Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Post: Searching for Hidden Gems in Europe

I have had the opportunity to do quite a bit of travelling in Europe thanks to my job which took me to the UK for several years. During this period I spent a lot of time visiting all the standard tourist destinations: night time at the Eiffel Tour, tours around the Coliseum in Rome and skiing jaunts to the Alps. This was all amazing, but I was far more interested in getting off the beaten path to do something a bit different – luckily there are hidden gems like Malta holidays to compliment the more well-known European spots.

Slovenia is perhaps the most forgotten country in Europe – nestled between Croatia, Austria and Italy is easy to pass by without noticing this pastoral gem. It is well worth spending some time here, wandering through the pristine meadows, hiking up into the jagged peaks and relaxing at the holiday resort of Lake Bled. The capital of Ljubljana is one of the most pleasant cities you will find anywhere, as canals lined with cafes and bar are the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. I spent an amazing week here, and basically decided that there was no better place to live than Ljubljana!

I seem to have a pathological love of mountains – an obsession which took me to Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees which has seen much of European history pass it by. Indeed, this is a place the world forgot. The mountains here are absolutely beautiful and I had perhaps the greatest trek of my life around the Coma Pedrosa Natural Park. Best of all there are no crowds, allowing you to have this gorgeous country all to yourself.

Beach holidays are my guilty pleasure, and though I know they lack culture I can’t resist a week doing nothing by the sea. Sadly, most of Europe’s resorts are crowded and full of people looking to party the night away – this is not my type of scene. The alternative is Malta, a beautiful quiet island in the Mediterranean. There were certainly other tourists there, yet it is a desert island when compared to spots like Ibiza and Crete.

These three countries were amongst the highlights of my time in Europe – this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Paris, Rome and all the other famous sites, I just preferred discovering these quiet places. Sometimes finding something unexpected is the greatest thrill of all. 

This guest post was provided by Direct Holidays.


  1. Nice to read about Andorra - don't often hear about it, off the beaten path enough to be off the radar. :-)


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