7 Off The Beaten Path Destinations In Europe
(Last Updated On: 14/05/2021)
Traveling and discovering new places gives us wings to dream, dare, and learn. In such a vast world, it is almost impossible to see everything, nor is it possible to experience and enjoy every place in Europe. With so many exciting places, you can only dream of discovering them all. If you are truly looking to enjoy like a local and open to new trails, then we have 7 extraordinary off the beaten path destinations for you to discover.
From France to Switzerland, 7 spots of wild nature, tranquil lakes, and enchanted castles are waiting to become part of your photo album of the most memorable vacations in Europe. So, pack light and be prepared to carry only the memories and stories with you, as you embark on a new adventure, and walk the less-traveled paths.
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1. Off The Beaten Path Destinations: Occitanie, France
Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and with the peaks of the Pyrenees, the Southern Occitanie region in France is stunning. Home to medieval fort city, wonderful Toulouse, beaches, and wine, this French region is a fascinating and stunning off the beaten path destination in Europe to put high on your bucket list.
Occitanie is quite different from the French Riviera and Paris, thanks to its slower and dreamy pace. Thus, you could take your time exploring the Cathar Country and its castles, including the impressive Carcassonne. If you love outdoor activities like hiking or rafting, then Gorges du Tarn canyon and Cevennes National Park are ideal. The national park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and one of the ten national parks in France.
You could make your base in the pink and charming region’s capital, Toulouse, or the charming town of Albi. Both are wonderful for off the beaten path city breaks in France and longer adventure and French holiday. You could easily and comfortably reach Toulouse by train travel from Paris and Barcelona in about 5 hours.
2. Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt village is a picture-perfect village that is located on Lake Hallstatt. In spring, fall, or winter, it is an absolute paradise in any season of the year, offering plenty of outdoor activities for the adrenaline enthusiast travelers. Or on the contrary, if you are dreaming of chilling by the lake with a glass of wine or on a boat ride around the lake, Hallstatt is the ideal destination.
This picturesque place made it to our 7 off the beaten path destinations in Europe list thanks to the mighty caves, crystal blue lake, and Echern Valley with its stunning views and trails. Not to mention, that it has yet been discovered by the rest of the world.
Hallstatt is 3 hours away from Vienna by train travel. Therefore, if you want an unforgettable vacation in Austria’s breathtaking landscapes, and most importantly away from the crowds, then Hallstatt is the perfect off the beaten path destination.
3. Off The Beaten Path Destinations: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Less known than its neighbors Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Haarlem is the best off the beaten path city in the Netherlands. Only 18 minutes away from Amsterdam by train, Haarlem’s charm will captivate you for at least a long weekend.
The city’s medieval heritage, lively soul and windmills, create an amazing atmosphere. If you desire to experience Holland as a true Dutch, then walk its narrow streets, up to Grote Markt. Then, climb a windmill, Molen de Adriaan, for spectacular views of the city and river.
Another great way to spend your vacation in Haarlem is to visit the oldest breweries. Back in 1620, there 100 breweries, and today you can still taste some of the old recipes. Better, after a visit to one of the many museums in the city, and there are more museums in Haarlem than in any other Dutch city.
4. Lake Orta, Italy
Most tourists travel to Italy to taste Italian cuisine and enjoy life’s little indulgence, as the locals do. However, there’s more to Italy than sipping a glass of wine with freshly made pasta. Lake Orta in the lakes’ district is a stunning and romantic spot. Hidden away between mountains, and separated from the famous Lake Maggiore by Monte Mottarone, Lake Orta is worth your complete adoration, and time to experience Italy off the beaten track and the tranquil pace of life.
From hiking trails, boat rides, wine by the lake, and swimming, Lake Orta is a marvelous Italian gem, that has yet been discovered by tourists.
Lake Orta is a two-hour train ride from Milan, and 5 hours from Zurich through the scenic views of the Alps.
5. Off The Beaten Path Destinations: Bohemia, Czech Republic
Just a few hours away from the hustling and bustling Prague, a land of legends and scenic landscapes awaits. The national park of Bohemian Switzerland, Ceske Svycarsko Narodni Park, is on the border with Germany. Pravcicka Brana, a spectacular rock formation, water creeks, and many hiking trails, are a short train trip away from Decin, the closest city.
Another great reserve in the stunning outdoors is the Kladska Nature reserve. There’s a beautiful trail to the lake, and it is especially stunning in the fall. But, if you prefer small towns and chateaux, then you will love the neo-Gothic Hluboka Chateau.
6. Antwerp, Belgium
On a bike or foot, Antwerp is exciting and vibrant. The second-largest city in Belgium, Antwerp is quite overlooked by tourists. However, it is an amazing off the beaten path destination in Europe for a fun weekend getaway.
The city is divided into 3 areas: old town, Zuid, and the port, which are homes to diverse cultures and people from over the world. Therefore, it is culinary heaven, serving anything your heart desires. Museums, Grote Markt, cathedrals, top-notch creative fashion designers, are just an hour away from the capital, by train.
So, if you fancy your very own diamond from the busiest diamond trade center, love chocolate, and shopping, this off the beaten track destination is a must.
7. Off The Beaten Path Destinations: Lucerne, Switzerland
The perfect setting for a romantic getaway in Switzerland, Lucerne is magnificent. Walking along the lake, watching Mount Pilatus and Mount Titlis snowy peaks reflect in the water, with no tourists around, a Swiss dream.
Lovely Lucerne great base for day trips to the Alps, and has yet been discovered by travelers. So you’ll get a priceless chance to enjoy it and explore Switzerland off the beaten path. Walk the Dragon path and test your strength at the rope park, which is both excellent outdoor activities around Lucerne.
Located at the foot of the Alps in the Swiss-German border, Lucerne is unforgettable off the beaten path destination in Europe. Lucerne is a hidden gem in central Switzerland and is just an hour by train from the Swiss airport.
To conclude, Europe is full of marvels, legends, secrets, and nature untouched by tourists. If you desire an extraordinary experience and feel of the greatest countries in Europe. However, if you wish to walk, as locals do, then you are in for a spectacular time in any of the destinations mentioned above.
Here at Save A Train, we will be happy to help you find the cheapest train tickets to any of the special destinations on our list.
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