What comes to your mind when you think of Europe? For most people it’s probably iconic cities such as London, Paris and Rome; for others, it’s famous beach resorts in Greece and Italy.
However, our continent has much more to offer than these tried-and-true destinations. Want to do something exciting and fun this summer? Fancy getting off the beaten track? Here are five of Europe’s hidden treasures for a holiday you won’t forget.
1. Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux is hands down one of France’s most gorgeous destinations. This sun-drenched city is renowned for its beautiful centre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And since we’re talking about France, Bordeaux is a food lover’s heaven: you haven’t been to France until you’ve tried local specialties such as onion soup, frogs’ legs, chocolate mousse and more varieties of cheese than you can count.
2. Antalya, Turkey
The resort city of Antalya is unlike anywhere else in Europe. Always sunny, featuring amazing sand beaches and delicious food at affordable prices, it’s the dream getaway for anyone looking for a relaxing holiday. If you like kebabs, try an iskender kebab – trust us, it’s to die for. Tourists with some energy to spare can also stroll through the old city of Kaleci; its port, built in the Roman period, has been functioning for two millennia and offers breathtaking views of the Gulf.
3. Krakow, Poland
If you feel adventurous this summer and want to experience a completely different culture, then Krakow is for you. Located in the south of Poland, this low-priced destination allows you to get fully immersed in history and the Eastern European way of life. Go for a walk in the Main Square to enjoy its fairy tale-like palaces and ancient churches; alternatively, you can visit the Medieval Wawel Castle, the seat of Polish monarchs for thousands of years.
4. Larnaca, Cyprus
Larnaca is arguably one of the most Instagram-worthy destinations you can find in Europe. With 300 days of sunshine a year and the Mediterranean Sea just a stone’s throw away, it’s no wonder this stunning city is a top beach destination. Come and soak up the rays of sun, go for a swim and enjoy a variety water sports. From scuba diving to jet skiing, there is no shortage of activities in this corner of paradise.
5. Malaga, Spain
Spain is a popular country for tourists, but Malaga as a destination is highly underrated. That’s a shame, since everything you love about Spain you can find it here: sun, beach and sea; picturesque streets; history and culture. When you’re done lounging on the beach, you can visit the Roman Amphitheatre and the 11th century Arab fortress Alcazaba. If you’re studying art, make sure to check the Picasso museum, covering the entire work of the cubist painter.
Words by: Matei Botez