Are you wondering if there are any hidden gems in Europe left to be explored? I’ve got some good news for you! Getting off the beaten path is not that hard, even in a continent like Europe which is full of well-known sights, crowded beaches, and overrun cities.
And that’s exactly why it’s worth exploring some lesser-known destinations in Europe. So many places in Europe suffer from overtourism, making it hard for locals to live a peaceful life, hard for the environment to cope with all the trash, and also hard for travelers to enjoy an authentic destination.

So it’s about time to discover a few hidden gems in Europe. You can find them all across the continent, even in countries where tourism is well-developed, such as Spain or Italy. I’ve asked some travel buddies about their favorite hidden gems in Europe and got some great secret escapes that I’ve gathered in this post.
Are you curious? Let’s dive right in.

Hidden gems in Europe - Jill on journes

1 | Island Ugljan, Croatia

Located in the Zadar region of Dalmatia, this island pearl is probably one of the best-kept secrets for a vacation. So Ugljan Island in Croatia is definitely a hidden gem in Europe. You can easily reach the island by ferry from the opposite coastal town of Zadar, but this authentic place is still far away from mass tourism.
What makes it special, is the calm flair but also the intact nature, with the many Mediterranean forests and the numerous beautiful bays for swimming. Another wonderful thing are the romantic fishing villages, which are located along the east coast and provide unforgettable days by the sea.

Probably the place most worth seeing in Ugljan is the village Preko, where a beautiful Dalmatian old town invites you to stay and linger. Here you can also find the offshore monastery island Galovac, one of the main attractions of the island. A fisherman takes guests across for little money. Once arrived, you will be amazed at the mini-island with its many romantic spots.

Another highlight of the island of Ugljan is the fortress of St. Michael. It dates back to the 6th century and sits majestically on a mountain above the island. A visit is worthwhile especially at sunset because from here you can experience the most stunning panorama.

Worth a visit is also the beautiful harbor town of Kukljica. With its colorful houses it’s really picturesque and thanks to the many good restaurants a perfect place for an unforgettable dinner. Especially recommended is Konoba Udica, which serves delicious Croatian dishes from the grill!

Where to stay in Ugljan?

On the island of Ugljan you can find mainly privately run vacation apartments. However, there are also some small hotels for soft tourism. I can recommend Dunatovi Dvori, a dreamlike heritage hotel with a pool and directly at the sea.

Contributed by Martina | Places of Juma

Impressions of Uglijan

2 | Tossa de Mar, Spain

Spain has been considered one of the most popular destinations in Europe for years. As a result, finding an underrated place in this popular country can be challenging. Tossa de Mar is definitely one of these hidden gems in Europe. The small coastal town simply combines all the things for which it is worth visiting the Spanish Mediterranean coast. You will find a great mix of a historic small town, a picturesque coastline with a beautiful beach area, and Mediterranean charm.
With its ideal location, you can visit Tossa de Mar as your main destination or as a day trip from Barcelona or Girona. Tossa de Mar can only be reached by car or by bus. This remoteness contributes to the fact that the Catalan coastal town is not yet as crowded as its famous neighbor Lloret de Mar.

Be sure to take at least a whole day to enjoy both the idyllic old town, Vila Vella, and Tossa’s beautiful coastline.
Arguably the most famous part of the city is the historic castle. Stroll through the old narrow alleys of Tossa, where every corner could turn into a perfect Insta-photo. Soak up the romantic atmosphere of this small town as you follow the old city walls up to the antique defense towers. From here, you’ll have a fantastic view over the city’s rooftops, the stunning Costa Brava, and the surrounding nature. It is precisely this incredible mix of different landscapes that makes Tossa de Mar such a unique destination.

After you’ve explored the old town and enjoyed some delicious Catalan tapas, be sure to head to Tossa’s beaches as well. While the surrounding city beaches can get a bit crowded, especially in the summer, there are some great options in the surrounding areas where you won’t meet many other visitors.
Contributed by Vicki | Vicki Viaja

Where to stay in Tossa de Mar?

As a total contrast to the usual resorts and hotel bunkers, Hotel Diana is a beautiful small family-run hotel. At the same time it doesn’t lack a charming sea view terrace and direct beach access.

