Europe is a continent with so many well known destinations and landmarks worth visiting. But it’s also full of incredible hidden gems worth visiting.
These hidden gems are the treasured secrets, places that often escape the tourist radar but hold extraordinary appeal. They captivate with their authentic culture, untouched beauty, and the feeling of discovery, making them priceless jewels waiting to be explored in the diverse tapestry of Europe.
Each of these locations are uniquely special, from the tranquility of the Isle of Raasay to the pristine wilderness of Triglav National Park in Slovenia. Discover the mesmerizing geological wonder of the Stuðlagil Basalt Canyon in Iceland, the picturesque charm of Antibes in France, and the captivating mountain landscapes of Andorra. Each destination offers a unique quality that sets it apart as a treasure to explore in Europe.
These fantastic hidden gems of Europe are great additions to future itineraries and escapes from the well known landmarks to see something unique and special.
Table of Contents
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Submitted by Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast
Triglav National Park is a stunning hidden gem in Europe. Located in the northwest corner of Slovenia, Triglav includes a fair amount of the Julian Alps (which terminate in Slovenia), and the mountains and landscapes here are truly incredible.
To start, the mountain ranges are tall and jagged, and hiking opportunities are plentiful. While many people do day hikes in the mountains, multi-day treks are quite popular here (such as the hike to the summit of Mount Triglav), and there are mountain huts scattered throughout the peaks and valleys that offer accommodations and food to trekkers.
Alpine lakes abound in and around Triglav National Park, including Lake Jasna, Lake Krn, and Lake Bohinj. Waterfalls are common throughout the region – Kozjak Waterfall is emerald green and half-enclosed in a cave, you can walk all the way behind Pericnik Waterfall, and Boka is massive and falls directly off the side of the mountain. There are deep gorges to hike through, often filled with blue-green rivers and mossy walls.
My favorite part of Triglav National Park, though, is the Soca River. This river is really special – it’s a shockingly vibrant green, which contrasts against the mountain peaks and pine trees to create the most gorgeous vista.
The great thing about visiting Slovenia is that the country is really tiny, so everything is close by each other. You can visit Triglav on a multi-day road trip, or you can base yourself out of the capital city and take day trips from Ljubljana into the mountains.
Isle of Raasay, Scotland
The Isle of Raasay, located off the east coast of the Isle of Skye in Scotland, is a gorgeous hidden gem in the Inner Hebrides. The small island has a single road running from north to south, and can only be accessed by a hydro-power ferry from Sconser on the Isle of Skye. The island is low traffic, compared to the Isle of Skye, and remains so even in high season. It’s a great addition to any island road trip on Skye.
It has a pristine natural beauty, characterized by rugged coastlines, rolling hills, and panoramic views of the Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Raasay is beautiful in it’s own right, with a single road that runs north to south, and lots of unique history, but it also has the very best view of the Isle of Skye. The single track road has plenty of passing places for drivers comfortable traversing the narrow rural roads in Scotland.
There are two hotels on the island – Raasay House and Isle of Raasay Distillery – both with their own restaurants as well.
Tip: The Isle of Raasay Distillery offers tours of their facilitate and tastings of both their Gin and Whisky; book yourself a room in their luxurious hotel and enjoy a beautiful breakfast from their talented kitchen.
How to get there: Caledonian MacBrayne ferry departing Sconser to the Isle of Raasay – car and passenger.
Clifden Castle, Ireland
Submitted by Janae of Adventures With TuckNae
While there are thousands of castles across Ireland, one of the best is Clifden Castle, a hidden gem in the Connemara region of County Galway. This once-stunning castle is now in ruins, but that adds to the allure!
You can find the ruins of Clifden Castle just outside of Clifden, Ireland, overlooking the beautiful bay down below. The parking area is located just outside of the castle entry gate.
You will have to walk a short 1km trek one way down a gravel road to reach the castle, but it’s totally worth it! The way there is downhill, which means you’ll be walking uphill on the way back.
You can explore the ruins at your own risk once you reach them. Make sure you wear enclosed shoes with a good grip on them since the terrain in and around the castle is uneven.
