5 Amazing Holiday Hideaways You’ve Never Heard Of

If you’re looking for a holiday destination where you won’t be lost in a crowd of American tourists, you might be feeling overwhelmed as to where to start. It seems like these days, even the remotest parts of the world are becoming well-traveled. However, you’ve probably never heard of these five amazing holiday hideaways.

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1. Varazdin, Croatia

If fine wine, picturesque vineyards and medieval castles sound like your ideal escape, consider spending time in Varazdin.

With outstanding accommodations starting as low as 33 euros per night, Varazdin is also a very affordable destination. Consider a stay at the Pansion Maltar, a family-run guesthouse offering clean, spacious rooms that are ideal for exploring this ancient city and its charming town center.

Drive the Zelina Wine Road from Varazdin and Zagreb to see beautiful vineyards dotted across the landscape. With rich soil, favorable climates and small vineyards that are cultivated with great care and dedication, this area is known for its fabulous wines that suit a variety of tastes.

When you reach Varazdin, explore the renowned 13th-century Trakoscan Castle. Nestled in a magnificent setting, surrounded by a colorful garden overlooking a tranquil lake, it is considered one of the most breathtaking and well-preserved buildings in the country.

Stroll past stunning baroque buildings or browse art galleries with collections from the city’s past and present artists. Baroque Evenings offers the chance to enjoy the rich traditions of Croatian music and a chance to mingle with the locals.

2. Bequia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country surrounded by the dazzling Caribbean Sea in the southern portion of the Windward Islands. Made up of 32 beautiful islands filled with tropical rainforests, waterfalls, picturesque beaches and sapphire-colored waters, this is the ultimate fantasy getaway.

Here you’ll find the spectacular island of Bequia, with its land consisting of just ten square miles and no skyscrapers or high-rise resort hotels to be found. The odds of running into another American tourist while you’re here are slim. It isn’t easy to get here, but the long trek is well worth what you’ll find. It requires a flight to Puerto Rico or Barbados, followed by a short flight to St. Vincent and a ferry ride to Bequia.

While there are no large hotels, you’ll find a number of family-owned bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as cottages for rent. Spend your days snorkeling among turtles and a wide variety of brilliant-colored tropical fish and coral, or just soaking in the sun sipping the famed rum punch.

Enjoy live local music including steel bands, jazz, Caribbean folk, rock, reggae and more as the sun dips below the horizon, painting an incredible array of colors across the sky. Dine on cuisine like delicious chilled coconut-and-pineapple soup and tasty conch fritters.

3. Tofino, British Columbia

Condé Nast named Tofino as the Most Romantic Hideaway in 2010. It’s not surprising, as this small West Coast town is filled with some of the most spectacular scenic beauty on the planet, as well as fine cuisine and luxury accommodations.

Found on the west side of Vancouver Island on the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound, this is a paradise for lovers of outdoor adventure. Lodging includes everything from affordable guesthouses to upscale resorts offering expansive ocean views.

Hike, surf, explore tide pools or watch for a wide variety of wildlife at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This is also one of the best spots on earth to embark on a whale-watching tour.

The culinary scene draws travelers from all corners of the globe. Many eateries feature fresh island ingredients and locally caught salmon and shellfish served in an elegant atmosphere with amazing views.

4. Isle of Islay, Scotland

The Isle of Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, accessible from the mainland by ferry. Often called the Queen of the Hebrides, this remote locale provides a fabulous escape from the chaos of daily life.

With few other visitors around, you’ll have the opportunity to experience its incredible wealth of wildlife including puffins, golden eagles, red deer, otters, dolphins and even grey seals just off shore.

Those who want to get up close and personal with nature should stay in a magical tipi at Wild and Magic Islay. The tipi sits at the edge of the sea and is made up of sheep’s wool insulation, sleeping up to eight comfortably.

The island is home to nine whiskey distilleries, with most offering tastes and tours. To learn about Islay’s past, visit the Museum of Islay to view fascinating objects from the Mesolithic period, dating back over 10,000 years.

Wander the hills, rent a bicycle to explore the island or just relax and watch the boats sail past.

5. Pohnpei Island, Micronesia

If you’re looking for an exotic holiday and don’t have a passport, consider traveling to Pohnpei Island. This large volcanic island is part of Micronesia and is considered a U.S. territory. All you need to travel there is your birth certificate.

Located 3,240 miles southwest of Hawaii in the remote West Pacific, you’ll find warm, crystal-clear waters teeming with tropical fish and coral reefs. Colorful birds soar through the air while magnificent cascading falls and serene pools provide ideal places to take a dip.

Apartments and self-contained bungalows at Nihco Marine Park are surrounded by mangroves and offer access to an immaculate private beach.

The world is full of places like these—beautiful locations teeming with wildlife or rich in ancient culture, visited by only a handful of tourists each year. Why stick to the beaten path? Adventure into the unusual!