More Secret and Stunning Europe!
Just like last week when we introduced you to ten sensational, and maybe a little lesser known spots in Europe ranging from Georgia to England, this week we have even more! Every time someone asks me where the most beautiful place in Europe is, I start to stutter because there is just no right answer. In these couple of posts, we’ve highlight twenty of our favorites, but honestly it’s just a fraction of the Europe we love.
We’ve been to this divided island twice, and the photo is specifically in Southern Cyprus not far from the Roman ruins of Kourion. There are a surprising amount of Roman ruins, which was one of the main reasons we went to begin with. We loved traipsing around Pafos and learning all about Salamis, both which are also located near water. It really doesn’t matter where you go, it’s all stunning. The beaches are sandy, and the views divine. We always go very off-season and so we’ve never seen many people sun-bathing, but I’m sure the middle months of the year would be crazy. The first time we visited, we were there in November and we could still swim. I ask you what is better than that?
Velinko Turnovo, Bulgaria
Located in the mountains along the Yantra River, this small city rates as our favorite in all of Bulgaria. We loved the beautiful Black Sea towns, discovering quiet and peaceful monasteries, and much, much more about this Eastern European destination, but Velinko Turnovo captured our hearts. As we were driving in, we met a lone shepherd with some spring lambs. His huge smile welcomed us to pet the babies and take some photos, and the town only got better and better as we wandered the streets and enjoyed all the local artisans and their wares.
St. Malo, France
Northern France is full of amazing vistas and great places to stop to enjoy the crisp ocean air. On yet another road trip, we visited the walled city of St. Malo. The entire time we were there it rained and rained, but between the gorgeous stone walls and buildings, the smiling eyes of the locals, and food that exceeded every expectation, we were entranced. But France is like that! Everywhere you turn there’s beauty and tranquility. We’ve loved so many charming and pretty places, made all that better by the food (oysters!), of the parades and festivals, by the iconic sights to see, or just from familiarity as we go back time and time again to our favorites. Seriously, France!
The Austrian Alps
It just doesn’t seem fair that some countries have more than their share of beauty, and Austria is certainly one of these countries. We head back to the Austrian Alps at least once every fall; we just can’t stay away from towns like the one pictured, Tarrenz or the scenic drives and national parks. Let alone that there are such fun things to do such as learning all about the importance of salt or visiting UNESCO world heritage sites like the small, but sensational views of Hallstatt. Of course, as you know we love fall in the alps mainly because of all the festivals surrounding the cows coming home off of their summer pastures high in the mountains.
Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
From Ljubljana to Lake Bled and everything in between, Slovenia is another country blessed with spectacular scenery and things to do. From the surprisingly pretty capital city, to the most iconic of tourist meccas, places like the Vintgar Gorge can get overlooked, even though it’s an amazing destination in its own right. Slovenia is one of those places for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, bike riders, people who want to go and enjoy nature, and it’s all packaged in a rather small area, easy to get from one place to another without taking a lot of your time.
It might not be the most secretive place on this list, but for some reason it still eludes many people’s bucket list. I cannot figure out why. The mix of old and new, east and west, all combined with amazing views makes Istanbul unforgettable. I just love it. And just like other main cities in a country, if tourists do go there, they don’t realize how many treasures Turkey holds. We’ve traveled from north to south, west to east, and there are so many beautiful places. Another favorite is the beach city of Kiz Kalesi, well off the beaten track of most tourists. Most of the country holds secrets such as the Black Sea where you can dance with the Laz people, or the far east where you can gawk at a Pasha’s palace, and so many more towns and cities, lakes and mountains in between where you will find the friendliest of people welcoming you to join in their everyday lives.
The Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland
There is something about a chilly, wind-beaten coast that just soothes my soul and the Antrim coast at the very top of Northern Ireland is just that kind of place. There’s plenty to do and see from Game of Thrones filming sites to natural rock formations, castles, and adventure rope bridges. It’s a rough, uncut beauty that will call you back again and again.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the lesser visited, but well on its way to being known cities, Mostar is an up and comer on the Europe tourist trail. It has every right to be, because it’s full of striking views, famous bridges, a war-torn and fascinating history, friendly people, and amazing food.
There’s really no one place to mention in this island country, cold and windy, and full of remarkable and rough scenic beauty. Whether you take a tour or camp, there’s no escaping the adventure and feeling of euphoric outdoorsy-ness that you get from traversing the narrow, winding roads of Iceland. Out every window is view of the harshness of the land. We loved everything from the animals to the plants, and were more than pleasantly surprised by the interesting sites to visit.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Okay, you’re right! It’s not hidden. Everyone that visits Italy wants to put Cinque Terre on their itinerary, but it is one of the most beautiful places in Europe as far as we’re concerned. Yes, there’s Venice. Yes, there’s Rome. Yes, there’s plenty of gorgeous towns, cities, sights, lakes, mountains. Again, Italy is just one of those countries that has it all.
There you have it. Between Part 1, last weeks ten secret and stunning places, and this weeks ten, you have plenty of places to add to your bucket list. We hope we’ve inspired you to buy that ticket to Europe, get out your camera and your sense of adventure and be ready to have the time of your life!
I’m sure there are plenty more beautiful places in Europe. What are yours?
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