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Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

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When it comes to summer travel, many people flock to popular destinations that are often overcrowded and overpriced. However, if you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, consider exploring some underrated destinations. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey to five countries that offer incredible summer travel opportunities: Georgia, Northern Greece, Albania, Slovenia, and Portugal.

Georgia

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia is a hidden gem that offers a diverse range of experiences. Start your trip in the capital city of Tbilisi, where you can explore the charming old town, visit ancient churches, and indulge in delicious Georgian cuisine. Don’t miss a visit to the stunning wine region of Kakheti, where you can taste the famous Georgian wines and learn about the traditional winemaking process.

For adventure seekers, head to the mountainous region of Svaneti, where you can hike to the picturesque village of Ushguli, a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you’re a beach lover, don’t miss the stunning Black Sea coast, where you can relax on pristine beaches and enjoy the vibrant seaside towns.

Traditional local food to try:

  • Khachapuri: A delicious cheese-filled bread
  • Khinkali: Georgian dumplings filled with meat or cheese
  • Churchkhela: A traditional sweet made of grape must and nuts

Northern Greece

While many travelers flock to the Greek islands during the summer, Northern Greece offers a unique and less crowded experience. Start your journey in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, known for its vibrant nightlife and rich history. Explore the ancient ruins of Vergina and Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

For nature lovers, head to the stunning region of Zagori, where you can hike through the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world. Don’t miss a visit to the beautiful monasteries of Meteora, perched atop towering rock formations.

Traditional local food to try:

  • Moussaka: A delicious baked dish with layers of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce
  • Souvlaki: Grilled skewers of meat, usually served with pita bread and tzatziki sauce
  • Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with nuts and soaked in honey

Albania

Often overlooked by travelers, Albania is a hidden gem in the Balkans. Start your journey in the capital city of Tirana, where you can explore the vibrant city center and visit the fascinating National History Museum. Don’t miss a visit to the UNESCO-listed town of Berat, known as the “City of a Thousand Windows” for its Ottoman-era houses.

For beach lovers, head to the Albanian Riviera, where you can relax on pristine beaches and swim in crystal-clear waters. Explore the charming coastal towns of Saranda and Himara, and don’t miss a visit to the beautiful Butrint National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Traditional local food to try:

  • Byrek: A savory pastry filled with cheese, spinach, or meat
  • Tavë kosi: Baked lamb with yogurt and eggs
  • Bakllava: A sweet pastry similar to baklava, but with a unique Albanian twist

Slovenia

Slovenia, a small country nestled between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia, offers a diverse range of landscapes and experiences. Start your trip in the charming capital city of Ljubljana, known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant café culture. Explore the stunning Lake Bled, with its iconic island and castle.

For nature enthusiasts, head to Triglav National Park, where you can hike through breathtaking alpine scenery and visit the picturesque Lake Bohinj. Don’t miss a visit to the stunning Postojna Cave, one of the largest karst caves in Europe.

Traditional local food to try:

  • Potica: A rolled pastry filled with various sweet fillings, such as walnuts or poppy seeds
  • Kranjska klobasa: A traditional Slovenian sausage
  • Struklji: Rolled dumplings filled with various sweet or savory fillings

Portugal

Portugal is a country known for its beautiful beaches, historic cities, and delicious cuisine. Start your journey in Lisbon, the capital city, where you can explore the charming neighborhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto. Don’t miss a visit to the stunning coastal town of Sintra, known for its fairytale-like palaces and castles.

For beach lovers, head to the Algarve region, where you can relax on golden sandy beaches and explore the picturesque fishing villages. Don’t miss a visit to Porto, the birthplace of port wine, where you can taste the famous fortified wine and explore the historic Ribeira district.

Traditional local food to try:

  • Pastel de nata: A delicious custard tart
  • Bacalhau à brás: A traditional Portuguese dish made with salted cod, eggs, and potatoes
  • Francesinha: A hearty sandwich filled with meat, covered in melted cheese, and served with a spicy sauce

Conclusion

Exploring underrated destinations can offer a unique and authentic travel experience. From the stunning landscapes of Georgia and Northern Greece to the hidden gems of Albania, Slovenia, and Portugal, these countries offer a wealth of opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and culinary delights. So, why not step off the beaten path this summer and discover these hidden treasures?

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Hotels in Thessaloniki
Hotels in Lisbon

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