Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

6 underrated destinations to visit in Europe

Certain patterns have emerged in European tourism over the last couple of years. Many travellers focus heavily on Western Europe, leaving the beautiful, cultural gems of Eastern Europe vastly underappreciated and leaving out some of the lesser-known Western towns and villages that are an absolute joy to visit.

Here are six of the most underrated destinations in Europe.

Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

With medieval castles, breathtaking natural scenery and nature walks as well as an abundance of medieval castles and rich architecture, Northern Ireland is a wonderfully underrated holiday destination.

Visit Giant’s Causeway, where, at the foot of basalt cliffs, you'll spot 40,000 black columns jutting out of the sea. Formed over 60 million years by volcanic activity, it has inspired many a local legend.

You can see the Giant's Causeway as part of a 2-day walk along the Causeway Coast Way, which also takes you to Dunluce Castle and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Berat, Albania

An absolute must for history buffs, Berat, also known as the ‘Museum City of Albania’, boasts 13th-century churches and castles over 2000 years old.

With every building draped with history, the rich heritage makes it a wonderful place to visit. You'll feel as though you're almost walking through time, from ancient Greece through to the present day. The historically brilliant town has even earned itself the honour of being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That's right, the whole town!

Assos Village, Greece

This small village in Kefalonia, Greece, has a sense of mystic atmosphere to go with its gemstone-blue waters and year-round sunshine. The colourful houses set graciously upon craggy hillsides mixed with the Ionian architecture add a quaint authenticity to the village.

Watch as fishing boats come and go from the harbour, or visit the remains of a 15th-century castle built by the Venetian army as a defence against pirate attacks.

Ferrara, Italy

Italy is a well-visited European country, but most tend to head for the shopping delights of Milan or Rome, or the sightseeing of Florence or Venice. With Ferrara you get authenticity.

With an authentic vibe and a rich sense of history, the town is surrounded by medieval walls and has an underlying spirit that reminds most of the Renaissance era.

Enjoy the medieval castles, beautiful churches and the assortment of museums and art galleries taking pride of place inside luxury palaces before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Historic Centre.

Faroe Islands, Denmark

A wonderful chain of islands between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands are so outstanding they were recently voted the 'Best Islands in the World' by National Geographic.

The isolated islands have a well-preserved Nordic way of life, and thanks to their unspoiled and unexplored status, have wonderfully untamed nature, beautiful scenery and outstanding landscapes to enjoy.

Colmar, France

Often cited as the prettiest French town, Colmar is all about authenticity. The historical town looks like something straight out of Beauty and the Beast, with scenes that allow you to easily imagine what France was like 100 years ago. Be sure to sample plenty of the food, including the French cheeses, which made it onto The Secret Traveller’s list of 20 foods worth travelling for.



Giant's Causeway (photo: Hugo Kemmel)

Berat (photo: George Prentzas)

Ferrara (photo: Elise Amarens)

Faroe Islands (photo: Jake Hinds)

Colmar (photo: Patrick Robert Doyle)