Deciding where to go on holiday can be as much fun as actually going. With nothing more than a passport, a suitcase, and a daydream to call yours, the whole world is open to you, waiting to be explored!
So, it can be a good idea to venture off the beaten track and take a leap of faith on a location that’s more up and coming.
From Scotland’s picturesque islands and Portugal’s architecture, to Italy’s renowned Riviera, Western Europe is rife with things to do and to see. It’s jam-packed with amazing historical towns and villages, ancient castles, palaces, forts, thriving backcountry, natural wonders, and many other attractions.
If your desire is to go somewhere beyond the limits of exploring destinations, and like the idea of going somewhere that your friends haven’t already been, here are seven underrated locations in Western Europe that you should consider exploring!
Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
The raven-toned, meshing basalt rocks, traversing around the Causeway Coast in Ireland gave it a centuries-old route with a great exposure of historical tales. Though the tales still run flourishing between Irish generations, we can all recognise its once extremely nippy, natural prodigy.
With a long, curving drive along the highway peppered with residential homes, shops, pubs, and striking natural sights, arriving at the coast is pretty exciting in itself. Once you arrive there you won’t be able to take your eyes off the water and the road ahead.
The outgoing residents, vibrant drives, cosy, small-town feel, and incredible hikes along the extensive cliff-top trails are appealing traits that make this place of Northern Ireland one-of-a-kind. It can also be considered as the best location for activity days out for groups as well as individuals.
The ancient city of Bruges is a nostalgic prompt of Venice which has long, narrow canals, awarding it the signature – “Venice of the North.” Exploring it is just like experiencing life in a fairy-tale. The canals are not only exquisite but the buildings that compliment watercourses are just as awe-inspiring. The whole scenario creates a picture-perfect extract you won’t want to step out of.
You will see some paving stone paths, historic churches, and whitewashed houses which will make you never want to leave. This beauty doesn’t come without a price as the floodgates open for tourists each year. Hence, most people trek during the day and leave by sundown. To explore the beauty of Bruges, stay overnight and you will experience the beautiful floodlights at dusk.
Sintra is one of Portugal’s most naturally blessed cities and is perfectly squeezed between the sea and mountains. This location is the most deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage site designation. Sintra has a rich history filled with natural beauty consisting of glistening palaces, tempting gardens, and foggy woodlands.
It’s no wonder why the Celts chose Sintra to praise their God. The Heaths built a dazzling castle, and the royals of 18th century Portuguese indulged its beauty in lush hills and wistful framework. Traditional fascinations and the culinary backdrops of Sintra is beyond any comparison.
The number of prehistoric ramparts and wonderful dwellings attract tourists in large numbers during summers. And there’s plenty to see even outside of peak tourist season.
Aarhus in Denmark is voted as one of 2017’s top European Cities of Culture, and this city will soon see an invasion of tourists. The city’s rainbow, panoramic circular skywalk and the picture-perfect river that runs through the centre are the key traits of attraction.
You can experience barbeques on the beach which is just four kilometres north of the city or visit some of Aarhus’s restaurants. People are very friendly and polite here. So, if you love to visit places such as Copenhagen and Stockholm, you will definitely find this place interesting and enthralling to the core. If you’re looking for something a little different for your hen do or stag party, visiting this beautiful place could be the perfect alternative you’ve been looking for.
Estonia isn’t particularly popular with tourists from the UK and Ireland, but it is an incredible mix of old and new traditions. With stone church spires stretching up into the sky along with shimmering glass skyscrapers, it is quite the sight for the increasingly sophisticated crowd. There is much more to explore in Tallinn than a traveller can think of.
It’s not a big place, so you will find it quite easy to discover its beauty through streets and seashores. Due to its location on the coast, you will enjoy the dynamic atmosphere and overflowing comforts while still being within reach of a sandy beach. However, if you visit Tallinn during winter, you will get to see a wonderland of twilight .The view is breathtaking making this place one of your favourite spots in Europe during the winter.
Located on Norway’s south-western coast, it’s truly a stunning location which is surrounded by fjords and mountains. The scenic landscape of Bergen will leave you surprised at how beautiful nature really is. Apart from its natural scenery, the colourful wooden houses meeting a lip of ice cold water on the old wharf also looks astonishing, complementing the beauty of the place.
Do stop by the museums as the city used to be an important Viking monopoly. The markets are fantastic especially for seafood lovers as their fish market is a must-visit place. Don’t forget to take a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular – a railway that will take you from the centre of the city to the top of Fløyen Mountain. It will give you an excellent view of Bergen which is worth experiencing.
Manarola is a little town at the seaside across the bay from Monaco. It is located between Nice and Genoa, where you will find a milieu of vibrant architecture on the waterfront. When you visit the location you will see many splendid views from the seashores. A cluster of tall stone buildings in a rainbow of colours is set high across grassy cliffs and is flanked by rocky shoreline.
Manarola is a portion of the Italian Riviera called Cinque Terre. It is a series of five small coastal towns which are connected via rustic hiking trails with ample vistas. It is second in size within the streak of towns, also the oldest, and is marked by the14th century San Lorenzo church. Social site including the town square, the busy little harbour and vineyards surrounds the entire area.
No wonder that Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Berlin are amazing cities adorned with beautiful architecture, unparalleled history, amazing culture and much more. However, Europe is also measured with many other wonderful cities that sometimes are underrated. Travelling to these obscure cities can be a unique experience as hitting the capitals and bustling metropolises.