It’s been an extraordinary couple of years and it seems everyone has flocked back to tourist hotspots, especially in Europe. We actually advise to stay away from the typical European destinations this summer, such as Venice, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Instead, this post is dedicated to the lesser-known and less crowded gems of the world. Places where you can claim your space, soak up the serenity and... maybe take the odd selfie...
1. The Faroe Islands
If you’re on the lookout for some of the best places to travel in 2023 that are a bit off the beaten path, you might want to pin the Faroe Islands on your map. Nestled cozily between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands are a treasure trove of natural wonders. It's no wonder Storylines residents requested the Faroe Islands for their ultimate world cruise itinerary.
Picture this: rugged landscapes that seem to rise and fall with the breath of the earth, majestic cliffs that the relentless waves have shaped for centuries, and a culture so rich and unique that it's almost like stepping into another world. The cherry on top? The crowds haven’t quite discovered this gem as much as they have with the neighboring countries. So, you can wander around soaking in the beauty without bumping into selfie sticks at every corner!
Picture a place where time seems to stand still, where ancient monasteries perch precariously on cliff edges, and where fortresses that tell tales of warriors of yore are as common as the endless stretches of dramatic landscapes. Yes, that’s Bhutan for you – a kingdom nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, where even the air feels like it's brimming with a certain kind of magic. They have also just reopened the Trans Bhutan trail, one of the world's best hikes.
Now here’s the kicker: Bhutan is not your typical tourist hotspot, and there’s a good reason for it. The government is super savvy when it comes to protecting their natural and cultural heritage, so they have a sustainable tourism policy in place that limits the number of wanderlusters that can visit. This means, when you set foot in Bhutan, you won’t be elbowing through throngs of tourists. Instead, you can meander through serene landscapes, meditate in ancient monasteries, and chat with the locals over a cup of butter tea, all while feeling like you have this incredible kingdom almost all to yourself.
3. The Maldives, Indian Ocean
The Maldives is a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands and is the ultimate perfect vacation for couples with luxury hotels set out over the water on private islands. You can literally swim directly from your hotel suite into the crystal clear waters, in case the beach is too far a walk. There are so many of these overwater bungalows that you are guaranteed privacy, making it one of the best places for travel in 2023.
Besides luxury resorts and quality beach time, the Maldives is also a great destination for surfers. Some even claim it has the best surfing breaks in the world. What's more, is there are now crowds so you can get a reef break all to yourself. Local businesses and luxury resorts specializing in surfing tours will take you out to the reefs by boat where you will find endless surf breaks over the reef without the crowds.
4. Tasmania, Australia
Just a hop, skip, and a jump off the southern coast of Australia, Tasmania is like that secret garden you’ve always dreamed of. Imagine breathtaking rugged wilderness, where ancient forests whisper stories of yore, and towering cliffs play sentinel to a coastline that would make even the most seasoned traveler's heart skip a beat. Now, couple that with serene beaches that look like they’ve been kissed by mermaids. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?
But wait! Tasmania isn’t just about the jaw-dropping outdoors. The island boasts a burgeoning food and wine scene that's sure to delight your taste buds. From farm-to-table eateries serving the freshest produce to world-class vineyards where you can sip on exquisite wines, foodies will find themselves in a gastronomic paradise.
One of the best things about Tasmania is that it’s still somewhat of an under-the-radar destination, especially when compared to its big brothers, Sydney and Melbourne. So, not only do you get to revel in all the beauty and flavor Tasmania has to offer, but you can do it without having to navigate through hordes of tourists. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a food and wine festival enthusiast, or just someone looking for raw wilderness, Tasmania might just be one of the best places to visit down under for your 2023 travel dreams!
If your adventurer's heart is yearning for the best places for travel in 2023 that's as spellbinding as it is serene, then Namibia should be glittering like gold on your travel map. Situated in southwestern Africa, Namibia is a land where the landscapes are as varied as they are vast. From the rust-colored dunes of the Namib Desert to the wildlife haven that is Etosha National Park, Namibia is like an epic ballad sung by the Earth.
Imagine greeting the dawn atop the towering dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, where the sands are a tapestry woven with shades of orange, red, and gold. It's as if the earth is on fire, but with a beauty that's cool to the touch. Now picture this: as the day wanes, you find yourself amidst the salt pans and savannahs of Etosha National Park, where zebras, lions, and elephants roam free, and the cycle of life plays out under the vast African sky.
But here’s the glorious part – Namibia is like that beautiful, evocative poem that not many have stumbled upon yet. It doesn't draw the same crowds as some of its neighbors such as digital nomad hotspot Cape Town, making it a treasure chest for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace. The night skies in the Namib Desert are an astronomer's dream, and the ancient culture of the Himba people (pictured) is as rich as the land itself.
6. Madeira, Portugal
Nestled in the embrace of the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is like a lush garden floating amidst the azure waves. With its verdant mountains, exotic flowers, and rugged coastlines that are a feast for the eyes, Madeira is nature's poetry come alive.
But hold onto your sunhats, because Madeira is not just about being a nature lover’s sanctuary. This island is a cornucopia of rich culture and tantalizing flavors. You can stroll through the charming streets of Funchal, Madeira's capital, where the scent of flowers is as intoxicating as the local Madeira wine. Speaking of wine, oh my! You simply cannot visit Madeira without sipping on its namesake beverage. The island’s vineyards are like little pockets of paradise, where the grapevines seem to have absorbed the very essence of the sea breeze and sunshine.
