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Hidden Gems to Visit Before They Become Too Popular

Pixie Cockerill

 The emergence of Tonga (South) wind’s cold icy fingers starting to feel it’s way across our whenua heralds the start of the migrating season for our tangata.

If you are lucky enough to have your own fingers grasped around a plane ticket to a warmer climate, then no doubt you are asking yourself the million-dollar question: ‘What places should I be visiting?”


So often when traveling we realise that the rest of the world has had the same idea as us and we are caught amongst the same, overcrowded, ‘touristy’ hotspots along with the rest of the world travellers. To avoid this and see the world through a unique and untouched lens, here are five beautiful and inspiring ‘hidden gems’ to visit before they become too popular.

AlUla, Saudi Arabia

AlUla (or stylised by the locals as Al-‘Ula) is a city that seeps natural and human heritage. It is home to museums of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, and both natural and human-made historic dwellings and monuments that hold roughly 200,000 years of largely unexplored history. Located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, AlUla has attracted people for its exuberance of resources offered by the proliferating utopia. 

Desert X Trampolines, AlUla @abouther.com

Panorama Ridge, Canada

Lush forests, gorgeous alpine terrain, and breathtaking views, Panorama Ridge is located within the Garibaldi Provincial Park nestled between the Canadian towns of Squamish and Whistler. The journey to the ridge’s astounding panoramic views is accompanied by a journey just as stunning. The trail leading to the ridge is protected by flower-studded meadows, Western Red Cedar, and Douglas Fir trees. As these clear the summit will beacon you with unforgettable scenery that will leave you reminiscing forever.

garibaldi lake hike
@Laidback.com Panorama Ridge, Canada

Dead Sea, Israel

 The Dead Sea, known in Hebrew as Yam-Ha-Melakh (the Sea of Salt) is a must ‘see’. The sea caresses the towering mountains of Israeli and the expansive Judean and Negev deserts and doubles as a border between Israel and Jordon. The mineral-rich water will keep you afloat and the views will have you transfixed. So, bring lots of water and enjoy all this natural and unique phenomenon has to offer.

dead sea israel travel guide v2
@travelguide.com The Dead Sea

Azores, Portugal

The Azores is an archipelago made up of nine islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. All of these islands are volcanic and all erupt spectacular dramatic landscapes, green pastures and blue hydrangeas and are best known for whale and dolphin watching. The best time to experience these beautiful panoramic scenes is in July and August so the timing is impeccable. Experience the adventures of island-hopping and explore the astonishing islands of Azores before they become the next hotspot.  

@South EU Summit The Azores Islands

Chamonix, France

Are you looking for an oasis where a nature-infused mountain range and a historic village meet? Visit Chamonix – Mont – Blanc on the border of France and Switzerland. Settled in the Alps Chamonix has a lot to offer. With cable cars as transport, awe-inspiring hikes, the Arve River cutting through the township, and endearing architecture, this village is a must-add to your summer bucket list.

If you are looking for a wee road trip as well the beautiful Lake Geneva is located only 90 minutes away and in July, the Tour de France will also be passing through this stunning sanctuary. It’s all happening in Chamonix!

144371 Chamonix Mont Blanc
@Expedia Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

As beautiful as the shores of beautiful Aotearoa are if you are looking to escape winter and visit every corner of our wonderful planet then these are some of the best hidden gems to explore. Make the most of these places before they become overly popular!