Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has revealed its top 10 European destinations for the year, with Greece’s Peloponnese topping the list.
Put together by Lonely Planet’s team of experts who took into account the upcoming projects of each region, destination popularity and recent experiences, the list includes a few travel favourites as well as a few unheard-of destinations.
1. Peloponnese, Greece
First on the list is the beautiful Peloponnese region of Greece, described by Lonely Planet as an “enclave of magnificent ancient sights like Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras.”
Apparently, the region is often overlooked by travellers as they “tend to flock to the myriad islands or marvel at the iconic Acropolis,” but unbeknownst to them it’s one of the country’s most diverse and vibrant regions.
2. Arahus, Denmark
Second on the list is Aarhus in Denmark, boasting “cool-cat neighbourhoods, head turning architecture and culinary wizardry.”
The city has just welcomed new public spaces like Dokk1 (home to Scandinavia’s largest library) and show-stopping developments such as the photogenic Iceberg, as well as Big-name museums ARoS and the newly re-housed Moesgaard, sparking a lot more interest in the region.
3. Venice, Italy
Unsurprisingly, Venice in Italy comes in at number three.
Part of a group of 124 islands, separated by beautiful canals and linked by old bridges, Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
4. Dordogne, France
Number four is The Dordogne in France, described by Lonely Planet as a quiet Garden of Eden “stitched from dream chateaux, medieval towns and walnut grove; gourmet village bistros and Saturday-morning food markets, where sweet Gariguette strawberries and seasonal black truffles are as common as muck.”
5. Lviv, Ukraine
Coming in at number five is the festival capital of the Ukraine, Lviv – boasting over 100 unique events and festivals this year.
6. Warwickshire, England
The undisputed birthplace of William Shakespeare, Warwickshire in England comes in at number six.
Featuring picturesque country landscapes, incredible castles and historic market towns, it’s no wonder it made the list.
7. Extremadura, Spain
One of Spain’s least-known regions also made the list with Extremadura coming in at number seven.
According to Lonely Planet, Spain’s best Roman ruins dominate the Extremadura city of Mérida and medieval jewels like Trujillo and Cáceres resemble Tuscan hill towns without the crowds, while the Parque Nacional de Monfragüe is a dramatic natural gorge with abundant birdlife. Sounds like heaven!
8. East Coast Tenerife
Tenerife – which is eight on the list – is often missed, but according to Lonely Planet it’s one of the most beautiful destinations to visit, boasting volcanic moonscapes, fishing villages, dramatic cliffs and beautiful mountains.
9. Texel, the Netherlands
The largest of the Netherlands’ Wadden Sea Islands and the relatively unknown, Texel (tes-sel) comes in at nine on the list.
Texel is situated 3km north of the coast of Noord-Holland, boasting unspoiled dunescapes preserved as part of National Park Duinen van Texel (Texel Dunes National Park), as well as wildlife reserves, white sandy beaches and pine forests. It’s the perfect country-coastal destination to really get away from all the hustle and bustle.
10. Northern Dalmatia, Croatia
A nature lovers dream, Northern Dalmatia in Croatia comes in at number ten. The “rugged and wild, Northern Dalmatia encompasses all the cultural highlights of Adriatic travel along with some of Europe’s most jaw-droppingly pristine nature.”
Embraced by the imposing Velebit mountain range, Northern Dalmatia is one of the most rewarding, under-the-radar European destinations for nature lovers.
How many of these European destinations have you been to? Brag about it in the comments below!