Most of you know which countries are over run by tourists. But do you know which of them are not? For those of you who do not wish to be trodden to death by the stampede like crowds in Italy, France and Spain, these are the places for you. For those of you looking for peace, quiet and tranquillity, these places are for you!
Topping the list is this tiny group of islands in the south Pacific, lying midway between Hawaii and Australia. With altogether just 12,000 inhabitants spread across these nine islands, Tuvalu has just about 2000 annual visitors. Tuvaluan and English are spoken in the islands today. Beaches are pretty much the only attraction here- you can go snorkelling, diving and snapping some photos for your social media. There are also some historical WWII sites to explore. There is one international airport and the flights are not reliable, so be prepared to stay for an extra week even after the departure date on your ticket.
The Marshall Islands receives around 6000 visitors each year. They’re a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean situated between Hawaii and the Philippines. Much like Tuvalu, it’s mostly beaches and underwater sites from the WWII, which divers can explore. The lack of visitors may be attributed to the fact that the islands are rather hard to reach, plus nuclear testing was carried out in several sites around the island by the US from 1946 to 1962. These sites are strictly off limits to both the locals and the tourists. However, the white sand, turquoise blue water, low crime and the sunshine will make your trip worth it! Again, like Tuvalu, keep in mind that the airline system is rather unreliable, so go if your travel plans are flexible.
Montserrat was a stunning island before being destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1995. Two thirds of the island was destroyed. Now, the place is recovering and tourism is slowly picking up. To get here, you first have to fly from John A. Osborne Airport in Antigua or take the ferry from Antigua. The ferry service isn’t available daily, so check the schedule before you go. The area devastated by the volcanic eruption is now an exclusion zone, and locals aren’t allowed to live there as it is deemed to be unsafe. However, with police permission and a guide, visitors can drive through the area to witness and be humbled by the unmatched power of nature. The island has the now abandoned Air Studios, opened by the Beatles producer Sir George Martin, where Paul McCartney, Sting, and The Rolling Stones, recorded their music. This too, is in the exclusion zone, so seek permission if you want to tour the studio. The major activities tourists can take part in here is bird watching and hiking.
While the islands we have mentioned till now were for those looking for peaceful beach getaway to lie on the beach and soak up the sun, well, Niue isn’t for those kind of people. Geared for the adventurous, it’s nicknamed “The Rock.” To see the attractions, you’ll have to climb, hike, swim or drive to the caves, snorkelling spots and lagoons. Surprisingly enough, this out of the way island is the world’s first “Wi-Fi” nation, meaning it gives free internet to its residents. There is just one flight in and out of Niue a week, so schedule your trip carefully. When you get there, it’s definitely worth it.
Lying halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, this tiny island is truly one of the off beaten paths to explore. More than half of the volcanic peaks, dense forests and beautiful corals remain untainted by humans. Explore the WWII sites, enjoy the breath-taking scenery and go diving in the crystal-like water. Other activities include exploring the rainforests, hiking the mountains and going for long walks on the beach with the water caressing your feet. Quite a romantic getaway. All around the year, you can spot marine animals like sea turtles and dolphins. But if you want to do some jaw dropping whale watching, September and October are the best months. There is one international airport, Pago Pago International Airport, with daily flights scheduled by Hawaiian Airlines, Talofa Airways, Samoa Airways and Inter Island Airways.