Top 10 Of The Less Popular Travel Destinations In Europe
Planning a trip in Europe? Great idea. It's safe here, no wars, no tropical diseases, and not many natural disasters. And there's a lot to see here: who hasn't dreamt about visiting Rome, Paris, The Alps, Vienna...
Forget Rome and Paris. Everyone goes there.
I'll tell you about 10 amazing destinations that are not in everyone's book. Ten destinations that will make your friends open Google maps to check them. Ten destinations that will make you remember your trip.
Seriously, in Europe? Yes!
No surpsise, most are at the East:
Wonderful nature, affordable accomodation and food, sunny weather in the summer and lots of snow in the winter, some heritage from the communism - this is what you can see here.
Bulgaria is democratic country and very peaceful place and is just at a hour flying of Turkey or Greece. There is very low risk of natural disasters and terrorism in Bulgaria, but at the same time it hides some of the exotics of the Orient and less developed countries.
2. North Ireland
IRA, terrorism, poor people... who would want to go there? Well, perhaps you should check your calendar - it's 2011 and the situation in Belfast and entire North Ireland has calmed a lot since then. It's safe to go to North Ireland now, and it's well worth it.
And don't forget it's a part of the UK and is easy to reach by train, bus or ferry. And being less popular than London or the cities in Scotland, it's cheaper to visit too.
If you like less developed and less-western places, Moldova is definitely a country you should visit. Currently the poorest country in the entire Europe, the most of its population is occupied in agriculture and food production.
Don't plan to flying directly to Chisinau, the Moldova capital. Better fly to Bucharest or Kiev and then take a train. Not only you are going to visit another country on the way, but you'll also have a nice scenery ride.
Here is a travel guide for Romania and Moldova you can check.
No, I don't mean the US state. Georgia is an ex-USSR country at the eastern side of Turkey and the Black Sea and yes, it's an European country. It has very friendly people, nice food, great wine and almost tropical weather.
And if you are EU member, there are some more good news - you don't need a visa to go there - just have your passport prepared and jump in.
The political situation is safe in Georgia now, but it's highly recommended to avoid visiting the partially recognized Republic of South Ossetia on the north.
Do you remember Eyjafjallajokull volcano from 2010? When it erupted in the spring thousands of flights in Europe were suspended and perhaps a lot of people were angry at Iceland. But have you ever though about visiting the country? If not, you are missing all of this: amazing nature with a lot of mountains, a land near the Arctic Circle, very little population, and practically no crime.
Of course you should visit it in the Summer when the light part of the day is 20 hours long and the weather is nice. The only downside of traveling to Iceland is it's expensive.
Here is a good guide on visitng Iceland.
If you want to eat old traditional dishes and visit a country where the communism is still kind-of alive, Belarus is the place. Getting visa is hard especially for US citizens, the crime rites are relatively high, and you may need to deal with corrupt officials.
But Belarus is quite different than the other European countries, that's for sure.
Part of ex-Yugoslavia, this country is now outside most of the travel guides. Good for you because you won't see too many other travelers and can enjoy the great nature and nice people.
The country is safe and easy to visit - if you have valid Schengen or USA visa you can enter for 7 days without visa. A long list of countries are also welcome for 90 days without a visa.
The best way to visit Montenegro is by train from Serbia as flights to Montenegro may be expensive. Here is a decent guide for traveling to Montenegro.
If you like mysterious things like the ghost town of Pripyat then Ukraine is a great choice. It's not only the nuclear disaster tour of course - Ukraine has lovely girls, great food, the Carpathian Mountains, Odesa and more.
If you think Turkey is the only muslim country of Europe, now is the time to fix your mistake - nearly 60% of the people in Albania are of muslim heritage.
In addition to that the country is quite exotic. Due to the long years of isolation under the leadership of Enver Hoxha the people are not much used to tourists and very curious.
And again, the food is great.
Last, but definitely not least. Armenia is an amazing country with long and dramatic history. There are churches and religious buildings build more than 1700 years ago.
Other places of interest is the mount Ararat and the local markets.
Learn more about Armenia at the Wikitravel page.