I dare you to list 10 European countries without including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. While these countries dominate mainstream media, there are actually a lot of European countries that we never hear of like the “E” in Europe, but they are just as important and as beautiful as the big 6 listed above. Even when we decide to tour beautiful destinations, we often choose popular places like New York, Sydney, Rome, Paris, London, or Tokyo paying little attention to plenty of spectacular but neglected places that equally have amazing tourist destinations. Places that boast of picturesque cities and towns, beautiful sights, exquisite cuisines, and above all hospitable people. These overlooked places are in fact worthy of having you around in your next holiday…deviate from the norm and try out these beautiful places.
Tell someone you’re heading to Albania to spend your holiday, and they are likely to have a couple of questions like “Where is Albania? “What country city is it”? “What are you going to do there?” and most common of all, “Why must you go there of all places? Albania is a tiny country situated across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, directly above Greece. The country might be tiny, but it is brimming with archaeological sites, beautiful pristine beaches, a wealthy culture and panoramic routes. Also, the country boasts of sparkling mountains, which are best for skiing, hiking, and mountain-biking; and ancient castles, including Rozafa Castle and Kruje Castle; bustling cities, charming towns. Its offers stunning beaches that are better than its famous neighbors like Greece, Italy, and Croatia. If you are already thinking of traveling to Albania, don’t forget to step into its dumped city of Apollonia, the Ottoman bazaar in Kruja, Skanderbeg square in Tirana and the Roman amphitheater in Durrësi.
Luxembourg is a great but tiny European country. The landlocked country located in Western Europe is surrounded by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. It provides its visitors with of amazing things ranging from a rich history to picturesque views. Imagine such small country with more than 100 castles in it including Bourscheid Castle, Clemency Castle, Clervaux Castle, Larochette Castle which are open to visitors…Now that’s nice right? It’s main tourist center Vianden, is famous for the Victor Hugo museum that has original letters and drawings in the house where the popular French author stayed. That’s not all, Upper Sûre National Park is another spectacular place that will make your visiting joyful.
Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe. It is another less known European country but one of the most beautiful in the continent. The scenery in Montenegro is tantalizing and awesome: the Bay of Kotor from every direction, storybook-perfect walled towns, mystical islands, a mountain-edged coastline, Tara Canyon, and especially the fjords throughout the country. Along picturesque coastlines lie pristine beaches looking out onto the Adriatic sea, and inland you’ll find pretty medieval towns and rolling green hills, plus its magnificently beautiful landscape that is anything but dull. What’s more, the country is tiny, you’ll be able to see all there is in a matter of days.
If you have never heard of Serbia, it is a sovereign state, landlocked country located at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. This country is the absolute best place for those searching for a quiet vacation in a wonderful mountain resort. The country is one of the most interesting countries. Its natural beauty will surely stun you and it is the place to go if you are looking for a real European adventure. You might be doing yourself a disservice by not putting Serbia on the top of your travel list. Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia grants tourists the most memorable experiences. The city has a pretty interesting history, fascinating museums, medieval monasteries, old churches, Kalemegdan Citadel, the Sava and Danube rivers, and many other really amazing sights that will keep you busy throughout your stay. Additionally, the country’s summer hiking spots and winter ski resorts are enough to leave you wanting for more.
11. San Marino
Don’t feel embarrassed yet because you’re not the only one. We hadn’t heard of it either. I used to think San Marino was a town in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy or a city in one of the European countries. But it surprises me now to realize that San Marino isn’t technically Italy but a nation on its own. The country is a tiny sovereign nation surrounded by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche regions near the Adriatic Sea, making it an easy day trip from cities like Florence or Bologna. The hidden gem, San Marino in its entirety is a must-see destination. Its beauty is not enough, it has much more charm than you can think of especially for lovers of history—and for those who love picturesque panoramas. The country is one of the world’s smallest and oldest republics.
OK, some of you probably know this, but there are a lot of people out there that have no clue that Andorra is actually a nation. Yes, it does exists and has been around in some form for almost 1,000 years. It has a seat in the United Nations, an Olympic team and diplomatic relations with other countries. It is a real sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It also offers rewarding natural beauty to people crossing its border.