Impressions of Tossa de Mar

3 | Le Marche, Italy

Almost always overlooked when planning a vacation in Italy, is the beautiful Marche region – a true hidden gem in Europe. The mainly agricultural area is located in the middle of Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennines mountains. It offers gorgeous, wide sandy beaches along the 180 km long coastline, a beautiful hilly countryside with typical and authentic villages and high mountains, with up to 2500 meters of altitude in the west. 

Ancona, the capital of Le Marche, is beautifully situated on the Adriatic Sea and has one of the largest ports in Italy. Many take advantage of the ferry connections to Croatia and Greece without taking another look at the beautiful city. It offers many historical monuments that date back to Roman times. From the cathedral, which is located on a hill above the large harbor, you have fantastic views of the city and the sea.

About an hour southeast of Ancona hides one of the largest cave systems in Europe. In the Frassasi Caves, visitors can go 1.5 km deep into the vast underworld and admire the impressive stalactite caves with their bizarre rock formations.

The town of Loreto is another highlight of the unknown region. The mighty basilica is the second most important place of pilgrimage in Italy, as the house of Mary is located within it.

The hilly hinterland is perfect for a road trip. Narrow roads lead through beautiful, ancient villages that wind their way up the hills. About 30 scenic villages have been awarded the most beautiful villages in Italy (“I borghi piu belli d’Italia”).

And if you want to admire this beautiful landscape from high above, visit the Monti Sibillini National Park. 20 peaks are higher than 2000 m. From its highest peak, Monte Vettore, you have gorgeous 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, hills, and even as far as the Adriatic coast, 70 km away.

Contributed by Linda | Hiking the Alps

Where to stay in Le Marche?

Agriturismo La Curtis is a lovely guesthouse to relax, set in the beautiful landscape of Montalto delle Marche. With their biological garden and homemade meals you feel like you’re in heaven.

For veggie lovers – check out Agriturismo Coroncina, a stunningly beautiful Italian guesthouse with lots of vegan treats for a divine stay.

Impressions of Le Marche

4 | Los Picos de Europa, Spain

Los Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain is a real hidden gem in Europe. It’s often overlooked by international tourists who prefer visiting Spanish beaches and historical towns. The park is a paradise for nature and outdoor lovers. It’s a perfect place for an adventure holiday for those who want to unwind from busy city life. Los Picos de Europa National Park is situated in the Cantabrian Mountains just 50 km away from the spectacular coast of Asturias.

The scenery in the park is truly impressive. It’s very different from the rest of Spain. Snowy mountain peaks covered in lush green forest dominate the landscape. Picturesque valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and small villages. The area is sometimes called the Spanish Alps.

There are 11 charming mountain villages inside Los Picos de Europa. Each village has a lot to offer from remarkable historical landmarks to famous local cuisine. Potes and Covadonga are the two not-to-miss towns. Potes is considered one of the most beautiful towns in the Cantabria province. Its medieval center with narrow cobbled streets is a historical monument on its own. Covadonga is known for its impressive sanctuary of Our Lady of Covadonga and spectacular mountain lakes.

Hiking is the main activity in Los Picos de Europa. There are over 30 self-guided routes that take hikers to breathtaking lookout points, turquoise lakes, hidden caves, and mountain peaks. The trails vary from easy and short day hikes to challenging multi-day routes such as the Camino del Salvador. Mountain biking and rock climbing are the other two popular things to do in the park.

Where to stay in Los Picos de Europa?

Summer months between June and September are the best time to visit the park for outdoor activities. While the winter months are great for a romantic getaway in a cozy wooden cabin surrounded by snowy mountains. Apartamentos Los Picos de Europa is a perfect place for the occasion.

Contributed by Campbell | Stingy Nomads

Impressions of Los Picos de Europa

5 | Amersfoort, Netherlands

Located only 50 km away from Amsterdam lies a true hidden gem in Europe for people who want to discover an authentic Dutch city without the herds or tourists from Amsterdam. And no, it’s not Utrecht!

It’s the historic city of Amersfoort.

The number one reason to visit Amersfoort is its beautiful city center. Once completely surrounded by walls, now only some parts of the historic walls and gates are still preserved. It provides a unique architectural view of The Netherlands during the Middle Ages. Even though there have been settlers in the area since 1000 BC, most historic buildings nowadays date back to around the 13th century and later.

