It may be your first time or your return trip, but the euro summer sees a mass exodus of Aussies travelling abroad every year. Wandering London’s streets you may see that kid from high school or amongst the ruins in Rome an acquaintance from work. Believe you me, it’s truly a small world. So instead of hitting the hotspots in peak season, seek out the sun and history in other corners of the fine european continent. You may just find something even better than those spots ranked on TripAdvisor. Hello, Euro Trip!
Lisse, The Netherlands
Known as the garden of Europe, a trip to Lisse when everything is in bloom is an explosion of colour. Tour the massive array of gardens, sit amongst the lush surrounds and really smell the roses. It’s not too far from Amsterdam, but you might not find this at the top of tour itineraries. There’s the grand castle nearby too if you plan on immersing yourself in the gardens for more than a day.
Gorge yourself on octopus and local wine as you soak it up by the seaside in Bozcaada. Wine is the pride of this fine place so enjoy the local fare at a wine tasting, just don’t try and ride a bike back home. There’s markets, cobblestone streets, a castle and crystalline waters but our favourite spot is a little BYOB by the harbour. Drinking on the cheap with this outlook, priceless.
Konnos Bay, Cyprus
A sandy stretch of beach on the coast of Cyprus is the perfect place to lie all day in the sun. You’ll need a rest day after exploring the nearby caves and trekking along the surrounding national park. Cyprus is the little forgotten sister of Greece, but you should most certainly pay this up and comer some attention before it’s bristling with tourists.
Hot air balloons glide over the rocky hillside in a picture perfect moment each morning. Sure you may have to wake in the early morn to catch this delight first hand, but hey, not going to bed is an option too. A town of mystical chimneys, explore the soft sandstone by foot and then fly high the next.
A city built into limestone cliffs, Kotor is best viewed atop the city’s walls. Weave your way through the winding streets, stroll along the bay and take in the history of this old sailor town. Then take to new heights to get a whole new perspective on your quaint little home, you won’t be able to stop taking pictures.
You’ve all heard of Ibiza, party island of Spain, but have you heard of nearby Formentera? Neighbouring island is just as divine, azure blue waters but a much better crowd. If you’re down for parties, this isn’t a sleepy town don’t worry. The clubs here are superb but just not as over populated as Ibiza’s. It’s a whole lot easier to say too.
If you’re making a stop in Lisbon then head on to Sintra too. A vibrant fairytale castle perched atop the hillside, a marvel at that. But once you’re inside the castle the surrounding view is almost as magnificent, pine topped surrounds and views abound. A day trip just isn’t enough.
Eastern Europe is often neglected by tour groups but offers a magical insight into other cultures. Bucharest is in this way, truly sublime. Charming streets, immense history and a meeting of old world decadence and real world grit. Balkan flavours and communist waves spike the landscape making it a truly eclectic place to explore. Oh and it’s dirt cheap.
The Amalfi coast is the destination of the moment, but Puglia is charming stop without the hordes. Before you head to the beach and lay there unmoved make a stop at the local village Alberbello, where Santorini esque white buildings with grey hutch tops line every street. There’s the cathedral, the harbour or even caves to visit but be sure to make time for endless swims by the cliffs. The water is as clear as glass.
A market village in Malta is the most colourful mention on this list, and a must visit too. A pool by the beach, a beach near the pool and a scenic display of vivid boats that make for a postcard worthy gram or too. Extra points if you eat like a local after a visit to the superb fish market. It’s about as fresh as can be.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovinia
Wartorn and often forgotten, Sarajevo is a missed opportunity for most travellers. Ottoman and Roman architecture meet in this fine city which has withstood many a war. Inexpensive accomodation, buildings peppered with bullet holes and lakeside eateries make Sarajevo a must.
Another ravaged spot left to the wayside of the modern traveller, but Krakow still has much to offer. A mythical city of stunning architecture and a rebirth kind’ve vibe, Krakow is a city reborn. Once a royal capital now it’s a city with thriving nightlife, delicious eats and a lengthy story to tell.
An island off the coast of Sicily, Lampedusa is a real escape. Swim along the harbours, cruise around the island and it’s neighbours and enjoy seafood en masse while you’re there. A month here isn’t enough.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
A charming cottage town dotted with coloured roofs and narrow streets, Cesky Kumlov is a real wonder. Quaint in size but big in charm, but don’t expect only PG attractions here. The church of bones is a mainstay attraction adding a little edge to that darling town your staying in. Just a bus ride away from Prague, why not stay a night or two.
Legend says this island is Odysseus’s spot, a tranquil relaxation destination. Where the boat drops you off rent a bike and dive into the Mijet National Park. A long ride down will take you to a true oasis, a blissful salty lake in amongst the greenery. After the trek back reward yourself with freshly caught local seafood, you can see why Odysseus stayed for seven years.
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