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Five beautiful places you probably haven’t thought of visiting

Get off the beaten track and plan your next trip to one of these less-frequented destinations, as chosen by our community of travel lovers.

Five beautiful places you probably haven't thought of visiting
Photo: Steven Lewis/unsplash

We recently launched a group on Facebook in partnership with Lufthansa, calling on members to share travel tips, stories and inspiration. It’s tempting to share every single post but for now we’ve handpicked five that showcase some of the more unusual destinations recommended by our community.

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Presenting five beautiful and slightly more out-of-the-ordinary places we sense will quickly creep to the top of your travel wish list.

1. Jordan

See Terhi Vallineva’s group post here.

Who

Terhi Vallineva

Take a look at Lufthansa’s city guide to Amman, Jordan

When

February 2018

Who did you go with?

I was travelling with my 16-year-old son. He was obviously excited to walk in Indiana Jones’ footsteps!

Why did you choose Jordan?

I love to explore countries and places I’ve never been before and I was interested in the Middle East.

See Terhi Vallineva’s group post here.

What was your overall experience?

Jordan is quite an expensive country but we managed to stick to a low budget by bargaining down the price of tours. The local taxi drivers were willing and open to negotiate and we are actually still friends with the driver we had our trip with. The food was amazing and we tried to stick to the local dishes to get familiar with Jordanian food culture. We also brought a lot of local spices back home.

What was your favourite part of the trip?

Take a look at Lufthansa’s city guide to Amman, Jordan

The most unforgettable experience was the night in Wadi Rum desert. We stayed in a humble bedouin camp. Our host was singing songs by the fire while we were enjoying bedouin tea under the stars.

What advice would you give someone planning a trip to Jordan?

I recommend travellers to go and explore and keep their minds open. Jordanian people are big-hearted and we felt welcome everywhere we went. Respect the culture and religion and you will be respected as well.

2. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

See Francesca Baggio’s group post here.

Who

Francesca Baggio

When

August 2018

Have a read of Lufthansa’s Split city guide

Who did you go with?

My boyfriend and two friends

Why did you choose Plitvice Lakes?

We were visiting the stunning city of Split in Croatia and, on our way to the capital Zagreb (which is a really nice city as well), we wanted to see one of the amazing natural areas of Croatia.

What was your overall impression?

We bought the entrance ticket for the afternoon since we had a tight budget. The park is really huge and I would recommend to buy the full day ticket and spend an entire day there. There are plenty of picnic areas and inside the park there are buses and an electric ferry that make it easier to visit the entire area, which is 296.85 km2.

See Francesca Baggio’s group post here.

What was your favourite part of the day?

The big waterfall was really amazing but the park itself is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Check out Lufthansa’s Zagreb city guide

What advice would you give people planning to visit Plitvice Lakes?

I would say to take an entire day to visit it and to stay in one of the B&Bs in the area. Being summer, it was really full of people so it’s important to pay attention in order to not fall into the water. Instead of visiting during the summer, I think it would be better to visit during the spring or autumn.

3. Bosnia

See Jenn Fuller’s group post here.

Who

Jenn Fuller

When

March 2018

Who did you go with?

This was a solo trip.

Check out Lufthansa’s city guide for Sarajevo, Bosnia

Why did you choose Bosnia?

At the end of March I made the spur-of-the-moment decision to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia. Whenever I travel, I always look for something non traditional and more exotic. I was browsing ‘things to do’ on TripAdvisor and I saw a full-day tour to Mostar, visiting the Old Bridge and Turkish House, with a stop at Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

See Jenn Fuller’s group post here.

What was your overall impression?

The first stop was Kravice Waterfalls; it is truly majestic and so worth a visit. The next stop was the city of Mostar, where we were transferred to a local Bosnian guide. She was amazing. The tour was extremely informative and I highly recommend it. It’s very enlightening and will change your perception of Bosnia.

Check out Lufthansa’s city guide for Sarajevo, Bosnia

What was your favourite part of the tour?

The attractions themselves are quite beautiful. The turquoise river that runs through the city under the Old Bridge is breathtaking. The Turkish house is beautiful and has original artefacts inside.

What would you say to other travellers considering Bosnia?

Go with the guided tours. They are low-cost, informative and rewarding. The Old Bridge is quite slippery on dry days, so wear comfortable shoes with good traction!

4. Malta

See Nowshir Fatima’s group post here.

Who

Nowshir Fatima

When

December 2018

Who did you go with?

My husband and two daughters (9 and 1.5 years old)

Take a look at Lufthansa’s Malta travel guide

Why did you choose Malta?

We thought of any sunny warm place in Europe to visit and get away from Swedish darkness and make the most of Christmas vacation. We have been to Spain, Italy and Greece before so were looking for somewhere different. So we picked the small English-speaking country of Malta.

See Nowshir Fatima’s group post here.

What was your overall impression?

Our expectations weren’t wrong. It was sunny and not that cold (almost like May in Sweden). Public transport was cheap and there are restaurants everywhere. People are nice and friendly to tourists. Though it’s very small, I felt it has a unique character; the different language, Mdina glass and smell of the sea all create a memorable experience.

Take a look at Lufthansa’s Malta travel guide

Where was the best place you visited?