The best way to discover the beauty of Amersfoort is by foot. Just like in Amsterdam, you will find beautiful canals and old houses here. Some other must-visit buildings include the Koppelpoort which is one of the most beautiful gates, and Monnikendam, a beautifully preserved fortification from the Middle Ages.

If you are into churches, check out the gothic Onze-Lieve Vrouwetoren (the Church of Our Lady) and Sint Joriskerk (Saint George Church). The latter is located at The Hof, another must-stop in Amersfoort. It’s a square where you will find typical Dutch cafes, bars, and shops to score your authentic Dutch souvenir.

For more unique sights in Amersfoort, head over to the Muurhuizen (literally translated to wall houses). The houses are built on the foundations of the first wall, which was broken down when the city grew. Each house has a unique style, which makes it a beautiful place to wander around. The most famous wall house is the Flehite museum, a museum dedicated to the art and history of Amersfoort.

The most popular museum in the city, however, is the Mondriaan House. It’s the house where the famous Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan was born. Nowadays, you can find a collection of his works as well as exhibitions of international artists here.

Contributed by Lara | The Best Travel Gifts

Where to stay in Amersfoort?

Right in the heart of Amersfoort, but still in a quiet neighborhood, Saya Boutique Hotel offers beautiful rooms with a cute garden and terrace.

Impressions of Amersfoort

6 | Acebuchal, Spain

Acebuchal is a tiny town located in Andalusia in southern Spain. It sits in the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama National Park making it the perfect spot to go for hikes.

This area is stunningly beautiful with impressive mountain ranges and lots of trails to choose from. Lots of it is slightly difficult to access, so these trails are surely very quiet even during the high season.

It’s definitely advisable to have a four-wheel drive if you plan to go deeper into the natural park. However, for the basic hikes a regular car will be fine. Acebuchal is a fantastic place to start many hikes in the area. Parking is available and there is a nice restaurant which is perfect for a drink or quick lunch after your hike.

Acebuchal itself is a tiny village and quite beautiful so make sure to spend a bit of time here to look around. One of the best hikes is to the Rio Torrox which is a nice river close by. It takes around 2 hours in total and is great even for beginners.

You could also hike to Frigiliana which is a larger town so you’ll encounter more tourists here, although the trail is still fairly quiet most of the time.
If you’re up for more of a challenge, head to the Puero Blancillo which is a local mountain peak. This hike will take at least six hours in total and is more suitable for experienced hikers.

Contributed by Victoria | Guide Your Travel

Where to stay in Acebuchal?

ON Acebuchal 23 is a great quiet place to stay with stunning views from their rooms overlooking the lagoon. If you’re planning to go for a hike in this hidden gem in Europe, this guesthouse is a perfect base to visit the national park.

Impressions of Acebuchal

7 | The Ardennes, Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium is often overlooked in favor of European starlets like Italy, France, and even Switzerland. Relegated to the “just passing through” section of many travelers’ itineraries as they take the highspeed train between Paris and Amsterdam.

Yet the little Kingdom has a lot to offer, most of which is a convenient day trip from Brussels away. Few people outside of Belgium realize that the southern part of the country is carpeted with thick forests and undulating hills, punctuated by a sprinkling of cities and villages and topped off with the prettiest castles in the country. Welcome to the Belgian Ardennes, a true hidden gem in Europe.

If you are looking for a relaxing getaway then may a beeline for Spa, a city whose name is eponymous with the main reason to visit: A day in the spa floating in the curative waters that have made this city so famous since Roman times.

If outdoor sports are more your jive, then head to Dinant, the epicenter for kayaking/mountain biking and hiking in Belgium. This colorful city has made quite a splash on social media lately thanks to its storybook waterfront, the Namur castle perched atop a protruding rock overlooking the Notre Dame de Namur cathedral. Pick up your hiking map at the tourist office and head for the hills surrounding the city. Alternatively, rent a kayak or book a kayaking tour from one of the many local vendors around the river. This is a very popular activity to undertake for families with kids. A short drive away from Dinant lie two of the prettiest castles in all of Belgium, Château de Vêves (which is open to the public for visits) and Château de Walzin (privately owned).

