Some popular destinations feature on most travellers' wish lists, and for good reason. But often, the lesser known — but no less impressive — places take a back seat. From secluded islands in Japan's inland sea to the historic town of Rocamadour in France, these underrated destinations bear the hallmarks of an unforgettable and original adventure. Our buddies over at Trafalgar help us to sniff out the places you shouldn't leave off your travel bucket list.
Tucked into a forested cliff-face, the historic commune of Rocamadour overlooks a lush gorge where a tributary of the River Dordogne flows through. The commune's monastic buildings are a revered pilgrimage site, with important historic sites to visit like the wooden Black Madonna carving. Try the region's goat's cheese that has adopted the Rocamadour name, along with delicious local organic walnuts.
El Cajas National Park, Ecuador
Perched on the Ecuadorian highlands, at an altitude of between 3,100 and 4,450 metres above sea level, El Cajas National Park is a rugged expanse of forested mountains, valleys, glacial lakes and lagoons. Endemic and rare wildlife, such as the giant hummingbird, ocelot (pictured below), and the elusive puma, thrive within this environment, making it of particular interest to wildlife enthusiasts. Travel through this spectacular land while passing archaeological ruins left behind by the Incas.
The Seto Islands, Japan
The sheltered Seto Inland Sea lies between the lush mountainous island of Shikoku, and the coast of mainland Honshu, where Hiroshima looks out across the water. Within these waters, as many as 3,000 islands and islets can be found, with five of them paving the way between Shikoku and Honshu. The Seto Island Bridge stretches between these five islands, making it possible to travel all the way from Shikoku to Honshu across the remote islands and suspension bridges, while taking in panoramic sea views.
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