1. Getaria

Nestled along the rugged northern coast of Spain, the charming fishing village of Getaria stands as a hidden gem, offering visitors a glimpse into the authentic heart of Basque country. This picturesque town, often overlooked by mainstream tourism, has quietly been gaining recognition among discerning travelers seeking an immersive cultural experience.

What sets Getaria apart is its seamless blend of maritime heritage and contemporary flair. The narrow, winding streets are lined with colorful buildings that house family-owned shops, traditional cider houses, and renowned seafood restaurants. The aroma of freshly grilled fish and the salty sea breeze create a sensory experience that immerses visitors in the essence of this coastal community.

One of the highlights of a visit to Getaria is the culinary experience. The town is renowned for its exceptional seafood, with local fishermen delivering the freshest catch to the tables of its renowned restaurants. Visitors can indulge in delectable dishes such as roasted hake, grilled octopus, and the iconic Basque specialty, pintxos (the region’s version of tapas).

For those seeking a deeper connection with the local culture, the annual Getaria Fishing Festival is a must-attend event.

One of the must-visit attractions in Getaria is the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum, a striking modernist structure that pays homage to the legendary fashion designer who hailed from this town. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of Balenciaga, showcasing his innovative designs and the influence of his Basque roots on his creations.

Beyond the museum, the natural beauty of Getaria captivates visitors. The rugged cliffs and pristine beaches provide ample opportunities for hiking, swimming, and simply relaxing. The charming harbor, bustling with fishing boats and sailboats, is a perfect spot to observe the daily rhythms of local life.

2. Plovdiv

timelapse of highway

Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, is a captivating tapestry where ancient history and modern life mix. Named the 2019 European Capital of Culture, this vibrant city has become a must-visit spot. It enchants travelers with its well-preserved Roman ruins, charming old town, and a thriving arts and food scene.

  • Roman Ruins: Plovdiv’s archaeological sites are a must-see. Imagine the roar of ancient crowds at the Roman theater, the largest of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula.
  • Old Town: Walking through the cobblestone streets of Plovdiv’s Old Town feels like stepping back in time. This historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features beautifully restored National Revival-style houses.
  • Culinary Delights: Plovdiv’s food scene blends traditional Bulgarian flavors with modern twists. Try local dishes like shopska salad and banitsa, and don’t miss the region’s renowned wines.

In recent years, Plovdiv has transformed from an industrial hub to a forward-looking city. Abandoned buildings are now trendy cafes, co-working spaces, and art galleries. The city’s infrastructure has also been modernized to meet the needs of both residents and visitors.

From its creative spirit to the International Fair Plovdiv, a longstanding tradition that draws visitors from around the world, Plovdiv offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences.

3. Naantali

Naantali, a charming town in southwestern Finland, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This quaint destination offers a mix of history, culture, and whimsical attractions that make it perfect for travelers looking to venture off-map to discover hidden gems.


One of the main attractions in Naantali is Moominworld, a theme park dedicated to the beloved Moomin characters created by Finnish author Tove Jansson in 1945. Located on an island, this park is a must-visit for families and fans of the quirky, hippo-like creatures.

Naantali Old Town

Take a stroll through Naantali Old Town to soak in its rich history and charming atmosphere. The cobblestone streets, colorful wooden houses, and the iconic Convent Church offer a glimpse into the past. Don’t miss the local festivals and entertainment venues that bring the town to life.

Activities and Adventures

In Naantali, travelers can find a wide range of activities to do, places to go, and attractions to see. From exploring the historic sites to enjoying scenic rail and boat journeys, there’s something for everyone. For the more adventurous, kayaking tours in the Turku Archipelago are a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

Embrace eco-friendly travel and create meaningful experiences through local interactions and exploration. Naantali offers a unique blend of attractions that cater to all types of travelers.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique travel experience, Naantali has something special to offer. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this underrated destination!

4. Pico Island

Pico Island, nestled in the heart of the Azores, is a volcanic paradise waiting to be explored. This hidden gem offers dramatic landscapes, lava caves, and vineyard-covered hillsides that produce world-class wines. The island’s unique geological features, like the lava flow caves, are a must-see for any traveler.

  • Vineyards: The island’s vineyards are a testament to the audacity and courage of its inhabitants. They have cultivated the volcanic soil and planted vines by the ocean, protected by stone walls that crisscross the island.
  • Wine Tasting: Enjoy the delicious wine on-site, in a museum, or directly from the producers.
  • Activities: Book a "Whale and Dolphin Watching trip" for an unforgettable experience.