Where to stay in the Ardennes?

Really looking to splurge? Book a night in the Manoir des Lebioles, a sumptuous spa hotel with castle-like ambitions on the outskirts of town.

Contributed by Caroline | Veggie Wayfarer

Impressions of the Ardennes

8 | Flores Island, Portugal

Flores island is one of those amazing and unbelievable places that leaves you speechless. This small remote island, situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is part of the Azores archipelago (Portugal). It is completely covered with green, lush vegetation, beautiful turquoise natural pools, and countless waterfalls

Prepare your hiking boots, as Flores is a place to enjoy on foot: admire its 7 crater lakes, visit Poço da Ribeira do Ferreiro – a magical place where several waterfalls culminate on a big lagoon surrounded by all kinds of lush vegetation with an incredible variety of green colors, all reflected by the lagoon which acts like a mirror. You will feel you are inside Jurassic Park and that a dinosaur might appear somewhere, anytime, take a refreshing bath in Fajã Grande, where you can swim in the ocean with views of more amazing waterfalls like Cascata do Poço do Bacalhau, and stay there to watch the incredible sunset while you enjoy dinner at Maresia which is an experience itself.  

Save some time to visit the smaller and even more isolated neighboring island, Corvo, where less than 400 people live nowadays and where you can admire its huge and amazingly beautiful volcanic crater, right in the middle of the island. Fun fact: although Flores and Corvo islands are part of the Azores (Portugal) and therefore Europe, they are both situated over the North American tectonic plate, which means they are traveling a few millimeters away from the European continent every year. 

Ideally, save 5 days to explore Flores (7 if you also would like to include Corvo island in your itinerary and stay there for a couple of nights, which is an absolute must), and bear in mind that the best time to visit this hidden gem in Europe is during summer months (June to September). 

Where to stay in Flores?

The best area to stay is on the west of the island where the sun sets to sleep in the ocean as far west as Europe gets. Aldeia da Cuada, a small village abandoned in the 60s, is now a peaceful rural accommodation with 17 beautiful renovated houses of different sizes, each of them named after the last person that lived in it.

If you decide to visit Corvo, there is only one family-owned accommodation, Hotel Comodoro.

Take into account that accommodation and car rental options are scarce in small Flores and summer is peak season, so try to book everything asap.

Contributed by Chris | RandomTrip

Impressions of Flores Island

9 | Paros, Greece

Paros is a hidden gem in Europe, found in the Greek Islands. Situated right in between Santorini and Mykonos, this Cycladic island has all the same whitewashed buildings, charm, and delicious food you expect in Greece… but just a fraction of the crowds!

Paros lacks the mass tourism found on many islands in Greece, but the island is also worth visiting for its gorgeous beaches, quaint villages, and the chance to see the surrounding islands through boat tours or even renting your own boat! Plus, Paros is so small that it’s easy to see and do everything in just a few days!

City beaches like Marcello beach, Kolymbithres Beach, and Santa Maria are really beautiful but can get crowded in the peak of summer. Travelers can find less touristy beaches, like Kalogeros Beach & Golden Beach, along the southeast coast of Paros.

The mountains are also rich in beauty. For instance, the mountain village of Lefkes has narrow winding streets with shops and cafes, hiking through ancient marble quarries, and a panoramic view of the ocean stretching to the neighboring island of Naxos.

Additionally, boat trips to the surrounding islands in Paros are easy to find. From well-known islands like Delos and Milos to remote uninhabited places, such as Irakleia or Schoinousa! Don’t forget to take the short ferry ride to Antiparos, too!

The best time to visit Paros is between April – September, but do your best to avoid August for extra peace and quiet. The most ‘touristy’ area in Paros is the cosmopolitan town of Naoussa. This is also where the majority of people stay.

Where to stay in Paros?

For a more authentic experience in Paros, try booking a hotel in the port town of Paroikia, just 10 minutes away. Pelican Paros is a wonderful boutique hotel right in the center of town.

