Where to Travel After the Pandemic (to Avoid Other Tourists!)

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As COVID vaccines start to roll out and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the question that everyone's asking is "What are you going to do when the pandemic is over?" And the most common answer is "Get the hell out of here!" So if you want to avoid the crush of common tourist destinations you may want to go somewhere a little less well known.
Here are the 10 Hidden Gem Destinations in Europe.

1. Tjornuvik, Faroe Islands
Tjornuvik is a small village in the Faroe Islands and it's definitely a hidden gem. On what seems like a journey to the end of the world, a single lane road takes you along precarious cliffs and through pitch-black tunnels until you reach this picturesque village, quaint turf-roofed houses set in a bay with a black sand beach and surrounded by mountains. if you're not afraid to brave the cold, the surfing here is something else. if not, then you can enjoy a hot coffee and a waffle in one of the local cafes.

2. Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain
when most people think of Spain they think of Malaga's beaches, sun, and tapas but Spain has a lot more to offer. Ciudad Rodrigo sits at the foot of the "Sierra de Gata" mountain range in the province of Salamanca near the border to Portugal. This beautiful town's historic center is protected by a 2-kilometer long Medieval wall that has seven gateways. Stuffed full of 16th-century mansions, palaces and Cathedrals there's plenty to see, and when you get hungry why not visit the 12th-century castle of King Henry II which not only offers accommodation but has a restaurant too.

3. Nisyros Island, Greece.
If you want the beauty of Santorini without the overcrowding, then Nisyros Island is the place for you. The entire island is basically an active volcano with glistening whitewashed buildings all along the coastline. These beautiful relaxed villages contrast with the Mars-like barren center of the island, where you can visit the mouth of the volcano and see it lazily bubble away as only a greek volcano can.

4. Mantua, Italy
Popular with Italian tourists, it still lacks fame internationally. Mantua is surrounded by three artificial lakes and is packed full of frescoes, art, and architecture. The Ducal Palace, the Te Palace, the Teatro Bibiena, and the Rotonda di San Lorenzo are just a few of the sites you can visit but perhaps what will surprise you more than the sites is the lack of sightseers!

5. Vipava Valley, Slovenia
If you enjoy food and drink and want to enjoy a Tuscany-Esque holiday without the crowds then the Vipava valley is perfect. Rolling hills, lush green landscapes with innumerous vineyards, you can drive or cycle from village to village, take a trek up into the mountains or stop by one of its beautiful eateries to sample homemade wines and their fresh Mediterranean dishes.

6. Murcia. Spain
Another Foodies paradise is Murcia which has been named "Gastronomy Capital of Spain 2020". Murcia offers long stretches of beautiful beaches, Roman ruins, and a Roman Amphitheatre. A plethora of restaurants offer local wines and tasting menus and as for accommodation from hotels to villas and castles to refurbished windmills, you're spoilt for choice. Murcia really is a hidden European gem.

7. Sugana Valley, Italy
Crystal clear alpine lakes and snow-capped mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for water-sports and skiing or just for Rest and relaxation in one of the local spas. Take a trip in the cable car to see its untouched natural beauty, or enjoy a selection of alpine cheeses with homemade wines in a local Ristorante.

8. The Ore Mountains, Saxony, Germany.
If you love Christmas, then this is the place for you. In fact, it seems to be the place where Christmas was born! Nutcracker Museums, Cave Concerts, Christmas Parade's, and Christmas markets with a Santa Claus workshop, Magicians, Puppeteers, wooden toys, and twinkling lights. It's no surprise that the area is also known as "The Cradle of Christmas".

9. Brisighella, Italy
Castles towering over brick-colored medieval towns, lush green hills full of vineyards. pretty little streets with corner cafes and gelato shops. Brisighella is so stereotypically Italian it looks like it was made in Hollywood, However, the odd lack of tourists somehow gives it a truly authentic feel. You can visit wineries, the Tanaccia cave, or even enjoy an Italian cooking lesson before dining in an 18th-century villa.

10. Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Beautiful Gothic architecture, cobbled streets, and impressive cathedrals, Kutna Hora used to produce nearly a third of Europe's silver. It is now just a small town with rich city architecture, an odd contrast which is strangely comforting. if you're looking for somewhere like Prague but without the crowds, Kutna Hora is only 70km away and definitely worth the visit.

Have you found a hidden gem in Europe?

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