Europe is very rich in history, nature, and culture. From western to eastern and north to south, every country in Europe has its own uniqueness and distinctions. You can name the most romantic city in Europe, Paris, while the wealthiest country in Europe or even the world is Luxembourg. Europe definitely has it all. However, there are undoubtedly many things yet to discover in Europe, and you should put these hidden gems of Europe into your next travel bucket list.
Where can you find the hidden gems of Europe?
Urban and town areas
Let us start with discovering urban and town areas, which many people have not heard of, yet these places are such beautiful hidden gems of Europe. After reading this blog, who knows, you will want to move and stay in one of these magical towns.
The first hidden gem of Europe is located in Italy, specifically in the south of Bologna. This fairytale town, Brisighella, has three majestic hills, depicting a small town you have read about in a children’s storybook. Those majestic hills are La Rocca (a castle), La Torre (a clock tower), and Il Monticino (a church), which were erected in the 14th, 16th, and 18th centuries respectively.
Brisighella also has world-class wines, gelato, and olive oils that you must try in restaurants and cafes in the town. Besides sightseeing through the cute colorful alleyways in the town, another activity you can do is hiking. In fact, hiking is the best way for you to get the best views of the majestic hills there.
Rye is one of the most favorite hidden gems of Europe that you must visit at least once during your visit to England. This town is located near the English Channel and gives you the best scenes of Romney Marsh and River Rother. Moreover, this adorable English town will give you the vibes of living in a medieval era due to its 4th and 15th centuries old houses and buildings.
How to enjoy the town? It is pretty easy and free. Just stroll around the town, where every cobbled passageway will take you on a tour of historic inns and half-timber houses. If you want, you can also discover the authentic medieval ambiance of this town at Mermaid Streed and Rye Castle Museum.
Are you looking for a hidden gem in Europe that gives you a mix of architectural styles? Then, Mdina is what you are looking for. Why? Once you set foot in this small town which is only 13 km from Malta’s capital, Valletta, you will get the atmosphere that you are standing in North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East simultaneously.
This is no surprise, for this quiet town was under many powerful empires throughout history, from Phoenicians to Normans. Due to its diverse history and beautiful authentic buildings in every corner of the town, the Game of Thrones TV series used The Mdina Gate and Fort as their filming sets for the fictional locations of King’s Landing and Red Keep.
Coastal and island areas
After adoring the beautiful quaint yet historical architecture of buildings and houses in the urban and town areas, let us move forward to the laid-back life of coastal and island regions in Europe. There are definitely many coastal and island areas in Europe that are part of the best-hidden gems of Europe, and these are some of them.
Pag Island, Croatia
Over 1200 islands in the Adriatic Sea of Croatia, there is one island that deserves to be one of the most beautiful hidden gems of Europe. Pag Island, Croatia, is an island that has managed to stay under the radar in hiding its true beauty. You can find many beautiful isolated beaches on this quiet island with crystal clear waters and shallow coves.
As a matter of fact, Pag Island is considerably more unique than the other islands in Croatia, which have tropical vegetation. Once you go there, you will find an arid landscape of white stones and abundant salt. This fact makes the island outstanding and a favorable option for beachgoers. Spending a vacation in this hidden gem of Europe will give you a truly unforgettable experience.
If you are googling Montenegro on Google, you will find Kotor as the most visited travel destination in this country. However, there is another part of the country that has undefeated beauty, like Kotor. One of these hidden gems of Europe is Perast, just north of Kotor, and Perast is a little coastal village surrounded by a handful of scenic mountains.
This little village was once a strategic port between the Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 18th centuries. No wonder there are still many old royal places and churches preserved in this village. Besides its rich history, the island is also close to many islets which are ready for you to discover by boat.
Set aside from mainland Sweden, and let us go to the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. There is a medieval town, Visby, one of the must-see places in Sweden. You can call this town one of the hidden gems of Europe since this town is only popular among Scandinavians.
If you wish to have an authentic Swedish experience, Visby has a large medieval festival called Medeltidsveckan or Medieval Week. This festival runs from June to August, when you can experience a dream life of children’s storybooks coming to life from various events like street performances, concerts, and jousting. More importantly, you will also get a chance to wear Swedish medieval attire.
The Algarve, Portugal
Let’s go somewhere warmer, from the cold region of Northern Europe to Southern Europe to the Algarve in Portugal. Located in the southern part of the country, the Algarve is one of the best-hidden gems of Europe to visit for Atlantic coastline vacation experiences. The uniqueness of this region is that it has windswept beaches and rugged landscapes that many other beaches do not have.
Explore the soaring cliffs and epic rock formations in the Algarve, a free outdoor activity you can do in this beautiful hidden gem of Europe. The Algarve is for you if you want to travel on a budget for a beach vacation. You will find cheap goods and services in this area, such as food, beach resorts, and clubs. So, why not go to Portugal now?
Mountainous and lake areas
If you are a big fan of high altitudes and lakes, traveling to green natures or national parks, then these hidden gems of Europe are for you to explore. Let us find out what options are there for you.
Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
Nestled in the Andalusian mountains in southern Spain, Setenil de las Bodegas is a relatively unique small town that is engraved into the cliffs. In other words, the residents of this town literally live under a rock. This is also undoubtedly the true definition of a hidden gem in literal meaning. Although the town is tucked into the cliffs, this town is safe for you to visit and stay in for several days.
Can you imagine? The town has survived safe and sound since Roman times in the 1st century AD. You can still see some buildings, although some are modernized now, which are still strong and retain their beauty, such as Nazary Castle, which was established in the 13th century. Besides you can also visit the Church of La Encarnación, which has a Gothic style in its architecture.
Ohrid, North Macedonia
One of many hidden gems of Europe that you must visit immediately is Ohrid in North Macedonia. This town is so underrated despite being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Another name for this town is the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” for its historic churches, streets, and medieval castle. Ohrid is a relatively small town where you can visit its historic landmarks and enjoy the lake by swimming in just one day.
When it comes to its lake, Ohrid has a lot to offer. You can get the best scenic view of the lake and mountain from St. John the Theologian. Some other places to visit include the Church of Saint Clement and Panteleimon, Saint Sophia, Plaoshnik, and Holy Perybleptos, all of which are archeological sites and ancient churches. Besides, there are many lakeside restaurants and cafes you can visit.
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The last hidden gem of Europe that you should never forget to visit is Triglav National Park in Slovenia. This nature getaway is located in the eastern area of the Julian Alps. This national park is also home to the country’s highest mountain, Triglav mountain. This lone national park offers green scenery of forests and mountain views, which are tranquil and perfect for you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Hiking and mountain climbing are the best outdoor activities you can do in this national park. There are many hiking trails provided for tourists to enjoy this hidden gem. Hiking, you will also see beautiful streams, lakes, and villages. The view of the Triglav National Park will be even more beautiful during the fall when the tree leaves turn orange, yellow, and red.
Ready to explore Europe?
Are you ready to explore all of those hidden gems of Europe? Get lost with JoinMyTrip and experience a full package of fun activities you will never forget with our dedicated travel buddies and fellow like-minded travelers. What are you waiting for? Be the ones to explore these hidden gems of Europe before they are packed and spoiled by tourists.