Contributed by Celeb & Sarah | Pazook Travel Journal

Impressions of Paros

10 | Osuna, Spain

One of the best-hidden gems in Europe is the GOT town of Osuna in Andalusia, Spain. Sitting easily visible from the A92 between Seville and Malaga, it is one of the most underrated day trips from either and is often overlooked by tourists. However, it is a wonderful town with a lot of incredible things to do and see.

The town is divided into the upper and lower part. On the upper part, you find the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, which is the building you will see towering over the whitewashed town from the highway. Right next to it is the Old University of Osuna which is incredibly beautiful with an impressive Andalusian courtyard lined with columns and arches, and its own little chapel.

In the same area, you can also go on a guided tour of the Monasterio de la Encarnación. A few minutes drive from there, you can explore Osuna’s historical sites that are situated right outside the town. There is a Roman Theater and Necropolis you can see, but the most impressive of the sites is the Coto de las Canteras reminiscing an Egyptian temple – in fact, it is referred to as the Petra of Spain. It is quite incredible that this hidden gem in Europe still doesn’t hit the guidebooks.

The lower part of Osuna is the town’s historical center, and there are so many impressive buildings to see that you can spend a day or two just exploring them all. Osuna was a Game of Thrones filming location and some fans made it to the town after this, but you will still experience that Osuna is pretty much tourist-free no matter what time of the year you visit. The Osuna Museum features a GOT room with artifacts from the filming.

Where to stay in Osuna?

Calle de San Pedro was declared one of the most beautiful streets in Europe with a multitude of impressive palaces, among them, the number one place to stay in Osuna: Palacio Marques de La Gomera. The hotel boasts an exceptional baroque façade and an interior courtyard that will leave you in awe!

Contributed by Linn | Amused by Andalucia

Impressions of Osuna

11 | Theth, Albania

There is no doubting the fact that Theth National Park remains one of the best hidden gems in Europe. This is because, despite being founded in 1966, most tourists don’t consider exploring it. If you have been visiting national parks in other countries, this one will change your mentality. For example, it has bears and other wild animals that you can come across. You will also discover high terrain which have natural features such as rock formations, dense forests, waterfalls, rivers, and valleys. Its sharp, steep mountains are worth exploring.

Theth National Park in Albania has two notable features that you will hardly find in other national parks. These are the Albanian Alps and Shala Valley. Do you enjoy activities like climbing and hiking? This is the best place to engage in them. While hiking, you will start from the valleys and then reach the mountains’ highest points. It is also worthy of note to point out that there are lots of caves in Theth National Park. The magnificent area will lead you to black mountains. Again, there are steep slopes that have been formed due to temperature changes.

Over the years, steep mountains have been formed as a result of poor weather conditions. Also, there are oak trees and different animal species to discover. In general, Theth National Park gives you the chance to explore nature firsthand. The scenes are beautiful and memorable too.

Where to stay in Theth?

The hotels around Theth National Park are quite affordable. For instance, a 5-star hotel can cost you around $40 per night. If you are on a low budget, you can check into a 3-star hotel that cost $23 per night, such as Guesthouse Marashi – a perfectly located guesthouse right by the river with an incredible view to wake up in the morning.

Contributed by Phil | JOURNICATION Travel Blog

Impressions of Theth

12 | Viterbo, Italy

Viterbo is a city in central Italy that stands halfway between Rome and Tuscany. The presence of these “big” neighbors has always eclipsed the city’s beauty in the eyes of international travelers. Locals, on the other hand, are very familiar with all of Viterbo’s attractions.

First, there are the thermal baths, fed by the various hot springs that surround Viterbo. The Terme dei Papi is one of the most popular spas, with a 2,000-square-meter pool and a cave with natural thermal steam. Local people have used these natural gifts to cure themselves of skin, circulatory and respiratory diseases for thousands of years. There are also luxury thermal baths such as Terme Salus and totally free admission pools such as Piscine Carletti and the Bullicame pool. Viterbo’s thermal water gushes out very hot out of the spring. After a long bath, the best thing to do is to refresh yourself at one of the restaurants in the city’s historic center.

One of Viterbo’s many qualities is that it offers exquisite food at modest prices. In this region of Italy, you will find sheep’s milk cheeses, EVO oil, wine, porcini mushrooms, and plenty of vegetables. One of the typical dishes is “lombrichelli”, homemade pasta made with water and flour and topped with ragout, mushrooms, and pecorino cheese.