There are signs posted prohibiting drones, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get some epic photos! Our favorite angle to take photos of Clifden Castle was in the back courtyard, where the green ivy has stunningly grown over the castle!
If you find yourself in County Galway, Ireland, make sure that a stop at the ruins of Clifden Castle is on your list. You won’t regret seeing this hidden Irish gem!
Submitted by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
A hidden gem destination that’s often overlooked by its neighboring countries is Andorra! This small principality is located high up in the beautiful Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France. And while it’s much smaller in size, Andorra still has plenty to offer and is the perfect place to visit, even if only for a day!
For starters, one aspect that makes Andorra special is its breathtaking natural scenery. The country is surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes and picturesque valleys. Thus, you’ll want to visit some of the observation decks, such as Mirador Roc Del Quer. Or, if you want to get your steps in, try hiking along the trails that wrap around the mountainside — they offer the best views!
Some other fun activities include exploring downtown Andorra la Vella, which is filled with duty-free shops and intriguing art installations. The most famous art installation is Salvador Dalí’s, La Noblesse du Temps. You’ll notice it bears a striking resemblance to his iconic piece, The Persistence of Memory.
To get to Andorra, you can fly into Barcelona’s International airport. Then, you can either take a bus or car into the country. Overall, if you’re looking for a relaxing mountain escape and to discover a charming place that’s typically overshadowed, make your way to Andorra!
Stuðlagil Basalt Canyon, Iceland
Submitted by Charlie at She Roams The Globe
Stuðlagil Basalt Canyon located in eastern Iceland is a great place to visit for anyone looking to explore further than Iceland’s south coast. Nestled in the glacier valley of Jokuldalur, Stuðlagil Canyon is characterised by stunning hexagonal basalt columns and a vivid blue river that courses through the towering cliffs. The unusual shapes of these rock formations were created by cooling lava from an eruption long ago in a process called columnar jointing.
Up until 2009, this hidden gem was completely unknown as it was concealed beneath the surface of the river. It was only discovered when a dam was built nearby which caused the water levels to drop revealing the stunning rock walls you see today.
Egilsstaðir, the nearest large town, is just an hour’s drive from Stuðlagil Canyon and is a great place to stay before your visit. When you arrive at the canyon, you’ll have three parking options to choose from. If you only want to access the viewpoint, opt for the car park on the west, you won’t be able to walk into the canyon from here but the viewpoint is just a short walk from the car.
If you want to venture into the canyon, you’ll need to choose between the east car park, which is about an hour’s walk, or Parkplatz Klaustrusel, which is roughly a 30-minute walk.
The best time to visit is between June and August as the trails will be clear and the weather is warmer.
Submitted by Georgia Bird of www.firststepeurope.com
The fairytale town of Bellinzona, Switzerland sits in the Ticino canton, just north of the Italian border, and is an amazing hidden gem worth visiting.
Surrounded by picturesque mountains, Bellinzona’s most distinctive features are its three medieval hill-top castles which tower over the quaint town. These, combined with the colourful buildings that line the cobblestone streets, make for endless photo opportunities. This town is special as it transports you back in time, and truly is something straight out of a storybook.
A short bus ride from Bellinzona is the Monte Carasso cable car, which is a must during your visit. A quick, steep ride up the mountain will drop you at a family-run restaurant, with panoramic views of Bellinzona and the neighbouring towns.
From here, a well set path leads you straight to a 270m Tibetan bridge, and San Bernardo Church, a medieval building overlooking the views below.
Bellinzona can be reached by bus/train from major cities in Switzerland, and popular Italian destinations such as Milan, Venice, and Turin. Flixbus particularly is a great, cost effective way to explore Bellinzona and the towns in this region, and should be high on your bucket-list to do so.
A top tip for those planning a trip to Bellinzona: aim to go during Rabadan. Usually around February/March, the town’s streets become flooded with over 150,000 people to celebrate. The celebrations go on over the course of 5 days, and include activities such as Ticino schools bringing the children for parades, crowning a “King of the Carnival”, various musical events, and so much more.
