Europe, with its sun-soaked beaches and gorgeous historical cities is always going to be a holiday favourite. Although the continent is also filled with beautiful places that don’t get to bask in the spotlight, but still make a superb trip destination. Here are some of our favourite underrated beauty spots to keep in mind for your summer hols…
This idyllic village will steal your heart with its beautiful green-shuttered houses which contrast perfectly with the Teix Mountain backdrop. The famous English novelist and poet Robert Graves initiated the now acquired reputation of Deia for being a colony of foreign artists. It’s an underrated but excellent tourist destination that mesmerises with its natural beauty and offers moments of absolute peace. If you are a sea lover, climb down to Cala Deia and enjoy both traditional naked swimming and weekend partying.
One of the last unspoilt areas of Greece, Pelion with its abundance of fruit trees, dense forests and water bubbling up from fountains offers a stereotypical image of the country. Loaded with ancient legends, lush mountain scenery provides and dark-blue seas it’s the perfect place for touring, relaxing on the sandy beaches, exploring the numerous caves and sampling Greek cuisine in the traditional tavernas.
Cap de Creus, Catalonia
This is the place when artistic creativity and natural beauty are interwoven – the eerie, spectacular landscapes inspired the paintings of world famous artist Salvador Dalí. Although while tourists masses head for nearby Barcelona this part of the Spanish coastline is often overlooked. Cap de Creus is located in a nature reserve of tiny coves filled with gorgeous beaches, golden rock formations and a backdrop of the surreally beautiful Serra de Tramuntana mountain range.
Word is now getting round just how beautiful the boot of Italy is, so probably best to book your holiday here sooner rather than later. Beautiful seascapes and addicting sun-showered landscapes are just a fraction of what to expect from Puglia. With gorgeous sandy beaches jutting into the emerald-green Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea waters, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the place. Being blessed by the warm sun and mild climate, the area is also home to some of finest grape yards of Italy and the cuisine here is fast becoming legendary.
While the crowds head to the South of France, equally as gorgeous Corsica is often overlooked. Head for Bonifacio next summer, Corsica’s most spectacular port. The resort is known for its international yachting set, its luxurious restaurants and its maze-like old town. Although arguably the city’s real draw is its unique fortifications which extend and overhang along the cliff-tops – from the sea it looks like the gleaming white city is suspended over the rough waters below.
Vis Islands, Croatia
This is where people come to experience a taste of traditional Croatia. The island’s military isolation policy of the 1950s and its location far from the mainland goes a long way to explain the island’s stuck-in-time feel. Expect rich gastronomy, fine wineries and golden sandy beaches from this beautiful, but still underrated tourist destination. To step it up a gear, time your visit around the many musical evenings, festivals and concerts happening over the summer.
The chic coastal resort of Cascais (which lies on the western coast of Portugal) is another beautiful but underrated European beauty spot. The city, with its sandy coves, azure sea and wide sandy beaches is an ideal place for couples, families or even surfers who are looking to tackle the huge Atlantic waves. The picturesque Old Town is an inviting place, lined with traditional mansions, cosmopolitan restaurants and a handful of tasteful nightlife options.
The Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria
With exotic beaches and plenty of developed but still low key resorts this is definitely an up and coming destination. To investors, it is an unexplored goldmine since it provides the opportunity to both independent and group tourists to easily fly in and enjoy their holiday. Dive in the beautiful seas, try jet skiing, go on an expedition to explore secluded beaches unknown to the public to the north and south or wander around the Strandzha Wild Nature Park. Still looking for more to do? Then take a stroll around the Burgas Lakes and indulge in a bit of bird watching at the same time.
Home to Turkey’s longest sandy and some of the finest ruins of Lycia, Patara is a peaceful and idyllic blend of ancient architecture, beautiful coastline and traditional village life. The nearby Roman amphitheater provides some atmospheric scenery and although it’s a relatively undiscovered beach destination, the amenities here are still much better than average.
Pembrokeshire Coast, UK
This is definitely the wildcard on the list and although sun-worshippers might want to give this one a miss, walkers, cyclists and horse riders will love this part of Wales. The area is characterised by rugged cliffs and a beautifully natural coastline with more than seventy sweeping beaches calling this place home. Highlights include well preserved conservation areas, the golden St. Brides Bay beach, a National Park and excellent hiking trails which will take you past medieval castles and towns, Napoleonic forts, secret coves and postcard-pretty ports.