Our 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

We were nominated by the lovely Nora of The Professional Hobo to share our 3 best travel secrets, as part of a Tripbase project to bring some great tips together from across the net.

My only problem with this mission is that I could probably list 20 secret travel places but in keeping with the theme, here are 3 that spring to mind. And yes, the ride there is as wonderful as the destination.

Aphrodisias, Turkey


Most tourists in Turkey head straight for Troy and Ephesus, the archaeological sites along the coast but when we tried to visit we were overrun by tour groups, who kindly made sure they also provided entertainment in the form of actors dressed as Romans (in fetching plastic capes), jumping off the ampitheatre and just being generally annoying. The solution? Head inland to Aphrodisias and enjoy the peace? The amazing theatre and stadium are some of the best we’ve seen anywhere and you can marvel at the architecture in silence.

How to get there: Highway E87 leads from the coast towards Nazilli. In Nazilli, head south briefly, then east on a back road that goes through many small villages (Pirlibey is one of them and has a shop and cafe) before hooking up with the D585, which will take you straight to Aphrodisias. Nearby is the village of Geyre, where you can camp and get a room or a meal.

Kobarid on the Soca River, Slovenia


Slovenia’s Soca River takes top prize for the most beautiful river we’ve seen anywhere and the variety of activities you can do in this corner of Slovenia is impressive. Go hiking, rafting, rock climbing, diving or just visit the local towns. Kobarid has a great museum. It’s just across the mountains from Italy. Why don’t more people come here?

How to get there: Take Route 52 out of Amaro, then the SS646 in Italy, up and over the mountains to the small town of Kobarid. Just beware the hills after Lischiazze!

Titirangi Bay, New Zealand

It took a long slog up a dirt road to get here but when we crested the top of the hill and saw this view of Titirangi Bay, our jaws dropped open. Here, at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, you get to savour  this landscape mostly on your own. The majority of tourists don’t come right to the top of the Marlborough Sounds or, if they do, they don’t stay the night. There’s only a rustic campsite (cold water, no showers) but you do get the use of a stunning beach and plenty of inquisitive weka birds circling your tent.

How to get here: Go to Kenepuru Head in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and follow Titirangi Road until it runs out.

Part of the object of this post is to get other blogs to do the same. I’m hoping these travellers will participate:


  1. Katie, Tripbase
    4th January 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Super secrets and stunning pics, thanks for sharing!

  2. The Longest Way Home
    4th January 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Hi, Some great destinations you mention there. I can attest to Turkey! Far too many people go just to the main sights!

    Thanks for including me on your list. At the moment though, I just keep my blog to journal updates though. Who knows in the future though. But thanks again for including me. I’m happy to give your post a mention on twitter or add you to my directory;)


  3. Nora - The Professional Hobo
    4th January 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Slovenia looks awesome! Sign me up. Great secrets!

  4. Family on Bikes
    5th January 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Great destinations! I got my three hidden gems up here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2010/01/hidden-gems/

    Hope you continue to find those wonderful little hideaways!


  5. Dina VagabondQuest
    7th April 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Your Soca River picture is really gorgeous, I hope I could be there one day.

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