It is not one to be missed, and once you visit you will see why Bellinzona is one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
Lake Bovilla, Albania
Submitted by Adri of Traveltipzone
If you’re looking for real hidden gems in Europe, you’ll find plenty in the less popular Albania. One of the highlights is Lake Bovilla, which is guaranteed to take your breath away.
An hour’s drive from the Albanian capital Tirana, Lake Bovilla is located in Mount Dajti National Park. It’s actually a reservoir that provides Tirana with drinking water.
Getting to Lake Bovilla is not easy, but the sight that awaits you at the lake is well worth the effort. It takes about an hour of driving on a dusty, gravel road from Tirana to reach the lake. Once you reach it, you even have to climb up Mount Gamti to get the best views.
At the end of the road, on the mountainside, you’ll find a new, modern restaurant, Bovilla Restorant, where you can sample local Albanian dishes and enjoy the lake view while you’re there.
If you want to get to the most breathtaking viewpoints of Lake Bovilla, you can buy tickets for the private, paid hiking trail and the lookouts at the restaurant. A short but relatively difficult hike will take you up to the viewpoints, where it’s worth spending some time admiring the amazing scenery.
It’s worth noting that in Albania, both drone flying and camping are currently free activities, so at Lake Bovilla, you can enjoy a freedom that few other places can provide.
The trip to Lake Bovilla is a perfect day trip from Tirana, and it’s a destination not to be missed if you’re in the area. Such a hidden gem is rare to find in Europe, so it’s worth a visit before it gets too popular.
Submitted by Martina of PlacesofJuma
One of the hidden gems and certainly not a place that everyone already knows about is the small town of Hum in the hinterland of the charming Istria in Croatia. The special thing about this small town is its small size. Hum is tiny and is considered to be the smallest town in the world! And really, with only 20 to 30 inhabitants, this place is unbelievably small and really special to visit.
But not only is this town small, it is also very charming and well worth a visit. It is a real insider’s tip in Croatia, tucked away in the Istrian hinterland, among deep forests and green valleys, perched on a hill. The town should not be missed on any trip because of its beautiful medieval ambience. A visit to Hum is like a trip back in time, where you can discover something interesting at almost every corner as you stroll through the narrow streets.
Hum, in spite of its tiny size, consists of a city wall, a city gate, a cemetery, 2 churches, a few residential buildings, and even a fantastic restaurant has been set up here. A pleasant walk through this charming little town will reveal all these beautiful attractions.
Hum also has some charming things for those who like to shop. While strolling around, you will be able to sample the local produce and taste the various delicacies. Truffle specialties, local wines, liqueurs and spirits produced in the region are some of the highlights. You should not miss to try the Biska, the famous mistletoe brandy of Hum.
Hum is best reached by car. It is located at a distance of 200 km from Zagreb, 43 km from Rijeka and 60 km from Trieste in Italy.
Submitted by Lisa Garrett of Waves and Cobblestones
Kilkenny, Ireland is an amazing city to visit yet is under the radar for most travelers to Europe. Known as “Ireland’s Medieval Mile”, Kilkenny is a treat for folks who love castles and history.
One of the must-see attractions in Kilkenny is the impressive Kilkenny Castle. Admire the imposing architecture of the castle with its crenelated towers, and take a stroll across its lush green lawn. Be sure to take a tour of the castle to see period décor, and don’t miss the art collection in the impressive picture gallery.
Kilkenny has more than its share of ancient cathedrals. The best one to visit is St. Canice’s Cathedral. Take your time exploring the cathedral with its fabulous stained-glass windows. This is also where you’ll find the Chair of St. Kieran, which is where bishops are enthroned.
If you’re not afraid of heights, climb the Round Tower at St. Canice’s Cathedral. This tower was built in the 9th century and is ten stories tall, affording it amazing panoramic views of Kilkenny. Tip: You’ll climb this tower via a sequence of ladders, so wear sturdy shoes (and avoid wearing a skirt!).
