What better way to explore Europe than by unearthing its secret spots – trust us, there are thousands. So, look beyond the likes of London, Rome and Paris and head to places such as Russia, Norway and even Spain to explore these enchanting places for yourself. Your Instafeed is about to get a tonne of likes.
If you ever need to escape Venice (how dare you even think this?), then head to this colour-crazy hideaway. Those who visit Burano may leave with a sense of bewilderment. Why? Simple – the houses. From the mammoth bell tower to the deep green canals, everywhere you look you’ll see something amazing to post on Instagram.
There’s so much to do in this amazing part of the globe, but these mini-Niagaras, consisting of 25m-high (82ft) cascades, should be at the top of your to-do list when you’re in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Come in the summer and you can swim in the pools.
Luckily for you, very few people have heard of Dinant. Great to visit at any time of the year, the lovely little town was the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the jovial inventor of the saxophone. Musical history aside, the area is great for those seeking a spot of solitude or a hiking holiday – there’s more than 2,000km (1,243mi) of signposted trails.
One word: otherworldly. Skye is one of the few places in the United Kingdom that has been left relatively untouched by us humans. Most visitors come to snap the Old Man of Storr, a giant black basalt pinnacle that towers over the island, but don’t miss the fairy rock pools. They are straight out of the pages of a fantasy novel.
Civita di Bagnoregio is a charming medieval city, left almost untouched by the masters of the Italian Renaissance. It’s home to around 10 people, which has earned the place the nickname the Dying City. Despite its grim moniker, thousands of tourists descend on the hilltop palace every year.
Unique, beautiful and charming in every way imaginable, Bohinj is a wonderfully mysterious and eccentric region of Slovenia. Located in the heart of the Julian Alps, Bohinj encompasses the lush Nomenj valley, the Pokljuka and Jelovica plateaus and the Upper and Lower Bohinj valleys. It’s also home to the largest lake in Slovenia – Lake Bohinj.
Known in English as “the blue island”, Faial is part of the Azores, a network of incredible volcanic landmasses in the Atlantic Ocean. Home to 15,000 people, it’s famous for its epic landscapes and cute blue houses. If you want a spot of beach fun, then this is the perfect place for you.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Alberobello is known far and wide for its characteristic cone-roofed houses, or trulli. The name of the town derives from the Greek word for dome (τρούλος; in Italian, cupola). They are made from limestone rock derived from the plateau of Apulia’s Murge zone. Bet you didn’t know that.
There’s a saying that goes: “It feels like you’re walking in the clouds.” Well, Greece took that very literally. The Meteora – translated into English as “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The six architectural marvels are perched high on top of natural sandstone rock pillars. And yes, it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Lugano is fabulous: a town of parks, flowers, villas, unusual buildings and, of course, a vast lake, there’s much to see and do here. Rent a boat on the lake for incredible views. It really is the epitome of pure relaxation.
Lake Ohrid is the jewel in the already sparkling crown of North Macedonia. Once you’ve snapped the beguiling lake to death, traipse through countless frescoed medieval churches and uncover ancient Roman amphitheatres. Ohrid really does demand a spot on this year’s bucket list.
The people of Ronda used to throw women they suspected were witches from the top of its famous bridge, Puente Nuevo. Now it serves as a pedestrian crossing over the river, thank goodness. A city of dizzying heights and home to the first bullring in Spain, Ronda has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest area. Several peoples settled here, including the likes of the Celts, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs.
The word “enchanting” really is dreadfully overused, but this Russian beauty begs exception. Kizhi is by far the most visited of the 1,600-plus islands in Lake Onega, thanks to its Transfiguration Church, which looks like it’s been whisked straight out of Harry Potter. Topped with 30 magnificent miniature domes, the church is one of the most treasured wooden landmarks in Russia.