One of the most beautiful continents, Europe continues to be among the wishlist of millions of travellers. This stunning continent is blessed with stunning natural landscapes, culturally rich cities, and beautiful countryside. European countries like the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, and Portugal continues to draw impressive tourists footfalls. Unfortunately, the popular European destinations like Rome, London, Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin are now done and dusted with no more interesting discoveries and surprises to offer to travellers.
However, Europe still has a few hidden gems that have remained true to their character despite the ever-increasing popularity of major European tourist destinations. Discover 10 secret hidden gems of Europe that have remained under the shadows are better alternatives to crowdy cities. So, if you are planning a European vacation this summer, Holidayme recommends a trip to Europe’s off-beat places and secret hidden gems that are ideal for a relaxing European summer holiday.
10 Secret Hidden Gems of Europe
1. Malcesine, Verona, Italy
The charming commune of Malcesine lies on the shore of Lake Garda in the Veneto region of Italy. This charming Italian town of about 3,500 locals has entertained global celebrities like Hollywood superstar George Clooney! Key attractions in the town are Castello Scaligero, a 13th-century castle and Palazzo dei Capitani, a public square with Romanesque remains.
READ MORE: Top 13 Reasons To Visit Italy
2. Cochem, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Located on the banks of River Moselle, Cochem is a small town in Germany with a population of not more than 5,000 locals. This picture-perfect German town is known for its winding river, sprawling vineyards, a 1000-year-old castle and monasteries, and a charming medieval town centre with half-timbered houses. Cochem may be tiny in size, but offers authentic South German hospitality.
3. Peniscola, Castellion, Spain
One of the best-kept secrets of Spain, Peniscola is just a three-hour drive from Barcelona. This historic and unspoiled coastal town sports a charming beach and a medieval castle, that served as the official residence of Pope Benedict XIII during the 14th-century. Peniscola also enjoys 300 days of sunshine and a wonderful Mediterranean climate.
4. Lauterbrunnen, Bern, Switzerland
Switzerland‘s most pristine alpine valley is Lauterbrunnen. Located near the Swiss city of Bern, Lauterbrunnen is the true epitome of Swiss natural beauty. The picturesque valley boasts of around 70 waterfalls, charming Swiss villages, and delightful hotels. Lauterbrunnen is also the mecca of wingsuit flying, the world’s most dangerous sport!
5. Nonza, Corsica, France
Nonza is a small village located on the western coast of Corsica in France. It’s known amongs the most dramatic and photogenic villages of France. Nonza has cliff-top ancient houses that are precariously perched over cliffs, overlooking the deep blue sea. It’s also known for its high-quality olive oil, goat cheese and wonderful local wine.
6. Syros, Cyclades, Greece
Syros is a Greek Island which is part of the Cyclades and is the administrative hub of the region. However, unlike famed neighbours of Mykonos and Santorini, Syros has somehow managed to remain a secret, hidden gem. It has an authentic Greek island way of life and a wonderful off-beat vibe. Stay in the old historic town of Ano Syros and enjoy an authentic Greece experience.
7. Perast, Montenegro
Perast is an old town in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro and is just 12 kilometres away from Kotor, a popular tourist destination. However, Perast is comparatively less touristy, and is budget-friendly too! It also boasts of two amazing settings – the Island of Saint George and the only artificial island of the Adriatic – Our Lady of the Rocks.
READ MORE: Top Places To Visit In Montenegro
8. Cuenca, Castile-La Mancha, Spain
One of Europe’s secret hidden gems, the city of Cuenca is located in the region of Castile–La Mancha in central Spain. This historic Spanish town is known for the medieval Casa Colgadas – a complex of the hanging houses jutting out from the sides of the cliffs! This dramatic town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a rich 1,300-year-old history, colourful houses, and numerous ruins of castles and cathedrals.
9. Piran, Slovenia
The picturesque Slovenian town of Piran is often compared to Venice due to its location in the Adriatic. The town of Piran has a typical Adriatic vibe with its red-tiled roofs, relaxed town square and a more pleasant atmosphere compared to Dubrovnik. Colourful houses line up along the inland waterways while the countryside is full of vineyards and olive groves.
READ MORE: 10 Reasons To Love Slovenia
10. Matera, Basilicata, Italy
Matera is a historic city located just a few hours away from Italy‘s picturesque Amalfi Coast. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its underground city, which contains ancient cave dwellings. Matera offers amazing experiences like dining or spending a night inside one of the caves. Matera was declared as the European Capital of Culture for 2019, along with Plovdiv, Bulgaria.