Hidden Gems in Europe – Travel Dudes

You could travel and explore the typical highlights of Europe… But why don’t you visit these hidden gems in Europe as well?

When thinking about a trip in Europe, your first thoughts are probably the big cities of Europe like visiting Paris, Barcelona, Prague or going sailing Croatia. But, there’s a lot more to Europe to discover than these hot spots.

If you’re looking for somewhere quieter, check out these hidden gems in Europe.

The best hidden gems in Europe

Skip the crowds and check out these secret spots in Europe.

Cinigiano, Italy

100 kilometers south of Florence, this small corner of Tuscan wine country has managed to its keep old-world charms while producing some of the most striking new-school Super Tuscan wines.

Breathtaking views of endless fields and vineyards, even better at sunset, are around practically every corner. Yet somehow, the crush of crowds isn’t.

Tour organic family-run vineyards like Cantina Basile or live royally while staying at the Castello di Vicarello. It’s all truly divine.

Another lovely place to visit nearby is the vineyards of Chianti.

Hidden gem in Italy, Cinigiano
Cinigiano, Italy

Roanne, France

Foodies will find eating their way across the French countryside is a breeze, no matter where they go. But those serious about top-notch gastronomy cannot miss Roanne, home of the Troisgros family and of Maison Troisgos, a restaurant that foodie bible Gault Millau referred to as the best in the entire world.

Those who prefer to sharpen their own skills in the kitchen can attend The Ecole des Trois Ponts, a famous nearby cooking school.

Take a stroll by the Loire river to walk off the calories, and enjoy some of the historical architecture.

Here are a few other trips in France that aren’t Paris.

Lappeenranta, Finland

Closer to Saint Petersburg than to Helsinki, Lappeenranta draws a fair share of visitors from nearby during the summer months. A short drive from Saimaa, the fourth largest lake in all of Europe, travelers come for boat cruises and sunbathing during the warmer months.

But there are plenty of great ways to spend the day that don’t involve fishing or swimming. A bustling central market, ancient fortress, and plenty of museums and other cultural attractions mean there’s never a dull moment in this curious Scandinavian city.

Winter brings low temperatures and plentiful skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding.

Another hidden gem in Finland is Hossa National Park.

Lappeenranta - Hidden gems in Europe
Lappeenranta, Finland

Cotas, Portugal

A couple years back, Portugal’s Duoro Valley was anointed the next Napa, and while the international market might not have reacted accordingly, wine lovers and fans of peaceful vistas overlooking rolling hills will fall in love once they visit.

The small town of Cotas is predominantly known for Quinta da Romaneira, where old-world decor is preserved but cutting-edge fermenting tanks and materials are used to help local vines step up their game.

It’s a perfect luxury retreat for travelers looking to be pampered somewhere other than the typical European haunts.

Abisko, Sweden

This secluded Lapland town might not immediately seem like a must-see spot, but that’s before travelers take into account its Arctic Circle location – definitely one of the hidden gems in Europe.

Photographers, nature-lovers, and anyone who wants a mind-blowing experience should make the pilgrimage to Abisko National Park, one of the best spots in the world to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Shimmering curtains of bright green and blue dance across the sky for hours during the winter months, and clear skies mean an even more stunning spectacle.

For those who are serious about their viewing experience, booking an overnight with the Aurora Sky Station is a must. Check out these accommodation options.

European hidden gem in Sweden
Abisko, Sweden


Scotland’s Golf field

Scotland’s Golf Courses – Breathtaking Hidden Gems You Need to Include in Your Travel Plans

 

Even though the origins of the game are unclear, most historians accept that modern-day golf originated in Scotland during the middle ages.

Various early versions of golf existed throughout Europe, where the objective was to put a ball inside a hole a few hundred yards away with the least number of strokes. In Scotland, the game was first played on linksland, a specific kind of coastal land with a wind-sculpted terrain, near present-day Edinburgh. The first documentation of golf in Scotland was in 1457 when King James II banned the sport because it was leading to a neglect of military practices. However, people mostly ignored the ban.

Golf gained the royal popularity when King James IV of Scotland became the first monarch to play golf. In the modern world, everyone who has even yielded a golf club has a wish to visit the Scottish golf courses. Scotland is not only famous for its golf courses located at spectacular locations, but also for the taste of Scottish hospitality at the clubhouses, also known as the 19th hole.

When golfers from all over the world consider a visit to Scottish golf courses, the immediate names that come to mind are the historic layouts of St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Dornoch, and Muirfield. Then on the list would be Troon, Prestwick, Turnberry, Kingsbarn, and Castle Stuart, not necessarily in that order. Scotland has over 600 golf courses, packed into a small country.

When someone is making a trip of a lifetime across the Atlantic, it is natural to wish to tick the iconic golfing destinations off your list. But if you are looking for an alternative golf tour experience at a much more serene and quieter location, there are many hidden gems with stunning views and unsurpassable quality. Many companies provide tailor-made luxury golf tours of Scotland. These Scotland golf packages are made to satisfy every golfer’s requirements and their budget. So next time you are planning a golfing tour to the land where the game was born, look out for these names.

