Lonely Planet, a publisher of travel guides, has just published its list of top European destinations that often go unnoticed. The list does not include Paris, London, or Barcelona. Although it may seem a little scary to consider a trip to Europe following the Manchester bombing and Paris terror attacks. So, is it really worth it? We say yes, and here are some interesting places you can stay that are not in overly populated cities such as London and Paris.
10. Le Havre, France
Lonely Planet says that this city is not only a great place to see this film, but also a big hit at the Cannes Film Festival 2011. The 500th anniversary celebrations in the city will include a five-month-long festival of art and music, street parades, and fireworks concerts.
The guide says that Le Havre is 500 years old, but the city has striking modern architecture, including designs by Othello Zavaroni, Auguste Perret and Oscar Niemeyer, since it was completely rebuilt following World War II. It’s also an excellent starting point to visit Normandy’s D day beaches.
9. Pafos, Cyprus
European Capital of Culture 2017 was awarded to the first capital of Cyprus during the age of ancient Rome. Lonely Planet says that “The island of Aphrodite, which was the capital of Cyprus in the time of ancient Rome, has seen so many occupations that its sunny shores are full of monuments: catacombs and temples, castles medieval baths, mosaics dating back to Roman times, Kato pafos, Unesco World Heritage Site, the Tombs of the Kings bring back a fascinating bygone age,”
Chisinau is the capital of Moldova. Although you won’t know how to pronounce it, once you have been, you won’t forget. Enjoy the finest drinks at the Gothic Cellars in Milestii Mici which boasts the largest selection of wines in the country. The sacred Orheiul Vechi is surrounded by chalky cliffs and lonely monasteries, right next to rivers like Tipova or Saharna. East of the river Dniestr lies the declared republic of Transdniestr (although it is not recognized), a region that was part of the Soviet past. It is simply amazing.
7. North Germany
Lonely Planet suggests that you travel north once you reach this important European country. This country is known for its beautiful coastline and stunning beaches. The guide says that you can find charming cities such as Lubeck or Bremen. These will take your back to medieval times. They are also only a train ride away from Lutherstadt Wittenberg or Eisenach, who were key players in the Reformation 500 years ago. Goodbye Bavaria and Berlin.
6. The Alentejo, Portugal
Although this large area of Portugal’s coast isn’t very popular and can be reached easily via Lisbon, it does have UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including this mysterious chapel made from bones. (Capela dos Ossos). Lonely Planet states that the Alentejo has not been deprived of its beauty, rolling vineyards, medieval villages, and rich traditional cuisine.
5. Leeds, UK
This is a wonderful destination for beer lovers. According to the guide, “Recent developments have brought the Victorian downtown of Leeds into the 21st Century, attracting chic boutiques and cafes as well as tourists seeking an alternative to London.” An additional attraction is the 50th anniversary celebration of Leeds Carnival.
4. Northern Montenegro
You won’t encounter many people in this mountainous region of the southwestern Balkans. It’s a great place to go on adventure, with good roads that make it easy for travelers to move around. Gourmets can enjoy Montenegrin cuisine with mountain cheeses, hearty meat stews, and history buffs can visit the striking clifftop monasteries of Ostrog or the stunning valleys in Moraca.
3. Galicia, Spain
This is Santiago de Compostela’s famous cathedral. It offers more. You will find over 1,000km of coastline, including beautiful fishing villages, long inlets and cliffs, as well as hundreds of beaches. Galician wines are a great accompaniment to the delicious seafood. Remember that ocean water can be cold even during the summer months.
2. Gotland (Sweden)
This place is not likely to be familiar to you, so make sure you impress your friends. This island in the Baltic Sea is home to some of the most important places in the country as well as many restaurants. You can enjoy “… peaceful countryside, mysterious forests and fishing villages, as well as quiet sandy beaches.” But, if you visit in the summer, you’ll meet many Swedes.
1. Zagreb, Croatia.
“Zagreb is both cosmopolitan as well as edgy with its heady mixture of brutalist architecture, sun-drenched Austro–Hungarian squares, and it’s heady mix. There’s more: “The local beer and food are incredible. Getting to the capital of Croatia has never been simpler thanks to the opening the Zagreb airport terminal.