Some habits are hard to break – but that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to travel. The habits of travelers are changing – quickly and en masse. People are bypassing big cities in favor of smaller destinations that attract fewer tourists, and outdoor activities such as hiking and biking are attracting more interest than before. To avoid the crowds while spending time in the great outdoors , here are seven places to consider once it’s safe. France has been the most visited country in the world for years, with travelers flocking to Paris in the interior, the Côte d’Azur to the south, and the nation’s world-famous wine regions scattered across the bottom two-thirds of the country. the country, but what about the north? Regions along the English Channel, such as Normandy, receive a small fraction of French tourists, making them ideal for travelers wanting to explore the country while avoiding large groups.Although Normandy is relatively quiet, crowds are common at Mont Saint-Michel, a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey located less than a mile from the French mainland.MathieuRivrin | Moment | Normandy is popular with WWII history buffs who come to see the famous invasion sites of the D-Day beaches, as well as the cemeteries and memorials that accompany them. Others are drawn to the seaside towns of Deauville and Trouville, the cobbled streets of Honfleur and the majestic tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel. Like much of France, food is another draw. Normandy is famous for Camembert, Calvados liqueur and apple pie. The “other” islands of Greece In the mid-1990s, Greece received around 10 million tourists per year, according to the World Bank. By 2019, that number had more than tripled: five regions accounted for 88% of all overnight stays in 2017, namely South Aegean, Crete, the Ionian Islands, Central Macedonia and Attica, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Almost half of the hotel rooms are located in Crete and the southern Aegean islands, the latter comprising the popular destinations of Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. Travelers can escape the crowds by choosing a Greek island, like Lipsi, which receives far fewer tourists than Santorini or Mykonos.Fabio Sabatini | Open moment | With tourists tightly concentrated in the most popular Greek islands, this leaves many others with far fewer tourists, including Iraklia in the Cyclades group of islands and Lipsi in the Dodecanese, said Makis Bitzios, managing director. of the Greek tourism consultancy Remake. “The two islands are very beautiful, without crowds, very authentic and less known than many other Greek destinations,” he said. venture into the center, usually meet in Hoi An Old Town, the glitzy hotels outside Da Nang, or the historic sites of Hue and My Son Anantara Quy Nhon Villas is a resort complex built in the south coast region of central Vietnam. Several years ago, a small number of resorts were betting travelers would be drawn to the sleepier regions of Vietnam. Anantara, a luxury brand of the Minor Hotels group, was one of them. It opened Anantara Quy Nhon Villas in 2018 as the first international five-star hotel, in a part of Vietnam that has received few international visitors.The resort has 26 oceanfront villas, each with ocean views and private swimming pool. , Anantara Mui Ne, four hours east of Ho Chi Minh City. “Villas Anantara Quy Nhon and Anantara Mui Ne are located in more off-the-beaten-path destinations and in their own enclosed spaces offering peaceful experiences, yet close to local sites,” Pieter van der Hoeven said by email, Regional Brand Managing Director at CNBC Global Traveler. The colossal Son Doong Cave is another attraction in the interior of the country. First explored in 2009, only 1,000 travelers are allowed to explore it each year, a limit set in place to protect the cave, considered one of the largest and most magnificent in the world., the popular coastal prefecture just south of Tokyo, Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan by geographic size. About 724 miles away square, it’s about two and a half times the size of New York City, but home to less than a million people. Located on Shikoku Island, Kagawa receives a small share of Japanese tourists. As of 2019, less than 55 0000 of the approximately 32 million international tourists to Japan have flown to Kagawa, according to the National Tourism Organization of Japan. Travelers arriving to see castles, temples and feudal gardens and to eat udon – the famous dish is closely related to the prefecture, which produces the noodles from locally grown wheat, can visit the village of Urashima.The village of Urashima is a secluded inn with three private buildings (one of which is called “Silence”) which overlook the uninhabited island of Maruyama. Courtesy of Urashima Village The small luxury inn opened in January to allow guests to work in silence, kayak in the sea and explore the land by bicycle.Equipped with a concierge team and a chef privately, the inn overlooks the uninhabited island of Maruyama, which guests can enter twice a day when an “undersea road” emerges at low tide, according to the hotel’s website. State of Victoria, there are plenty of destinations outside of the city worth recognizing, including the Dandenongs, a tranquil mountain range dotted with bucolic guesthouses, woodland gardens, and family-friendly restaurants. an hour from Melbourne, the Dandenongs Ranges is a mountainous region with delicious food and the friendliness of small towns. Nigel Killeen | Moment | Getty Images Upscale homes can be rented from Valley Ranges Getaways, located in Sassafras, one of the most popular villages in the region. Another visitor favorite, Olinda, is just two miles down the road. Both are lined with artisan shops, antique stores, and restaurants stocked with local wine. Travelers can head to Healesville Sanctuary for close encounters with wombats and kangaroos, or pre-book tickets to ride on Puffing Billy, an unspoiled steam railway. favor of the American Southwest. With an average of 17 people per square mile, New Mexico is the seventh least densely populated state in the United States, according to data company Statista. Dubbed the “Land of Enchantment,” the state has national parks and Aztec ruins, magnificent caves, and rugged red and white desert biomes. Some of New Mexico’s most luxurious hotels, such as The Inn of the Five Graces and Hotel St. Francis, are in the capital of Sante Fe, which has a population of 85,000. Host Ranch near Abiquiú, New Mexico is an area with an eclectic mix of ancient inhabitants including dinosaurs, Spanish settlers and artist Georgia O’Keeffe.Dean Fikar | Moment | The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Sante Fe, however, is located on 57 acres outside of town. Guests stay in individual suites and casitas, which means “little houses” in Spanish, which come with southwest decor and pueblo-inspired wood-burning kiva fireplaces. Overlooking the Rio Grande Valley and neighboring Jemez Mountains, the resort sports a year-round swimming pool, outdoor fire pits, and adventure center that organizes hot air balloon rides, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting, as well. as cultural visits to Ghost Ranch or Bonanza Creek Ranch where movies such as “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Wild Hogs” Caribbean Islands hosting an average of over 30 million international travelers per year – a figure that does not include cruise ship passengers – the number of international visitors to the small Caribbean islands of Saba and St. Eustace could be but a rounding error. The two islands are special municipalities of the Netherlands, and each receives fewer than 10,000 tourists per plane per year, according to the Dutch government agency Statistics Netherlands. Saba and Saint-Eustache (pictured here) are part of the Netherlands Antilles and offer an escape to distance to hike. , dive in and dive into ecotourism.Westend61 | Westend61 | Getty Images A third of visitors come from other islands – namely, Aruba, Curacao and Saint Martin – with at least another third comprising travelers from the United States and the Netherlands. Awarded TripAdvisor in 2020, while Saint-Eustache (also known as Statia) offers homes for rent ranging from modest B & Bs to three-level villas on Airbnb. .