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5 Lesser-Known Spots in Europe For the First-Time Traveler

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Travelling to Europe is not an easy feat. First of all, because Europe is thousands of miles away from even the northernmost spot of Zambia. Next, because it tends to be expensive. Even if you follow all the tips to reduce airfare and book a holiday rental through Airbnb, the cost of a vacation in Europe can be prohibitive for most. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a trip to Europe on your bucket list – the list of things you want to accomplish before you pass. Seeing the landmarks that everyone else has taken selfies in front of (like the Eiffel tower in Paris of the Colosseum in Rome) may not be what you have in mind – so here are some places that are a bit more off the beaten path but still breathtaking and memorable.

Mount Athos, Greece

Greece is best-known for its olives, Feta cheese, and strong alcoholic drinks – and the temple ruins on Athens’ hills. What’s less-known about it is that its people are deeply spiritual and religious – Greece is one of the centres of the Eastern Orthodox church. And one of the most important centres of this religion in Europe is Mount Athos. Mount Athos is known for almost 1,800 years of continuous Christian presence. Today, over 2,000 monks from all over the world live there, isolated from the rest of the world. The number of people who can visit its monasteries is limited. Only men are allowed to enter. There are dozens of monasteries one can see, with amazing murals and statues, and there are unique items you can buy there, including the famous prayer ropes.

North Cape, Norway

Nordkapp or Nord Cape is the northernmost place in Europe that can be accessed by car. It is almost literally the edge of Europe, the closest one can get on the road to the North Pole. It is the place where the sky meets the water, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Arctic Ocean, and where the midnight sun is visible from the middle of May to the end of July.

The lavender fields of Provence, France

Paris may be a wonderful place and the Loir chateaus are also a memorable sight but nothing compares to the lavender fields of Provence when they are in bloom. The best time to visit this area is between the middle of June and August. And while you’re there, you can taste the amazing dishes and delicious wines as well.

San Marino

San Marino is a country that’s almost 100 times smaller than Lake Mweru. It is completely enclosed by the country of Italy and has the population of a small-ish city – around 33,000 people live there. It is one of the smallest countries in the world and one of the oldest as well: it is said to have been founded in 301 AD by a stonemason called Saint Marinus, making it the oldest constitutional republic in the world. It has a small surface but many sights to see, mostly medieval buildings, cathedrals, and museums. Emilia-Romagna, Italy Last but not least, let us mention Emilia-Romagna, a region in Italy that has nine provinces, each of them famous for a different thing: Piacenza for its Grana Padano cheese, Parma for its ham, Emilia for its buildings, Modena for its balsamic vinegar, Bologna for its spaghetti sauce, Ferrara for its Renaissance architecture, Ravenna for its early Christian and Byzantine mosaics, Forl√¨-Cesena for its delicacies, and Rimini for its long beaches covered in golden sand. It is a true pleasure to explore them all.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31