The best places to visit in Europe typically require inexpensive tickets on Ryanair, deviating from the beaten path, or just ending up somewhere completely unexpected.
That is deemed to be inconvenient by others. It’s winning in our book.
We enjoy looking for Europe’s undiscovered treasures, as well as locations that are yet undiscovered by tourists and places that surprisingly win you over. This list, my friends, is for you if you are like me and would rather point to an arbitrary island named Nisyros on a map and head there on a whim.
Another amazing aspect of seeing Europe is how easy it is to navigate between smaller places due to the numerous bus and rail connections available, especially given that buses can sometimes be the greatest way to reach Europe’s hidden treasures, whether you’re exploring small villages near Rome or heading to far remote secret Spain spots.
1. Austria’s Asitz Mountain
ideal for? Culture, art, escapism, biking, hiking, and sustainable travel
The Austrian region of Saalfelden Leogang, located in the Austrian Alps, is one of our most recent discoveries in Europe. Although many people would consider this region of the world to be the best place to go skiing in the winter, We went there at the beginning of the summer to try and find the “RealAustria,” as the local tourism board calls it.
2. Extremadura Region, Spain
Perfect for? Picturesque cities and roman history, natural hikes, excellent local produce
Extremadura, which translates to “extreme-hard,” may initially conjure up pictures of expansive, dusty plateaus with olive groves; nonetheless, it is one of the least visited regions of Spain. However, closer examination reveals that it is a location rich in gastronomy, culture, and tradition that unquestionably can’t remain unnoticed for very long.
The two provinces of Caceres and Badajoz are wedged between some of the most well-known travel sites in Spain (Andalusia and Castile and León) and, to the west, Portugal, and are best avoided in the stifling summer heat and icy winters. But here, you’ll not only find the best Roman remains in the nation in Merida, which is classified by UNESCO and where ancient aqueducts, mosaic museums, and amphitheatres will transport you back in time, but also two other UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Explore Caceres’ historic city walls, where the Old Town skillfully integrates Gothic, Renaissance, Roman, and Moorish architecture. The Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, a popular pilgrimage destination, is a stunning example of blending architectural styles. Hop between tiny places like Plasencia, where narrow alleys and grand cathedrals meet, and small villages like Hervas, noted for its white-washed Jewish quarter. This is the finest way to experience hidden Spain.
How long to spend in Extremadura? You’ll most likely want a car to make the most out of a week trip, although you could visit a few key cities by bus over a long-weekend.Dan
3. Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Perfect for? Food and wine, sustainable travel, and outside activities.
We are very happy to see Slovenia gaining the recognition it deserves, with the mystical magic of Lake Bled and the green capital of Ljubljana becoming steadfast traveller favourites.
However, a large portion of the nation is still blissfully unexplored, and the Vipava Valley is unquestionably one of Europe’s best-kept secrets… for the time being!
In Slovenia, sustainability and slow travel are not just trendy buzzwords; they are a way of life, and nowhere is this more evident than in Vipava Valley. At first glance, this lovely area of greenery, hills, and vineyards could easily be mistaken for Tuscany.
The fun of travelling to Vipava is exploring the small villages on a bicycle or on foot, climbing mountains, paragliding in their world-famous winds, and eating everything that is served to you. Since everyone seems to have one underneath their home, the number of wine cellars in this area is unknown. The most unlucky house doubles as a restaurant selling regional specialities and homemade wine, and the entire location is picture-perfect. This small region of Slovenia will send you home feeling completely rejuvenated, whether you prefer a few days of leisure with a gourmet focus or a week away from modern life in favour of native flavours.
4. The Azores, Portugal
Perfect for? Nature-filled hikes, Atlantic ocean surf, geothermal activity
If you can, picture a smaller version of New Zealand and Switzerland that is encircled by the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll be spoiled for natural delights on the nine islands that make up the Azores, an autonomous territory of Portugal, which was formed by volcanic activity and is situated between Portugal and Canada.
You’ll be in awe, and that’s just on So Miguel island. You’ll be awed by the geothermal activity bathing in the water or watching geysers bubble. You’ll be awed by responsibly swimming nearby dolphins or spotting the local whale population.
Although some of the islands are certain to remain much less visited, it’s safe to predict that this hidden treasure of Europe won’t remain so for long with a flurry of new flights beginning in 2022. Far-flung Flores, which is Indonesian for “flowers,” is actually a better name for waterfalls because it is a lush retreat with tranquil trails to falling streams. On Pico, you can hike to the top of Portugal’s tallest peak, explore extinct lava tubes, or sip the region’s distinctive volcanic wine.
5. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Perfect for? Adventure activities, fascinating history, Ottoman architecture.
Can I describe a whole country as a hidden treasure in Europe? I’ll try my best, I promise! Bosnia and Herzegovina is still, for the most part, a relatively undiscovered destination in Europe. I’ve already visited here twice, and the second trip solidified my love for the nation. I took a road trip on both occasions because it’s the best way to reach some of the less-frequented locations.
Sarajevo, the capital city, is beginning to draw an increasing number of tourists thanks to its affordable prices, fantastic cultural mix, especially in relation to WWI, and beautiful Mostar, which is justly famous and now becoming very popular with day-trippers from Dubrovnik, but the country offers so much more to experience.
A popular motif among the lakes you’ll discover throughout the nation is clarity and illumination, making the rafting around Konjic ideal for thrill-seekers. The picture-perfect Kravica Waterfalls and the monastery on a lake at Rama in Scit are also part of the water-based beauty. Visit one of the last mountain settlements, Lukimor, for hiking and cultural activities. If you visit during the winter, skiing is also possible.