The historic center of Viterbo is a perfectly preserved medieval jewel. The ancient defensive walls run all around the city. For a scenic walk through the historic center, enter from one of the ancient gates, such as Porta Romana, and reach the San Pellegrino District.

Walk to Piazza San Lorenzo, which is one of the most picturesque squares in Italy, with all the ancient buildings made from the dark local stone called “pepper stone”. Here you will find the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (12th century) and the Palace of the Popes (13th century), fine examples of medieval Romanesque architecture.

From there, proceed to Piazza della Morte, which houses one of Viterbo’s typical fountains and a couple of small restaurants where you can dine or enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers, such as the “Gargolo”.

Continue exploring the historic center, which hides many fountains and small churches. On Via Roma, you will find stores and boutiques to do some shopping. Before saying goodbye to this relaxing city rich in history, have a coffee at Bistrot del Teatro. This cozy café decorated in vintage style was developed around a theater that is still in operation.

Where to stay in Viterbo?

If you want to sleep in Viterbo, choose an elegant B&B in an old house in the historic center, such as La Lanterna. It’s the perfect location to explore this hidden gem in Europe.

Contributed by Lisa | Travel Connect Experience

Impressions of Viterbo

13 | Dingle, Ireland

Nestled between mountain peaks and the Atlantic Ocean, the town of Dingle is a bastion of Irish culture and one of Ireland’s many hidden gems in Europe. Dingle is an epicenter for traditional Irish music and nightly “trad” sessions are one of the many reasons to base yourself here. The town also boasts great dining and serves as the ideal jumping-off point for scenic drives, boat trips, and hiking on the eponymous peninsula. Visitors to Dingle will delight in the lively music and pub scene, appreciate the colorful storefronts and houses, and enjoy some of the most scenic natural beauty on the Emerald Isle.

What sets Dingle apart from other small Irish towns is its rich musical heritage. The main street and waterfront are lined with pubs offering live music every night. Neligan’s Bar on Main Street and O’Flaherty’s Bar on Bridge Street are especially notable for their intimate and characteristic settings. Dingle’s music scene is such that you never know who from the crowd may join in and wow the other patrons with their musical talents (or if you’re lucky, their Irish dancing abilities).

While nights in Dingle are filled with great meals and music, the town offers visitors a range of daytime activities. Boat tours are a great way to get out and see some of the natural beauty of Dingle Bay. Choose between a fishing trawler or inflatable zodiac for your excursion, then enjoy getting up close to the dramatic coastal cliffs. You may even have a few wildlife encounters with dolphins.

No visit to Dingle is complete without a day exploring Slea Head Drive. One of Ireland’s most scenic drives, Slea Head is a loop road hugging the cliffs of the Dingle Peninsula. One of its more notable sights is the Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian stone church dating back to at least the 12th century. Photogenic Dunquin Pier is another requisite stop with its dramatic views across the water to the nearby Blasket Islands.

With its many pubs, lively music scene, and charming atmosphere, Dingle is an authentic hidden gem in Europe that will enchant visitors with a taste of genuine Irish culture.

Contributed by Tamar | World By Weekend

Where to stay in Dingle?

For a great location, close to many hiking opportunities, check out An Capall Dubh B&B in Dingle.

Impressions of Dingle

14 | Tavira, Portugal

Tavira is the perfect destination for anyone looking for an authentic Portuguese experience. The town has a fascinating history and has been around since Roman times. Visitors will notice both Roman and Moorish remains from centuries past. Tavira also has an interesting history with strong connections to the discovery of America in 1492.

There are plenty of historical sites to visit, such as the Castelo de Tavira, a hilltop castle that overlooks the town. Other attractions include the archaeological museum and several churches where visitors can learn more about the region’s fascinating history. There is even a Camera Obscura in an old water tower known as the Tavira Eye that gives travelers a panoramic view of the entire town. Another fun activity option is to hop on the ferry to spend the day on Tavira island. However, the town is incredibly picturesque, and wandering around the cobblestone streets is enjoyable too.