The first place that springs to mind is the Blue Lagoon and Comino. Blue Lagoon is just unimaginable – no touch of modern life. It’s really wonderful in Mdina and my daughters loved the chocolate factory in Buggibba. Of course, you mustn’t miss going around Valletta.

What would you say to others planning a trip to Malta?

I suggest not to drive, it’s better to take public transport. Since it’s small you can go around the island in a short amount of time. But as a family with a small kid, we took a longer pause at different places. Whatever you do, you will like this island any time of the year.

5. Tbilisi, Georgia

See Elena Maximiuc’s group post here.

Who

Elena Maximiuc

When

Christmas 2018

Who did you go with?

A good friend

Why did you choose Tbilisi?

My friend, who is Russian, wanted to visit.

Check out Lufthansa’s Tbilisi city guide

What was your overall impression?

My impression is that Tbilisi breathes history. Tbilisi comes with lots of colours and lots of offers like cheap food and cheap transport. Every second building there is a hotel, then a coffee shop, then a pharmacy…! It’s not clean but it’s not dirty; almost everybody speaks Russian and it’s the first city where I have not heard my language, Romanian.

Where was your favourite place in Tbilisi?

It’s hard to choose a favourite place. Tbilisi is heaven for photography, and I love photography! Anywhere I turned my head there was a ‘postcard’ shot. The Old Town is fabulous, all the markets, people selling everything! The hanging sweets made out of some kind of jelly filled with nuts, all the amazing handmade rugs, paintings, cheap souvenirs, local wine. They are very proud of their wine and for 15 euros you can go on a private wine tasting tour and see some beautiful places.

What would you say people planning a trip to Tbilisi?

Go there if you are seeking authenticity! It’s one of the cheapest destinations. A taxi from the airport to town is about €7-8 ($8-9), so you can imagine how cheap the rest of the trip will be! I only needed €200 ($227) spending money on my 7-day trip and I went to restaurants, had street food, wine, champagne and bought souvenirs! Tbilisi is an extraordinary place.

See Elena Maximiuc’s group post here.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Lufthansa.

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TRAVEL

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts

Catch the very tail-end of the wine season and autumn foliage in one of the lesser-explored corners of the Austrian capital: Mauer.

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts
Beautiful views and cosy taverns await you on the edge of Vienna. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Wine-hiking is an autumn must-do in Austria, and although the official Wine Hiking Day (Weinwandertag) that usually draws crowds has been cancelled two years in a row during the pandemic, it’s possible to follow the routes through beautiful scenery and wine taverns on your own.

Mauer in the southwest of Vienna is one of the routes that is mostly frequented by locals.


The footpath takes you through scenic vineyards. Photo: Catherine Edwards

You can reach this part of the 23rd district using Vienna’s public transport, and you have a few options. From the Hietzing station on the U4 line, you can take the tramline 60 or bus 56A. The former will take you either to Mauer’s central square or you can get off earlier at Franz-Asenbauer-Gasse to start the hike. If it’s too early in the day for wine just yet, you could start your day at the small and charming Designo cafe (Geßlgasse 6).

Otherwise, the residential area itself doesn’t have much to see, but keep an eye out as you wander between the taverns later — there are some beautiful buildings.

To start the hike, head west along Franz-Asenbauer Gasse, which will take you up into the vineyards, growing some red wine and Vienna’s specialty Gemischter Satz or ‘field blend’, which as the name suggests is a mixture of different types of grapes.

Photo: Catherine Edwards

The paved road takes a left turn, but the hiking route follows a smaller path further upwards. Here you’ll have magnificent views over the whole of Vienna.

If you stick to the official hiking route (see a map from Weinwandern here) you can keep the whole route under 5 kilometres. But more adventurous types don’t need to feel limited.

You can also follow the Stadtwanderweg 6 route (see a map here) either in full, which will add on a hefty 13 kilometres, or just in part, and venture further into the Mauerwald. If you do this, one spot to aim for is the Schießstätte, a former hunting lodge offering hearty Austrian meals.

EXPLORE AUSTRIA

In any case, you should definitely take a small detour to see the Wotrubakirche, an example of brutalist architecture from the mid-1970s built on a site that was used as a barracks during the Second World War.

Not far from the church is the Pappelteich, a small pond that is not only an important habitat for local flora and fauna, but a popular picnic spot for hikers. Its only water supply is from the rain, and due to climate change the pond has almost dried out in recent years, prompting the city to take action to boost its water supply by adding a permanent pipe.


The church is made up of over 150 concrete blocks. Photo: Catherine Edwards

What you really come to Mauer for, though, are the Heuriger or Viennese wine taverns. 

The most well-known is Edlmoser (Maurer Lange Gasse 123) which has previously been named as the best in Vienna. Note that it’s not open all year so check the website, but in 2021 it should be open between November 5th and 21st, and is also serving the goose that is a popular feature on Viennese menus this time of year.

Tip for translating Heuriger opening times: look for the word ausg’steckt, which is used by those taverns which aren’t open year round. They will also often show that they’re open by attaching a bunch of green twigs to the sign or front door.


Buschenschank Grausenburger. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Also worth visiting are cosy Buschenschank Grausenburger (Maurer Lange Gasse 101a), Heuriger Wiltschko (Wittgensteinstrasse 143 — located near the start of the hiking route, this is a good place to begin your tour) and Heuriger Fuchs-Steinklammer (Jesuitensteig 28).

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