Pico Island is part of a triptych of extraordinary islands, along with Sao Jorge and Faial. Its breathtaking landscapes and rich geological history make it a top destination for 2024.

Plan your stay by booking flights to Ponta Delgada, followed by a domestic flight to Pico. Don’t miss out on this exotic travel destination!

5. Villajoyosa

Villajoyosa, often called "the jewellish town," is a hidden gem on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. This vibrant town, located just south of Valencia, is known for its colorful houses painted by fishermen to match their boats. The town’s unique charm has earned it the title of the best hidden gem in Europe 2024.

When in Villajoyosa, don’t miss out on the chocolate factory and market tour. It’s one of the most recommended activities and a delightful way to spend your day. For those who love history, a visit to the Church of Ntra. Sra de la Asunción offers a taste of baroque architecture.

Villajoyosa is also famous for its beautiful beaches. With three kilometers of coastline, you can relax on Paradis Beach or explore other stunning spots. The town’s pleasant micro-climate, protected by the Sierras de Aitana, makes it a perfect year-round destination.

Villajoyosa is a mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation, making it a must-visit for any traveler.

For a unique experience, consider the Alicante Charming Villages Tour, which includes Villajoyosa and Altea. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or an exciting tour, Villajoyosa has something for everyone.

6. Ulm

Nestled on the banks of Germany’s Danube River, Ulm is a hidden gem that perfectly blends historic charm with modern amenities. This small city is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

  • Historic Landmarks: Marvel at the Gothic cathedrals and the colorful facade of the town hall. Don’t miss the Saint-Nicolas chapel, dating back to the 13th century.
  • Cultural Delights: For those who appreciate modern architecture, the cultural center of Ulm is a must-visit.
  • Culinary Adventures: Stroll through the Fishermen’s Quarter, where you can enjoy a meal in one of the many bars and restaurants set in half-timbered houses.

Just across the Danube, you’ll find Neu-Ulm, Ulm’s Bavarian sister city, offering even more to explore. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an architecture enthusiast, Ulm has something for everyone.

7. Cicmany

Nestled in the heart of Slovakia, Cicmany is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history and culture. This charming village is famous for its traditional wooden houses adorned with intricate white geometric patterns, making it a picturesque destination for any traveler.

Embrace the Culture

Cicmany is perfect for those embracing independence: memorable solo travel experiences and what they teach us. Wander through the village and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The locals are friendly and eager to share their customs and traditions with visitors.

Explore the Surroundings

Experience the natural and man-made highlights of beautiful Slovakia on a private, 2-day tour from Bratislava. Witness the country’s untouched mountain and forest landscapes, and don’t miss the chance to visit nearby castles and historical sites.

Perfect for a Quick Getaway

If you’re looking for exotic locations for your next escape from the city hustle, Cicmany should be on your list. It’s a peaceful retreat where you can unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Cicmany is one of the top 7 exotic destinations for your next travel adventure. Plan your visit today and discover the magic of this Slovakian treasure.


Europe is packed with hidden treasures that are just waiting to be explored. From quaint villages to stunning natural landscapes, these underrated destinations offer unique experiences away from the usual tourist spots. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled getaway, these gems provide something for everyone. So next time you’re planning a trip, consider stepping off the beaten path and discovering the lesser-known wonders of Europe. You might just find your new favorite place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Getaria special?

Getaria is a charming fishing village in Spain’s Basque Country. It’s known for its delicious seafood, beautiful beaches, and rich history.

Why should I visit Plovdiv?

Plovdiv in Bulgaria is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has ancient ruins, vibrant art scenes, and a lively atmosphere.

What’s unique about Naantali?

Naantali in Finland is famous for its picturesque old town, beautiful archipelago, and the Moomin World theme park.

What can I do on Pico Island?

Pico Island in Portugal’s Azores is perfect for nature lovers. You can hike up Pico Mountain, explore lava tubes, and enjoy whale watching.

Why is Villajoyosa worth visiting?

Villajoyosa in Spain is known for its colorful houses, lovely beaches, and delicious chocolate. It’s a perfect spot for a relaxing getaway.

What attractions does Ulm offer?

Ulm in Germany boasts the world’s tallest church steeple, a charming old town, and the birthplace of Albert Einstein.