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FUEGO 09-10-2017 09:08 PM

Undiscovered destinations around the world?
 
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I'll go first: Slovenia. We spent almost 2 weeks in Slovenia this summer and loved it.

Beautiful country and not very crowded. It's a little chunk that used to be part of Yugoslavia and in the past it's had some parts of its territory controlled by Italy and Austria at various times. Population around 2 million people and English is pretty commonly spoken by many. The whole country is about the size of New Jersey, which means were it a US state, it would be one of the smallest.

The capital, Ljubljana, is decent sized but not overly busy. Lots to see and do in the capital. And tons of outdoorsy stuff in the rest of the country. The Julian Alps are in the northern part of the country and look and feel a lot like the Alps in surrounding countries of Italy and Austria. It's not very crowded at all compared to Italy and Austria (from the limited places we visited in those other two countries). And prices are much lower.

For some reason it's not very popular with American tourists. It took us four days in the country before we saw a confirmed American tourist (after a false start when we overheard what turned out to be a Canadian tourist).

Prices are Eastern Europe cheap - good hotels $50-100/nt and the large 3 bedroom airbnb we rented right in the center of town was USD$86/nt and included a full kitchen, washer/dryer, air conditioning (rarely needed), and off-street parking. Sit down menu of the day 3 course meals from USD$5-6, street vendor lunches from USD$3-4. Bus ticket is $1.50 for 90 minutes. Taxis a few bucks for a short trip. We rented a car for 10 days for $180. Intercity bus and train tickets are cheap and they have train connections on high speed trains to Austria/Germany. They use the euro so it's easy to piggyback a Slovenian side trip onto a European vacation.

2 downsides:
1. Slovenian language isn't easy to pick up if you're a native English speaker with some romance language knowledge, however almost everyone spoke passable English (except the older grocery store clerks).
2. No rail connection from Italy (but several low cost bus lines will get you there - eventually). Apparently there was some sort of long-standing dispute that kept them from connecting the rails.

We loved Slovenia so much that we're strongly considering going back next summer for more.

One place that we thought would be an undiscovered destination (cheap, not overly busy) was Prague and we were wrong. That place was mobbed with tourists!

I'm brainstorming for a 2018 summer vacation of a month or two and looking for undiscovered destinations.

What are some hidden gems you've found on your travels?

Meadbh 09-10-2017 09:25 PM

I'm sure Melania Trump has been a great boost to the Slovenian travel industry. If Slovenia is anything like Croatia, it will be great. Croatia, however, has been discovered. It is the 14th most visited country in the world. Of course there are lots of interesting places there that mainstream tourists have not yet discovered. Croatia has one big advantage over Slovenia: its coastline and >1000 islands.

DrRoy 09-11-2017 05:19 AM

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I wouldn't call it undiscovered, but the most remote place we have been to the Lofoten Islands of Norway. Not many people around there either. Lots of English speakers, but not cheap.

Nemo2 09-11-2017 06:13 AM

Nowhere really......went to Ile de La Réunion twice.....once deliberately and once when the Seychelles were fogged in and the plane couldn't land, so we went 1,100 miles (each way) out of our way, spent most of the day there then back to the Seychelles.

Took a helicopter ride to the volcano on our 'deliberate' trip.


http://i68.tinypic.com/8z0fp5.jpg

Photos Réunion - Routard.com

Red Badger 09-11-2017 06:17 AM

+1 on OP's comments on Prague. I spent several weeks in Olomouc - a couple hours outside of Prague. I suppose it's not "undiscovered," but it's off the beaten path. It has relatively low prices, great dining, gorgeous churches and cathedrals, and, wonderful friendly people.

I have driven there from Prague, and also taken the train. The Pandolina (high speed train) is my preferred method.

I also had the opportunity to visit Bratislava while in Vienna. Took the "twin cities jet boat." The boat ride was it's own adventure. Don't spend the $$ for first class. The main cabin is spacious and you can walk outside, go to the bar, or grab a snack while enjoying the views.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic separated peacefully after the cold war. The recent history of Nazi and Soviet conquest / occupation will bring tears to your eyes. However, the kindness and hospitality of the locals may just bring tears of joy.

Highly recommend both side trips if in the area!

