Best Cheap Resorts
Find your next getaway
- Cheap resorts can be worth it for budget-conscious travellers seeking basic amenities and a comfortable stay, as long as they research the property's reviews and reputation beforehand to ensure a positive experience.
- To book resorts for cheap, consider traveling during the off-season, and always compare prices on multiple booking websites, taking advantage of discounts and promotional offers.
- Some destinations with the cheapest resorts include Southeast Asia, specifically countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia (Bali), as well as parts of Eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania. Central America, particularly Guatemala and Nicaragua, also offer budget-friendly resort options.
- Yes, some resorts may have hidden fees that could include resort fees, service charges, or taxes, so it's always a good idea to thoroughly review the booking details and ask for a complete cost breakdown before confirming your reservation.
Discover the most popular destinations for the world's cheap resorts
- BaliBali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.
- MaldivesWant to make your co-workers insanely jealous? Just casually drop "I’m holiday making in the Maldives this year" into conversation, preferably in the dead of winter. Or better yet, go there without mentioning it to anyone—then send them a "Wish you were here!" postcard.
- PhuketPhuket offers a rainbow spectrum of spectacular holiday sights from blue lagoons and pink sunsets to orange-robed monks. Three wheeled-Tuk Tuks, taxis, buses and long tailed boats transport visitors between these marvels. Phuket's south coast offers its most popular beaches. The north is more tranquil. Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach are popular spots. Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options. Inland, forested hills, mountains and cliffs wait to be explored.
- TahitiThe unique and ubiquitous island of Tahiti is world-renowned for its Polynesian charm, colourful culture and romantic ambiance. The grass-skirted hip shaking of Tahitian dance is sure to get your toes tapping and heart thumping—let the celebratory vibe of this magical locale rejuvenate and excite you to the core. Warm-water lagoons and crystalline ocean tides are host to a rainbow’s worth of colourful marine life, and the food, drink, spas and dramatic nightlife provide an experience to stimulate all the senses.
- LangkawiForested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to tropical Palau Langkawi, the largest of the 99 islands in Langkawi archipelago. Known mysteriously as "Legendary Island" because of myths associated with its ancient geological formations, it drifts serenely alongside Malaysia in the azure Andaman Sea. Sample local cuisine at the night markets, hike to dramatic waterfalls or dive into an underwater marine park to take a guided glimpse at life beneath the sea.
- Bora BoraThe relatively small island of Bora Bora is an activity giant, offering visitors the chance to experience a 4x4 safari, sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches, dive in a natural underwater park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings, or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. And Bora Bora is a superlative romantic spot. Fall captive to this lush gem of a Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach; visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench; or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300-foot Mount Otemanu.
- LuzonThe biggest island in the Philippines, Luzon is also one of the most diverse—it’s where mountain peaks and volcanoes meet miles of coastline, and indigenous culture melds with Spanish colonial history. You can relax at the beach in Pagudpud, hike with locals up the Batad Rice Terraces, ride in a horse-drawn carriage in Vigan, and snack on street food and dance the night away in Manila. You’ll need a few days and a bus pass, but you’ll be glad you stayed.
- Zanzibar ArchipelagoA group of islands and islets some 25 miles off the Tanzanian coast, the Zanzibar Archipelago is headlined by Unguja (often referred to simply as Zanzibar) and Pemba. Once a separate nation, Zanzibar has a long history of trade with the Arab world, dating back to at least the 11th century. The capital, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many interesting historic attractions. Zanzibar's bright white beaches and nearby coral reefs make it very popular with the sun and sea set.
- Cebu IslandFrom the cosmopolitan metropolis of Cebu City and the white-sand beaches of Mactan to the electric-blue waters of Kawasan Falls and the whale sharks of Oslob, it’s easy to see why Cebu Island is one of the Philippines’ top destinations.
- ArubaVisit Aruba once and you'll instantly start planning your next visit. The island wins you over with gorgeous weather, serene beaches, exciting land and sea activities (ATVs in the outback, anyone?), and terrific nightlife, from restaurants to casinos and nightclubs. Don't miss the live music scene, featuring Aruba's own Tumba music.
- Paradise IslandParadise Island is known for powder soft beaches and crystal clear, turquoise water, great for diving and snorkeling. Visitors can try their luck at the Atlantis Casino and dine “around the world” at celebrity chef restaurants. Spend the day at Aquaventure Water Park or swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cay. Take a scenic stroll through Marina Village or shop for souvenirs at Bahamas Craft Centre and Craft Cottage. Or just soak up the Caribbean sun on a beautiful beach.
