Top 10 Underrated Travel Destinations – Tom Marchant is the co-founder of the luxury travel company and tour planner, Black Tomato, which delivers luxury experiences around the world via inspiring itineraries and access to the globe’s up-and-coming far-flung destinations. Marchant’s finger on the pulse of travel trends and the world’s best in hotels, restaurants, destinations and honeymoons is unique and unmatched – and he shares his expertise and curated lists of where to visit, stay, eat and more with BAZAAR.com.
The true wonder of travel lies in the very nature of coming face to face with the unknown and getting lost in the beauty of a place on the brink of discovery. There is no more rewarding feeling than being among the first to reach and explore a destination that others have not yet had the pleasure of witnessing. From remote islands to unexplored deserts and jungles teeming with wildlife, this glorious planet is constantly ready with new untapped destinations to make even the most intrepid traveler swoon with awe struck joy. For the true adventurers out there, come out and discover this latest treasure trove of unspoiled global treasures and find inspiration all your own.
Top 10 Underrated Travel Destinations
Puglia, the heel of Italy’s stylish boot, has a wonderfully distinct appeal that derives from its rural landscape and patchwork past of Norman, Spanish, Greek and Byzantine influences. The region is quickly competing with Tuscany’s gourmet title and offers an insight into true Italian traditions and values.
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With miles of opulent coastline dotted with verdant landscapes of olive groves and vineyards, this unspoiled region produces some of the country’s best, often undiscovered wines and olive oils. Indulge in sensory overload and enjoy Puglia’s famous cucina povera, a laid-back, authentic Italian style of cooking focused on simple, fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods – it’s the slow food movement at its best.
The region is also home to distinctly luxurious accommodations such as the fabulous hideaway Borgo Egnazia, a rock-hewn retreat among Puglia’s shady olive groves. The creation of one of the most inspired hoteliers, Aldo Melpignano, and his family, Borgo Egnazia is modeled on a traditional local Apulian borgo (village). Here, the cream-colored property offers romantic suites and villas decorated in soothing tones and elegantly equipped to satisfy every creature comfort. While you’re in town, check out their beautiful sister boutique property, Masseria Torre Maizza, which reopened in May 2019 under the esteemed Rocco Forte banner and is set to become a very chic oasis.
For those seeking a “still relatively off the radar” escape, look no further than the wild and almost unexplored Madagascar. This thriving hotspot of biodiversity is a dream for naturalists and adventurers alike; the island teems with endemic wildlife, 80% of which is found nowhere else on Earth.
Unknown to most, Madagascar has some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean. Check out Nosy Be, Madagascar’s most scenic coastal resort, where guests can spot humpback whales and lemurs on the coastline. Located on the island’s northeast coast, Miavana is the perfect private escape. With only 14 private villas, staying at this luxurious eco-lodge will feel like you’ve stumbled upon your very own Robinson Crusoe haven. Think days of exploring lush tropical rainforests and watching turtles nest on the deserted white sand beaches.
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The Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh is one of the few places on Earth that remains largely untouched and unexplored. Situated at an average altitude of 11,500 feet, Ladakh is crossed by four mountain ranges, The Great Himalaya, The Ladakh, The Zanskar and The Karakoram. Boasting mesmerizing views at every turn, it is one of India’s best kept secrets. Enjoy the calm serenity of the fresh mountain air, the incredible views and the rich Buddhist heritage throughout the region. Guests in Ladakh can choose to stay in beautiful homestays such as Shakti Village Houses in undiscovered villages of the Indus Valley and remote luxury tented camps. Tour the city of Leh with local royalty, meet local monks, stargaze to your heart’s content and even catch a game of Ladakhi Polo, all while enjoying the ultimate escapist’s dream.
In contrast to the Italo-Spanish metropolis of Buenos Aires and the surrounding grassy Pampas, Argentina’s northwest boasts a strong Andean and spiritual heritage as a meeting place for South America’s indigenous communities. The region is famous for its spectacular scenery and richly colored landscapes – think red rock valleys, multicolored and monochromatic hills and terracotta peaks magically set against sharp blue skies. The diversity of this area makes it a paradise for trekking, horse riding, rafting, 4×4 driving and a plethora of other adventure activities.