The best way to visit Kilkenny is from Dublin (which you can reach via the Dublin International Airport). Kilkenny is just under a two-hour drive from Dublin. Or, if you’d rather avoid renting a car (and driving on the ‘other’ side of the road), the train will get you to Kilkenny in under two hours as well.
Hellfire Caves, England
Submitted by Louise of The Morbid Tourist
If you want to discover the true origins of the Hellfire Club, head to The Hellfire Caves! This network of man-made caves was built in the 17th century and hidden deep underground in the Chiltern Hills. The Hellfire Caves were once used as a meeting place for the Hellfire Club – a political and social club which practised black magic, satanic rituals and other debauchery within the caves. The club ran until the early 1760s, with the caves opening as a tourist attraction in 1951.
The caves are said to be haunted by several different ghosts – the most famous of which is Suki. Suki was a young maid who was killed in the caves during a cruel practical joke. Her spirit is frequently spotted in the caves, haunting the tunnels.
The Hellfire Caves are found above the pretty village of West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. They are just an hour’s drive from London, but can easily be travelled to via public transport. There is a cafe and gift shop on-site, and the nearby village has pubs and places to eat.
They also run various events throughout the year for Christmas and Halloween, as well as paranormal investigations. Entry costs £8.50.
Top tip: the caves are fascinating but small – I would suggest allowing around an hour and a half for your visit in total. For a day trip, I’d recommend spending the morning at The Hellfire Caves, followed by lunch in West Wycombe village and an afternoon at the nearby Hughenden Manor.
Submitted by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes
Antibes, France, located on the French Riviera, is a picturesque town known for its historical significance and natural beauty. Found between Nice and Cannes, the town boasts a cute, well-preserved medieval Old Town characterized by ancient walls and cobblestone streets. Antibes also offers stunning natural landscapes. The gorgeous blue waters of the Mediterranean provide opportunities for relaxing beach days and panoramic coastal views.
At the heart of Antibes is the renowned Marché Provençal, a bustling market that’s a must for any visitor. You can find fresh produce, local crafts, and a vibrant atmosphere.
The town is also home to Port Vauban, one of Europe’s largest marinas, which attracts a collection of stunning luxury yachts. It’s a great place to walk along the water and take a look.
Antibes is also home to the Picasso Museum within the historic Château Grimaldi. Picasso himself spent time in Antibes, and the museum showcases a collection of his work.
While Antibes may not be as widely recognized as some of its neighboring cities, like Nice and Cannes, its combination of historical charm, cultural richness, and coastal beauty makes it a hidden gem for those seeking a French Riviera experience! It is only about a 15 minute train ride from both Nice and Cannes. The train runs right into the heart of town and is easy to navigate.
Submitted by Marya of TheBeauTraveler
Compared to its neighboring countries in the Balkans like Croatia or Hungary, Serbia is considered one of the hidden gems in Europe that’s not very popular among travelers. Drvengrad is a quaint and charming village tucked away in the mountainous region of Mokra Gora, one of the must-visit places in Serbia.
Created by the renowned Bosnian-Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica, Drvengrad stands as a testament to his artistic vision and a unique destination for travelers seeking an offbeat experience in Europe.
With its picturesque setting and its fusion of art, culture, and natural beauty, Drvengrad embodies a nostalgic ambiance through its wooden cottages and cobblestone streets.
Situated around 250 kilometers from the capital city of Serbia in Belgrade, there are plenty of day trip tours available that include Drvengrad in the itinerary. However, it’s worth staying a few days to make the most of your trip to Drvengrad and its surroundings.
Nestled between Tara and Zlatibor mountains, you can find a hotel near Drvengrad to explore the pristine countryside, hike through lush forests, or take scenic train rides on the historic Sargan Eight railway that’s located only around 30 minutes from Drvengrad.
The village hosts the annual Küstendorf Film and Music Festival, attracting filmmakers, artists, and musicians from around the world. This event showcases avant-garde cinema, artistic workshops, and live performances, adding an eclectic cultural dimension to the village.
Drvengrad stands out as a hidden gem worth visiting in Europe, as it’s a perfect place for travelers seeking artistic inspiration, cultural exploration, and a break from mainstream tourist spots.
