10 Amazing Sights you probably never heard of
Few things beat the Grand Canyon for sheer majesty and size. That is, if you can see it behind the five million visitors who head there every year. Take a break from the crowds in Supai, Arizona, the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation and part of the canyon’s southern rim. Only accessible by a 10-mile hike or on horseback, the journey is worth it for a swim in the turquoise Havasu Falls.
Little Petra, Jordan
The desert kingdom of Petra in Jordan is an amazing archaeological site, but the crowds can be less appealing. Instead, visit Siq al-Barid, also known as Little Petra. Or, better still, try heading to Jerash, just north of Amman, and marvel at its truly impressive Roman ruins.
The other floating market, Bangkok
Markets are part of any visit to Bangkok, but the much-reviewed Damnoen Saduak Floating Market now feels a bit commercialised. Located about 90 minutes outside of the capital, the bohemian Amphawa Floating Market is more authentic and popular with hungry young locals, especially at the weekend – vendors’ boats are laden with noodle dishes.
Wave Organ, San Francisco
Musicians looking for a different sound experience should head for the Wave Organ, an instrument played by the ocean itself in San Francisco. The sculpture is on a jetty in the Marina district and includes 25 organ pipes made of PVC and concrete at various elevations. As the water moves in and out of the pipes, eerie music is made – it’s best visited at high tide.
Everyone wants to see the Matterhorn, but for a truly authentic, picture-postcard Swiss scene, try Appenzellerland: think rolling hills dotted with cows, framed by a backdrop of mountains ripe for hiking. After trying some fresh milk at a small farmhouse, hop on a cable car and head up the impressive peaks for traditional Swiss rösti in an Alpine hut.
Skip Knossos in Crete and head for Myrtos – a seaside village in the southeast of the island that has a museum of Minoan finds and ancient folklore. The museum was curated by an old school master and comprises his own archaeological finds, including statuettes and vase fragments.
Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris
Instead of squeezing in to see Monet’s Water Lilies at the Louvre in Paris, try the Musée Marmottan Monet, an Empire-style villa, which is off the beaten path, filled with paintings by the artist that were donated to the museum by his family.
Food Market, Bodrum
Had your fill of Istanbul’s street food? Down the Lycian coast in Bodrum, every day is market (orpazar) day, with Thursdays and Fridays dedicated to food. Pick up local produce, such as the tasty çintarmushroom (delicious grilled with olive oil) or freshly churned cheeses and yogurt.
The Other side of Sardinia
Sardinia’s Emerald Coast may attract billionaires and celebrities by the yacht load, but its bays between Cala Sinzias and Capo Teulada on the southern and southeastern coast are just as dazzling. Look out for the archaeological site of Nora – the remains of an ancient Roman and pre-Roman town – in between beach hopping.
Seville’s smaller churches
Avoid the crowds at Seville’s celebrated cathedral and wander through winding streets of pretty churches in the quarters of Centro and Macarena, which include the famous shrine of Our Lady of Macarena.
Which one is your favourite? I’ve only been in Seville and I have to say this list is really good, so not sure where I would start. Little Petra and Petra are on my wishlist and Mytros seems pretty tempting too.