Nemo2 09-11-2017 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Badger (Post 1935591)
Bratislava

We liked the cool sentries:

http://i63.tinypic.com/2ujo64x.jpg

donheff 09-11-2017 06:34 AM

Some of the discovered places are still worth visiting if you have never been. I was in Prague and nearby Chesky Cromlov a few years ago and loved them. But there were lots of tourists. In Prague and Bratislava we met some of DW's family so we got off the beaten path - also very interesting.

flyingaway 09-11-2017 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Badger (Post 1935591)
+1 on OP's comments on Prague. I spent several weeks in Olomouc - a couple hours outside of Prague. I suppose it's not "undiscovered," but it's off the beaten path. It has relatively low prices, great dining, gorgeous churches and cathedrals, and, wonderful friendly people.

I have driven there from Prague, and also taken the train. The Pandolina (high speed train) is my preferred method.

I also had the opportunity to visit Bratislava while in Vienna. Took the "twin cities jet boat." The boat ride was it's own adventure. Don't spend the $$ for first class. The main cabin is spacious and you can walk outside, go to the bar, or grab a snack while enjoying the views.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic separated peacefully after the cold war. The recent history of Nazi and Soviet conquest / occupation will bring tears to your eyes. However, the kindness and hospitality of the locals may just bring tears of joy.

Highly recommend both side trips if in the area!

I like Bratislava, small city, everything is within the walking distance. But you can see the city in a day. What will you do after the first day there? Sitting at coffee shops watching people walking by?

Bamaman 09-11-2017 08:35 AM

We stayed 2;days in Bratislava to rest up after a few days in Budapest. It is just 39 miles upriver from Vienna but a world apart. We didn't hear one word of German spoken. It is an especially modern city with a huge mall on the river and good restaursnts. Bratislava is also a high tech, high income city too.

Only thing reasonably priced in Prague is beer. Too many English stag parties there on weekends.

One quiet place we love in the Summer is Tallin, Estonia. It is so green and lush, and the locals were so kind.

NW-Bound 09-11-2017 10:50 AM

We have not been to Slovenia, but Prague was swarmed with Brits when we were there in 2007. They could catch cheap flights on Ryanair, and go there for a weekend excursion.

Thought we would go back and spend more time to go to Cesky Krumlov and other places, but have not done that. Perhaps I should think about including it for the next trip.

Oh wait. I remember I said I wanted to go to Portugal, Asturias, Andorra and the Basques country. So many places, so little time and energy.

Nemo2 09-11-2017 10:56 AM

Bulgaria is, I guess, still comparatively "unknown", and we head there in 41 days.

NW-Bound 09-11-2017 11:01 AM

I read the blog of Kevin and Ruth, a Canadian RV'er couple. They do not have a lot of money, but love to travel and know how to do it cheaply. They went to Moldova, and said everything was cheap, including excellent wines.

Nemo2 09-11-2017 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 1935733)
They went to Moldova.

We didn't allow enough time this go around, (we catch a transatlantic on Nov 06 from Civitavecchia), but we have our eye on Romania/Moldova down the road, (if I live long enough ;) ).......also want to see Lithuania/Estonia/Latvia.

Alan 09-11-2017 11:20 AM

We had a great week in Vanuatu in 2014. We went there while we were spending 5 months in Australia and it was precious. Really friendly locals, inexpensive and really nice food, lodgings and guided trips. We flew into and stayed in Port Villa, then looked at the leaflets in the hotel to choose a few guided tours.

I can't remember the name of the hotel we stayed in but this was the view from our room and hotel terrace, looking at the Iririki hotel and spa, which was the top of the range hotel in the town.


Iririki Island Resort & Spa

FIYes 09-11-2017 01:55 PM

I agree with earlier posters that Prague has just become too crowded to be enjoyable. I just don't like crowds....avoid stores during the Christmas shopping season, etc. we took a day trip from Vienna to Bratislava and really enjoyed it. Wish we had spent more time there. Yes, it is small but we could easily have enjoyed a couple of days there.

FIYes 09-11-2017 02:01 PM

Of course this reminds me of the saying "nobody goes there, it's too crowded "

Blue Collar Guy 09-11-2017 02:05 PM

From the sounds of it, the island of Barbuda which I never heard of before Hurricane Irma, will now remain undiscovered for a generation.

gayl 09-11-2017 02:11 PM

Thanks for this thread. I'm getting tired of mainland Europe, even during off-season. And I imagine my trip in a month to Korea and Japan won't be much better. I really do need to branch out some

Nemo2 09-11-2017 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FIYes (Post 1935828)
Of course this reminds me of the saying "nobody goes there, it's too crowded "

Yeah, whatever happened to Yogi Berra anyway? :laugh:

LOL! 09-11-2017 02:32 PM

Went all over Slovenia (and other parts of Yugoslavia) and eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Klondike, Yukon, Canada. 'Nuff said.


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