Submitted by Roxanne of Faraway Worlds
If you’re travelling in the Algarve region in Portugal, take a detour from the typical tourist path with a visit to Silves. The former Arabic capital of the Algarve, the ancient town was once vital trade center along the Arade River. Today, Silves’s narrow winding streets and well-preserved historical features hint at its legendary past.
Key attractions include the best-preserved Middle Age castle in the Algarve, which offers visitors breathtaking views and a glimpse into its Moorish past. Don’t miss the Sé Catedral de Silves, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, which stands on the remains of a Moorish mosque, embodying the religious significance of Silves up to the 16th century.
Take the time to explore the Museu Municipal de Arqueologia de Silves, which covers the city’s extensive history, and other historical sites like Torreão da Porta da Cidade and the Ponte Romana Bridge. For a unique experience, visit during August to witness the medieval fair, where the town comes alive with costumes, street food, and entertainment.
If you’re interested in visiting Silves, you can take organised tours from nearby towns such as Lagos, Portimão, and Albufeira. These tours often include a visit to local wineries and other attractions. Alternatively, hiring a car is the easiest way to explore the area independently.
St Govans Chapel, Wales
Submitted by Lowri Thomas from Many Other Roads
Get ready to uncover one of Europe’s best-kept secrets – St Govans Chapel in Wales! Tucked away on a cliffside with a picturesque beach at its feet, this ancient chapel is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to reach, especially if you rent a car.
St Govan’s Chapel is built into a limestone cliff located at St Govan’s Head, Pembrokeshire. To reach the chapel you have to climb the steps down but once you reach the hidden spot, you will find an ancient building with the most incredible views.
The Chapel is always open but it’s recommended to go mid-morning to afternoon to enjoy the views and safely climb the 52 steps down. The car park here gets pretty busy too so arriving early is the best way to get a spot. But if you don’t want to drive you can get the bus from Pembroke. Just note that The road to the St Govans passes through an MOD army tank range and is sometimes closed to the public.
This area of Pembrokeshire is stunning if you are looking for coastal walks and cosy pubs. And you don’t need to leave your dog at home as there are some amazing pet-friendly places to stay in the area!
Submitted by Jennie of TravelBravely.com
Immerse yourself in Roman ruins, explore incredible Moorish architecture, feast your eyes on world-class art, plus dine on incredible tapas, and drink amazing regional wines. And, do so in a vibrant, walkable city that’s not overrun with foreign tourists.
You can do all this and more when you visit Zaragoza, Spain. Tucked away in the region of Aragon, located between Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao, Zaragoza shouldn’t be missed.
While in Zaragoza, you must see the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, the most important religious building in Zaragoza. Don’t miss going to the top of the tower for an incredible view of the city and the Ebro River.
Across the Plaza del Pilar, you’ll find La Seo Cathedral, a blend of Gothic and Mudejar architectural styles, where an impressive tapestry collection is on display.
Explore the Aljaferia Palace, a stunning example of Mudejar architecture.
Four different sites in Zaragoza feature Roman ruins, including a theatre, public toilets, a port, and the foundations of the forum, and you’ll see bits of the original Roman walls as you stroll through Zaragoza’s Old Town.
For the best tapas, wander the maze of narrow streets of El Tubo, and choose from any number of restaurants and bars.
To truly immerse yourself in the city’s culture, visit during the Festival of Pilar, celebrated every year on October 12 with processions, performances, and fireworks!
Veliko Tărnovo, Bulgaria
Submitted by Erin of Wanderlustwithkids
Often overshadowed by more well-known European destinations, Veliko Tarnovo is a true hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.
The city boasts a fascinating history, serving as the medieval capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and the remnants of Tsarevets Fortress are a testament to this legacy. Explore the medieval fortress, with its ancient walls, hilltop church and stunning views of the town. Some parts of the fortress have been restored, including the church and two gates, and you can walk through the rest of the grounds, where you’ll see remains of the palace, churches and houses.
Several times a month, the fortress is the star of the dramatic Sound and Light Show. Held a few evenings each month, this show combines music, multicolour lights, lasers and chiming bells to depict the history of Bulgaria. It’s an amazing sight to see!