Malta is another country that when you mention to people especially those who aren’t involved in the travel industry, nine times out of ten, you’re likely to get the response, “Where is that?” If you are less familiar with Malta, here is what to know about the Island country. Malta is located in south of Sicily in the Mediterranean. It is a Southern European island country comprising an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Its Blue Grotto is one of the country’s top tourists attraction and you can go for a boat ride inside the caves. It is a top destination to learn about not only the country’s own history but, indirectly, thousands of years of European history. It is a complete unspoiled land, where you can relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. There are plenty of adventure than you can ever imagine. Also, if architecture is your thing, then Malta is the place to be. Its architecture is a sheer feast for the eye. It’s a home to some of the very best diving in Europe as well.
Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Well, most of us don’t know much about it at all. Despite its unpopularity, the country boasts so many incredible views and is one of the cheapest country in Europe. The people are friendly, and they have yummy, healthy and delicious food to make your trip to their country memorable. Macedonia is not nearly as well-known as it should be, so you can set off to this destination while it is unknown because it’s in a position to grow immensely — so much that it could even turn into the new hotspot of the Balkans. With its outstanding natural beauty, and big historic significance, it will soon get bombarded by backpackers and jet setters alike. Still there is just so much to see!
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Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. It is surrounded by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus, as well as a maritime border to the west with Sweden. The country is another place with spectacular scenery that beats old favorite and more popular holiday destinations.
It’s no surprise to see Slovakia on the list but it is among the most beautiful countries in Europe. Although Slovakia is not a big country, it’s has a long history and an interesting cultural heritage. Slovakia is home to medieval castles and towns, 9 national parks (Tatra National Park is the biggest one), hundreds of caves and caverns (15 of them are open to visitors), and several charming rivers and lakes. There are also some of the best spas and ski resorts in the world. You might start now to consider pushing up Slovakia on your travel list for next holiday.
Kosovo is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe that declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Though it is partially recognized, it is still one of less known countries in Europe. The country is another cool and amazing place you should try the next holiday. It has a lot of amazing things in store for its visitors. It has forests and alternative mineral resources. Its beautiful mountains and coastal scenery continues to amuse and attract tourists from around the world.
Belarus is one of the most underrated countries in Europe that travelers should explore more often to discover the beauty of it. It is located in between Russia and Poland. The country’s nature is still untouched and original. One third of Belarus territory is covered by forests and its landscapes open nothing but nature of Europe as it once was to visitors. Also, Belarus is a country of a thousand crystal-clear lakes and rivers. In fact its cleanliness will get you to fall in love with it. The scenery will make you want to go for a walk and enjoy all its old and modern architectural ensembles, green boulevards and beautiful parks. The country has a wealthy cultural heritage and history, a great number of landmarks, high quality food, and the Belarusian people are nice and friendly.
Looking for a place of sublime natural beauty? Monaco is just the place then. Monaco is a spectacular country in Europe. If you have always presumed it was part of France because it’s almost completely surrounded by France! You’re wrong. It is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. The country has bright waters but it isn’t just the water that makes this a picturesque country. Beautiful hills in the distance, awesome cobblestone streets and spectacular Parisian style architecture are just a few reasons we love Monaco. Still, there is so much more interesting things to learn when you visit this country, so you should it try next holiday.
2. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Frankly, I had never heard of this country until my friend told me that she visited Bosnia and Herzegovina. I ran a little research and discovered tons of interesting facts. If you haven’t heard about it as well, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It encompasses mountainous terrains, medieval villages and Muslim and Christian landmarks. Its countryside is marked by deep gorges, turquoise rivers and lakes, and the Dinaric Alps’ forests and crags making it the right destination for outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking, white-water rafting and skiing. The country’s history is a complex blend of religion, culture, and breathtaking beauty. Just picture, unpolluted nature, lush green landscapes, majestic forests and a great variety of wild animals and birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. More amazingly, it is also highly affordable to visit this country, so there won’t be need to watch your budget every second that passes by. Spend less and get high quality treatment including high quality food since almost everything is organic.
Liechtenstein is nestled in between Switzerland and Austria. The country is steeped with history, culture and dramatic scenery. It is home to alluring castles, historic sites, royal heritage and pristine nature. Liechtenstein is a great country for ski lovers. It will not just offer you a wonderful chance to enjoy skiing at Malbun or Steg, you can also explore the Ski and Winter Sports Museum where you will see an exclusive collection dedicated to all things skiing and some other winter sports. There is also the Museum of Fine Arts and the Postage Stamp Museum that are worth visiting as well. Those visiting this Alpine state have a lot to enjoy. Explorers will be delighted by how much this tiny country has to offer. People usually speak German here even though Liechtenstein isn’t bordered by Germany.