When it comes to traveling, most of us tend to follow the well-trodden path, visiting famous landmarks and popular tourist attractions. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, sometimes it’s nice to step off the beaten path and explore hidden gems that offer a more unique and authentic experience. This is especially true when it comes to parks and gardens, which often hide secret wonders just waiting to be discovered. So, if you’re looking to explore some of the world’s most unique parks and gardens off the tourist radar, here are a few suggestions to add to your bucket list.
1. Bomarzo Sacred Woods, Italy:
Tucked away in the Italian countryside, these mystical gardens were created in the 16th century and are like no other place on Earth. Filled with oversized and peculiar sculptures, the Bomarzo Sacred Woods will make you feel like Alice in Wonderland. The park is surrounded by dense vegetation and offers a serene and enchanting atmosphere that transports visitors to another time.
2. Ashikaga Flower Park, Japan:
While Japan is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms, the Ashikaga Flower Park takes floral beauty to a whole new level. Home to the world’s largest wisteria garden, this park bursts into a symphony of colors during the blooming season. As you wander through the mesmerizing tunnels of hanging flowers, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a fairytale world.
3. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa:
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a haven for plant lovers. With its extensive collection of indigenous plants and breathtaking views, this garden showcases the incredible biodiversity of South Africa. Take a leisurely stroll along its winding paths, admire the floral displays, and don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a majestic tree.
4. Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands:
While the Netherlands is famous for its tulips, the Keukenhof Gardens go beyond expectations. Nestled between Amsterdam and The Hague, this park boasts over seven million bulbs, including a stunning array of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. From enchanting flower displays to charming lakes and pavilions, a visit to Keukenhof is a true sensory delight.
5. Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Indonesia:
Located in the eastern part of Bali, Tirta Gangga Water Palace is a hidden oasis that offers tranquility and beauty. With its sparkling fountains, lush gardens, and numerous pools, this peaceful retreat is perfect for those seeking serenity. Take a dip in one of the natural water pools or simply relax with a book as you listen to the calming sound of flowing water.
6. Butchart Gardens, Canada:
Nestled in British Columbia, the Butchart Gardens are a horticulturist’s dream come true. What started as a simple garden in a former quarry has now transformed into a lush oasis filled with vibrant flowers and perfectly manicured landscapes. These gardens are the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in nature’s glory.
Exploring off the tourist radar parks and gardens not only allows you to discover lesser-known destinations but also provides a chance to experience nature in its most unique and authentic form. So, the next time you plan your travels, consider adding these hidden gems to your itinerary. You’ll be rewarded with memories and experiences that are truly off the beaten path.