Every time I visit Europe, I find a new place that captures my imagination. Europe continues to entice visitors with monuments like the ancient Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, and Stonehenge. However, there is so much history and beauty in Europe that no matter what country you choose, you can’t go wrong.
It is easy to veer away from the throngs of visitors, overpriced tourist’s traps, and overpriced hotels. For those looking to escape the crowds, here are seven under the radar places to visit in Europe.
Slovenia is off the radar for many people traveling to Europe, but their loss is our gain. Kobarid sits in the Soca Valley and is encompassed by lush green hills and steep mountains. The quiet town and surrounding landscapes are enough to visit the city.
However, Kobarid offers more than just grand vistas. Visitors can explore archaeological sites dating back over 3,000 years, a museum explaining the role they played in WWI, and the nearby Triglav National Park. Kobarid is a shining example of the beauty this country has to offer and a perfect place to visit when escaping the crowds.
With their colorful buildings sitting on the rocky coast of Italy, it is easy to see why the five little towns in Cinque Terre are a famous tourist spot. Because of their beauty, everyone from honeymooners to backpackers flock to these cities making for packed beaches expensive hotels, and crowded streets. Luckily, there is Tellaro - the better option.
Tellaro is almost identical to Cinque Terre only without all the downsides. Beaches are free for walking, hotels are cheaper, and less crowded streets give you a glimpse of local life of an Italian coastal city. This beautiful town is one of the best-kept secrets on the Italian Coast and well worth a visit
If you walk up to an Italian and ask them about the little medieval village of Barga, there is a good chance that they have never heard of it. This tiny village is just under two hours from Florence in the Garfagnana region of the country.
Visitors are rare in this area of Tuscany making it a great crowd-free getaway. There are hundreds of outdoors activities, Romanesque cathedrals, and of course, silky wine to savor. The narrow cobblestone streets and light red and pale yellow building line the city.
Plus, the laid back atmosphere make those rare visitors fall in love with this hilltop village as it is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Most tourists in Europe seem to skip over Croatia, an amazing country with one of the most stunning coastlines in the world. Sadly, those who do wander to Croatia never seem to venture off the beaten paths of places like Split, Plitvice, and Dubrovnik.
Not many tourists seem to visit Brac Island, which makes it our next under the radar location in Europe. This island is one the biggest of the Adriatic islands and showcases the rocky Dalmatian Coast. The area has pristine sandy beaches and is perfect for sailing and windsurfing during the day.
The island also boasts of a good nightlife. Brac Island accomplishes all of this without feeling crowded or too touristy. Of course, no visit to Brach Island is complete without a trip to the small harbor town of Povlia. This sleepy little town has beaches and coves to explore as well the remains of old Roman ships and a Basilica that’s over 1,400 years old.
Lying on the French Riviera is the charming town of Antibes. This under the radar location will charm you with its ancient citadel, cobbled stone streets, and a quaint square lined with outdoor restaurants and boutiques. It is a great city to escape the outside world and relax while taking short walks down the narrow city streets or strolling among the twinkling lights of the harbor. It is easy to see why Antibes was a famous getaway for people like Winston Churchill, Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway.
Torun is a special city located in the north of Poland. During the medieval ages this city flourished as a main trading hub. Today it has become known as the “Krakow of the North” and is the best-preserved example of a 14-15th century Gothic City. As an added bonus, the entire town of Torun is an UNESCO site.
Plovdiv is on one of the longest streaks in Europe. The city has been continuously inhabited for over 8,000 years.
As you can imagine the city is teeming with history and ancient buildings. From the Roman built Amphitheatre to the 19th-century mansions, Plovdiv is filled with wonderful and historical surprises. The city also has a booming nightlife and fabulous art scene.
Europe is filled with ancient cities and a diversity of culture and landscapes, which means that there are hundreds of incredible under the radar destinations. These towns and villages are a few of our favorites and prove that you don’t need to visit the “main” tourist hotspots to get the European experience.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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