How to find hidden locations
You ask me all the time where I find all these castles and lovely places in nature. Well, in this post, I'll share with you how! I'm focusing more on the castles, since that's what you've been asking about the most.
In this post, I'll share with you my secrets on how to find such hidden gems and how you can keep on inspiring yourself and others.
1) GOOGLE! Duh.
Well, there are lot of ways to find locations such as reading other blogs or just googling around. All my previous trips did ask for some research before. Sometimes, it can take up to several hours to plan trips. Especially for the longer trips outside Belgium, I don't want to miss any hidden gems, so I do a lot of research on the internet.
https://walloniebelgietoerisme.be/ for example has a lot of great tips, categorised for Wallonia.
https://www.toerismevlaanderen.be/ has this for Flandres. I'm sure there are many other touristic pages as well where you can find a lot of local gems.
2) Google Maps.
Another tip is to go to a location on Google and type 'castle' or 'natural park' or whatever you want to find... There will pop up a lot of castles. Then you need to find out if the castles are private or not. It might not seem super professional but you can find a lot of info on the website of the location or at Wikipedia. Wiki has an entire list of castles as well.
On this image, I googled my location and then I just typed "kasteel"- the Flemish word for castle. A lot of castles popped up.
3) Lists of castles.
First of all: Wikipedia has a massive list with all the castles categorised per region. It's super easy to find. You can find them by region or location. https://nl.wikipedia.org/
There are also many other authors who have written blogs and books about beautiful locations as well. Same heren just google for mroe info!
Here are some other examples as well:
4) Instagram geotags.
My most used trick to find hidden gems: instagram. I do spend a lot of time on instagram and it's always fun to check out what people are doing at the place where I'm traveling to.
I search for the instagram geotag of a location that I like or would like to go to and then I scroll through the photos posted there.
Another fun trick; I use instagram to find out what the lcoation is currently lookin like. For example, I wanted to go to the Hallerbos. The Hallerbos with its famous bluebells is only in bloom a couple of weeks a year. There are websited to check out if the flowers are in bloom or not but that's not always the case...
So, I searched for the geotag of the forest on insta, then I scrolled through the recent photos posted there, to find out what the location was currently looking like. And voila, now you know if you want to check the place out soon or if you should wait some more!
5) Following travel pages on facebook and instagram.
My last tip is to follow travelpages. They will come up with a variety of cool locations, of different countries. I also follow some official tourism pages of some countries that I love. I follow a couple of travelpages from Belgium, to find out what to do when we're once again in lockdown or when I don't want or can leave the country...
I also follow the tourism pages on instagram of: France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, Spain and Morocco. These are countries I love to travel to. It's always fun to discover new hidden gems, especially for countries that you travel all the time to. For me that's Italy- France and Switzerland.
So these were my tips, will you try out one of them?