The vibrant colours of Europe’s natural landscapes and beauty are spread from Iceland in the west to the mammoth expanse of Russia to the east. While Berlin, Milan, Paris, Prague are some of the names that have made the continent popular there are a bunch of offbeat destinations in Europe are on the list of every wanderer on the planet. So what are some of the destinations that are not on the usual itineraries but are popular nonetheless?
The city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria is one of the oldest cities of Europe and its civilization dates back to the Roman era. It’s a paradise for people who love history and architecture as many areas of the city are decorated with ancient structures. However, the city has a lot more to offer than history! It’s cultural hub – The Kapana district is an amalgamation of the modern world with the hipster culture, craft beer bars, and the local businesses. For foodies, the city has an orgasmic menu to offer like cheese-filled crabs, Banitsa, feta-fried goodies, and much more!
The town, which looks like a storybook hamlet, lies between the magnificent Lake Garda and mountain ridges is a sight for the sore eyes. While the landscape certainly adds to the beauty of this place, there is much more to explore here than just the castles, mountains, and lake. On any given day you can see people eating and drinking the delicacies of the town sitting on the cobbled streets outside the restaurants and cafes. Piazza Turazza, Piazza Vittoria Emanuele, and Piazza Cavour are the three main cultural hubs in the town where you can explore the culture of this region. Castello Scaligero overlooks the Lake Garda and is the most noticeable structure here.
For backpackers who love to spend time in nature, Neckarsteig is a great option to explore. It’s one of the many unexplored trails in Germany that will surely test your stamina. Heidelberg is the starting point of a trail that ends 130 kilometres away in the eastern side of the country. This trail will enthral you with the different shades of the landscape that you come across, making it one of the most beautiful offbeat locations in Europe.
While tourists talk about the Fjords of Norway, let’s quietly sneak out and experience one of Norway’s best-kept secret. The peaceful town of Mandal is the southernmost town in Norway and a colourful one, thanks to its wooden houses. Just outside of the town, you will find the beautiful Sjøsanden beach that will entice you to swim in its cold waters. There’s nothing much to do here apart from cutting off from the world and enjoying the calm. You can also experience canoeing and pedalling to explore the seaside.
Armenia is home to one of the largest alpine lakes in the world, Lake Sevan. Located at an hour drive from the capital city of Yerevan, the lake is an ideal location for some quiet meditation and landscape photography. To get the best view of the lake and the mountains, you can climb up to the monastery that sits comfortably on a hilltop. While descending, you will come across many restaurants that serve a local beer and deliciously cooked fish delicacy.
Polignano A Mare, Italy
On a warm summer day, if you imagine yourself sipping a beer with an infinity-like view of the sea from one of the tiny windows of your room, then head to one of the most beautiful offbeat destinations in Europe, Polignano A Mare. The place is a perfect venue for a gorgeous wedding on land and the sea. The Adriatic Sea play the perfect host for travellers looking for a warm and sunny outing. The picturesque beach called Cala Porto is an ideal location where you can lay on the sand and read your favourite book. The town is a mere 30-minute drive away from Bari and is best experienced in summer.
Hohllay Cave, Luxembourg
As soon as you enter the cave, an eerie feeling will creep up your spine, thanks to the strange marking on the walls of the cave. However, a close look at it will tell you that they are nothing but marks and scars from mining activity. During the 19th century, it was mine but today it’s an amphitheatre where concerts happen every year. Over the years, it has attracted many hikers mainly because of the number of caves some of which are engraved with ancient designs.
This list can be your guide to explore the best in Europe. However, the continent is like a layer cake, dig deeper and you will find something new altogether!
Curated by Saumitra Shinde