You may have seen all the big sights in Paris or London or Beijing, but there are some roads less traveled still out there. Here’s a few of our favorite lesser-known gems to inspire your next vacation.

Shangri-La, China

The name itself evokes magic and mystery. In 2001 an area in China’s Yunnan province on the border of Tibet was renamed after the mythical valley in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. “Beautiful” is inadequate to describe its landscape, which includes snowy mountains, crystal lakes, and phenomenal gorges.

Llbujana, Slovenia

This Slovenian city is one of the world’s most underrated capitals. It doesn’t hold any “must see” sights, taking the pressure off any visit. Instead, wander the streets, drink in the combination of European charm and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere.

Lucca, Italy

This medieval fortress city in contrast is pretty much one big must-see sight. Still surrounded by Renaissance-era city walls, the streets are cobbled and the piazzas quaint and plentiful. The city is surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills and even boasts a river close by.

Kerala, India

With the humble slogan “God’s Own Country,” Kerala isn’t afraid to toot its own horn. And it has reason to – this coastal state in southern India not only has multiple delightful cities (try Varkala), but also wild elephants, delicious food and palm trees.

Rotorua, New Zealand

Although a bit of a haul to get to, it’s so worth it. Rotorua is known for its spectacular combination of mud pools, lakes, geysers, hot springs and sulfur pools. Also, with 35% of the population being Maori, it’s a wonderful place to witness their remarkable culture.

Image Source: Travel Guide