You’ve seen it all. Paris. Rome. Milan. Berlin. It’s all been done. You’re absolutely sure you’ve explored every last corner of Europe. You’re desolate and depressed – and in luck. I’ve scoured the globe and found six secret spots that most people have never even heard of. Now, you can happily continue on your whirlwind European adventures, free of repeating anything you’ve already done.
And don’t forget to grab some cheap travel insurance – Europe is notoriously safe, but you can’t always predict the future. Got all that? Read on and see the places on the map you’ve probably missed.
You’re Going Where?
• Meteora, Greece – This collection of six sandstone Eastern Orthodox monasteries, built on enormous pillars of rock, impress and intimidate. ‘Meteora’ roughly translates to ‘in the middle of the sky’ – an accurate name for this imposing complex. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these looming monasteries are not to be missed. • Dervish Monastery, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Built in the sixteenth century, Dervish Monastery is nestled between the Buna River and the enormous rocks the river emerges from. The style is an interesting mixture of Mediterranean and Ottoman. Gorgeous and hidden for protection, this monastery is a must-see. • The River House, Serbia – Although it was only built in the hot summer of 1968, the River House has a fascinating story behind it. Originally just a rock in the middle of a river, a group of boys decided they wanted to make a place to relax and lie in the sun. From its humble beginnings as a few planks of wood, over time it has grown to a full-fledged house, well-built enough to survive floods, rain, and wind. • Melissani Cave, Greece – Legend has it that when the god Pan ignored Nymph Melissani’s admissions of love for him, she killed herself – and this is for whom the Melissani Cave is named. Despite the tragic myth surrounding it, the natural wonder itself is gorgeous. A rock eroded over time and today the cave is 3.5 kilometres long, 40 metres wide and 36 metres high. It’s also only reachable by boat, which is part of the reason it is not well known. • Gosauseen, Austria – Half an hour away from the well-known village of Hallstatt, these three lakes are so beautiful you’ll hardly believe they’re real. Gosauseen is a great place to visit for anyone looking to get away from crowds of tourists and commune with nature. • Reine, Norway – The inhabitants of this fishing village truly live in a world all their own. Only reachable by car and with a population of just 309, visitors are few and far between. Make sure you’re one of them – the views are indescribable and, depending on the season, there are many biking, skiing, hiking and kayaking opportunities.
As so many of these places are quite difficult to get to and will warrant an independent trip, it’s worthwhile investing in some cheap travel insurance – Europe may be one of the safest places to visit, but when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, it’s hard to predict what will happen. Spend your holiday admiring some of the world’s best kept secrets, not worrying about what will happen if your luggage is lost. With cheap travel insurance, Europe is your oyster…and it’s about time you discovered its hidden pearls.