- MooreaThe world's largest coral reef eco-system actually consists of 3,000 separate reefs. The island of Moorea serves as the perfect base camp for snorkelers and scuba divers seeking to come face-to-face with the diversity of life that darts among the coral. Non-swimmers can enjoy the same parade of astounding creatures from the dry perch of a glass-bottomed boat. Formed when half of a monolithic volcano crumbled to the blue-green sea, Moorea is an achingly exquisite heart-shaped island that is simply paradise found.
- Phu Quoc IslandSoak up the sun and some Vietnamese culture on Phu Quoc Island, where white sands and tropical waters entice beachgoers from all over the globe. Snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing are the most popular water sports here, though jet-skiing, wind sailing and squid fishing—yes, squid fishing—are also at your holiday-making fingertips. Check out the early-morning Duong Dong Market for an authentic local experience.
- CorfuCorfu is studded with whitewashed houses, Byzantine churches, and the remains of Venetian fortresses and Greek temples. Wander the ancient streets of the Roman village of Kassiopi or explore the central Esplanade of the eponymous Corfu Town. For a DIY spa experience, lather yourself in mineral mud on the shore of the Canal D’Amour. Legend has it that the waterfalls of Nymphes used to attract the mythological beauties of the same name, who would flock to the village to bathe in the pristine waters.
- Palawan IslandPalawan is a slice of heaven, a sliver of an island that teems with exotic wildlife, quaint fishing villages, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wave hello to endangered animals at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary or explore the Japanese shipwrecks of Coron Island, regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world. A guided boat tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River will take your breath away.
- OahuSay aloha to tropical breezes, oceanfront luaus and iconic Diamond Head on Oahu, the most populated Hawaiian island. Follow in the footsteps of surfing forefather Duke Kahanamoku on Waikiki Beach, visit the royal quarters of Iolani Palace and tour Pearl Harbor. Sample hot malasadas (local doughnuts) and shaved ice while shopping for vintage floral-print shirts on Honolulu's Kapahulu Avenue. Get off the tourist trail with a hike to Makapuu Lighthouse on the South Shore. You can even learn to hula.
- Grand CaymanThe farther you go from Grand Cayman's busy docks, the more peace and quiet you'll find. At Stingray City (actually a sandbar), stingrays swim alongside you in the tranquil waters. Closer to town, travellers report finding some of the best massage and spa services anywhere in the Caribbean.
- HawaiiFrom volcanic landscapes to hidden waterfalls… active adventures to an energetic nightlife… a holiday on the Hawaiian Islands offers infinite experiences in one destination. Each of the six major islands – Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii – has its own distinct personality, but no matter which ones you choose, you’ll discover endless opportunities for adventure, dining, culture and relaxation.
- South AustraliaWhether you're a culture vulture or a nature lover, South Australia offers great adventures. Get a taste of the Outback with a hike through the Flinders Ranges, sample the amazing wines of Barossa or come face to face with koalas and sea lions on Kangaroo Island. The capital city of Adelaide showcases Aboriginal antiquities at the South Australian Museum and bustles day and night with events. Hire a car to cover the most ground, as the province is four times the size of the UK.
- KeralaIndia’s millennia-old natural medicine, Ayurveda, is the guiding force in southern state Kerala’s famed health resorts. To rejuvenate in luxurious surrounds, try 50-acre oasis Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort’s authentic ayurvedic healing with aromatherapy, massage, essential oils and yoga.
Colorado is home to no less than twenty-six ski resorts such as those in Vail and Breckenridge; other winter activities include snowboarding, sledding, sleigh rides, snow hiking and snowmobiling. The state is blessed with national parks, grasslands and forests where in warmer weather you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking or rock climbing. Wildlife abounds, from bears to moose and raccoons to wolverines. More interested in local history? Head for either the Ute Indian Museum or the Koshare Indian Museum, and don't miss the forts such as Fort Garland and Bent's Old Fort. For a complete change, why not take a ride in a hot air balloon from South Park Valley or Boulder and admire Colorado's picturesque landscape from above?
- CaliforniaCalifornia is a fertile, peaceful place where you’ll find a near-equal balance of vineyards and deserts, beaches and mountains, hippies and traditionalists. Catch an epic wave in Big Sur or swirl a glass in Napa Valley. Be dazzled by the Joshua Tree night sky or just star-gaze in Hollywood. Swish down the slopes of a Tahoe ski resort, or cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge with the top down and the music blasting. Above all, don’t forget to soak up some Golden State sunshine.
