CT Throwback: 9 Best Food & Travel Hidden Gems We Discovered In 2023 For You!

From the serene Divar Island in Goa to the wild allure of Bhutan's national parks, explore nine unique sanctuaries steeped in history, culture, and untamed beauty.

by Mallika Khurana
CT Throwback: 9 Best Food & Travel Hidden Gems We Discovered In 2023 For You!

In the kaleidoscope of travel, some places sparkle like hidden gems waiting to be discovered. In the tapestry of 2023, Curly Tales embarked on a journey, uncovering treasures tucked away from the mainstream spotlight. These discoveries didn’t just beckon with their scenic beauty; they whispered tales of history, culture, and untamed allure. From serene islands steeped in Goa’s colonial past to the majestic wilderness of Bhutan, each find became a chapter in the year’s travelogue, inviting adventurers to unravel their secrets and bask in their splendour. Join us as we delve into these nine clandestine sanctuaries that became our treasured discoveries in 2023.

Best Hidden Gems We Covered In 2023

1. Divar Island, Goa

Hidden Gems
Photo Credits: Canva

Divar Island is a picture of peace, a calm haven in the middle of Goa’s bustling city. Through narrow, winding lanes that lead to Portuguese houses and old Goan dwellings, the ferry ride reveals a land that appears to have been untouched by time. The island’s historic remnants, from hilltop churches like Our Lady of Compassion to the remnants of Kadamba-era structures, narrate tales of Goa’s past. Life here ambles along as a silent witness to colonial history, offering a glimpse into an almost forgotten era.

2. Saura Art, Odisha

Saura art, an ancient tribal style from Odisha, weaves simple forms into intricate narratives using a limited palette. These wall paintings were once ritualistic depictions that evolved into a refined art form, preserving the history and philosophy of the Saura tribe. With ties to both the Ramayana and Mahabharata, these artworks, devoid of a script, hold the tribe’s religious practices and stories, encapsulating their rich heritage.

3. Bogatha Waterfall, Telangana

Hidden Gems
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

In Telangana’s scenic landscape, Bogatha Waterfall is a hidden gem within the Godavari River basin. Its cascading tiers create a mesmerising spectacle, especially during the monsoon, unveiling nature’s vigour and beauty. Amidst lush greenery and pristine surroundings, this waterfall offers a serene environment and untouched natural splendour, inviting travellers to revel in its tranquil embrace.

4. Kalari Cheese, Jammu & Kashmir

Hidden Gems
Photo Credits: Canva

Kalari cheese, with its rich history dating back centuries, carries the distinct taste of Jammu’s cultural heritage. Its creamy, slightly tangy flavour and unique smoky undertone set it apart. Used in various local dishes and enjoyed as a snack, its versatility and cultural significance have garnered recognition as a Geographical Indication product.

5. North Macedonia

North Macedonia
Photo Credits: Canva

An offbeat European treasure, North Macedonia boasts sapphire lakes and verdant landscapes. Despite its breathtaking beauty and historical charm, it remains blissfully uncrowded. The allure lies not only in its pristine natural beauty but also in its affordability compared to other European destinations, making it a haven for travellers seeking a quiet yet equally enchanting European experience.

Also Read: Savour Maangai Pacchadi’s Five Flavours Of Life With This Recipe, Perfect To Start The New Year

6. Tosa Maidan, Kashmir

Tosa Maidan
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Tucked away in Kashmir, Tosa Maidan is a serene paradise that offers undisturbed views of lush green pastures and peaks. Just a short distance from Srinagar, this hill station exudes an untouched charm. With its vast meadows, glacial lakes, and historical background, it’s a haven for those seeking tranquillity amidst nature’s bounty.

7. Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan

A sanctuary for wildlife enthusiasts, Jigme Dorji National Park in Bhutan is home to a myriad of species, including snow leopards, Bengal tigers, and unique birds. Beyond the wildlife, it offers mesmerising landscapes and trekking opportunities, making it a haven for nature lovers.

8. Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

Phobjikha Valley
Photo Credits: Canva

Nestled within the Black Mountains, Phobjikha Valley mesmerises with its bowl-shaped landscapes and rich biodiversity. The arrival of black-necked cranes during the winter adds to its allure. With treks, cultural experiences at Gangtey Monastery, and wildlife encounters, it perfectly blends natural beauty and cultural richness.

9. Cache Cache, London


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Hidden in Covent Garden, Cache Cache is a clandestine fusion of a restaurant and cocktail club, offering an exclusive experience. Its secretive nature, combined with exquisite cuisine and vibrant entertainment, has made it one of London’s best-kept secrets. From delectable dishes to lively beats, it’s an escape from the mundane, enticing those seeking an extraordinary night out in the city.

Where: 5 The Piazza, London WC2E 8RA, United Kingdom
When: 7 pm – 1:30 am
Cost: starting at £41 (approx. ₹4,315)

Each of these hidden gems holds a unique allure, promising unforgettable experiences to those who seek them out.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva and Cache Cache/Instagram

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