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Eight of the Best Alternative Destinations to Escape the Crowds

Eight of the Best Alternative Destinations to Escape the Crowds

If your idea of holiday hell is visiting a famous tourist hotspot with crowds jostling for the perfect shot and you'd much rather spend your precious time exploring under-the-radar hidden gems that are away from the masses, then may we introduce Undertourism. Aspiring Undertourist and Original Travel content writer Ella Mawson picked the brains of our team of travel specialists and convinced them to reveal their favourite experiences and the best alternative destinations to escape the crowds.


Cyclades, Greece

Gorgeous Greece, with its island-speckled sea, sun-bleached ruins and sleepy villages, draws in tourists like bees to a honeypot. Steer clear of the swarms on Santorini and you'll discover a wealth of idyllic Cycladic islands that are endearingly authentic and dreamily underdeveloped. Hop your way around the islands - there are over 200 in total - or head into Greece's hinterland for wonderful walking and amphora-fuls of captivating culture in places like Epirus.


Ruaha, Tanzania

Despite being home to the iconic Serengeti, magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro and the exotic Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania could also work when choosing your next under-the-radar destination. Make a beeline for the lesser-spotted Ruaha National Park for the ultimate authentic safari experience, complete with traditional game drives, immersive walking safaris and unforgettable fly camping excursions with nary another soul in sight. Expect large herds of elephants (as opposed to tourists) and superb birding on a safari as it was originally intended.



A compact country bursting with authentic indigenous culture and dramatic terrains, Guatemala is the ultimate Undertourism alternative to much-loved Mexico. Whether you're after luxury hotel hideaways deep within the rainforest or intrepid hiking-camping combos, there's something for every kind of traveller. From the shimmering shores of Lake Atitlan to the charming colonial architecture of Antigua and the timeless Mayan ruins at Tikal (the latter two both UNESCO heritage sites), Guatemala offers culture without the crowds.


Sequoia National Park, USA

The USA's national parks - with their immense open spaces, hulking mountains and deep canyons - are big on beauty and understandably tempting for tourists. Venture beyond iconic Yosemite and delve deep into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and you'll be immersed in the same awe-inspiring landscapes but with a fraction of the visitors. Walk through groves of sky-high sequoia trees, work up a sweat on day hikes and embark on unforgettable riding excursions.


Lares Trail, Peru

Peru's mesmerising Machu Picchu - one of the new Seven Wonders of the World - is a front-runner when it comes to bucket-list experiences. Beat the crowds by side-stepping the popular Inca Trail route to the site and opting instead for the little-known Lares Trail. Discover the joy of the journey on this unforgettable hike; soak up magnificent mountain panoramas, peep at local life as you pass alpaca herders and travel back in time as you gaze at ancient Incan ruins.


Istria, Croatia

Croatia's dreamy Dalmatian Coast is picture-perfect but also painfully popular. Beat the crowds and head to the idyllic peninsula of Istria instead, where you'll discover an area that is just as gorgeous. Combining a classically Croatian coastline with a Tuscan-tinged hinterland studded with pretty hilltop towns, Istria offers the best of both worlds. Don't miss the coastal city of Rijeka, this year's European Capital of Culture and home to sensational seafood restaurants serving dishes that hint at the region's Venetian-ruled past.


Northern Iceland

Thanks to its glittering glaciers, mighty volcanoes and extraordinary thermal activity, Iceland is a serious tourism hotspot (in some places, quite literally). Look beyond the so-called Golden Circle and strike out into the wilds of northern and eastern Iceland and you'll get a real taste of this eye-wateringly beautiful country without the attendant crowds. Hit the road on an uber-cool campervan adventure and whizz past crashing waterfalls, windswept beaches and remote fishing villages with barely a soul in sight.


Makgadikgadi, Botswana

The Great Migration, which sees millions of wildebeest (and tourists) pass through Tanzania's Serengeti and Kenya's Masai Mara, is a big draw for bucket-list-driven visitors. Head to Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans instead and you'll have the chance to witness the lesser-known (but just as jaw-droppingly amazing) zebra migration. This is the second largest migration in the world and the longest of all recorded large mammal migrations in Africa, so bragging rights are guaranteed.