The small town located on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal’s Algarve region is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning views, and excellent restaurants. Tavira is one of the best hidden gems in Europe because of its off-the-beaten-path location. Consequently, it’s relatively easy to escape the tourist crowds here in comparison to more well-known Algarve destinations such as Albufeira.

The town has a relaxed atmosphere and offers a unique experience that is unlike any other destination in the region. Making it the perfect destination for anyone looking for an authentic Portuguese experience.

Where to stay in Tavira?

Ozadi Tavira Hotel situated just outside of Tavira Old Town is the perfect base from which to explore this quaint destination. The intimate luxury hotel is surrounded by lush vegetation and within walking distance of shops, beaches, and other attractions.

Contributed by Daniella | oursoulfultravels

Impressions of Tavira

15 | Zakopane, Poland

If you’re visiting Poland, a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss out on exploring is the charming town of Zakopane. This cozy highland village is located in the Tatra Mountains near the Southern Polish Border and provides visitors the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

And while the town is definitely on the smaller side, it has a lot to offer visitors. For example, as you make your way to Zakopane, you’ll likely notice that there is an excessive amount of wooden chalets everywhere. This type of architecture is referred to as Zakopane-style architecture and is something that the quaint town is especially known for. In fact, many of the buildings that feature it date back hundreds of years ago, so it’s definitely worth taking some time to admire.

But if you’re looking for more specific activities to do, Zakopane has plenty of options. One popular attraction is the thermal baths, which are known for their healing micronutrients and inviting warm waters. People from all over the nearby towns and cities come to the thermal baths to relax, enjoy the spa services, and take in the beautiful mountain scenery.

Of course, if you’re up for an adventure and want to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors, consider going hiking. There are lots of hiking trails that wind along the Tatra Mountains. Or, if you’re visiting during the wintertime, the city is a popular destination for skiing enthusiasts!

So, if you’re looking for an easy excursion from Krakow or simply want to spend time in the Tatra Mountains, consider visiting Zakopane.

Where to stay in Zakopane?

For those interested in truly experiencing the local culture and exploring at a slower pace, stay in Tatrzańskie Echo Domki Regionalne. It’s a local wooden cabin that is near all the best sights and attractions.

Contributed by Kristin | Global Travel Escapades

Impressions of Zakopane

16 | La Gomera, Spain

La Gomera is one of the Canary Islands’ best-kept secrets. It is located just 45 minutes by boat from busy Tenerife but the island has remained out of the radar of mass tourism. So it’s definitely one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
La Gomera is the second smallest and most beautiful of the Canary Islands. Hermigua, one of its most stunning villages, was declared the place with the best climate in the world at the beginning of the 20th century.

Its landscape of deep ravines and UNESCO World Heritage Laurisilva Forests in the Garajonay National Park make hiking in La Gomera a not to be missed activity when visiting the island.
The island is also home to some stunning beaches, and some of them are suitable for snorkeling and even swimming with stingrays.

La Gomera also features a rich history and unique culture. One of its top highlights is “El Silbo”, the whistle. El Silbo has been used since as early as the 15th century by the inhabitants of the island to communicate across the deep ravines and valleys of the island. Several aboriginal ritual places are scattered around La Gomera, where “Guanches” – the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands – used to offer sacrifices to their Gods.

Besides, La Gomera is the ideal destination for enjoying a deep connection with nature while unplugging and getting to know the local culture. You can also enjoy some culinary delicacies unique to the island, such as Almogrote (a cheese paste) and its famous watercress soup.

Agulo, a village with some stunning views of Teide – the largest mountain of neighboring Tenerife – has been declared the most beautiful village in Spain. Its strategic location at the base of El Garajonay National Park makes it an ideal place for your stay while hiking the island.

Where to stay in La Gomera?

Hotel Rural Casa Lugo, in Agulo, located close to some of the best restaurants in the area, is one of the best places to stay on the island.

Contributed by Pilar | Travel The World Pages

Impressions of La Gomera

17 | Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tucked away in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the charming village of Mostar is full of fascinating history and stunning scenery. Taking a day trip to Mostar from Dubrovnik, Croatia is an excellent way to see the town and experience Bosnian culture. A visit to Mostar can also be included on a road trip through the Balkans.

