Photo by Cody Black
Photo by Cody Black

5 must see hidden gems in Europe

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

Though iconic places belonging to Europe are important to see, it’s always best to travel to the lesser-known destinations to gain a better understanding of this diverse and beautiful continent. Below are five hidden European treasures to uncover that will lead you to an unbeaten path full of adventure and memories.

Portofino, Italy

Tucked away in the Italian Riviera coastline, you’ll discover Portofino, a beautiful fishing village teeming with pastel-colored houses, boutiques housing trendy Italian fashion and mouthwatering seafood. Portofino’s piazzetta, a cobblestone square dotted with swanky shops and restaurants the overlook the yacht-filled harbor is a can’t miss spot! Tip: Since Genoa is the closest airport, rent a car and drive up the jaw-dropping coastline and mark this beauty of a travel spot as your main destination.

Riquewihr, France

In the Alsace region of France lies the striking village of Riquewihr. What can only be described as one of the most magical and beautiful villages in France, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a chapter of your favorite fairytale. Soak in the view of the hills, shop at quaint boutiques and devour delicious French delicacies! While being awestruck by Riquewihr’s beauty, pay attention to the historic buildings as traces of medieval and renaissance elements can be seen. Be sure to pay a visit to the Castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, a 16th-century castle which boasts many elements of medieval history.

Undredal, Norway

For those who love hiking, the great outdoors and overall excitement, Undredal is an adventure seeker's destination. Close to Flam, this small but underrated fishing village captures the essence of Norwegian charm with its colored houses and beautiful rugged landscape. Located along the Aurlandsfjorden, Norway’s fjord country, partake in activities such as sightseeing, cycling and taking on those breathtaking fjords! With an abundance of outdoor adventures, your trip to Undredal will be one for the books!

Hvar, Croatia

Though Game of Thrones has put Croatian cities such as Dubrovnik on the map, Hvar is a gem all on its own. Best known as a summer resort, this dazzling island calls its visitors to bask in the sun and explore nearby beaches. Hvar connects you the Pakleni Islands, which is home to Croatia finest crystal clear waters. Sip on cocktails as you lay in the sun and you’ll appreciate the hidden and not too crowded treasure!

Zaandam, Netherlands  

Quaint Dutch houses connected by canals, authentic wooden windmills and the aroma of heavenly sweets coming from the bakery make this little Dutch city a secret escape from busy Amsterdam. While here, be sure to visit the Zaanse Schans, a region that will take you back to 17th and 18th century Holland. Need a genuine souvenir to bring back? Shop at the tinware factory and be sure to stop by the clog factory to see how these famous wooden shoes are made!  

Jet-setting to major European cities are a must, but so is exploring a side of Europe you haven’t seen before! Mix up your travel bucket list and head to these hidden spots that will have you feeding your wanderlust!


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