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Where to holiday and avoid the crowds

Have you ever wished your holiday destination had a few less fellow travellers? Well, if so, you are not alone.

As travel recovered from the pandemic, 2023 saw many tourism hotspots receiving record numbers of visitors. Over-tourism has become a growing concern, with destinations worldwide needing help to cope with the influx of visitors and their impact on local communities and the environment.

The risks of this issue were made clear during the summer of 2023 which saw places like Venice added to UNESCO’s World Heritage endangered list due to overwhelming tourism, and Dubrovnik becoming so popular that wheeled suitcases were banned in its Old Town when residents found them to be a constant noise disturbance.  

New research shows almost two thirds (63%) would avoid places where locals have been badly affected by too many travellers, while 4 in 10 (39%) want to avoid overcrowded destinations and just over a third (34%) said they care about the welfare of the places they visit. 

Intrepid Travel has been a leader in responsible travel for 35 years and has a long history of seeking out new destinations and taking people off the beaten track to help combat over-tourism and spread the benefits of tourism. Intrepid has compiled a list of places of alternative holiday destinations to encourage holidaymakers to adventure beyond typical tourist hotspots.  


It may be an under-the-radar-travel destination, but Albania was named recently as one of ABTA’s Ten Destinations To Watch in 2024 and when it comes to dazzling landscapes and fascinating culture, Albania is every bit as magnificent as its more popular neighbours. Expect beautiful beaches, historic mountain villages, fantastic food and warm hospitality. Intrepid offers a 9-day Albania Expedition starting from £1,255pp with departures running May – October.  

Much like holiday favourite Spain, Bulgaria is a country of fascinating culture, impressive sights and beautiful landscapes. From its mist-shrouded mountains and shimmering coastline, to its lively folk soundtrack and intriguing ancient mythology, there's an unexpected surprise at every turn. Intrepid offers a 9-day overland Eastern Europe Express starting from £1,210pp with departures running April – October.  


Intrepid_Travel_macedonia_janche_food_rolling_pita_pieNorth Macedonia 
An often-overlooked Balkan gem, North Macedonia boasts stunning lake panoramas, endless green pastures, and rugged peaks. The cuisine can rival that of Italy, with tasty mezze, cheeses, and stews. Intrepid offers a 15-day Kosovo, Albania & Macedonia Explorer starting from £2,112pp with departures running May – September.  



Intrepid_Travel_Timor_LesteTimor-Leste (East Timor)  
Timor-Leste is one of Southeast Asia’s hidden gems, with spectacular peaks, untamed jungles, and the most biodiverse reefs on the planet. While Bali is undoubtedly a stunning destination with its beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage, Timor-Leste offers this without the crowds and alongside its own interesting history, culture, and welcoming locals. Tourism infrastructure is still being developed here, so travellers are guaranteed a unique and off-the-beat-track adventure. Intrepid offers a 9-day Timor-Leste Expedition starting from £1,915pp with departures May – September.  

Intrepid_Travel_comoros_Comorian LadiesComoros Islands
Situated off the east coast of Africa, the Comoros Islands explode with colour and natural beauty. This collection of volcanic islands offers pristine beaches, vibrant reef systems, and incredible wildlife. Travellers get to encounter native animals from humpback whales to dolphins – and visit one of the largest green turtle nesting sites in the world. Intrepid offers a 9-day Comoros: Wildlife Expedition starting from £2,925pp with departures August – October.  

A true adventure and taste of the ancient Silk Road, Uzbekistan offers a unique mix of cultures, mosques, and shopping bazaars. Travellers can marvel at architectural monuments like the domes of Registan Square, and the breathtaking Kalon Mosque and Minaret. Intrepid offers a 10-day Premium Uzbekistan starting from £1,920pp with departures March – November.  







Intrepid_Travel_south_korea_busan_seafood_bbq_group_lunchIntrepid_Travel_south_korea_busan_seafood_bbq_group_lunchSouth Korea 
South Korea is turning into an increasingly popular tourist destination, thanks to successful TV shows and films like ‘Squid Games’ and ‘Parasite’, yet it’s still under-the-radar to many travellers. Intrepid has introduced a new 18-29s trip for 2024, immersing travellers in South Korea’s pop culture with visits to the WithMuu store, HiKR Ground and various popular filming, music and tv locations. Try the 9-day Essential South Korea starting from £720pp with departures March – December.    
Intrepid Travel has been a world leader in responsible travel for more than 30 years. The company’s mission is to create positive change through the joy of travel, which comes to life on more than 1,150 tours, all designed to truly experience local culture. With its own network of destination management companies in 26 countries, Intrepid has local expertise and perspectives.  

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