Plenty of travelers have bucket lists that are more often than not peppered with iconic sites such as the Pyramids of Giza or the Eiffel Tower. However, if you’re looking to explore places that most of your friends probably haven’t heard of, check out these under-the-radar spots that aren’t on your bucket list but should be.
Bigar Waterfall, Romania
Arguably one of the most peculiar-looking waterfalls in the world, Bigar Waterfall (aka Cascada Bigar) is located in Romania’s county of Caras Severin, and it’s worth a visit for its beautiful cascading formations that tumble over a moss-covered rock. Best of all, this small, photogenic natural attraction is easy to reach via a small path off a main road, making it a good choice for families and those unwilling or unable to do a lot of hiking. Visit in the springtime for the greatest melt-off.
Romania hotel pick: JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, Bucharest
Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Europe’s only underwater museum, this collection of sunken sculptures off the coast of Lanzarote in Spain’s Canary Islands has been attracting divers since it opened its proverbial doors back in 2016. Here, you’ll find an expansive collection of stunning works by underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, who has created similar wonders in the Caribbean.
Lanzarote hotel pick: Apartamentos Galeon Playa, Costa Teguise
Great Mosque Of Djenné, Mali
On the banks of the Bani River in Mali, the Great Mosque of Djenné is considered one of the world’s finest examples of Sudano-Sahelian architecture, a West African style using beams and mud bricks. It’s the largest mud building on earth, and though there has been a mosque on the site since the 1200s, the current construction is a bit newer, dating back to 1907. Every year, an annual festival is held here in which locals re-plaster the mosque amongst much fanfare.
Roopkund Lake, India
Nestled high up in the Himalayas under the shadow of the Trishul peaks, Roopkund is among the most fascinating off-the-beaten-path sites in India, both due to its natural beauty and the fact that it is surrounded by an eerie collection of human skeletal remains, believed to date back over a millennium. Just keep in mind that it requires quite a trek (literally) to get there. The lake is only accessible on foot, and only in warmer months. Plus, travelers need at least a week round-trip (and the company of a solid guide) for the journey.
India hotel pick: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
While most people associate pyramids with Egypt, Sudan has its own fabulous collection of the ancient structures straddling the Nile River in the city of Meroë. There are around 200 Nubian pyramids here in total, many of which were excavated in the early 19th century and found to contain sepulchral chambers, complete with human remains and artifacts associated with burials.