Although there are now no more “coronavirus-free” countries in Europe, slowly everything will go back to normal and travelling will be one of the most beautiful things to do in the world.
In the meantime, travel online and discover some magnificent European destinations that await you once the crisis is over.
As a European and travel lover, I would like to recommend ten destinations in ten different countries that many of you may not know but that will leave you speechless by how wonderful they are. If among the readers of this article there is someone who would like to go on a language exchange as soon as the pandemic is over, the following destinations are perfect to visit if you plan to stay in one of the countries listed because they will enrich your study experience even more.
Namur – Belgium
For gourmets, Instagram fans, shopping lovers, good restaurants, culture, nature walks, evenings with friends or romantic stays in the city, Namur is a destination not to be missed.
Namur is an incredibly charming and captivating city, with the Belgian surrealism of Brussels and the romance of Budapest or Bruges. Namur is so warm and welcoming that it is like being with your family. Its restaurants are excellent, and its cultural events are unique. Namur is also one of the most dynamic cities in Europe where many tourist and hotel projects are developing, where new bars, shops and fashionable restaurants open every day.
It is probably the most interesting destination in Belgium and offers many outdoor sports, paddling, excursions and dozens of activities so you will never get bored. During your stay, do not forget to climb to the top of the Citadel and treat yourself to a romantic cruise on the Meuse or spend an evening at the Casino for the more active players.
If you have some time left, do not miss Dinant, where the Meuse River also flows. Both cities share the name “Daughters of the Meuse”.
Bydgoszcz – Poland
If you like to think outside the box, discover real cities and people and have real experiences, Bydgoszcz is for you. There are dozens of unusual places that you will only see in Bydgoszcz, such as its incredible cathedral, probably the most beautiful Gothic church in Europe. The interior of the church is an explosion of colour. Take a walk along the photogenic Brda River or relax on the island of Mill or go rowing.
An incredibly special museum that attracts visitors from all over the world is the Museum of Soap and Dirt History. It is unique and a real living attraction, with a workshop where you can create your own soap to take home with you, choosing your own formula and scents.
Bydgoszcz is exactly what you need for an unforgettable holiday in the city.
Riga – Latvia
Riga is a city with a fresh and progressive atmosphere, full of fairy-tale streets, art nouveau architecture of extraordinary beauty and large parks. A modern and fresh scene of cafes and bars and some of the best restaurants in Europe.
The setting of the city is extraordinary, with a rich architectural and historical heritage and offers a fantastic combination of culture, art and gastronomy.
The Old Town is a medieval labyrinth of galleries, museums, markets and restaurants, endless cafes and bars, besides, it is rarely full of tourists and has many Latvians living their daily life. Enjoy the view of the city from St. Peter’s Church, take a walk along the Daugava River and visit the beautiful castle.
No trip to Riga, Latvia is complete without visiting Jūrmala, the most beautiful seaside resort in Latvia.
Lofoten Islands – Norway
The Lofoten Islands are a dream destination for many travellers from all over the world. This archipelago offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe: majestic mountains, deep fjords, colonies of seabirds and long surf beaches. The seven islands are also a quiet and peaceful place inhabited by a few fishermen who enjoy the fishy waters of Lofoten.
If you are looking for unforgettable experiences in nature, Lofoten will not disappoint you. Thanks to their varied landscape, here you can go trekking, skiing, fishing, ocean rafting or scuba diving.
A curiosity: this archipelago owes its name “Lofoten” to its shape, that of the footprint of a lynx.
Bodrum – Turkey
Located in southwestern Turkey, bordering the Aegean Sea, Bodrum is a perfect destination for lovers of beaches, gastronomy, scuba diving and wine.
This incredible city dedicated to relaxation and leisure is also called the Turkish Saint-Tropez. During your stay in Bodrum do not miss to visit the Bodrum Castle: it is ranked among the most beautiful castles in Turkey and was built with the stones of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Do you want to take off? Take a boat trip to the Greek island of Kos to discover the heritage of this island. If you are travelling with the kids, take a trip to Turkey’s largest water park, Aqualand.
Algarve – Portugal
The Algarve is one of the less dense regions of Europe and in destinations such as Lagoa, Lagos you can breathe the purest air in Europe because they are characterized by the presence of eucalyptus forests, pine trees, sea air that is beneficial for the respiratory system. Flooded with sunshine, this region is perfect for outdoor sports, golf, surfing, trekking, swimming.
Do you prefer to go to the mountains? Enjoy a hike to the heights of Monchique or a trek through the 7 hanging valleys: the most beautiful of all. The beaches are gigantic, and the sea is heavenly.
Alberobello, an inland town in the province of Bari, is undoubtedly the capital of the trulli. The trulli are the characteristic stone houses with cone roof and are part of the 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. These imposing and unique structures are a brilliant example of spontaneous but imperishable architecture and are still used as dwellings today.
The historical centre of Alberobello is entirely made up of these white pyramidal structures that make it very famous and recognizable everywhere.
Antalya – Turkey
Antalya is a perfect destination for those who hesitate between a city break and a beach holiday. Antalya is famous worldwide for its turquoise waters and magnificent sandy beaches. Are you passionate about history? Antalya is surrounded by Greek and Roman ruins. You will fall in love with its old town, its traditional cafes but also its fashionable cultural sites.
Are you in the mood for a holiday in nature? Treat yourself to a visit to Duden Falls with a boat trip or travel from Antalya to “Pamukkale” the cotton palace. Do you need to gain height? Discover the landscapes around Antalya on a panoramic cable car ride. Are you travelling with children? Treat yourself to a fun Viking boat ride on the beautiful bays of Kemer.
Menorca – Spain
Menorca is not very large (1-hour drive from one end to the other) but you can choose to stay in both parts of the island (Ciutadella and Mahon) not to miss anything of this paradise island. It is suitable for hikers, lovers of ancient stones as well as for those who just want to lie on the beaches or admire the seabed (don’t forget your mask if you want to try snorkelling!).
Don’t miss a visit to Ciutadella, one of the most beautiful cities on the island and also the beach of Macarella, classified among the most beautiful beaches in Europe, is worth a visit.
To get off the beaten track, take a walk to Ferreries or Fornells, with their charming little marinas.
Tbilisi – Georgia
The capital of Georgia is the ideal destination for lovers of culture, gastronomy, diversity and architecture and the “wow” effect is guaranteed.
Magnificent Haussmannian buildings blend with buildings dating back to the Middle Ages; you can also see neoclassical, Soviet or extremely modern buildings. Don’t forget to climb to the top of Tbilisi and admire the statue of Kartlis Deda, the city’s patron saint. This site offers an exceptional view of the Georgian capital, the Peace Bridge, Metekhi Church, the spa, the new theatre and the Mtatsminda amusement park for young and old; there are hundreds of unique experiences to enjoy in Tbilisi.
As you may have realised, the reasons for travelling in Europe are endless. As if its history, culture and natural beauty were not enough to attract you; the cuisine, the locals and the myriad of places and wonders to see would be more than enough to satisfy many visitors. Although Europe is the second smallest continent on Earth, it is made up of incredible countries that must be seen at least once in a lifetime and hidden gems to discover as soon as you can travel.
Written by: Martina Sassi, Staff Writer