With its colorful cities and towns, ancient architecture and diverse landscapes, and local delicacies to sample in every town and village, Europe has so much to offer to travelers. When there is so much up for grabs, one wonders if there are still some unexplored gems to find in Europe since not all of us like to travel to destinations flocked by hordes of tourists.
If you have been eyeing Europe as a travel destination and take pride in being an offbeat traveler, there are several offbeat places still waiting to be explored.
If you haven’t heard of Brisighella, it has rightfully earned its place amongst the hidden gems of Europe. This incredibly gorgeous medieval fairytale town is just south of Bologna and has somehow managed to stay low-key. The place comes with authentic culture and dense history.
Brisighella is nestled amongst three majestic hills, which contain a castle (La Rocca), a clock tower (La Torre), and a church (Il Montesino); structures dating back to the 14th, 16th, and 18th centuries, respectively. You can never get tired of roaming the streets of Brisighella. But if you do, there’s always hiking up from the village to the structures mentioned above and trying out world-class wines, olives and gelato at the restaurants and cafes lining the vibrant streets.
2. Algarve, Portugal
Algarve can rightly be called a mini paradise of Portugal. It offers a breathtaking rugged landscape and an Atlantic coastline with windswept beaches. As you stroll on these beaches, enjoying the sandy coves, you can catch glimpses of whitewashed villages and towns strewn in between.
Choosing Algarve as your travel destination means you will not get a place that offers you beach resorts, clubs, and restaurants meant to welcome tourists. Instead, you will find yourself in a place that is still untarnished by large crowds. The place is known for its epic rock formations, soaring cliffs, old fishing villages, and endless beaches all soaked in a burst of fabulous sunshine.
3. Perast, Montenegro
Perast is a quaint coastal village just north of Kotor. It’s an undiscovered gem of Europe, and therefore, a great pick for offbeat travelers. With a miniscule population of 274 people and only one main street, this tiny town was once a strategic port between the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian Republic.
One of the highlights of visiting this town is a chance to see a medley of 16 churches, the most majestic of them being the St. Nikola Church, a Baroque masterpiece from the 17th century. Perast is surrounded by scenic mountains, overlooking a bay and every inch of the town is full of scenery and charm.
4. Varna, Bulgaria
The cosmopolitan city of Varna has managed to stay out of the limelight so far but it is easily one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Lined with amazing beaches, Varna is a seaside resort with a vibrant cultural setting. Most people outside of Bulgaria haven’t heard of Varna, a place called the Jewel of the Black Sea by locals.
The city is dotted with historical and cultural attractions including a massive Roman bath complex. You can relax at this beautiful beach destination and explore the many eccentric restaurants, cafés and bars that give Varna its fabulous nightlife.
5. Kefalonia, Greece
Located just off the west coast of mainland Greece, in the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia offers you the perfect offbeat getaway. Stunning landscapes and charming towns surround secluded beaches in Kefalonia. With a coastline dotted with little resort towns, sandy beaches, and idyllic fishing villages, you can spend your days paddling out into the clear waters of the sea or dipping your toes in the sand.
This largest island in the Ionian Sea lets you experience the best of both worlds with its untouched natural beauty, sublime beaches, and opportunities for land and sea adventures.
Pebbled beaches, underground lakes, white-sand bays, and crystal-clear waters await you on this sunkissed sublime island. Spend your days sunbathing on the beaches and kick off the party each night at the lively tavernas, bars and discos.
The post-pandemic world has ushered in an era that has made us all realize that a travel bucket list must never be put on the back burner. With the world now open to receive tourists with open arms, it’s the perfect time to go on a vacation and tick those boxes on your travel checklist.