In addition to the fortress, there are plenty of other things to do in Veliko Tărnovo. Be sure not to miss Samovodska Charshia, a vibrant market street with plenty of Bulgarian crafts and artisanal products. Take a stroll along Ulitsa Gurko, the oldest street in Veliko Tarnovo where the Ottoman-style houses appear to be piled on top of one another. Asen’s Monument is also not to be missed, where you can visit for panoramic views of the city. Or simply wander the cobblestone streets, explore the narrow laneways, and soak up the warm hospitality of the locals.
Submitted by Aimee of Our Salt Souls
Tinos is the neighbouring island to the party island of Mykonos. To reach Tinos the best way is to fly into Mykonos Airport (JMK) which runs lots of international and domestic flights in every day. When you arrive at the airport outside is a bus stand, from here you can get the bus to the New Port (drivers are very helpful make sure to ask before boarding the bus) this costs around €1.50, or you can get a taxi which will be around €50.
At the New Port there will be lots of Ferries that go into Tinos Island, the route is around 30 minutes, it would be best to book the ferry before arrival specially if you are travelling in peak times.
Tino island is an island known for its religious significance. On the 15th of August every year the main church Our Lady of Tinos draws thousands of Greek Orthodox visitors to the island. To make the pilgrimage people crawl to the church from their arrival, on their hands and knees to show their devotion and pray for health and healing on their way to the top of the hill.
Once you leave the main town of Tinos, Chora, make sure not to miss the towns of time. Full of charm Volax, Pyros are known for their granite and marble carving traditions. Nearby Panoramas is not to be missed. This small tranquil seaside town is full of great cafes and restaurants to sit at and soak up the views.
North Norfolk Coast, England
Submitted by Izzy of Norfolk Travel Guide
One of the most beautiful places in the UK, the North Norfolk coastline is unspoilt and bursting with natural attractions and one-of-a-kind experiences. Blessed with a plethora of long sandy beaches backed by grassy dunes and saltmarsh, a million years of history, several traditional seaside resorts and the huge skies so emblematic of North Norfolk.
From Horsey Beach, where the Norfolk Broads meet the North Sea via Victorian Cromer to Wells-next-the-Sea and the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this coastline has lots of interesting places to explore. At Horsey, visit the photogenic Horsey Mill before then visiting the colony of Atlantic Seal who haul up on Horsey Beach every winter.
North of here is the Deep History Coast, the part of Norfolk where million-year-old footprints were found, alongside the UK’s biggest mammoth skeleton remains. Cromer and Sheringham make great bases to explore the coast, and have their own attractions too, including the famous Victorian Pier at Cromer, Sheringham’s snorkel trail and the North Norfolk Railway. The towns are famous for Cromer crab and lobster, caught and served locally.
To the west is Blakeney, where the water world of creeks and salt marshes create a natural barrier between village and sea, and are perfect for paddleboard exploring. The North Norfolk coast ends just after the heritage harbour town of Wells-next-the-Sea and its stupendous beach, lined with colourful wooden beach huts on stilts.
Tip: Pack layers, it has been known to rain!
Getting There: The coast is easily reached from London in a couple of hours. Catch a train to Norwich, the capital of Norfolk, and then pick up a connection to Sheringham. If you drive from London, it will take around three hours.
Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Submitted by Milijana of World Travel Connector
Kravice Waterfalls are a top famous natural attraction in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is one of the prettiest places in the Balkans and a must-see in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The 27 m-high and 120 -m wide waterfalls are among the most magical places in the Balkans.
Visitors can swim under the Kravice Falls, unlike the famous Plitvice Falls and Krka Falls in neighboring Croatia. So, don’t forget to take your swimming suit and a beach towel when visiting Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Besides swimming, visitors can enjoy canoeing on the Trebižet River, hiking the trails around the waterfalls, picnicking, or just having a drink in a bar with spectacular views of the falls.
