Travel Blog

Off-the-Beaten-Path European Gems

Europe, renowned for its iconic landmarks and bustling cities, is home to countless hidden treasures that often go unnoticed by the masses. These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a unique charm, untamed beauty, and an opportunity to discover the lesser-known side of Europe. If you are travelling solo, these are perfect destinations to escape the crowds and embark on a journey to explore some of these hidden gems that promise unforgettable experiences.

10 Hidden Treasures in Europe Worth Exploring

From picturesque villages and remote islands to breathtaking natural wonders and cultural enclaves, here are our top 10 hidden treasures in Europe that are worth adding to your travel bucket list when planning your European gateway adventure:

1. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

The fairytale-like town of Český Krumlov in the far south of the Czech Republic makes visitors feel like they are stepping back in time. Its medieval old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts narrow cobblestone streets, charming Renaissance-era architecture, and a stunning castle overlooking the Vltava River. Stroll along the meandering alleyways, visit the Baroque theatre, and soak in the lively atmosphere of the town’s many festivals, including the Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations held in June.Cesky Krumlov - one of Europe's hidden treasures

2. Kotor, Montenegro

Nestled in the Bay of Kotor, the same-named town of Kotor is a picturesque town renowned for its medieval architecture and stunning coastal scenery. Its well-preserved old town, surrounded by impressive fortifications, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the maze-like streets, visit historical sites such as St. Tryphon Cathedral, and hike up to the Fortress of San Giovanni for panoramic views of the bay. With its blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Kotor is a hidden gem in the Adriatic region.

3. Faroe Islands, Denmark

Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands offer breathtaking landscapes and untouched natural beauty. With rugged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush green valleys, this archipelago provides a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Explore the charming villages, hike along scenic trails, and try to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights in the winter months. The Faroe Islands offer a remote and untouched escape, perfect for those on singles holidays seeking tranquillity amidst stunning surroundings.Faroe islands off Denmark

4. Hallstatt, Austria

Tucked away in the Austrian Alps, Hallstatt is a postcard-perfect village that exudes charm and tranquillity. Set on the shores of Lake Hallstatt, this fairy-tale town is famous for its alpine scenery, colourful houses, and picturesque mountain reflections. Take a boat ride on the lake, explore the Salt Mine, and wander through the charming streets to soak in the idyllic atmosphere. Hallstatt’s beauty has even inspired a replica of the village in China, highlighting its worldwide allure.

5. Matera, Italy

Hidden in the southern region of Basilicata, Italy, Matera is a captivating city renowned for its ancient cave dwellings known as “Sassi.” These cave houses, carved into the cliffs, have been inhabited for thousands of years and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the labyrinthine alleys, visit the rock churches, and immerse yourself in the rich history of this unique city. Matera has gained recognition in recent years and is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.Matera in Italy, a hidden European gem

6. Sintra, Portugal

Just a short distance from Lisbon, Sintra is another fairy-tale destination that seems straight out of a storybook. This magical town is filled with extravagant palaces, lush gardens, and mysterious forests. Visit the colourful Pena Palace, explore the enchanting Quinta da Regaleira with its underground tunnels and mystical wells, and wander through the charming streets lined with quaint shops and cafes. Sintra’s romantic and mystical ambiance makes it a truly unique and captivating European gem.

7. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

There are many hidden gems to discover in Croatia. Our favourite lies in the heart of the diverse little country in the Balkan Peninsula: the breathtaking Plitvice Lakes National Park. With its cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests, it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Traverse the network of wooden walkways, take a boat ride on the turquoise lakes, and marvel at the beauty of the park’s 16 interconnected lakes. Whether you visit in spring when the park is ablaze with wildflowers or in winter when frozen waterfalls create a magical scene, Plitvice Lakes National Park will leave you in awe.Plitvice Lakes National Park

8. Ronda, Spain

Perched atop a dramatic gorge in the Andalusian region of Spain, Ronda is a captivating town with a rich history and breathtaking views. Explore the iconic Puente Nuevo, a magnificent bridge that spans the El Tajo Gorge, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. Visit the ancient Moorish palace of Mondragon and stroll through the charming streets of the old town, lined with whitewashed houses adorned with colourful flower pots. Ronda’s stunning landscapes and historical allure make it a hidden gem that should not be missed.

9. Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye, located off the western coast of Scotland, is a rugged and mystical island brimming with natural wonders. Its dramatic landscapes, including soaring cliffs, mystical Fairy Pools, and the iconic Old Man of Storr rock formation, make it a paradise for hikers and photographers. Discover hidden castles, wander along picturesque coastlines, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich Gaelic culture. The Isle of Skye offers a remote and awe-inspiring escape, where you can witness the raw beauty of Scotland’s untamed wilderness.Isle of Sky - Scotland, Europe's hidden gems

10. Sighisoara, Romania

Tucked away in the heart of Transylvania, Sighisoara is a medieval gem and one of Romania’s best-preserved citadels. Known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind the legend of Dracula, the town is steeped in history and charm. Explore the UNESCO-listed old town with its cobblestone streets, pastel-coloured buildings, and the iconic Clock Tower. Visit the Citadel’s medieval fortifications, discover ancient churches, and immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere of this enchanting Transylvanian town.


Europe is not just about its famous capitals and landmarks which, of course, are great when you are visiting Europe with kids. Its hidden gems offer a wealth of unforgettable experiences and hidden treasures waiting to be explored. Don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten path to discover the charm of Europe’s fairytale-like medieval towns, the splendour of its national parks, and the tranquillity of its many faraway islands. These off-the-beaten-path European destinations promise a journey filled with wonder, beauty, and memories that will last a lifetime.

About the Single Parents on Holiday: 

We are a UK tour operator offering group holidays for single parents and their children in the UK and in Europe. In addition, our holiday programme includes a selection of adult only trips, including our popular solo ski holidays for solo travellers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s.

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