4 Secret Vacation Spots Hiding in the Most Popular Destinations

So, you’re trying to plan your next trip, but you don’t know where to go, huh? Maybe you’ve already seen London, Paris, and Rome. Or perhaps you’re looking for a place where you can be more than 6 feet away from others and still experience the personality of a new location up close. 

Whatever you’re looking for, there are an endless amount of undiscovered locations just outside of all the most famous ones, and they’re all cheaper, have less tourists, and are just as beautiful as their more popular counterparts. Let’s dive into just a few; I dare you not to book your next flight by the end of this article. 

Dominica Island  

Just south of the hugely popular British and U.S Virgin Islands, lies an isle called Dominica. This isn’t anything like the white sand, crystalline water beach islands of the Caribbean you’re familiar with. Dominica is perhaps one of the most ecologically diverse havens of nature on the planet. Home to 365 rivers (one for every day of the year), countless waterfalls to jump off of, incredible hiking paths (most famously to the world’s 2nd largest boiling lake), and serene hot springs, “The Nature Island” of Dominica is a unique oasis that’s not to be missed. Of all Dominica’s attractions though, Titou Gorge is an absolute must see. You’ll swim through the scenic filming location of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 to a hidden waterfall as light cascades on you from the lush rainforest above. After your swim, head to the Ruin’s Rock Cafe for awesome live music and rum punch! 

Dominica has crystal clear water, beautiful beaches, dozens of waterfalls and amazing forests and mountains.

Rotterdam, Netherlands 

An hour’s drive from the world famous city of Amsterdam, the Dutch metropolis Rotterdam is a criminally underrated location in Western Europe. Renowned for its evolving architecture and culturally distinct charm, Rotterdam is the site of incredible food markets, museums, and nightlife. It has all the effervescence and humor crowds clamber for in Amsterdam, with much better public transportation, superior vintage shopping (if I do say so myself), and unbeatable bars. Start your day at Lilith Coffee Shop and end your night at De Witte Aap and tell me it wasn’t one of the best days of your life. 

Rotterdam is bustling and is considered the innovation center of the Netherlands

Hamburg, Germany

While we’re in Western Europe, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a special shout out to the great city of Hamburg, Germany. Germany in and of itself is home to some of the world’s greatest metropolises. From Berlin to Cologne, Frankfurt to Munich, Deutschland has got cities down to an art. Hamburg is amongst my favorite “undiscovered” cities; on a train from Berlin for a little over two hours, you will find yourself in a place that is at once populous, but peaceful, gregarious in it’s singularity. It is marked by its hundreds of canals, incredible relationship with music (it is the site of the Beatles’ first professional gigs outside of the uk), and colorful neighborhoods. 

Perhaps the most unique of all the neighborhoods is that of St. Pauli. If you’re looking for unpretentious nightlife alternatives, the infamous Repperbahn in St. Pauli’s Red Light Districts is a must. Beyond the thoroughfare of clubs and exotic dance halls, a multitude of one-of-a-kind bars line the streets as far as the eye can see (and after you’re done drinking, Hamburg’s famous currywurst will be there to soak up all your mistakes). I recommend going in the spring or summer, when the Nachtmarkt (night market) is blooming with food trucks, beer vendors, and live music. Oh, and if you’re in the mood for the best ramen ever, Kokomo Noodle Club’s got you covered.

Hamburg's unique architecture, Venice style canals and interesting history are just a few more reasons to take a trip off the beaten path

Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Spain

For our last stop, we’ll take a look at the beautiful volcanic island of Lanzarote. South of the densely populated cities of Barcelona and Madrid is this easternmost mass in the chain of Canary Islands. Lanzarote is a Spanish Island just off the coast of Morocco. Unlike our last island, Lanzarote is known for its pristine beaches and unparalleled diving sites. Due to the volcanic landscape, Lanzarote is also home to striking black sand beaches like El Golfo, the location of the Green Lagoon which looks as mysterious and beautiful as it sounds. Rent a car and drive to Timanfaya National Park to take a guided tour through the unbelievable lava fields and volcanoes. If you’ve ever wondered what Mars looks like, this is your spot. 

Pristine beaches, lava caves and lagoons INSIDE of caves. Lanzarote might remind someone of the big island of Hawaii.

Now, I know picking your next travel spot is no simple task. It requires careful budgeting, dedicated weather tracking (especially in Europe), and attention to all the specific details that are necessary to making a trip an adventure. The world lacks not in beautiful cities and islands, but for some reason, tourists seem to only flock to a special few. I hope this post has helped to illuminate some more incredible options for your next journey and has inspired your search for your next destination. 

If you know of any other unknown must-see spots that we missed, shoot us an email at  info@coveredtraveler.com, and no matter where you choose to go, Travel Safe, and Travel Covered! 

Alexa Lieberthal

Alexa Lieberthal is a professional actress, singer, and writer from Boston, MA. Though her passions are many, and range from fitness to Star Trek, the biggest of all is travel. Alexa is based in NYC, but has spent the past 4 years exploring and performing in places all over the world, including Western Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and the U.K. Most recently, she spent two years seeing the world by working aboard AIDA Cruises, singing and sailing and savoring the earth. The next place on her travel bucket-list is Berlin, Germany! You can follow Alexa's adventures on Instagram @ny.see and her website areneeact.com.

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