If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Europe, you've come to the right place. We have compiled 10 of our favorite hidden gems scattered all over Europe that will surely make your next vacation one to remember. Get ready to explore some of the most beautiful and unique places that this continent has to offer!
Hallstatt, Austria - a picturesque village on the shore of a tranquil alpine lake
Hallstatt is a small Austrian town well known for its pastel-colored house and magnificent view of the lake. Don't forget to visit the Hallstatt salt mines which are considered one of the oldest salt mines in the world.
Visitors can take guided tours through the mine, which include a funicular ride up to the entrance. The tour guides explain the history of the mine and the importance of salt to the Hallstatt community.
Faroe Islands, Denmark - A remote archipelago with stunning landscapes
Also known as the "sheep islands", these 18 islands are a self-governing part of Denmark that has a lot of wonders to explore and unique scenery.
The Norsemen arrived on the island during the 8th century and the province was isolated until the development of commerce in Denmark in the 18th century. The splendid Sørvágsvatn Lake but also the capital city, Tórshavn, are the places you can't miss when you visit the islands.
Sintra, Portugal - A fairytale-like town
Between high hills and fairy-tail-like castles, the city of Sintra is a true hidden gem you must discover when visiting Portugal. Located in the suburbs of Lisbon, you can easily reach it from the city center.
One of the most famous attractions in Sintra is the Pena Palace, which sits atop a hill overlooking the town. The palace, which was built in the 19th century for the Portuguese royal family, is a colorful and whimsical building that is a perfect example of Romantic architecture. Visitors can explore the ornate rooms and beautiful gardens, which offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia - A natural wonderland of cascading waterfalls
This national park is the oldest and largest in the country. It opened in 1949 and never stopped attracting nature lovers from all over the country and the world since.
The waterfalls were formed over thousands of years through a combination of natural processes. The park is known for its series of cascading lakes and waterfalls, which are formed by the action of flowing water and the gradual erosion of the limestone rock formations. The site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979 in recognition of its outstanding natural beauty and unique ecological value.
Giethoorn, Netherlands - A charming village with picturesque canals
This charming Dutch village is located in the north of the Netherlands, just 45 minutes away from Amsterdam. The village is known for its picturesque canals, which have earned it the nickname "the Venice of the Netherlands". Unlike Venice, however, Giethoorn is a peaceful and quiet village that is surrounded by natural beauty.
Although Giethoorn can be accessed by car, visitors will quickly notice that once inside the village, only pedestrians and bikers are allowed due to the strict no-car policy. This adds to the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the village, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings without the noise and pollution of vehicles.
Gdansk, Poland - A beautiful city with a rich history
Gdansk is a beautiful city located on the Baltic coast of Poland. With a history dating back over a thousand years, Gdansk has played an important role in the development of Poland but also northern, eastern, and western Europe throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
One of the highlights of Gdansk is its beautifully preserved Old Town, which boasts stunning examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The city is also home to the famous Neptune Fountain, which is considered one of the most important symbols of Gdansk.
Colmar, France - A picturesque town in the heart of the Alsace wine region
Colmar is another lovely town which takes its roots back to the Middle Ages. Known for its picturesque half-timbered houses, canals, and flower-lined streets, Colmar is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
One of the most popular attractions in Colmar is the Maison des Têtes, a Renaissance building adorned with numerous carved heads.
The Alsace region is famous for its wines, and Colmar is no exception. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings and tours of the local vineyards, as well as sample traditional Alsatian cuisine which is heavily influenced by Germany at the many restaurants and cafes throughout the town.
Lake Bled, Slovenia - a stunning alpine lake with crystal-clear water
Lake Bled is a stunning alpine lake located in northwestern Slovenia. This glacial lake is known for its crystal-clear water, which is surrounded by majestic mountains and dense forests.
One of the highlights of Lake Bled is the small island located in the middle of the lake. Visitors can reach the island by traditional wooden boats called pletnas, which are operated by local boatmen. On the island, visitors can explore the historic church and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Monschau, Germany - a romantic German small town you can't miss out
Monschau is a charming small town located in western Germany, near the border with Belgium. It's known for its well-preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets, which make it feel like a step back in time.
The Altstadt (Old Town) is where you can capture this romantic old German feeling trolling around the streets and sitting at coffee shops.
But do not miss out on its beautiful natural surroundings! The nearby Eifel National Park covers an area of over 110 square kilometers. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including unique deciduous forests and more than 7,100 animal and plant species.
St Ives, Cornwall - a charming seaside town on the southwestern coast of England
Cornwall, located in the southwest of England, is a distinctive region characterized by its charming villages, friendly locals, and miles of serene beaches. Among the standout destinations in the area is the coastal town of St Ives, which offers a unique experience to visitors.
To unwind and enjoy a peaceful afternoon, Porthmeor Beach is just a stone's throw away from the town center and features beautiful white sand ideal for swimming, surfing, and kayaking.
A walk around the old port area provides opportunities to relax and indulge in local bars and restaurants, with a particular emphasis on seafood. Restaurants like The Seafood Cafe and Porthminster Kitchen offer fresh and delicious seafood platters to savor.