Visiting Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a must for nature lovers. Kravice Waterfalls are in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Mostar, and near the border with Croatia. Whether you are visiting Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina or Dubrovnik in Croatia, don’t miss out on visiting Kravice Waterfalls. Visiting Kravice Waterfalls makes an easy day trip from Mostar and Dubrovnik. These stunning falls are only 1-hour drive from Mostar and a 2-hour drive from Dubrovnik. You can join a guided day tour from Mostar or Dubrovnik and visit Kravice Waterfalls. Or you can rent a car and explore the area on your own. There are many breathtaking places nearby, like Počitelj and Bagaj Tekija!
Submitted by Babs of Next Stop Belgium
Tournai, located in Belgium’s Wallonia region is often referred to as “The City of the Five Spires” thanks to its skyline dominated by the towers of the Cathedral. It’s the second-oldest city in Belgium and a destination that deserves more attention than it usually gets.
The top thing to see in Tournai is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases a remarkable mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. This structure alone makes a visit to Tournai worthwhile.
But there’s more to discover. The city has a handful of wonderful museums including the Fine Arts Museum which was designed by architect Victor Horta, the tapestry museum (it’s the product that made Tournai rich after all) and a pretty fun National History Museum with a butterfly garden and vivarium. Also, make sure to explore the walking path next to the river and admire the famous Medieval bridge Pont des Trous.
Getting to Tournai is pretty straightforward. Direct trains can get you there from Brussels Central Station in about 70 minutes. For those coming from France, the city is conveniently close to Lille (30min by direct train from Lille-Flandres Station).
Do make room in your itinerary for some local culinary exploration. Tournai is known for its ‘palette de dame,’ a large buttered cookie with glazed sugar, and the Clovis biscuit, a marzipan-filled delicacy that showcases the city’s bond with Clovis, the founder of France.
Don’t be mistaken, Tournai might be small but it packs a lot of charm – and because it’s relatively unknown, you’ll have the entire city for yourself.
It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is divided into two parts: the new and the old. In the old town, you will find Frigiliana’s main attractions.
As soon as you walk into the old town, you will see picturesque cobblestone streets with white-painted buildings, and many of them lead to viewpoints with incredible coastal views.
Calle Real is the village’s main street, where you can explore other pretty little streets in the old town and buy local products like sugar cane honey. Actually, the El Ingenio building in Frigiliana is the only sugar cane honey factory in Europe; however, it is only open to the public once a year.
Another place not to miss is Casa del Apero, the archaeological Museum which showcases how life used to be in the town.
After walking up and down the streets, there is nothing better than relaxing on a rooftop terrace with a view. La Tahona is the place to go to. They also serve delicious Andalusian tapas.
Frigiliana can be visited in half a day, so you can make a full day of it by adding the coastal town of Nerja to your itinerary, as it is only a 10-minute drive.
Submitted by Yesenia of The Sisters Who Voyage
Sperlonga may be a small town, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in rich culture and breathtaking views of the Italian coastline. Nestled in between hot spots Rome and Naples, getting to Sperlonga is relatively easy as you can hop on a train and enjoy a scenic ride or rent a car and drive for the ultimate flexibility.
Sperlonga may seem like a typical beach trip for most unknowing travelers. Instead, Sperlonga is a trove of ruins and hidden gems that extend beyond the stunning beaches. Start by exploring the Sperlonga Archaeological Museum and Tiberius Villa & Grotto, which are amazing connections to the past with the ability to see ancient sculptures and ruins from that time.
Next, visit Old Town and wander through the alluring streets filled with whitewashed stone and tons of charm. You’ll want to grab some delicious food while leaving Centro Storico; Sperlonga is known for its fresh seafood, from decadent fish to mussels. However, if you’re not a fan of seafood, there are also many options for pasta and pizza.
Lastly, don’t forget to visit the sandy beaches of Sperlonga, and try to aim for a mid-day beach session or early morning. You can rent beach loungers from various businesses/hotels, but you can also just walk a little further out to the umbrella-free zone for no fee.
Sperlonga is a must-do for any traveler looking for a hidden gem in Italy. We came upon it by accident, but it was the best travel accident for us while exploring Italy.
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