Interesting and Often Overlooked European Destinations

Interesting and Often Overlooked European Destinations

You’ve studied it all: the Italian Renaissance, Spanish Conquests, French Revolutions and Greek Mythology. Millions of people travel from the United States to Europe every year to get a taste of that rich history, but don’t get stuck in the past — these popular European cities have so much more to offer. A European destination vacation is popular with all travelers. Whether you’re on a budget, seeking adventure, taking a social trip or wanting to explore nature more, Europe has got you covered.


A country that has slowly crawled out of its dark past and opened its arms to the world, Serbia offers one of the best value travel destinations in all of Europe. In Belgrade, you’ll find throbbing nightlife at floating river clubs, one of the best street art scenes in the world, and a charming old town inside a fortress. Outside of the capital, you’ll find tranquil rivers cascading down lush green valleys, charming towns and villages, and loads of history at every turn. Best yet, Serbia’s southern location means it can be visited whatever time of year you go to Europe.

Kiev, Ukraine

When you think of cultural capitals spilling over with funky arts scenes, vibrant nightlife, and world-class gastronomy, Kiev may not be the first European city that comes to mind. But perhaps it should be. It is, after all, the capital of Europe’s largest country by area (and, yes, it is safe to travel Ukraine, by the way). And you’ll find everything you’d come to expect from a city break in one of Europe’s more famous cities, all without the crowds of fanny-pack-sporting tourists or the price tag.

Kyiv is the capital and largest city of Ukraine with approximately 3 million inhabitants. The city was founded on the banks of Dnipro River. The transliteration of the city’s name from Ukrainian is “Kyiv“, and this variation is now promoted in English language materials in Ukraine, international organizations and suggested for use in major English-speaking countries.

Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating back to the 5th century, although settlements at this location existed much earlier. By the late 9th century, Kyiv had become the de facto capital of an emerging Eastern Slavic state. Between the 10th and early 13th centuries, the city reached its golden age as the capital of the first Ukrainian state known today as Kyivan Rus, (Rus-Ukraine). This state created the religious and cultural foundations for modern Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

Costa Brava, Spain

It’s just up the Catalonian coast from one of Europe’s most popular tourism destinations (Barcelona), but Costa Brava offers an authentic and quiet escape from the bustle of the city. You’ll find sapphire waters lapping up against dusty coves, quirky medieval towns, and some of the best gastronomy the Mediterranean has to offer. Almost a third of Costa Brava is protected natural areas, making it a great place to explore wild beaches away from the crowds. It’s hard to believe a destination this beautiful is still such a well-kept secret.

costa brava spain

The Costa Brava is the northeastern part of the Spanish Mediterranean coast which belongs to the province of Girona. It extends over a length of 214 kilometers from the French border to the Costa del Maresme, which already belongs to Barcelona. The name “Costa Brava” (Wild Coast) probably derives from the rocky parts of the coastline. There are however also beautiful bays, in which the best known holiday resorts are located.

By the middle of the 20th century, these places were just small fishing villages. The scenic beauty of the region attracted many artists such as Marc Chagall, Picasso, Rusiñol und Salvador Dali. During the 1950’s more and more tourists came to visit the coast, and from about 1960 the villages which had sandy beaches began to develop into tourist centers, notes . So today places like Tossa de Mar or Lloret de Mar dispose of numerous hotels and leisure facilities, while the villages along the rocky parts of the Costa Brava remained almost untouched by tourism.

The town of Tamariu’s white beach used to be a fishing village and is currently one of Catalonia’s favorite summer places. It is small and intimate, only an hour from Girona and a perfect destination for families. The town’s life revolves around its tiny but alluring beach, set in the middle of an unexploited natural environment away from cars and city noise. The main leisure activities offered are diving, sailing and kayaking.

Swedish Lapland

Located in the Arctic, Swedish Lapland is perfect for eco-conscious travelers looking for off-the-beaten path adventures. From midnight sun horseback riding, to bear spotting, to dog sledding, to forest safaris, there is something utterly unique to do here no matter the season. Oh, and speaking of seasons: there are eight of them to consider for your trip, from summer-fall until spring-winter (yep, it’s a thing). Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch a glimpse of the famous Northern Lights!


Slovenia is a boutique country between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea in Central Europe, with Austria to the north, Italy to the southwest, Hungary to the northeast and Croatia to the south. Despite its small size, Slovenia has a surprising variety of terrain, ranging from the beaches of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Julian Alps, to the rolling hills of the south. This article notes that Slovenia was already more economically advanced than other nations behind the iron curtain prior to European integration and the powerhouse of Tito’s Yugoslavia.

You’ll have a hard time not falling in love with Slovenia (it is, after all, the only country in the world with the word “love” in its name). From the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, Slovenia’s landscapes make for some of the most surreal vistas in Europe. And foodies will find themselves in paradise here, as Slovenia’s culinary scene continues to win global accolades for its profoundly original yet utterly mouthwatering fare.

Faroe Islands

Situated in the heart of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The archipelago is composed of 18 islands covering about 550 sq.miles, roughly in the shape of an arrowhead.

the Faroe Islands beckon visitors with mythical mountains, homes covered in hobbit-like turf, and miles of still greenery dotted by only the occasional grazing sheep. With a population of just 50,000 people and a remote location far off the continental shore, these magical islands may be one of the last few unspoiled travel destinations in Europe. That may change soon, though, as the word is out about the Faroe Islands.

The weather is maritime and quite changeable, from moments of brilliant sunshine to misty hill fog, to showers. The Gulf Stream encircling the islands tempers the climate. The harbours never freeze and the temperature in winter time is very moderate considering the high latitude. Snowfall occurs, but is shortlived.