5 of Europe's Best Hidden Gems

5 of Europe's Best Hidden Gems

You could travel and explore the typical highlights of Europe... But why don't you visit these hidden gems as well?

 

Cinigiano, Italy

100 kilometers south of Florence, this small corner of Tuscan wine country has managed to its keep old-world charms while producing some of the most striking new-school Super Tuscan wines.

Breathtaking views of endless fields and vineyards, even better at sunset, are around practically every corner. Yet somehow, the crush of crowds isn't.

Tour organic family-run vineyards like Cantina Basile or live royally while staying at the Castello di Vicarello. It's all truly divine.

 

Roanne, France

Foodies will find eating their way across the French countryside is a breeze, no matter where they go. But those serious about top-notch gastronomy cannot miss Roanne, home of the Troisgros family and of Maison Troisgos, a restaurant that foodie bible Gault Millau referred to as the best in the entire world.

Those who prefer to sharpen their own skills in the kitchen can attend The Ecole des Trois Ponts, a famous nearby cooking school.

Take a stroll by the Loire river to walk off the calories, and enjoy some of the historical architecture.

 

Lappeenranta, Finland

Closer to Saint Petersburg than to Helsinki, Lappeenranta draws a fair share of visitors from nearby during the summer months. A short drive from Saimaa, the fourth largest lake in all of Europe, travelers come for boat cruises and sunbathing during the warmer months.

But there are plenty of great ways to spend the day that don't involve fishing or swimming. A bustling central market, ancient fortress, and plenty of museums and other cultural attractions mean there's never a dull moment in this curious Scandinavian city.

Winter brings low temperatures and plentiful skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding.

 

Cotas, Portugal

A couple years back, Portugal's Duoro Valley was anointed the next Napa, and while the international market might not have reacted accordingly, wine lovers and fans of peaceful vistas overlooking rolling hills will fall in love once they visit.

The small town of Cotas is predominantly known for Quinta da Romaneira, where old-world decor is preserved but cutting-edge fermenting tanks and materials are used to help local vines step up their game.

It's a perfect luxury retreat for travelers looking to be pampered somewhere other than the typical European haunts.

 

Abisko, Sweden

This secluded Lapland town might not immediately seem like a must-see spot, but that's before travelers take into account its Arctic Circle location.

Photographers, nature-lovers, and anyone who wants a mind-blowing experience should make the pilgrimage to Abisko National Park, one of the best spots in the world to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Shimmering curtains of bright green and blue dance across the sky for hours during the winter months, and clear skies mean an even more stunning spectacle.

For those who are serious about their viewing experience, booking an overnight with the Aurora Sky Station is a must.

 

Written and contributed by TravelSort
travelsort.com

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