There are many cities and locations around the world that make top 10 travel lists every year. Many may long to visit these popular places while others prefer venturing to less traveled areas. Off the beaten path destinations are not necessarily less scenic or exciting. Though less discussed, photographed or written about, these places inspire a sense of adventure. When looking for a unique vacation spot, pack a visa and consider these options.
The Tunnel of Love-Ukraine
During springtime, an amazing act of nature transforms the Klevan railway into a stunning display. The branches and leaves of massive trees and other greenery come alive and completely encapsulate the sides, top and ground spaces along the rails, creating a magnificent green, arched tunnel. Popular with couples as a romantic hideaway, the tunnel was previously only known to local residents.
The Hitachi Seaside Park-Japan
Strategic planning went into this location that creates a stunning visual display throughout the year. The park features acres upon acres of rolling hills covered in a variety of blooming plants. During spring, millions of blue nemophilias cover the ground. Other areas have roses, tulips and zinnias. In the fall, a bush-like plant known locally as fireweed or kochi displays an unusual array of spiky, bright yellow, orange and red hued tufts. Paved pathways meander through the location, which makes for a pleasant stroll.
The Crooked Forest-Poland
Many enjoy the tranquility, solitude and oneness with nature that comes from spending time in a forest. However, one European location offers a memorable experience. Around 1930, approximately 400 hundred small pine trees were planted in West Pomerania. Some time between the seven and 10th year of growth, a mysterious and still unknown type of human intervention took place. The bizarre result caused the trees to continue growing despite having a peculiar 90-degree bend at the base of each trunk.
The Hang Son Doong Cave-Vietnam
Only recently revealed by a local farmer in 2009, the massive cavern formed in the rural jungle of Quang Binh. British cave enthusiasts were taken to the site where 2.5 millions years of water erosion created the opening that measures more than 500 feet wide and 650 feet in height. The cave is considered nearly double the size Malaysia’s Deer Cave that was previously known as the largest on the planet.
Terrace Rice Fields-China
Rice terraces are not an unusual sight in Asian countries. However, on the mountainous regions of southwest Yunnan, the fields create a spectacular three-dimensional sculpture-like image. The Hani people began planting the fields an estimated 10,000 years ago and continue getting crops today. Between the months of December and April, the hills are covered with a rainbow of colors in preparation of the current year’s harvest. Borders between fields emerge as various geometric patterns of different colors on the red soil that lies below.
The Blue Holes of Espiritu Santo Island-Vanuatu
The island lies west of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean. The largest land mass of the archipelago, Espiritu Santo offers guests the chance to enjoy some of the clearest, bluest waters on earth. Unusual geographical features here include large, deep coral and limestone lined open spaces filled with fresh water known as blue holes. The locations are surrounded by lush, green tropical forests and serve as the perfect spot for swimming or snorkeling. Other island attractions include powder white sandy beaches and complex cave systems.