Although touristy adventures can be fun while traveling, some of the most beautiful and memorable moments happen when you venture off the beaten path. Paris and Rome are magical and obvious additions to any bucket list but today we have a few smaller towns in Europe for you to consider adding as well.
Our first stop is Amboise in the Loire Valley. This town is charming and beautiful, and jam packed with historical treasures. Visit the enchanting house and gardens where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years and his presumed resting place (depending on if you ask the French or Italian). Walk the magnificent Royal Château of Amboise, former home of Charles VIII, Anne of Brittany and Francis I. Shop at the outdoor riverside market on weekends, which takes place behind Max Ernst's amazing turtle fountain. Amboise is sure to provide an authentic, medieval vibe that is unforgettable.
For the people who enjoy adventure while also feeling the bliss of quiet isolation, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland (which means “Big-House Dwellers") is for you. With a population of less than 500 people, this remote village is a special one. The tiny, glacial town can only be reached by taking a once-per-week flight from Iceland followed by a helicopter ride. Ittoqqortoormiit is best known for it’s amazing wildlife which includes polar bears, muskoxen, and seals. It’s safe to say it is rare to experience anything quite like Ittoqqortoormiit. You won’t see this one on Trip Advisor!
Cinque Terre, Italy
This next location is 5 towns in one! Having visited the Cinque Terre in Italy myself, I know how special and beautiful they really are. Cinque Terre translates to “The Five Lands”. With gorgeous colorful buildings lining the streets, fabulous wine, and no cars or traffic lights, you might never want to leave! These gorgeous connected towns ( Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) are dreamy and rustic, and will make you feel as though you’ve gone back in time.
If quiet and rustic isn’t your ideal vacation, how about going to one of the Royal Family’s favorite vacation spots? If you’re screaming YES then Arosa, Switzerland is your new dream vacation spot. Arosa is the picture perfect Alps scene with skiing options all around. While you’re busy skiing, don’t forget to check out the Bergkirchli mountain wooden chapel as it is definitely a sight to see. If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for me!
If you truly just want to go off the grid, you should book it ASAP to Reine, Norway. With a population of roughly 300 people, Reine is truly a no-mans land! Despite being tiny, Reine was voted Norway’s most beautiful village. With options like camping on the beach, hiking, and kayaking, Reine is perfect for someone with an adventurous and outdoorsy soul.
I hope this post has inspired you to think outside the box (or map!) while planning your next European trip. Have any must have spots you think need to be added to our list? Let us know in the comments!