And here's the cherry on top: While it is becoming a digital nomad hotspot, Madeira has somehow remained less besieged by crowds compared to other European destinations. It’s like a secret garden waiting for you to explore its every nook and cranny. Whether you’re hiking the levadas (irrigation channels turned walking paths), indulging in a glass of wine while watching the sunset, or just basking in the vibrant culture, Madeira is that picture-perfect postcard you’ll want to add to your 2023 travel scrapbook of best places for travel. 🌺🍷🌅
Nestled right in the heart of Europe, this gem of a country might not have the paparazzi following of its neighbors Italy and Austria, but let me tell you, it’s brimming with charm and splendor. Slovenia has to be one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. So, discover it before the hoards do!
Picture this: emerald-green lakes that look as if they have been painted by Monet himself, ethereal caves that make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fantasy world, and a capital city, Ljubljana, so charming that it’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with it. Slovenia is like a fairytale come to life. One day you can be paddling on the serene waters of Lake Bled, with its picturesque island church and medieval castle perched on a hill, and the next day you might find yourself exploring the otherworldly Škocjan Caves or sipping on fine wines in the Goriska Brda wine region.
But the beauty of Slovenia isn’t just skin-deep. The locals are as warm as the hearths in their cozy, traditional homes. With a sense of hospitality that makes you feel like a long-lost friend, the Slovenes are the heart and soul of this enchanting country. So, pack your bags and let Slovenia serenade you with its natural wonders, delightful culture, and heartwarming people. Trust me, it’ll be one of the highlights of your best 2023 travel chronicles! 🏞️💚🍷
8. Guna Yala Islands in Panama
Set your compass towards the Guna Yala Islands in Panama, and get ready for an adventure that’s as refreshing as the gentle Caribbean breeze. This archipelago, with its cluster of islands that look like pearls scattered on azure velvet, is a treasure trove just waiting to be explored.
The waters around Guna Yala are so clear, it’s like the sea has made an effort to be extra transparent just so you don’t miss a single fish darting among the coral reefs. Speaking of coral reefs, Guna Yala’s underwater gardens are an ecologist’s dream and a snorkeler’s paradise. Imagine floating above a vibrant tapestry woven by Mother Nature herself, with every shade of coral and fish you can think of.
But the islands are more than just their spectacular natural beauty. They are home to the Guna people, an indigenous community with a culture so rich and traditions so deeply rooted, that time itself seems to slow down to pay respect. The Guna people are fiercely protective of their heritage and lands, and as a traveler, you get to be a guest in a world where age-old customs and living harmoniously with nature are still the fabric of daily life.
So, if you’re looking for a place where you can feel the sand between your toes, dive into crystal-clear waters, and immerse yourself in a culture that's as warm as the tropical sun, Guna Yala Islands should be on your 2023 travel bucket list. It's the Caribbean, but with an authentic, soulful twist that's increasingly rare to find. 🌴🐠🌊
Kyrgyzstan, one of the best places to travel in 2023, is a place where nomadic traditions still hold strong, and the mountains are as mighty as the tales of the ancient Silk Road that pass through them.
Just picture this: You're trekking through the Tien Shan Mountains, often called the "Celestial Mountains", and everywhere you look, there are snow-capped peaks that seem to touch the skies. Yurts dot the landscapes, and the nomadic shepherds might just invite you in for a cup of traditional kumis. The serene alpine lakes like Issyk-Kul and Song Kol are so clear and reflective, they could be mirrors to your soul.
But, wait! Kyrgyzstan isn’t just about its jaw-dropping natural beauty. It’s a land steeped in rich history and culture. The hospitality here is legendary. People greet you with open arms and hearts, and before you know it, you’re swept up in the rhythms of traditional music and dance around a bonfire under a starlit sky.
For those who seek adventures beyond the usual, Kyrgyzstan is like finding that hidden trail that leads to treasure. It’s not as well-trodden as other destinations, and that’s where its magic lies. So, dust off your hiking boots, ready your spirit for the tales of yore, and set your sights on Kyrgyzstan for an unforgettable journey in 2023. It's a tapestry of mountains, lakes, and culture that will leave you longing for more.
10. Aysén, Chile
Now, if Patagonia were a grand symphony, Aysén would be that hauntingly beautiful movement that resonates in your soul long after the music has faded. It’s a remote region in the south of Chile where glaciers still rule, rivers dance through verdant valleys, and nature's beauty is as pure as a poet's muse.
Just envision this: You’re navigating the Carretera Austral, one of the most scenic routes you’ll ever have the privilege of traveling. With every bend and turn, a new vista unfolds before you; from the ice-blue hues of glaciers that seem almost alive, to the thundering rapids of rivers that have carved their paths through ancient landscapes. Places like Queulat National Park with its hanging glacier, or the Marble Caves on General Carrera Lake are just the kind of spellbinding spectacles that await you in Aysén.
But here's the clincher: Unlike Torres del Paine Grey Glacier trek, which sometimes feels like every traveler got the same memo, Aysén is still a bit of a well-kept secret. It's where you can truly breathe in the wilderness, sans the bustling crowds. And the night skies? Oh, prepare to be star-struck! The constellations paint the sky in a celestial masterpiece.
Coming in 2025: an epic maritime journey to all the best places in the world
If you’ve read this far, then you are obviously a keen globe trotter. We invite you to join Storylines' residential community of adventure seekers. We have luxury homes for sale on board a cruise liner which slowly circumnavigates the world every three and a half years. Sustainable travel is among our core values. Visiting iconic vacation destinations including some of those above, you too could make travel a lifestyle choice, not just a holiday. For more information visit Storylines’ website and reach out to a friendly residential advisor with any quest