It is never too late to embark on an adventure and explore places you have never been before. If you are looking for a place to satisfy your wanderlust, National Geographic got you covered. The National Geographic team came up with ten places that truly deserve a spot on your must-see list. Here are the ten breath-taking destinations that you should definitely experience!
Aside from the occasional skirmish along the Karabakh border, Armenia is a safe city and tourist friendly as well. The country boasts stunning infrastructure, unheralded natural beauty, and architectural attractions.
There are a lot of beautiful scenic places to see in Armenia. Aside from their gorgeous churches decorated with painted frescoes, carved stone lions, and intricately carved ancient stone graves, Armenia is also rich with astounding landscapes. For instance, the wildflowers covering the hills and valleys make the perfect picturesque tourist destination.
And if you dare visit Armenia, do not leave the country without trying these activities: hiking through the cave villages of Old Khndzoresk, riding one of the world’s longest cable cars, and staying in an eccentric Khachik’s B&B which includes a hearty home-cooked meal while enjoying the terrace view over Old Goris.
If you want to explore and experience Central American culture by visiting Latin America countries, then your best bet is Nicaragua. Despite petty crimes, muggings, carjackings, Nicaragua is, by far, the safest Latin America country with a crime rate of only 11 murdered out of 100,000 people. Nicaragua is blessed to have two coastlines, the country borders both the Caribbean and the Pacific sea, making the country a paradise for beach bums.
The country is also rich in wildlife, it has a colorful nature park occupied by wild boars, macaws, and manatees. In addition, Nicaragua is the home of delicious dishes that you should definitely have a taste of! Its cuisine gives you a fusion of Spanish, Creole, and South American influences that emit a variety of flavors! According to National Geographic, you should never leave Nicaragua without trying their version of tamale made out of plantain leaves stuffed with cornmeal dough, meats, rice, and earthy, bright-red achiote powder, or else your trip amounts to nothing!
After recovering from a devastating earthquake in the year 2015, Nepal is almost back on the track. With their ancient and UNESCO-listed infrastructures undergoing restoration from the damage inflicted by the earthquake, tourists all over the world are flocking over Nepal’s beautiful places once again.
For those who want to disconnect from the noises of the world and connect with nature, Nepal is the perfect haven for you. Their legendary mountain trails like the Annapurna Circuit that safely leads to the snowcapped shadow of the Himalaya can be trodden by tourists and mountaineers.
For those who want a toned down mountain adventure, they can still enjoy Kathmandu. There, they can immerse themselves in the culture of Nepal by taking part in the tradition of Himalayan singing bowls. They can also enroll in a three-day intensive bowl workshop where they can learn the art of playing bowls to make them ‘sing.’
Thanks to the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, Iran is now a blossoming tourist destination. Now, you can explore the country with a travel guide for 30 days, instead of the 15 days limit it used to have.
If you would choose to visit Iran, you’d get the chance to enjoy its architectural and natural beauty. In addition, you can experience a memorable day in Iran’s most romantic destination, the Yazd. The romantic destination popular especially to Iranian brides is actually a labyrinth of sandstone houses, an ancient Persian and pre-Islamic site such as the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence, and a fire temple whose flames did not stop burning since A.D. 470.
In addition, Iranians are very hospitable people, they are known for their hospitality that will definitely make you feel welcome!
The newest European country is becoming one of Europe’s most exciting and practical tourist attraction! Kosovo is the home of the medieval city of Prizren, a castle sitting on top of the hill and a 14th-century basilica that has never failed to stun mountaineers with its beauty. Those who are not a fan of hiking can still enjoy nature by exploring the city’s forested riverside. Kosovo also boasts well-preserved and historic old towns which will surely bring you back to the ancient times.
For the those who could not get enough of history, Uzbekistan is definitely the place for you. Uzbekistan happens to be one of the most stunning and historically rich countries in Central Asia. The safe country is rich in natural and architectural picturesque sights that tourists would definitely love to post on their social media accounts. In addition, just like Iran, the people of Uzbekistan are also hospitable and friendly.
National Geographic advises tourist to explore the restored 14th-century ruins of Bukhara and Samarkand which serves as a reminder that Uzbekistan used to be as Central Asia’s capital of learning, art, and trade.
In addition, if it is a tasteful meal of Uzbekistan roots that you would like to eat, it is best advised to steer away from heavily English-advertised tourist-focused restaurants with belly dancers and palace-like architecture. Instead, go to Soviet-influenced bazaars to have a taste of Uzbekistan’s aromatic lamb-sizzling dishes!
For hundreds of years, Albania was Europe’s least visited country because of its almost impossible accessibility. Fortunately, that is not the situation anymore. Today Albania is a safe tourist attraction that boasts its meticulously preserved UNESCO-listed Ottoman towns. Albana happens to be the home of Berat and Gijirokastra which attracts roughly around 3.5 million tourists annually.
If you are tired of heavily populated beaches and prefer to seek peace in a serene and less populated island, then Albania’s coastal beaches are the perfect fit for you. Also, if you would like to keep in touch with the ancient time, you can roam around the well preserved Greco-Roman architectural works in the coastal city of Sarandë.
Timor Leste, also known as East Timor or the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is making its mark in the tourist industry of Asia. Due to East Timor’s abundance in natural beauty, tourists coming from the different parts of the world are looking forward to exploring the country.
The coast of East Timor is home to a more than hundred miles colorful coral reefs. Thus, if you wander off the coast of East Timor, you better make the most out of it! Explore the beauty of the undersea by snorkeling and diving on the most diverse maritime reef in the world!
Georgia is now recovering and rehabilitating from the devastating aftermath of its war with Russia. The once war-torn country is now taking pride over its newly built tourist attractions. Now, the country has newly built ski slopes, meticulously restored the nouveau facade of the Black Sea port, and the platform for the activists’ masterpieces.
Aside from the scenic sights, Georgia also boasts vineyards that produce one of the finest wine in the world. Thus, if you find yourself in the region of Kakheti, Georgia’s wine capital, then you should not let go of your opportunity to take a sip of Georgia’s finest wine that only costs $2 per bottle!
Tunisia is a country in Africa that houses the ruins of the imperial city of Carthage. The country is also rich in Islamic pilgrimage sites such as Kairouan. With a vast UNESCO World Heritage sites and relaxing beaches, Tunisia is the perfect travel destination for tourists who love traveling in small groups.
They say that traveling once a year is beneficial to ones overall health. It is a therapeutic activity that does not only relax the mind but encourages one to discover themselves by getting out of their comfort zones. So what are you waiting for? Start planning where your next travel destination would be!
Photos | National Geographic