The city of Salta boasts some of the best-preserved colonial architecture, attractive plazas and regional cuisine in all of Argentina, making it an off-the-beaten-path cultural gem. Feel like you’re being let in on a local secret when you step into La Merced del Alto, in the heart of the Calchaquí Valley. Built as a traditional manor house with wide interior terraces and high galleries, La Merced del Alto is a beautiful reflection of its rustic setting in the heart of the Argentine countryside.
Located in the cool waters between Scotland and Iceland, the Faroe Islands are a true haven. The dramatic landscapes completely redefine the notion of an ‘unspoiled archipelago’, giving travelers access to a wilder side of the Danish kingdom.
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Rugged coastlines, once considered Viking territory, are home to natural wonders best explored via old fishing boats for mystical effect. But the Faroe Islands are also starting to take their first steps towards modernisation, with smart shops and the island’s 2 Michelin star restaurant, KOKS, serving inspired Faroese delicacies.
Stay at the new boutique Hotel Havgrim Seaside Hotel, a beautifully restored historic home right on the water, full of Nordic charm. The design here is inspired by the soothing sea, with large glass windows and private balconies with mesmerizing views. The property possesses a palpable sense of peace to remind you that this is exactly where you need to be. For good reason, the Faroe Islands limit tourism to preserve the ecosystem and authentic culture, so plan ahead (way ahead) if this adventure piques your interest.
With the renewed fervor surrounding this country and its importance in the history of the Silk Road, now is the time to go to Georgia while it is still very ‘in the know’. Beneath the surface of this country, for the most part, lies a uniquely European culture. travelers have little knowledge of where hospitality and warmth shine when travelers and guests are considered ‘gifts from God’.
Rich in history, unique culinary traditions, green hilltops, snow-capped mountains and spring water, Georgia will easily capture your attention. The birthplace of wine, Signagi, Georgia, has a history of producing wine as far back as the fifth millennium BC, and many vintners still use the traditional methods of their ancestors. Oenophiles will be enchanted with the rare opportunity to stay at Chateau Svanidze, owned by its namesake family of winemakers, a truly captivating way to discover the importance of wine (and even bring back a custom-made bottle yourself).
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Georgia’s indulgent culinary specialties, which include cheese-filled khachapuri and mtsvadi skewers cooked on aged vines, only leave room for a glass of chacha, a local whiskey regularly on the menu for Georgians, so hit the local watering holes.
The art-deco Stamba Hotel in Tbilisi, a converted Soviet printing headquarters, now serves as a testament to the growing art and design interests of modern Georgia and is an inspiring backdrop to the historic churches, iconic statues and castles of the 11th-century city.
Located east of Stockholm, the Stockholm Archipelago is the discreet place where Sweden’s well-heeled flock spends the summer. Known by locals as the archipelago, sailing is the best way to see all the skerries and rocks in this Swedish gem.
Unexploited by tourists and preserved by locals, Stockholm’s archipelago is a cluster of 3,000 islands that offer incredible views and access to Stockholm’s scenic soft sand beaches, historic castles, lush forests and stunning coastlines. Locals and visitors alike can sail like royalty as you split your time between land and sea, with morning cruises through the pristine, scenic waters and afternoons exploring storybook villages and Stockholm’s Old Town.
Most Beautiful Travel Destinations
From the calm waters of Grinda to the charm of Wardhaus, Stockholm’s archipelago’s magnificent views from the seas and cobbled streets from the countryside are simply enchanting. Post up at the stylish and charming Rival Hotel, perfect for Swedish culture lovers as this property is owned by ABBA’s own Benny Andersson.
Located on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, home to 30 miles of pristine beaches, Guacalito De La Isla is an under-the-radar Central American haven. Be sure to stay at Mukul Resort, the brainchild of local entrepreneur Don Carlos Pellas, whose family poured their heart and soul into the region in an effort to preserve its beauty and share it with like-minded travelers. The property’s name translates from the Mayan word for ‘secret’ and it lives up to its status as a hidden gem, consisting of fairytale beach villas and ‘bohios’ situated on the stunning mile-long Manzanillo Beach awash with light powdery sand and glorious