Mostar dates back to the 15th century when the Ottoman Empire ruled the region. The history of the town is still very much alive in the streets, where you can explore the cobbled lanes and see the original stone buildings and bridges. The unique blend of Middle Eastern and European cultures gives Mostar a very different feel from other towns in Europe.

Mostar is very compact and easy to explore by foot, making it possible to see all the highlights in a single day. The town’s most famous landmark is the Stari Most Bridge, a 16th-century Ottoman bridge that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a walk across the bridge for an amazing view of Mostar and the emerald Neretva River below. If you stay there long enough, you will see the locals collecting money to then make the massive leap off the bridge. What a highlight that makes Mostar truly one of the most fascinating hidden gems in Europe.

Some of the best things to do in Mostar are taking a stroll through the narrow streets, shopping for souvenirs, and enjoying some traditional cuisine at a local restaurant. For those interested, you can join a walking tour to learn more about the town’s history from a local guide.

Where to stay in Mostar?

If you’d like to spend more time in this magical town, you can’t go wrong by booking a room at Villa Cardak. Centrally located only steps from the Old Town, this highly-rated accommodation offers the perfect base for sightseeing in Mostar.

Contributed by Ann | The Road Is Life

Impressions of Mostar

18 | Piran, Slovenia

Piran is an underrated place in Slovenia, an underrated country itself, making it one of the perfect hidden gems in Europe. The small town Piran is located in Western Slovenia just 2 hours from Ljubljana on the gorgeous Adriatic coast. At the same time, it has a unique location, as it is part of the Istrian Peninsula. Istria consists of three countries: Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, and Piran is one of the best Istrian towns to visit.

Piran boasts wonderful medieval architecture and a mix of Italian and Slovenian culture, which makes for an excellent alternative to saturated Venice. Although a popular spot for Slovenians on holiday, Piran is not a place that is overcrowded or rushed with tourists.

Once in Piran, be sure to walk the peninsula and look out for aquatic wildlife, visit one of the many museums like the world of shells, and discover the valued Salt by visiting a salt reserve in Istria. These are just a few of the great things to do in Piran. But the best is to try the delicious local cuisine such as Sea Bass on a boat restaurant docked at the harbor, or truffle pasta drizzled with local olive oil.

Where to stay in Piran?

For accommodation, you can find wonderful and cozy guesthouses in the cobbled streets of Piran which are far better than the regular hotels because they have a homely vibe and are often run by locals. For example, take a look at Memento B&B, s small hotel in a historic alley right in the heart of Piran.

Contributed by Shireen | The Happy Days Travels

Impressions of Piran

19 | Ascona, Switzerland

For a hidden gem in the heart of the Ticino canton in Switzerland, find yourself visiting Ascona Switzerland. This beautiful lakeside village is a delight to visit, especially in the warmer months. It can be a somewhat popular destination in summer, but it’s mostly locals and Swiss tourists, so as an international traveler, you could be the only one!

Ascona is a special Swiss destination to visit, with stunning views across the lake, where you can also enjoy a boat trip. A top suggestion is to take the local boat to the Brissago Islands, a botanical paradise island not far from the village. Another is to swim in the stunning crystal clear waters, such as at the beach area Lido di Ascona. Alternatively, for those who want a local hike, start at Ascona and hike up to the viewpoint Balladrum, which provides the best views of the area.

The local culture is very Italian here, which makes it one of the special locations in Switzerland. It has the sweetest Italian vibes, as it’s one of the many villages on Lake Maggiore, which is geographically connected to Italy. All restaurants along the promenade serve Italian dishes, with the best pastas and pizzas to choose from. Of course, for those looking for something sweeter, visit the L’Angolo dei Golosi ice cream shop.

Where to stay in Ascona?

For accommodation, a personal recommendation is to stay at the boutique Art Hotel Riposo. They have comfortable rooms, a pretty rooftop breakfast/dinner area, and a perfect relaxation area for enjoying a slow pace of travel. It’s also only a 2-minute walk from the lakeside promenade, perfect for an early fresh morning or evening stroll before bedtime.

Contributed by Zoe | Together In Switzerland

Did you enjoy these hidden gems in Europe? Let me know if you have any tips for the mentioned places or any suggestion for another hidden gem in Europe. Just leave a comment below!

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