• Sunday, May 26, 2024


Best destination dupes to explore this summer

Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

(Representative image: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Hopping on a flight to explore renowned and trendy destinations is undeniably thrilling, but the downsides of overcrowding often go unnoticed. The more popular the destination, the more crowded it becomes. Check these exotic locations instead!

Island Dupes: If not Hawaii check Puerto Rico

(Representative image: iStock)

Puerto Rico welcomes 12 million fewer tourists annually while offering a rich history, stunning beaches, and scenic experiences. Known for its stunning beaches, including Flamenco Beach and Playa Buyé, the island offers a blend of Spanish, Taíno, and African influences in its cuisine, music, and festivals.

Old San Juan, with its colourful colonial architecture and historic forts like El Morro, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lush El Yunque National Forest, teeming with diverse flora and fauna, adds to Puerto Rico’s natural allure. Despite facing challenges, the resilient spirit of its people and the island’s natural beauty continue to captivate visitors.

Spanish retreat: If not Mallorca check Menorca…

(Representative image: iStock)

Menorca sees 27 million fewer tourists annually, boasting crystal-clear waters and a quieter, laid-back ambiance.  It is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, is a tranquil Mediterranean gem known for its pristine landscapes and rich historical heritage.

Renowned for its clear turquoise waters and secluded coves like Cala Macarella, Menorca offers a serene escape. The island boasts a harmonious blend of lush countryside, megalithic monuments, and charming towns such as Ciutadella and Mahón.

Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Menorca showcases diverse ecosystems, from pine forests to wetlands. With a commitment to environmental preservation, the island prioritizes sustainability, making it an appealing destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat and an appreciation for nature and history.

Wine and dine romance: If not Paris check Bordeaux…

(Representative image: iStock)

If it’s not Bonjour Paris, then it’s Bonjour Bordeaux! This enthralling location with 80 million fewer tourists yearly, is a vibrant cultural hub with rich history, excellent wine, and food, even without the Eiffel Tower. Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world, is a historic city nestled in southwestern France.

Renowned for its exceptional vineyards and wine estates, Bordeaux boasts a rich cultural heritage and architectural splendour. The city’s UNESCO-listed neoclassical architecture, like the Place de la Bourse, harmonises with contemporary developments, creating a vibrant urban landscape.

Strolling along the Garonne River’s picturesque waterfront, exploring the Cité du Vin wine museum, and savouring gourmet delights in charming bistros are integral to the Bordeaux experience.

Serenity and leisure:  If not Madrid check Salamanca…

(Representative image: iStock)

Salamanca, with 60 million fewer tourists annually, features beautiful architecture and rich history without the hustle and bustle of the Spanish capital. A captivating Spanish city steeped in history, is renowned for its illustrious university—one of Europe’s oldest—and stunning architecture.

The Plaza Mayor, a Baroque masterpiece, stands as the city’s vibrant heart, hosting cultural events and lively gatherings. Salamanca’s university buildings, adorned with intricate details, reflect its academic legacy.

The Casa de las Conchas, adorned with shell motifs, and the captivating Old Cathedral showcase the city’s architectural treasures. Known for its golden sandstone structures, Salamanca exudes a warm glow in the evening sunlight. With its intellectual ambiance, architectural splendor, and lively atmosphere, Salamanca offers an enchanting Spanish experience.

Trail the route: If not Pacific Crest Trail try Jordan…

(Representative image: iStock)

If the idea of finding solitude and self-discovery on a long trail appeals to you, bypass the overly crowded Pacific Crest Trail, popularized by Reese Witherspoon’s “Wild” journey. Adventurous souls seeking seclusion can venture onto the Jordan Trail, a recently established 400-mile trek spanning the entire length of Jordan.

With challenging terrains and breathtaking landscapes across 52 communities, this cross-country journey offers a unique escape. For those craving more, consider extending your trek into the Palestinian territories with the Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil cultural trail.

However, this doesn’t mean popular destinations are off-limits. Sustainable travel practices, such as visiting in the off-season, participating in guided tours, and adhering to the ‘leave no trace’ principle, can help mitigate overtourism challenges.

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