- Western AustraliaLeave the everyday behind, get away from the well-known and well-trodden, and reconnect with something unspoilt — even a little wild — in Western Australia. The country’s largest State, boasting the nation’s longest coastline and sunniest capital city of Perth (Boorloo), Western Australia is a place to recharge your spirit — outdoors in the fresh air and wide-open spaces, where it’s always summer somewhere. Experience otherworldly phenomena and majestic landscapes with supernatural contrasts of colour and texture. Awe-inspiring wilderness and boundless natural adventures await you in Western Australia.
- VirginiaVirginia can make American history come alive. Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, tour Civil War battlefields, explore the living history museum at Williamsburg… the possibilities are endless (if the kids object, break up the historical sightseeing with a visit to Busch Gardens). Arlington, site of Arlington National Cemetery, is just across the Potomac River from all the major sites in D.C. In addition to beaches and historical attractions, Virginia has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Active families will love the Blue Ridge Highlands, where hiking, canoeing and tubing are just a few of the activities offered. Couples might enjoy a romantic mountain cabin in Virginia after a day of hiking in Shenandoah National Park.
- Gold CoastSun-drenched and built for fun, Australia's Gold Coast hugs Queensland's southeast coastline with beaches, shimmering high rises, and epic surf breaks. Though it's hedonistic at heart, there's also plenty of opportunities for adventure and family-friendly attractions beyond its well-known party scene.
- NadiOne of the largest towns and most visitors’ first stop on Fiji, Nadi is a culturally diverse city of 30,000. Nadi Beach is a wide strand, perfect for lazing in the sun and watching sunsets. Nearby Natadola Beach is Fiji’s most spectacular and is popular for swimming and body surfing. Other paces to visit in Nadi include Sri Siva Subramaniya, the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere, the Sleeping Giant orchid gardens and Waqadra Botanical Gardens.
- Lapu LapuLocated just off the coast of Cebu City, Lapu Lapu (also known as Mactan Island) offers fresh seafood and historic shines, though it's primarily a gateway to the islands of Nalusuan and Caohagan, home to coral reefs and world-class scuba diving opportunities.
- KutaKuta boasts the best beaches in Bali, a five-mile stretch of clean sand that is a magnet for surfers and sunbathers. When that golden sun goes down, the animals come out—the party animals, that is. Kuta nightlife is almost frantic, as global tourists bounce from restaurant to nightclub in an effort to soak up the Kuta experience like a well-dressed sponge.
- Punta CanaAmong the best golf destinations in the world, Punta Cana is the very picture of leisure. Several of the courses have been designed by professional golfers, making for the perfect sort of kicked-back challenge that you want on a golfing holiday. The beaches here are simply perfect: calm, warm waters that gently lap at stretches of fine white sand. Thrill yourself with a zip-line adventure, clap along with traditional Dominican music at a cultural performance, or explore the magical lagoons of the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park.
- CairnsCairns is the perfect city for merry revelers, passionate divers and adrenaline junkies, offering booming nightlife and heart-pounding adventure amid a vibrant, tropical setting. This friendly Queensland city of 130,000 is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown and the rest of Cape York Peninsula. Embark on an eco-adventure or take a dip in a lagoon pool before hitting the town to unwind and shake what you’ve got Down Under.
- UbudThe village cluster of Ubud is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage and soak up the ambiance of one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy star in the island's distinctively firm massage treatments. Ubud is also the vivacious centre of Bali’s arts scene, home to a small treasure trove of museums and galleries. Monkey around at nearby nature reserve Monkey Forest Park, home to hundreds of mischievous long-tailed macaques. Don’t miss the valley of tomb cloisters at Gunung Kawi.
- SeminyakSeminyak boasts some of the most glorious beaches in Bali. Be sure to catch the legendary sunsets and enjoy the tranquil beauty, and marvel at Balinese ceremonies on the beach, complete with gamelan players and offerings to the gods. Of course, don’t let the smooth sands and intricate cultural experiences distract you from spas and shopping! Sophisticated spas and high-end boutiques will entice you away from the waterfront—for a short time, anyway.
- San DiegoSan Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint. The naval aircrafts at the USS Midway Museum will have you standing at attention. A free Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the perfect way to unwind after a Saturday night bar-hop in the thumping Gaslamp Quarter.
- BeijingMove over, Haussmann and l'Enfant. Beijing's urban planner beat you by a couple of centuries. His name is Kublai Khan. Here, you'll find a wealth of history, both ancient (the Hall of Preserving Harmony, Summer Palace, Forbidden City) and more recent (Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Tienanmen Square). For the best market experience, choose the Dirt Market over the touristy Silk Market.
