TravelAwaits reached out to major tour operators to see which underrated tour destinations should be on our radar for next year.
1. Bhutan, South Asia
“Bhutan is slated to open the historic Trans Bhutan Trail later this year after a 60-year hiatus. This small, breathtaking country offers beautiful landscapes and hikes, charming local villages, and spirituality as the birthplace of the Gross National Happiness concept. Bhutan is an unforgettable, under-the-radar adventure for 2023.” — Marina Goodwin, senior manager of PR & Brand Partnerships, EF Go Ahead Tours
2. The Azores, Portugal
“The Azores is such a hidden gem for U.S. travelers. It’s not crowded, easy to get to, as spectacular as Iceland in terms of landscape, and it’s warmer. It has some of the best easier hikes possible and some of the most magnificent vistas you can imagine. The food is awesome, the people are super friendly, and the cost is affordable. It should be on everyone’s must-do list for 2023–2024.” — Yves Marceau, VP of Product, G Adventures
3. Tenerife, Spain
“Another destination that everyone should consider — and also not visited much by Americans — is Tenerife. The climate in the winter is like Florida. United now has a direct flight from New York, but it is also easily accessed via London, Madrid, Paris, and Amsterdam. The cost is low and the island is spectacular. Hiking is accessible to most people, and the food and wine are world class.” — Marceau, G Adventures
Read more about Tenerife and the Canary Islands:
“For those looking to explore a place in a new way, our sailing product in Croatia and Greece fits the bill. Each night, your small sailing group will dock in the center of town on a different island or picture-perfect village/town. You have dinner on shore, walk ancient towns during the day, and spend downtime swimming or relaxing on deck. I was skeptical about a sailing adventure until I did my first one (I’m not a sailor), but I got hooked. It is such a great way to disconnect while still being able to see and experience a variety of places in a unique way.” — Marceau, G Adventures
5. Sorrento, Italy
“For those not into hiking or not into sailing: Try living like a local in Italy or Croatia. It is a mind-opening, in-depth experience. Travelers stay in one place (so you can actually unpack those bags!) but discover the region in much more depth. The hosts make travelers feel as if they are visiting long-time friends, as they share their homes, neighborhoods, and culture with travelers. Accommodations are comfortable and have private baths, so while it’s not a homestay, it still feels very intimate and immersive. These trips are also short enough that if you want you can add a few days independently in the gateway arrival city.” — Marceau, G Adventures
Read more about living like a local in Italy:
Egyptian attractions, such as the Valley of the Kings, give visitors a chance to walk through history — but Egypt isn’t just for history buffs. This once-in-a-lifetime destination is also for foodies, architecture aficionados, culture lovers, photographers, and adventure travelers. Here are 7 Reasons To Put Egypt On Your Bucket List.
Pair a visit to Egypt with a trip to Jordan on Tauck’s Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids. Enjoy a three-night Nile River cruise and a 4×4 adventure across the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum. Of course, no visit to Jordan is complete without a peek at Petra and a soak in the Dead Sea. Tauck also lets you pair a Jordan tour with a visit to Israel.
Take a Tauck tour of biblical proportions. The two-week Israel and Jordan tour explores the “civilizations, cultures, history, traditions, religions, and the arts” of the Sea of Galilee, Petra, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.
Home to icebergs and glaciers, geysers and other geothermal wonders, Iceland is chock full of natural beauty. Intrepid Travel offers several ways to experience Iceland. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the northern lights!
11. Costa Rica
Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or lazing by the beach, Costa Rica is a stunning Central American vacation destination. Here, you can find an incredible Cloud Forest, beautiful national parks, unique birds, and other incredible wildlife. Costa Rican Intrepid Travel tours take visitors from the jungle to the coast.
12. Everest Base Camp
Boasting spectacular scenery, Intrepid Travel’s trekking tour of Everest Base Camp is among the most dramatic and picturesque in the Himalayas. The only catch? You have to be between 18-29 years old for this adventure.