At DL, we love any opportunity to find somewhere that’s a little different and outside of the usual tourist destinations. While booking trips to Mykonos or Paris is always going to be dreamy, there’s so much of the world to see, that sometimes, it’s worth heading off the beaten track and trying somewhere new. That’s why we decided to create a list of four gorgeous places you might not have heard of, but that definitely belong on your travelling bucket list. So start packing.
1. Best For Sightseeing - Cappadocia, Turkey
When most people think of going on a sightseeing holiday, they’ll imagine endless strolls through museums and art galleries. But we’ve got something even better. Cappadocia is a huge historical region in Turkey with a unique landscape, to say the least. It’s full of “fairy chimneys”, which are towers formed from compressed volcanic ash and naturally shaped over the years from wind and rain. Thanks to the soft material, many people have carved cave systems and homes into the towers, and now you’ll find fabulous cave hotels that are fully ready for you to relax in (yes, really).
Taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. If there’s anything that should be on your bucket list, this is it. Hundreds of balloons fly over Cappadocia at sunrise, so why not book a ride and see this gorg’ region from above?
If heights aren’t really your thing, don’t worry, as you can keep your feet on the ground, and you’ll be treated to a stunning view of all the hot air balloons taking to the sky as the sun rises. It’s a win-win.
Cappadocia is a HUGE area, so make sure you’ve packed your walking boots and get ready to explore. The hiking trails will take you to gorgeous locations like Love Valley and Pigeon Valley, which are worth the extra cardio.
2. Best For Rest and Relaxation - Kimolos, Greece
Surprised to see Greece on this list? Well, this gorgeous country has more than just Santorini, Mykonos and Athens. What might seem like a guaranteed tourist trap actually has some fab untouched places where you can soak up the Grecian sun in peace, and Kimolos is one of these places.
This teeny tiny island is near Milos, its bigger, more popular neighbour, and it’s exactly what you need if you’re after a little R and R. All the beaches are accessible by foot, and most are within walking distance of the main village, Chorio, but they’ll still be quiet enough to chill out completely. When you've finished topping up your tan, you can head to Chorio, where you’ll find local tavernas full of life and delicious food for you to enjoy.
Agios Georgios Beach. One of the calmest beaches on the island, it has crystal clear water and gorgeous white sand, as well as being really peaceful, so you can relax to the fullest and enjoy your newest holiday read.
Kimolos is a gorgeous, secluded place, so getting here can be tricky as the island is only accessible by ferry. To avoid the 7-8 hour ferry from Athens (unless you really love a boat ride), we’d recommend flying from Athens to Milos, where you’ll be able to take a small, local ferry across to Kimolos that’ll only take about half an hour!
3. Best for Adventurers - Lake Bled, Slovenia
If you like more of an active holiday, Slovenia is the perfect place to be. From stunning mountains to gorg’ little towns and even sea, it’s safe to say you won’t get bored here, and if you're unsure where to start, you can’t go wrong with Lake Bled.
This glacial lake is surrounded by forest with thermal springs to the east side where the temperature doesn’t drop below 20 degrees, and the cute island at the centre of the lake with a church on top makes this place look like it came straight out of a fairytale.
But Lake Bled isn’t just a pretty spot, there’s loads of activities you can do to stay busy! Try one of the many water sports available, like swimming or sailing in summer, or if you’re headed over in winter when the lake usually freezes over, grab your skates and go ice skating. It’s a guaranteed good time all year round.
Hopping on a pletna ( a gondola-style boat) to visit the Blejski Otok (Bled Island) at the centre of the lake. According to a local legend, newlyweds are guaranteed a happy marriage if the husband can carry his partner all the way up the 99 steps from the dock and into the church… honeymoon location, anyone?
If you want to see the whole lake, it only takes about an hour to walk around, so take your time. For a faster route with less walking, traditional horse and carriages are available to take you for a ride around the lake.
4. Best for Culture Seekers - Perugia, Italy
Finding a town that’s full of life but not tourists isn’t easy, so Perugia might be exactly what you’re after. This medieval city is home to a large international student population, so it definitely won’t be quiet, and if you visit in July, the Umbria Jazz Festival will be in full swing, so if you fancy a cheeky boogie, then this could be the destination for you. Perugia is also known as one of Italy’s ‘art cities’, and if you take a trip to the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, (The National Gallery of Umbrian Art), you’ll find endless amounts of gorgeous art from the Renaissance and medieval eras, that you could spend all day looking at.
The Eurochocolate Festival. Yep, you read that right. This is the largest chocolate celebration in Europe, so expect it to be busy. Still, with chocolate tasting, chocolate workshops and the entire town even smelling like chocolate, we think it’s worth it.
Perugia is surrounded by lots of lovely towns, villages and even the stunning Lake Trasimeno, so hire a car and explore the area!
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