Hidden Gems in Europe: 20+ Off The Beaten Path Destinations

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Discover the 20 best and most amazing hidden gems in Europe to add to your travel itineraries.

Europe is one of the best places to travel to in the world. There is so much diversity with all the different countries and cultures that you can easily spend years exploring and not even experience it all.

However, many people end up going to all the most popular and touristy destinations and miss out on all the amazing hidden gems in Europe! For your next European getaway get off the beaten path and explore something new!

Discover the 20 best-hidden gems in Europe to explore!

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Hidden Gems in Europe: 20 Off The Beaten Path Destinations

Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegnozina

Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegnozina
Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegnozina

Mostar is a captivating city tucked away in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the best hidden gems in Europe. Discover the iconic Stari Most bridge, symbolizing unity and spanning the Neretva River.

Wander through the old town’s cobblestone streets, where Ottoman-era buildings showcase a rich cultural blend. Immerse yourself in Mostar’s history, visiting centuries-old mosques and vibrant markets.

Experience the warm hospitality of the locals and savor the flavors of Bosnian cuisine. Mostar, with its architectural wonders and genuine charm, offers an authentic and unforgettable travel experience. Step off the beaten path and explore the hidden gem that is Mostar.

Madeira, Portugal

Panoramic view over Camara de Lobos, Madeira island, Portugal

Tucked away in the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is Europe’s best-kept secret. This captivating Portuguese island offers a blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

Explore rugged coastlines, lush levada trails, and picturesque villages. Immerse yourself in Funchal’s charm, with colorful markets and historic landmarks. Indulge in the island’s culinary delights and sample Madeira wine.

Experience the genuine hospitality of the locals as you uncover the island’s treasures. Escape the crowds and discover the serenity of Madeira, a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable experience.

➡️ Read More: Most Beautiful Beaches in Europe

Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk is a beautiful city in Poland that lines the Baltic Sea. Many people head to Warsaw or Krakow when they are thinking about visiting Poland, but Gdansk is the perfect hidden gem that you should not miss.

With fewer tourists, stunning architecture, and amazing food, Gdansk is everything you need for the ultimate off-the-beaten-track getaway.

Streets of Gdansk
Streets of Gdansk

There are plenty of amazing things to do in Gdansk from admiring the unique buildings and quirky architecture to exploring the magical old town, to soaking in the deep (and sometimes dark) history, and more.

It is one of the best hidden gems in Europe that is cheap, not crowded with tourists, and offers a very unique travel experience.

Vipava Valley, Slovenia

Vipava Valley, Slovenia is one of Europe’s most magical hidden gem culinary treasures. It is located between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea and offers idyllic views and natural scenery that is stunning all year round.

The unique combination of natural beauty and amazing things to do make Vipava Valley one of the best hidden gems in Europe.

Beautiful spring evening countryside landscape in Vipava valley, Slovenia. Vineyards and mountains

A visit to Vipava Valley is not complete without visiting one of the wineries! Winemaking has been a small part of Slovenia for centuries and as a wine-growing region, it is the perfect place to delve into this part of the country.

The best way to explore Vipava Valley is by car or bike so you can roam around and enjoy all the magic.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is a small town in The Czech Republic that looks and feels much similar to Prague, but better! The medieval town looks like something from a fairytale with its beautifully preserved sites and a magical old town.

Český Krumlov is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with tons of wonderfully historic and magical things to see and do.

Aerial view of a small city
Orange roofed houses

One of the highlights of Český Krumlov is the castle which sits atop a hill in the city. More so, there is beautiful architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and more!

It is quite small as well, so you can walk and explore the entire town in about 30 minutes. This is one of the best-hidden gems in Europe that is a great substitute for Prague.

Volosko, Croatia

Idyllic mediterranean waterfront in Volosko village, Opatija riviera, Kvarner, Croatia

Volosko is a small charming fishing village in Croatia and the perfect European hidden gem. Croatia has been gaining more and more popularity as a travel destination each year, which means all the most popular cities and towns become quite full of tourists during most months of the year.

Therefore, heading to Volosko to enjoy one of the best hidden gems in Europe is a must.

Read More: Best Girls Trip Destinations in Europe

Gorges du Verdon, France

Blue water with boats
Blue water with boats

Gorges du Verdon is one of the most unique and interesting hidden gems in Europe and one of France’s best-kept secrets. Verdon Gorge is a beautiful aqua blue-hued river canyon located in the South of France that is a summer hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

It is also a great place for swimming and enjoying the warm South of France sun without venturing to Cannes or Monaco!

Gozo, Malta

Beautiful view on Gozo island from a boat, postcard style, beautiful colors landscape

Gozo is one of the lesser-known travel destinations in Malta that is much like how Malta used to be before the tourism takeover. It is a stunning little island that offers a slower pace and a more authentic travel experience.

This is one of the best hidden gems in Europe that is off the beaten track and something special. If you are looking for a relaxing cultural getaway then Gozo is the place to be.

