15 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-the-Radar European Destinations from 15 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-the-Radar European Destinations

15 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-the-Radar European Destinations

Full Story

Shutterstock

15 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-the-Radar European Destinations

Europe is the second smallest continent on the planet, after Australia, but what it lacks in dimensions it makes up for in beauty and splendor. Paris, Rome, London and Berlin are stunning, but the huge crowds take away a lot of their charm.

Thinkstock

Brac Island, Croatia

Everybody goes to Dubrovnik, but consider going off the beaten path and visiting Brac, the largest island of the central Dalmatian group of islands, and the third largest among the Adriatic islands, according to BracInfo. People who already love it go there for windsurfing. The stunning beaches and nightlife bustling with parties, festivals and shows also lure people.

Thinkstock

Nida, Lithuania

A lot of people have never even heard of this small European, former Soviet bloc country. Nida, a primary settlement on Lithuania’s side of the Curonian Spit, which is a World Heritage Site shared by Russia and Lithuania. It is a charming beach town that used to be a fishing village. The wooden cottages, vessels, white sand shorelines, rippling dunes, untouched beauty and pine forests, used to be the inspiration for famous artists from the 19th century, according to Lonely Planet.

Thinkstock

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

This may be one of the most unique places you will ever visit. The 3,000 local residents live literally under a rock. The tiny town grew out of a network of caves in the cliffs above the rio Trejo, north-west of Ronda. The blinding white houses look like they emerge from the rocks, and some have rock roofs and even olive groves on their roofs.

Thinkstock

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to experience authentic Czech culture and architecture, visit this small village, and skip the increasingly popular Prague. The most famous building is the Český Krumlov castle, which was built in the 13th century. Most other structures, including cafes and bars, are in renaissance and baroque styles. The village was largely left untouched even during Communist times.

Thinkstock

Tellaro, Italy

Everybody goes to Cinque Terre, but the peaceful fishing village of Tellaro is just as stunning. Some may even say it’s better because you don’t constantly bump into tourists – you get to witness authentic Italian beauty. Get lost in the narrow colorful alleys, cool squares and a gorgeous seafront area on a small rocky peninsula.

Thinkstock

Alesund, Norway

This is one of the best places to witness the summer solstice – people stack hundreds upon hundreds of wooden pallets in the form of a spire, a pyramidal structure. In 2010, a world record was set for the tallest bonfire, with their 132.71-foot celebratory bonfire. Alesund has a beautiful setting across several islands stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean, and is known for its Art Nouveau style architecture.

Thinkstock

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Most tourists usually go to Lake Bled but the lesser-known Lake Bohinj offers equally awe-inspiring backgrounds. After all, it is the country’s largest glacial lake, snuggled between Bohinj’s mountains, which rise from 5,250 to 6,560 feet. Popular activates in and around this serene lake include fishing, swimming, hiking, and biking.

Thinkstock

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

The majestic submerged river canyon fenced by vivid rising mountain cliffs is the charm of Montenegro’s coast. Breathtaking medieval towns along the shores contribute to the area’s splendor. The bay is linked together by several picturesque and winding roads, so you won’t have any problems exploring.

Shutterstock

Bibury, England

The remains of the village’s rich history will leave you in awe. Bibury’ main attraction is Arlington Row, a group of ancient cottages with steeply pitched roofs, overlooking a water meadow and river. If you like trout, you have to visit the famous Bibury Trout Farm. To get away from the crowds in the village, go on a charming walk through woodland and meadow rich in wildlife, across a Roman road and past a hidden dewpond.

Shutterstock

Giethoorn, Holland

Giethoorn is often called the Venice of the North. The streets of this serene and remote village are small canals. When the postman delivers the mail, he travels by punt. Rent a whisper boat and explore the village. Visit the Museum 't Olde Maat Uus where people in this renovated farm will show you the history of living and working in Giethoorn in the last 100 years.

Thinkstock

Azores Islands, Portugal

The autonomous region of Portugal is an archipelago formed by nine volcanic islands and a few islets. Described as an adrenaline junkie’s paradise, they are still relatively undiscovered, yet they offer a wide range of adventurous activities. From canyoning and cliff diving, to big-game fishing and paragliding, all types of exploration enthusiasts will find excitement here. Plus, the islands are free of hotel and restaurants chains, meaning a truly authentic journey awaits anyone willing to make the trip.

Thinkstock

Torun, Poland

The medieval town of Torun is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It owes its origins to the Teutonic Order, which built a castle in the mid-13th century as a base for the takeover of Prussia. The many magnificent public and private buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries in the Old and New Town neighborhoods, one of which is the home of Copernicus, are remarkable.

Shutterstock

Ring Road, Iceland

Driving along the Ring Road in Iceland is one of the most wonderful road trips you could ever take. It goes around the island and joins many gorgeous inhabited parts of the country. You will pass active volcanoes, mighty waterfalls, blue icebergs, and even see the regal Northern Lights along the way.

Thinkstock

Gásadalur, Faroe Islands

One of the most secluded adventure destinations, this charming village is so remote that it is in danger of depopulation. A tunnel was built in 2004 through the mountains to connect it to the main road network. Until then the only two ways to get there were hiking over the mountain terrain that rises over 2,000 feet or climbing up the cliff face from a ship. Gasadalur is surrounded by lavish mountains. The nearby waterfall is the most photographed attraction.

Shutterstock

Albania

Albania has been touted as a cheap alternative to Greece and Italy, as it features a rich history without the typical European price tag. The history shines through in the capital, Tirana, from the architecture to the museums, this city is a must-see. Travelers in Albania can get by on a budget of $40 a day. It’s catching up with the rest of Europe as it’s breaking away from its Communist past. Go now to see stunning mountains and rustic villages before they are commercialized. 

15 Insanely Gorgeous, Under-the-Radar European Destinations