As more travelers seek to avoid mass tourism and the chaos that can come with it, Lonely Planet has released a new guide to “crowd-free, under-the-radar” alternatives.
quirky features the travel editor’s 100 best alternatives to “the busiest places in the world”, and one of them is the Copper Coast in County Waterford.
“During all but the busiest summer weekends, you can expect to have its beautifully secluded, wave-lashed coves, walking trails and coastal forests largely down to your luck,” says the guide. .
The Copper Coast is described as stretching some 25km from Kilfarrasy to Stradbally, and “severely neglected – so much so that mention of it often draws blank stares, even from the Irish”.
quirky is presented by continent, with destination guides, practical advice and local voices included for each location.
Destinations range from the Portuguese city of Braga to the hills of Shropshire in the UK, from the Lost Sierra in California to the Shikoku region of Japan, and many more.
The aim is to highlight regions and countries “where visiting can make a real difference to the local community, as well as places that were not previously considered. [that] are much easier to get to than you might think,” he says.
“Swap Paris for the gastronomic capital and cosmopolitan vibe of Lyon,” recommends Lonely Planet. Or “exchange the seaside life of Crete for the green and wild island of Andros”.
The Copper Coast is touted as a less traveled alternative to the Wild Atlantic Way, and a landscape dotted with 19th century copper mining ruins, Ogham stones and hidden beaches like Trá na mBó and Ballydowane.
It also brushes against a section of the Waterford Greenway.
Lonely Planet’s thumbs-up follows a gushing travel function in the Telegraph this month, who called the Copper Coast a “secret coastal road trip” that “is pure Irish magic – without the masses”.
Somewhere else, quirky advises Poland’s “winter peaks and slopes” in the Tatra Mountains as an alternative to the Alps, while readers are encouraged to swap Tallinn for Tartu in Estonia – the 2024 European Capital of Culture.
“As the world once again embraces travel, we know people are looking for crowd-free, low-key alternatives to the mainstays of popular tourism,” says Chris Zeiher of Lonely Planet Publications.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to reset our travel habits and make tourism more sustainable for the future,” writes editor Lorna Parkes in the book’s introduction.
“It is essential to disperse travelers more evenly across the world. The most tempting question now is: where do you want to go?
“I hope this book can provide new answers.”
Lonely Planet’s Offbeat is available in bookstores or on lonelyplanet.com.