Portmeirion, Wales

Colorful Italian Style Buildings and Gardens of Portmeirion, North Wales

Portmeirion is a small and very unique tourist village in Wales. It is known for its unique quirky architecture, amazing things to do, and lush gardens. Although this village is located in Wales it feels more like a stunning Italian village than anything else.

Here you will find elaborate piazza and rainbow buildings in pastel colors and it is one of the most unique and amazing hidden gems in Europe.

Marken, Netherlands

Lighthouse on an island surrounded by flying birds

Marken is a small village in the Netherlands located just an hour from Amsterdam. It is a stunning coastal village with an authentic fisherman’s vibe making it the perfect Dutch getaway.

It is full of colorful timber houses, authentic sailboats, and a very famous lighthouse. Marken is an idyllic place to visit that offers some very unique Dutch sights and attractions. It is one of the best hidden gems in Europe by far.

Gjogv, Faroe Islands

Light coloured houses in Faroe Islands
White house with blue roof

Gjogv is a small village located on the tip of the Faroe Islands and one of Europe’s best hidden gems. It is made up of old timber-walled and turf-roofed cottages and the village has only 50 residents!

This is a very different and unique place to visit in Europe that has its own very special charm and magic. The Faroe Islands themself are an off-the-beaten-track place to visit in themselves so heading here will show you an abundance of unique findings and experiences.

Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Montenegro is one of Europe’s hidden gem countries that is often ignored by nearby countries like Croatia and Italy. However, Montenegro has an unmatched coastal charm and magic and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.

One of the best hidden gems in Montenegro is the small town of Herceg Novi.

Herceg Novi is located just 30 minutes from the Croatian border and at the top of Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor. It is one of the least touristy cities in Montenegro and one of the best hidden gems in Europe.

You can explore the streets and sites without them being packed with people, which makes exploring much more authentic and enjoyable!

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian is Spain’s best-kept secret and one of the best hidden gems in Europe. It is located in Basques Country and is known for its lush green hills, blue water beaches, and charming town.

The magical coastal charm paired with the amazing Michelin-star restaurants only adds to its magic. In fact, San Sebastian is a foodie’s heaven with tons of amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes all with very unique foods and culinary experiences.

Bluewater beach and city in San Sebastian

Morschach, Switzerland

Mountains and blue water lake

Morschach is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland and one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Europe. It is located in the center of Switzerland amongst various other stunning villages and towns in Switzerland and is a place of tons of history!

If you want to see and experience some of the most amazing birds-eye views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Lucerne then a visit to Morschach is just for you. It is also a great place for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Ksamil, Albania

Aerial view of blue water and beaches

Ksamil is a hidden gem in Albania and one of the best hidden gems in Europe. It is a stunning village with white sand beaches and vibrantly blue water beaches.

Just a short distance from Ksamil is Corfu, Greece making it the perfect alternative to a touristy travel destination just a short distance away. If you are seeking paradise-like beaches and a lovely Mediterranean climate year-round, then Ksamil is for you.

Monemvasia, Greece

Water and small stone building

Monemvasia is a stunning castle town in Greece that is definitely off the beaten track. Greece is one of the most popular summer travel destinations in summer and many people flock to places like Santorini, Corfu and more.

There are plenty of stunning places to visit in Greece but Monemvasia is every bit as beautiful with a quarter of the tourists.

Pirin National Park, Bulgaria

Hiking to Koncheto, view across the peaks of the Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria with Vihren, Kutelo,Todorka,Banski Suhodol , National Park Pirin with company of wild goats

Pirin National Park is located in the Pirin Mountains in the Southwest of Bulgaria. It is a stunning naturally beautiful getaway with its limestone mountains, caves, waterfalls, and endless forests.

Traveling to Pirin National Park is the perfect place for hiking and enjoying the vast outdoors and nature in Europe. This is one of the best hidden gems in Europe that is vastly underrated.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Street with old houses

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber is a fairytale-like town located in Germany. It is full of medieval architecture and cobblestone streets that date back to the 10th century and is one of the best hidden gems in Europe.

There is plenty to do in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber like exploring the old town, and walking along the water if the city center is too much. This is easily one of the most beautiful places in Germany that is not as busy as many other cities and towns.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Islands with buildings
Islands with buildings

The Lofoten Islands are a set of islands in Norway that are known for their dramatic landscapes and exciting things to do. Here you will find idyllic fishing villages, hiking, kayaking, fishing, cycling and more.

Plus it is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights! It is a very young and adventurous place to visit that offers a ton of excitement year-round.

Douro Valley, Portugal

Hill covered with grape trees

Douro Valley is an enchanting wine region in Portugal and one of the best hidden gems in Europe. The landscapes in the Douro Valley are beyond stunning and paired with the various wineries, it becomes a top place to visit and explore.

Douro Valley is also a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the best places to visit for wine lovers and those looking to admire the magical Portuguese countryside.

Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.

I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote! 

Europe is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. As tourism increases year after year finding places to escape to with fewer people is more and more appealing.

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