Destinations

Discovering Secrets of Europe

November 6, 2019

I am always trying to go off the beaten track and discover authentic side of Europe, meet the locals, speak with them, learn about local culture, taste traditional food. That is traveling for me – discovering something that is new and different from my own culture and daily routine

I am presenting you my top 5 places that you have to discover:

SERBIA

Serbia is hidden gem of Europe. Majority of tourists coming to Serbia are concentrated in the Belgrade – Capital of the country, but Serbia has so many undiscovered places that you have to visit. Connected West with East for centuries – a land in which civilizations, cultures, faiths, climates and landscapes meet and mingle, today Serbia is not affected by mass tourism and you can enjoy its preserved nature, castles and monasteries.

Beside untouched nature, greatest riches of Serbia are in the many medieval churches and monasteries, some of which are included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

One of the most beautiful waterfall in Europe is Sopotnica waterfall in southwestern Serbia. The river Sopotnica that is forming the waterfall is characterised by the large difference in elevation between its mouth at 465 m above sea-level and its highest source at 1150 m

Bay of Kotor

You have to visit and admire Bay of Kotor. It is one of my favorite spot in Europe. Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The old mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. 

In summer months it can be overcrowded by tourists from the cruisers but they have just couple of hours to discover old town, and after they left you have whole city for yourself. I am recommending to visit Kotor in spring or in autumn season as the weather is mild and you will have opportunity to meet local people and hear stories about this historic place.

Brussels

Why is Brussels on this list? Yes, it is well known city, Belgium’s capital and home to the European Union headquarters, but tourists are always visiting same places such as Grand-Place, Atomium and famous sculpture Manneken Piss neglecting hidden gems of the city.

Station Europe can be first on your list of unexpected sites in the city. It is the best starting point, as you will have information about the Brussels and European Union in general. The European Parliament’s welcome point is full of interactive tools and has something to pique the curiosity of all ages. Friendly staff are also on hand to show you everything there is to do at the European Parliament and in Brussels itself. Housed in the original building of the Brussels-Luxembourg train station, Station Europe perfectly bridges the area’s past as the Leopold Quarter and its modern role as the home of European democracy.

Beside visiting EU organizations and discovering how they are functioning, you should look around yourself and search for beautiful architecture as Brussels is true Capital of Art Nouveau architecture. The style revolution had already begun in France and Britain, but it was in Belgium that Art Nouveau was born, thanks to the visionary mind of Victor Horta. It was born in 1893, with the building of the Tassel hotel, which gave rise to the new architectural style. Some of the most beautiful buildings are Musical Instrument Museum, The Autrique House and Horta Museum.

Breisach upon Rhine – best kept secret of Germany

I love to travel in Germany, it is very tourist friendly country and you can get everywhere by public transport. From Castles to market towns, and from big cities to Baltic coast it is very diverse landscape, and I have been to many places, but this summer I have discovered Breisach upon Rhine. It is beautiful historic city on the river Rhine in south west of the country. It is one of the oldest towns in Germany which history reaches back over 4000 years. Breisach is situated in one of Germany’s warmest regions: On the banks of the river Rhine which is here the border to France, and close to Switzerland and the Black Forest. Breisach’s landmark, St. Stephens’s cathedral, is rising above the town and river. From there one has a marvellous view, reaching from the Rhine to the Vosges mountains in the west and the Black Forest in the east.

Although the town was devastated twice in times of war (1793 and 1945), there are still several monuments and sites of historic interest to be seen. One of these is the sculpture named „Europe reaches for the stars” opposite the cathedral. It was solemnly unveiled on the 50th anniversary of an election which took place in 1950. As a result of this election Breisach was the first European town which declared itself for a United Europe by the vote of its inhabitants.

Basque Country

First association of Spain is sun and summer holidays. But there is so much more to discover in this beautiful country. In the north of Spain, one of the autonomus regions is Basque Country, with its unique tradition and culture. Tourists already discovered ,,Game of Thrones,, filming locations in Basque Country such as Zumaia and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, but there is so much more to see in the country side.

I can recommend Rioja Alavesa, a wine region in southern part of Basque Country, with small medieval villages, beautiful roling hills and ancient wineries. You will have opportunity to taste amazing wines, while enjoying the authentic small towns without mass tourism. My favorite place is Laguardia, one of the most beautiful village in Spain.