Rome, Paris, London and Amsterdam are great destinations popular among tourists. But if you want to discover some hidden gems and travel outside the well-known path, here are eight places to visit in Europe for 2024:
The Spanish Costa Blanca differs from the place you expect on a list of hidden gems in Europe. Anyhow, travel to Alicante, rent a car, and make your way to Altea, a gorgeous white village where you will find real Spanish life and where people still take siestas. It is close to Alicante and Benidorm, famous European holiday destinations. The little village, wholly painted white, sits on a hill, and its old centre is car-free. The narrow streets of boutique shops and coffee places make this a lovely hidden gem in Europe and a great day trip from Alicante or Benidorm.
Lake Komani: A Hidden Gem of Albania
This stunning reservoir is located in the northern part of the country, surrounded by the majestic Albanian Alps. Lake Komani was created in 1979 by the construction of the Koman Dam, one of the highest dams of its kind in Europe.
Lake Komani is often compared to the Scandinavian fjords, with deep gorges, vertical slopes, and densely forested hills. The best way to explore Lake Komani is by taking a ferry or a boat tour, allowing you to admire the spectacular scenery and visit some remote villages along the shore. Some of the most popular destinations are the Shala and Valbona Rivers, which offer crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes.
Nestled in the German-speaking portion of Switzerland, a three-hour drive northeast of Geneva, the commanding Mount Pilatus overlooks the gorgeous town of Lucerne, and both are worth a visit. Take the cableway to the top and look back over the jagged hills and mountain peaks. In the old-town part of Lucerne, settle in for incredible religious architecture, Chapel Bridge and a warm bowl of Swiss fondue.
If you fancy a somewhat wilder and cooler situation, the town of Narvik in the middle of northern Norway might be just the ticket. With fjords, mountains and hikes galore, the spot – just above the Arctic Circle – receives no reprieve from sunlight from mid-May until the end of July. You can also experience Narvik's lively nightlife.
Ostuni is one of the most beautiful towns in the Puglia region of Italy. It is known as the "White City" for its whitewashed houses and buildings. Ostuni is perched on a hilltop, offering stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding olive groves. Ostuni is a perfect place to enjoy the authentic Italian lifestyle, with its charming cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Conques is a fairytale-like town in southern France, famous for its Romanesque abbey and medieval houses. Conques is one of the stops on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, and it has preserved its spiritual and historical heritage. Conques is a place to admire the exquisite architecture, the stunning stained glass windows, and the golden reliquary of Sainte Foy. Conques is also surrounded by lush greenery and scenic trails, ideal for hiking and biking.
Tapolca is a hidden gem in Hungary, located near the Balaton Lake. Tapolca is home to a unique attraction: an underground lake cave, where you can explore the subterranean waters by boat. The cave was formed by thermal springs, with a pleasant temperature and a magical atmosphere. Tapolca also has a lovely town centre, with a castle, a museum, and a park.
Ohrid, North Macedonia
Ohrid is a cultural and natural gem in North Macedonia, situated on the shores of the Ohrid Lake, one of Europe's oldest and deepest lakes. Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and splendid architecture. Ohrid is known for once having 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as the "Jerusalem of the Balkans." Ohrid also has a charming old town with a fortress, a theatre, and a bazaar.