sega tambour) and there are monthly sailing regattas in pirogues.
It’s a small island where there’s little news and even less crime. It’s a good destination for traveling women to rest and recharge as it is quiet and safe.
If you’re staying longer than a week, people will quickly learn your face and name. It’s easy to travel around the island by rental scooter, bus, hitchhiking, or even on foot since it’s small.
The best months for learning how to kitesurf are June till August (winter) and the most beautiful month for blooms is mid-November till mid-December before the cyclones come.
Getting to Rodrigues can be done by domestic flight from Mauritius.
There is also a passenger/cargo ship called the Mauritius Trochetia, though it’s tricky to get a cabin and the schedule is irregular.
A one-way ship journey to the tiny island capital Port Mathurin takes three days.
Contributed by Iris Veldwijk from Mind of a Hitchhiker
22. Fujian Province, China
Beautiful Fujian province, situated halfway between Hong Kong and Shanghai, is often overlooked by visitors to China.
That’s a pity, as Fujian is just gorgeous, with incredible food and fantastic cultural and natural attractions.
The lucky ones who visit Fujian usually start their trip in the coastal city of Xiamen. Xiamen is a major transportation hub with high-speed trains to the rest of China.
As the hub of Xiamen Airlines, the city is also well-connected to the rest of the world.
Spend a few days exploring subtropical Xiamen’s artsy neighborhoods, colorful temples, gardens, beaches, hot springs, and the former treaty port on Gulangyu island.
Leaving Xiamen, you’ll be indeed off the beaten path. Catch a bullet train to the Wuyi Mountains for a few days of hiking, bamboo rafting, and drinking some of the best tea in the world.
The Wuyi Mountains are home to hundreds of tea gardens growing the famous Da Hong Pao, Oolong, and Wuyishan Rock Tea between the domed peaks, so make sure to visit a teahouse to experience this quintessential part of Chinese culture.
Another highlight when visiting Fujian province is the Hakka Tulou villages. These UNESCO-recognised villages are known for their unique doughnut shapes clan houses.
Spend a day or two in Yongding county and get a driver to take you for a tour of the Hakka villages.
A trip around the Hakka villages in rural China at its best – something that only a few foreign visitors get to see.
Fujian has a subtropical climate and can be visited year-round. March to June is tea harvesting season, so that will be the best time to visit the Wuyi Mountains.
As elsewhere in China, Fujian is exceptionally safe, even for solo female travelers.
Contributed by De Wet & Jin from the Museum of Wander
23. Muiden, the Netherlands
An often overlooked gem in the Netherlands that is an incredible place to visit is the small town of Muiden.
Muiden lies about a half hour outside of Amsterdam, making it a great choice for an afternoon away from the city during your time in Amsterdam.
You can take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Muiden, or you can even take a leisurely countryside bike trip there!
The charming town of Muiden is the perfect place for travelers of all kinds from families to solo female travelers and beyond.
The town is walkable, so once you’re there, feel free to explore at your leisure!
The number one thing you want to do is tour the Muiderslot- or Amsterdam Castle. This medieval structure was built by Count Floris in 1280.
Today, the entire castle still stands, and visitors can walk the ramparts, climb up towers, and explore throne rooms and other castle areas. In addition, beautiful gardens and a moat surround the area.
When you’re finished at Muiderslot, walk about five minutes down the stunning cobblestone streets toward the center of town. Here, you’ll find local restaurants and cafes with dining alongside the water.
While dining, you can enjoy the breeze, watch local passersby, and admire the swing bridge and boats that are always frequenting the Vecht.
The fall or spring is the perfect time to visit Muiden. This is when tourists in Amsterdam and the nearby areas are at their lowest, but the weather is still refreshing and enjoyable. The blooms and water are especially beautiful in April and May.
Contributed by Taylor From Traverse With Taylor
24. Tasmania, Australia
Australia is a very popular destination for nature lovers and those who love a road trip. If you want to travel to Australia and also get off the beaten path, then Tasmania is a perfect choice.
The island state of Tasmania is located 240km off the south coast of Australia and can be reached by taking a 10-hour ferry ride from Melbourne.
You can also fly to Hobart or Launceston if you prefer to get there quicker.
A visit to Tasmania will reward you with unique and spectacular landscapes, untouched wilderness, and wildlife that can’t be seen elsewhere.
Tasmania is a very safe place to travel and makes an excellent destination for solo female travelers.
The best way to see the highlights of Tasmania is by doing a road trip.
With a wide range of scenery and short drives between each stop, having your own vehicle will allow you to easily experience the best of Tasmania.
Some of the top attractions that can’t be missed on a road trip through Tasmania are hiking Cradle Mountain, swimming in the turquoise waters at the Bay of Fires, taking in the incredible views of Wineglass Bay, coming face to face with a Tasmanian devil and so much more!
Due to its southern location, Tasmania has a cooler climate than the rest of the country.
For the best chance of having warm and dry weather, you should plan to visit Tasmania during Australia’s summer, between the months of December – February.
Contributed by Ann From The Road Is Life
25. Vis Island, Croatia
Even as Croatia becomes increasingly popular as a tourist destination, there is still an opportunity to get off the beaten path within the country.
Vis Island, Croatia is one of the lesser visited Croatian islands you can get to from Split.
Vis Island only opened up for tourism in 1989, as it was formerly being used as a Yugoslav military base.
In more recent years, Vis Island was used to film the sequel of Mamma Mia in 2017!
The island has plenty to offer tourists, especially those who prefer a quieter scene compared with nearby Hvar or Brac which are known more as party islands.
The easiest way to get to Vis Island is by boat. You can take a ferry or catamaran from the port of Split to Vis Island for 6.50 euros and arrive within a couple of hours. We booked our trips with Jadrolinija.
The best way to get around the Island once you’re there is to walk, or rent a scooter or bicycle. If you want to travel to the other side of the island or a further distance for dinner you can get a taxi at one of the taxies stands around town.
While visiting Vis Island, be sure to book a Blue Caves tour, spend some time swimming, and eat plenty of wonderful food.
Find a place that serves traditional peka dishes (be sure to book in advance as these dishes take time to prepare!).
Contributed by Nausheen from Globe Gazers
Best off-the-beaten-path travel destinations: Final Thoughts
Pheww! Glad you made it through this long list of incredible off-the-beaten-path travel destinations.
I am sure you have found something that caught your attention to include in your bucket list.
On the contrary, if you think we have been missing something, please share it with us.
About the Author, Founder & Editor
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican permanent Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.