- Caleta de FusteCaleta de Fuste (also known as El Castillo) is a rollicking tourist destination with wide beaches and outdoor sports, including sailing, diving, and windsurfing. Travellers enjoy sharing the blue waters with the turtles and dolphins, as well as hitting the greens at the luxurious Fuerteventura Golf Club. If you're looking for equal parts adventurous-trip and relaxation-central, you'll find it here with a day of snorkelling or trike riding followed by lounging on the serene sand beaches.
- RawaiRawai is an off-the-beaten-path area of Phuket that attracts devotees of Muay Thai martial arts. Training centers here teach all levels, from absolute beginner to world champion. On the opposite end of the vacation spectrum, there’s the Phuket Seashell Museum, an immense collection of delicate specimens from around the world. A visit to the Sea Gypsy Village on the eastern end of Rawai Beach is a transformative experience.
- RishikeshThe holy city of Rishikesh, in the base of the Himalayas, holds deep cultural and spiritual significance for local Hindus. Sacred rivers and mountains set the scene for yoga and reflective hikes, and rafting here is an absolute must. The Beatles got in touch with their Eastern spiritual side here, writing several songs during a 1968 stint at a local ashram.
- HonoluluHonolulu is a legendary surfing destination. But even if you don’t know a boogie board from a surfboard, you’ll find a beach here that appeals to you (and, if you want to learn the difference, you can find a great instructor to teach you). Swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, outrigger canoeing or just sunbathing… it’s all available in Honolulu.
- QueenstownStaggering beauty and heart-pumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbits—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for the kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region's 75 wineries.
- Crested Butte
A trip to Crested Butte is far from a one-size-fits-all package. In the winter Crested Butte is known as “the last great Colorado ski town,” and in the summer it is the wildflower capital of Colorado. Mount Crested Butte boasts some of the best backcountry skiing, and as host of the US Extreme Ski Championships and the X Games, it also leads the state in teaching first-time skiers. There are runs for every skill level and family friendly.
- MahabalipuramJust 45 minutes out of the city, the East Coast Road first stops at the historic town of Mahabalipuram. The 7th century erstwhile port city is famous for its rock-cut shore temples. A lone lighthouse on a hill watches over a group of temples below. Mahabalipuram also has some great cafes that serve good sea food. A backpacker’s delight, one can find cheap accommodations and plenty of activities.
- Margaret RiverMargaret River is both a region and a bustling market town famed for its wine, incredible surfing, gorgeous coastline, multi-chambered caves and mysterious karri (eucalyptus) forests. Award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Semillon vintages are produced at the area’s more than 200 vineyards. The annual Margaret River Wine Region Festival is a vintner’s paradise, attracting gourmet enthusiasts from around the globe.
- New ZealandForever remembered for its "The Lord of the Rings" legacy, New Zealand’s landscapes are deserving of their big screen fame—think lush rolling hills, volcano-sculpted moonscapes, UNESCO-listed glaciers, and white-sand beaches. Cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown follow suit, with photo-worthy scenery and a laid-back vibe.
- FijiIf it wasn’t soothing enough already, Fiji offers an enticing array of distinctive relaxation options. Traditional Fijian Bobo massage, a healing blend of massage and local nut oils, Duavata island-style four-handed massage and Thalgo therapy mud and algae wraps top enticing local treatment options.
- ThailandThailand is a country of many contrasting facets, with glorious beaches as well as forests, jungles and mountains. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe or explore the wildlife, a family holiday in Thailand will never be dull.If you're looking for seaside relaxation, visit the beaches and bay of Hat Karon in Phuket with sand dunes and palm trees. The island of Ko Tao has coral reefs and is the place to go if you want to learn to dive, but you can also go mountain biking or just sunbathe on the beach. The Royal Barge National Museum in Bangkok houses several barges built for Thailand's kings; the beautifully detailed carving is quite breathtaking. Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park in Chiang Mai has a wealth of flowering plants and ferns as well as three hundred species of birds. If you're in the mood for a quiet spot, try the town of Sangkhlaburi; from there you can set off on an elephant trek or jungle tour. For mountains and forests, visit the north-western province of Mai Hong Son.
- VietnamThe jungles and monsoon forests of Vietnam are diverse ecosystems that are alive with unique wildlife. Trekking is a popular activity here, particularly the mountains of Sapa and the primeval landscape of Cuc Phuong National Park. For a more urban escape, take a guided food tour of Ho Chi Minh City, making sure to squeeze in visits to the historic Hoi Truong Thong Nhat palace and the intricately adorned Emperor Jade Pagoda.