Nairn Golf Course

Nairn is a small town situated on the edge of Moray Firth, 16 miles away from Inverness. Nairn is home to a championship links course which hosted the Walker Cup in 1999 and is one of the finest courses located in the highlands. The course has an interesting variety, with stunning views of the water throughout the course. It is a must-play for anyone planning to visit Dornoch or Castle Stuart.

The Balcomie Links at Crail Golf Club

Many visitors notice Crail along the coastline when they are at the 12th tee at Kingsbarns Links. But sadly most of them do not think of coming over to the 7th oldest golf club of the world. Crail golfing society has two spectacular courses. Balcomie Links is the older of the two and can boast of stunning vistas of the Firth of Forth.

Shiskine

The 12 hole course at Shiskine located on the Isle of Arran will make you want to forget everything about conventional golf. You will be blown away by the beautiful scenery around you as much as the design of the course. Tucked away in a small coastal village of Blackwater foot, the course overlooks the Mull of Kintyre. It was designed by Willie Fernie who is well known for designing Royal Troon and Turnberry. The layout climbs over Durmadoon point to the top of the cliff and then slopes down along the coastline.

Brora Golf Club

Brora is a classic links course that might be a little out of the way but is worth it as a phenomenal course. It is located a bit far north, about 16 miles from Dornoch. The small village of Brora is a wonderful experience in itself. The course is said to be one of James Braid’s finest and has been preserved in its original condition which gives you a sense of stepping back into time when the game was just invented.

Glen Golf Course, North Berwick

The county of East Lothian is one of the most famous golfing destinations in the world. Therefore it is quite surprising that there are still a few hidden gems along this glorious golfing coastline. Glen is a perfect example of an extraordinary course existing in the shadows of a famous one. The reference is meant for the North Berwick golf course. Glen might not be a very long course, but it certainly makes up for that with exhilarating views of the Bass Rock with Firth of Forth in the backdrop.

Boat of Garten

The course is dubbed as the Gleneagles of the north. With a backdrop of the Cairngorms mountains, Boat of Garten is situated right in Scotland’s most popular winter sports destination. A series of holes spread across a gorgeous undulating terrain with the mountains in the background might just give you the sense of playing in paradise.

Just a Few of the Hidden Gem of Scotland Golf Courses

Although these are only a few of the hidden gems amongst Scotland’s golf courses, they deserve to be included in your itinerary as much as the well-known ones. Each of these golf courses is beautifully located, challenging, and is worthy of ranking amongst the best golf courses in the world that offer a true taste of golf.

 

Empire State Building

5 of the World’s Most Amazing Architectural Gems

 

It’s hard to underestimate the power of humanity’s ability to create when seeing a massive structure that is still standing after thousands of years.

These structures make you stand in awe, wonder how it was done and wish you could relive the moment over and over. The following five structures are a bucket-list must-have for visiting if you want to seek out some of the most incredible structures on earth.

5 of the World’s Most Amazing Architectural Gems

Barcelona Gaudi

Admired by architects around the world, the buildings in Barcelona, Spain have been dubbed some of the most unique buildings in the world. Built by Antoni Gaudi, most of his buildings have an organic look, as he used nature as his primary influence. The buildings can be located all over the city and are easy to spot with their curved stones, twisted sculptures and multi-colored tiles. The Sagrada Familia Basilica is probably the most visited attraction in all of Barcelona and the magical park, Park Guell, is filled with amazing tile work. Gaudi received his architectural degree in 1878 and started his famed works shortly after.

Empire State Building

This Art Deco skyscraper, located in New York City, is one of the tallest buildings in the world and has been declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It is probably the most iconic building in the city. It stands at 1,454 feet tall, has 102 stories and has been in over 90 films. It was completed in 1931 under direction of famed architects Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.

Book your Empire State Building entrance ticket before you go with GetYourGuide.

The Colosseum

Located in Rome, this is one of the most visited architectural marvels in the world. The construction of this huge amphitheater started in 72 AD by architect, Vespasian. The purpose of the build was to change the relationship between the poor people of Rome and their powerful counterparts. It was used for gladiator fights and hunting simulations. It could hold around 70,000 people and features hoists, ramps and trapdoors. Given the time period in which it was built, the Colosseum is certainly a engineering wonder.

Book a ‘skip the line’ VIP tour of the Colosseum before you go with GetYourGuide.

Taj Mahal

This example of Mughal architecture has been named “The jewel of Muslim art in India” and was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan alongside a number of hired architects. It is a complexity of structures and began being constructed about 1631 AD. Built in the Mughal style, it combines beautiful elements from Persian, Indian and Islamic styles. The Taj Mahal is an experience of its own breed, a truly awe-inspiring structure.

Make a day of it and join a full-day trip to the Taj Mahal with GetYourGuide.

The Guggenheim Museum

Located in New York City, this museum opened in 1959. The commission to design this building was won by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It took 16 years to build due to various complications. The architect died before seeing his work finalized, but the end result is breathtaking. It is unique looking and truly captures the art that resides within it. One critic stated that the museum “has turned out to be the most beautiful building in America”.

Book a ‘skip the line’ day ticket for the Guggenheim Museum before you go with GetYourGuide.

It is truly incredible to see what people can do with their ideas. Even in times before adequate technology, man has always pushed the limits of possibility.

These amazing architectural structures are absolute must-sees that will leave you mesmerized and captivated for a lifetime.