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10 Lesser-Known Destinations That Are Going to Be Popular This Year

These lesser-known destinations will draw millions of visitors in 2024!

In November last year, American Express Travel published a list of places that promise to redefine the wanderlust of enthusiastic travelers in 2024. It’s interesting to note that the spotlight in this revelation shines not on the typical travel location but rather on the lesser-known destinations scattered around the world.

The allure of these spots, predicted to be the most visited in 2024, lies in their untold stories, unexplored landscapes, and the promise of genuine cultural immersion. The growing interest in these unheard-of places, particularly in the East, indicated a collective shift in the mindset of modern tourists.

Travelers get to unearth hidden gems, embrace local traditions, and contribute to the sustainable development of communities often overlooked by mainstream tourism. This being said, here are some lesser-known destinations that are going to be popular this year!

lesser-known destinations
Photo by photoff from Shutterstock

1. Udaipur, India

Udaipur is a spellbinding place that has slowly gained popularity over the past several years. Known as the “Venice of the East” and the “City of Lakes,” Udaipur is one of the lesser-known destinations that are about to be huge in 2024, boasting a romantic vibe that distinguishes it from more popular Indian places.

The city’s impressive palaces, including the renowned City Palace, rise like exquisite mirages from the serene waters of Lake Pichola. The city’s narrow lanes lead visitors to bustling markets where vibrant textiles and traditional handicrafts beckon, offering a glimpse into the unique cultural heritage of Rajasthan.

The best time to visit Udaipur is between September and March.

2. St. Kitts and Nevis

Next on the list of lesser-known destinations that will be popular in 2024 are the dual islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Far from the bustling crowds of more mainstream Caribbean locations, these islands deliver a perfect mix of historical intrigue and tropical paradise.

St. Kitts boasts lush rainforests and the impressive Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while Nevis emanates tranquility with its pristine beaches. The main attractions of these islands are the vibrant marine life, unspoiled landscapes, and a palpable sense of authenticity that draws travelers seeking an idyllic escape.

The best time to visit St. Kitts and Nevis is from December to April.

3. Seychelles

This archipelago of 115 islands enchants tourists with its lush tropical landscapes, pristine beaches, and coral reefs teeming with marine life. While often eclipsed by more popular destinations, the Seychelles offer an exclusive haven for those looking for a mix of luxury and untouched natural beauty.

Each island boasts its unique charm, from the coral atolls of Aldabra to the granitic wonders of La Digue. As one of the lesser-known destinations, La Digue is a hidden gem among the granitic wonders of the Indian Ocean. Its lush rainforests, towering granite formations, and pristine beaches create a landscape of spellbinding beauty.

The best time to visit these islands is April, May, October, and November.

4. Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is a jewel among the lesser-known destinations waiting to capture the hearts of visitors and travel enthusiasts in 2024. This alpine retreat is located in Matterhorn’s shadow, a breathtaking mountain that beckons adventurers with its majestic peak.

Zermatt’s unique attraction lies in the scenery of its natural landscapes and the eclectic mix of traditional Swiss architecture that adorns its scenic streets. While summer is a popular time to explore the area, this destination transforms into a stunning winter wonderland during the colder months.

The best time to visit Zermatt is during the summer, between June and September.

Read on to discover other lesser-known destinations!

santa fe
Photo by Sean Pavone from Shutterstock

5. Santa Fe, Mexico

Santa Fe is an artistic refuge that draws the attention of visitors seeking a cultural escape in 2024. Located against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this city displays the rich heritage of Native American, Anglo, and Spanish cultures.

The place is truly unique with its vibrant art scene, adobe-style architecture, and many art galleries, all of which build an atmosphere that exudes creativity. The scent of piñon wood fills the air as tourists stroll through the historic plaza, and the city’s outdoor markets and diverse museums showcase the fusion of innovation and tradition.

The best time to visit Santa Fe is from September to November.

6. Porto Cervo, Italy

Visit Porto Cervo, and you’ll wish you’d discovered it sooner! This exclusive enclave along the Costa Smeralda boasts golden beaches, crystalline waters, and a sophisticated vibe that sets it apart from other popular Italian places, making it one of the most stunning lesser-known destinations.

Visitors to Porto Cervo find themselves immersed in a world of luxury, where designer boutiques and superyachts docking in the marina line the streets. With emerald waters, rugged coastlines, and a landscape dotted with ancient granite formations, this place is a paradise for those looking for an escape into the lap of luxury.

Perto Cervo is home to numerous world-class restaurants, hotels, spas, and a selection of nightlife venues and exclusive clubs.

7. San Miguel de Allende, México

No. 7 on the list of lesser-known destinations that are about to become popular in 2024 is San Miguel de Allende. Venturing into the heart of Mexico, this place is a colonial jewel likely to capture the fascination of travel enthusiasts this year.

This UNESCO World Heritage city gives off an old-world appeal with its well-preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant culture. Beyond its aesthetic charm, San Miguel de Allende is packed with a rich tapestry of traditions, from its lively market to the famous Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel that takes over the main square.

The city’s artistic community and welcoming atmosphere make it a haven for those looking for cultural immersion and tranquil retreats. The best time to visit it is from November to April.

8. Bodrum, Turkey

Bodrum is an enchanting city and one of the lesser-known destinations in Turkey. Located on the Aegean Coast, the place is known for its historical sites, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife, creating a perfect balance between ancient attractions and modern indulgence.

The city’s famous Bodrum Castle, built by the knights of St. John in the 15th century, is a reminder of Bodrum’s illustrious past. With lots of awesome things to do here, tourists can lounge on pristine beaches, explore archaeological wonders, and immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere of the city’s markets.

Visitors can also indulge in the sounds, aromas, and sights of Bodrum’s lively bazaar, a vibrant tapestry of local culture. The best time to visit this place is from June to September.

Photo by Jo Panuwat D from Shutterstock

9. Niseko, Japan

Nestled in the northern reaches of Japan’s Hokkaido island, Niseko is one of the lesser-known destinations that experts predict will gain traction among nature lovers and ski enthusiasts in 2024.

Renowned for its world-class skiing conditions and powdery snow, Niseko offers a spellbinding winter wonderland beyond the typical resort experience. The Niseko United ski area covers four interconnected resorts, providing a diverse range of slopes for snowboarders and skiers, making it one of the lesser-known destinations that are about to become big in 2024.

The region’s hot springs, also known as “onsen,” provide a rejuvenating and serene experience amid the snowy landscapes. The best time to visit it is from December to February.

10. Adelaide Hills, Australia

Renowned for its verdant vineyards, world-class wineries, quaint villages, and rolling hills, the Adelaide Hills is one of the lesser-known destinations that will enchant tourists in 2024. This is the perfect place for those seeking a taste of South Australia’s natural beauty and rich heritage.

People who visit it can explore quaint townships, embark on scenic drives, and indulge in the area’s renowned cool-climate wines. The blend of wildlife encounters, natural beauty, and a laid-back vibe makes this hidden gem a perfect retreat for those looking to relax in the lap of Australian countryside charm.

The best time to visit Adelaide Hills is from September to March.

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If you liked our article on lesser-known destinations, you may also want to read 8 Bucket List Destinations You’ll Fall in Love With.

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