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8 Beautiful Places in Europe you didn’t know existed

Written on : 17 December 2020
By : Laura Wendy Harders López

When it comes to planning a vacation, most people aim at going to the usual touristy, mainstream places such as London, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, etc. However, many beautiful hidden gems are yet to be discovered. And would make for great must-visits to add on your travel bucket list-- not to mention the surge of likes your Instagram posts will receive.

1) Sintra, Portugal

1) Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a fairytale world of its own and by far one of the most wondrous places in Portugal. This town located just an hour from Lisbon, has it all: forests, gardens, fairytale castles, enigmatic romantic palaces and breathtaking views set against the glittering sea. Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site in 1995, as it is one of the most emblematic architectural symbols of the Romantic style. It was also a summer resort and recreation area for the former Portuguese monarchy, who had several palaces there. Get the chance to lose yourself in this enchanting city which will nothing but amaze you. 

2) Ronda, Spain

Ronda is a town of dizzying altitude located in the province of Malaga, Spain, where you can find something interesting to see and do in every corner. It prides on its marvellous Andalusian architecture, historical monuments, lively culture, festivals, people and its exquisite gastronomy- not to mention the breathtaking views of its encompassing nature. In Medieval times, women who were thought to be witches were thrown over the top of the town's iconic bridge, "Puente Nuevo". Today, it's just used as a common pedestrian crosswalk-- thank goodness for that. 

3) Alberobello, Italy

What makes Alberobello one of the most beautiful destinations in southern Italy are its "trullis": white cylindrical buildings with conical stone roofs. However, the bizarre "trullis" are shrouded in mystery. These roofs were decorated with unusual handmade lime paintings. Experts say that these paintings represent the connection with God through the symbols of the primordial elements of life: the earth and crops' cycles, the mystery of the cosmos, the magical and the sacred. 
These houses certainly make the place look like it's been whisked straight out of an elf-like fairytale story. Walking through its picturesque streets will enchant you. And yes, it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

4) Lugano, Switzerland

4) Lugano, Switzerland

Lugano is a town which contrasts with the rest of Switzerland. When wandering around its streets, you might not be sure whether you are in Switzerland or Italy. This fabulous city is located on the shores of a beautiful lake bearing the same name. Its old town is stunning and well preserved. The houses' façades are in vivid colours, and their porches are full of picturesque arcades. A great attraction you mustn't miss out is renting a boat to soak up the breathtaking views of the beautiful lake and mountains-- which will lull you into utter relaxation. 

5) Hvar, Croatia

Hvar is a beautiful island in Dalmatia, Croatia, that smells of lavender, rosemary and pine. With its marvellous white sandy beaches, and virgin forests, this destination is slowly becoming more fashionable among tourist enthusiasts- however, it's still not as mainstream and doesn't yet get overcrowded, so you're still in luck. Its crystalline waters of the Adriatic sea are utterly stunning. When Beyonce visited Hvar, she fell so deeply in love with the island that she called her daughter Blue Ivy, after a common tree species home to the region. I bet you didn't know that!

6) Faial, Portugal

Go on an adventure to visit the Island of Faial, in the archipelago of the Azores Islands of Portugal. This natural paradise is a region that exudes a mysterious and enchanting aura. One of the most striking things of the island is that its fields are drenched in exuberant flora and vegetation, such as blue hydrangeas, cedars, junipers, beeches, ferns and mosses-- some of which are characteristic of the region. What's more, Faial Natural Park was the first Portuguese tourist destination to be awarded the EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) prize.  
Another stunning feature is its huge crater called Caldeira, which is about 2 km in diameter and 400 m deep. Additionally, at the northernmost point of the island is the town of Cedros, with its dramatic cliffs of up to 300 metres and several viewpoints where you can lose track of time while contemplating unparalleled sceneries. 

7) Meteora, Greece

7) Meteora, Greece

We present you with another UNESCO World Heritage, in Greece-- the suspended monasteries of Meteora. This beautiful landmark located in Thessalia consists of one of the most beautiful and iconic networks of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the country. The landscape is magnificent: in the middle of a valley, you'll contemplate stone giants towering more than 600 metres above the ground as if they were kissing the sky. On their peaks, defying gravity and common sense, rise monasteries up to seven centuries old. This land is one of the most unusual sights to behold in the world. 

8) Burano, Italy

And last but not least, the town of Burano, in Italy. Burano is most famous for its striking coloured houses. The neighbours are forced to paint their façades every few years. As the legend goes, it is said that the houses were painted in vibrant colours for the sailors to distinguish and reach on foggy days. This island of 4000 inhabitants has many beautiful sights to see that will leave you in bewilderment. Just contemplating its crazed-colour houses, its Venice-like canals and its sloping bell tower that can be seen from a distance, will nothing but enamour you.
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