by Jonathan Hermann


These are not international hotspots, packed with a constant flow of tourists and partygoers. Neither are they way off-the-beaten-path either. Instead, the four destinations below are well known but under-the-radar when it comes to typical vacation planning. We’d like to right that wrong, for they have the perfect balance of cultural flair and natural splendor, providing everything you need to have the time of your life.

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Orkney Islands
A castle stands guard over the cliffs of Orkney Islands


Scotland is a country filled with historic grandeur and awe-striking vistas. Those two pleasant concepts collide when you stand atop Edinburgh Castle, the echoes of the one o’clock gunshot filling the valley below, and you look out to see Royal Mile road, Old Town and the seven hills of the city stretched out before you. Such moments of stop-and-stare-in-awe greet you throughout the country, whether you’re watching for birdies at St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, taking a scenic ferry ride through the Orkney Islands, walking through 5,000-year-old ruins of a Neolithic village or find yourself surrounded by the mystical stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar. Along the way, genuine Irish whisky, traditional fish and chips and Scottish kindness will ensure your travels are filled with merry moments.

Plitvice National Park
Veliki Prštavac Waterfall in Plitvice National Park


Rich in history and natural beauty, Croatia’s status as a can’t-miss destination has grown in recent years. And once you set your eyes on the Dalmatian Coast, you’ll see why. Stretching for 250 miles along the Adriatic, this rugged coastline is home to an embarrassment of riches, both natural and manmade. From the Dinaric Alps, whose jagged limestone peaks rise on one side, to the almost impossibly blue Adriatic on the other, this spectacular land awes visitors. Completing this almost perfect picture is an abundance of fairytale-like towns and charming medieval fishing villages. While Dubrovnik, an ancient city filled with a seemingly endless maze of cobblestone streets and red, terracotta-tiled roofs, is the country’s most popular destination, you also cannot go wrong in ancient towns like Split and Zagreb. Of course, the country’s natural gifts should not be overlooked, starting with the lakes, waterfalls and forestlands of Plitvice National Park.

Percé Rock
Percé Rock at sunrise


The province of Québec is not often thought of as a destination, but it’s capital city of Montreal is. Yet those who venture away from the cosmopolitan city will find a land of breathtaking scenery, especially if you find your way up north in the Gaspé Peninsula to gaze at mesmeric Percé Rock. Along the way, your journey may include exploring historic maritime ports, spotting massive whales and seemingly endless seabird colonies, learning the art of making strawberry wine in Carleton-Sur-Mér, discovering the fascinating culture of First Nations people, following the historic Navigator’s Route along the St. Lawrence River and enjoying the French-inspired culture of picturesque villages.

Percé Rock
One of the magnificent lighthouses on Maine's rocky coast


America’s historic East Coast is both a sight to behold and history to experience. A journey here can blend Big Apple adventures in New York City, complete with a visit to the Met and a Broadway musical, with long hikes in the Adirondacks and wine tasting in the Finger Lakes region — and that’s just in New York state alone. Throughout New England, unique experiences await. You can visit the homes of legendary authors like Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain in Hartford, Connecticut; walk on the very soil where the American Revolution’s first battle took place in Lexington, Massachusetts; discover the art of making maple syrup in Vermont; see where the infamous Salem witch trials took place; and fall in love with lighthouses dotting Maine’s shores.

For exceptional tours to these locations and more, talk to your travel professional about Globus. Learn more about Globus here.

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