- PhilippinesWith more than 7,000 islands consisting of rice paddies, volcanos, mega-metropolises, world-class surf spots, and endemic wildlife, the Philippines is one of the most dazzling and diverse countries in all of Asia. Not to mention, it’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, too.
- CaribbeanThe Caribbean, with its tropical climate and diversity of islands, is a prominent destination for tourists. Mention the Caribbean and its tropical climate, crisp clear blue waters, and pristine sandy beaches seem to be the biggest draw. Some of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean are the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Aruba.
- GreeceGreece is one of those rare places where ancient history is still very much a part of modern life. Visitors are as much drawn to the country’s epic intellectual history as its beauty and charm. Make time for the iconic features of the Acropolis of Athens, which include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Mythology buffs will appreciate Crete, Olympia, Samos, and Naxos for their mythological significance. For a peaceful beach holiday, the island of Santorini is perfect.
- Sri LankaKnown by a flotilla of aliases, the Resplendent Isle is one of gorgeous beaches, tea plantations and ancient cities. Scuba dive, visit an elephant orphanage and a lagoon of singing fish, explore dense jungle, shrines and temples. Situated just 20 miles off India, the island formerly known as Ceylon is home to 20 million people and eight World Heritage sites. The country's long, brutal civil war ended in May, 2009, bringing peace, stability and a revival of tourism.
- IndiaFrom the beaches of sun-soaked Goa to the frenetic bazaars of Mumbai, India offers wealth of vastly different, yet equally enthralling, experiences. Explore the sparkling lakes and palaces of Udaipur, watch traditional Indian dance in Kochi, or buy brilliantly-colored silk saris at a market in Varanasi… no matter how much you travel in India, you’ll always find more to discover in this vibrant, fascinating country.
- United StatesSpanning 2,800 miles (4,506 kilometres) from east to west, the US is a vast patchwork of landscapes and metropolises. From Arizona’s red-rocked canyons and California’s coastal beaches to New York’s big city and Virginia’s storied past, it covers any topic any traveller could want or need.
- AustraliaAustralia is as varied as it is enormous-- it is home to thriving cities, vast wilderness, and earnest, friendly people. Sydney is for sophisticates, with its famous opera house and annual Sculpture By the Sea outdoor art exhibits. Port Douglas makes a great base for snorkeling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, and quaint lighthouses keep vigil along the beaches of Byron Bay. Melbourne is a hub of rousing cricket activity, and the limestone pillars of the Pinnacles Desert are a natural wonder.
- Costa RicaThose looking for stunning but ecologically conscious holidays need look no further. The misty rain and cloud forest teems with toucans. Encounters with rare wildlife, from quetzals to leatherback turtles, await. Activities such as surfing and whitewater rafting are available on gorgeous beaches and splendid rivers. Arenal Volcano puts on mighty shows almost daily, and nearby hot springs soothe stresses away. San Jose, the capital and largest city, is vibrant and packed with Victorian mansions.
- BelizeA former British colony, Central American Belize is very much Caribbean in spirit. Forty per cent of this English-speaking paradise is protected park and nature reserve land. Enthralling Maya ruins await amid rainforest canopies. Awe- inspiring scuba diving and eco-adventures are on offer along the world's second- longest barrier reef. The 1000-foot-diameter Blue Hole is so big and so blue that it can be seen from outer space. To make the most of your visit, consider domestic flights within Belize.
- SwitzerlandFrom the storybook villages and dizzying peaks of the Swiss Alps to the lakeside resorts of Geneva and Lucerne, landlocked Switzerland serves up some of Europe’s most enchanting scenery (along with some of its most delicious cheeses and chocolates, too).
- ItalyFrom the silvery crests of the Alps to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Italy’s beauty is unparalleled. A visit could mean marveling at the Colosseum after a tender plate of pasta, or drifting lazily down a canal, your belly full of local Sangiovese. Explore Tuscan vineyards and olive groves or drool over boutiques in fashionable Milan. Look for mermaids from the cliffs of Sorrento or nibble on Parma’s famous cheese and prosciutto. Anywhere you choose, the country will captivate you.
- FranceThere's much more to France than Paris—from the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the lavender fields of Provence, and the French Riviera's celebrity-studded beaches. World-famous gastronomy and fine wines provide the perfect complement to the country's alpine views and architectural masterpieces.
Popular Continents and Regions
- EuropeFrom the mighty fjords in the north to the ancient Greek ruins in the south, all the way to the volcanic Azores in the west and the monumental architecture in the east, Europe's unique blend of history, landscapes, and cultures must be seen to be believed.