9 Secluded Destinations to Visit in Europe

While there’s nothing wrong with a glitzy, touristy holiday, there’s also a kind of magic in going off the beaten path. Hidden gems can be unearthed like treasures as you explore the world’s most remote and secret places. Here are just a few of these lovely travel destinations that you can find right in Europe!

1. Prokletije, Albania

Your mental image of Albania might not be a sunny blue sky stretched over snow-capped mountains, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Prokletije. Nicknamed “the Albanian Alps,” it’s home to four separate national parks where you can take in glaciers, gorges, cliffs, waterfalls, and more. When you’re tired of the outdoors, just hit up one of the villages tucked in the valley for a tankard of beer. If you’re interested in the traditionally spooky atmosphere of Albania, you can get that at Prokletije, too: Its name translates to “Accursed Mountains.”

2. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

Known for its “cave houses,” Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the most unique travel destinations in Europe. Its architecture is built in, on, and under cliffs! You’ll marvel at the sights even as you walk through the town and soak in traditional Spanish culture. It isn’t a big place, so expect to be noticed and welcomed like family. While you’re there, make sure to try local favorites like chorizo sausage and hand-cut pasteles. If you have time, you can also swing by nearby attractions like the medieval Nazari Castle.

3. Orkney Islands, Scotland

You’ve seen Braveheart – playing on DIRECTV STREAM. You’ve seen Outlander. Now, it’s time to marvel at Scotland’s rugged natural beauty with a trip of your own! The Orkney Islands are the perfect place to explore the wilderness; they’re filled with everything from sea-battered cliffs to rolling green hills and grasslands. Additionally, some of their towns are so small that they have less than a dozen people living there. You’ll be able to truly escape the grind and connect with nature.

4. Sperlonga, Italy

Only about 90 minutes from Rome, Sperlonga is such a lovely little town that it’s a wonder it hasn’t been overrun by tourists. The beaches have soft sands and gentle waves. The white shuttered houses are perched on the cliffs like something off a postcard. The whole thing is completely picturesque, so don’t be surprised if your camera stays glued to your hand. You’ll want to capture every bit of the charm of Sperlonga.

5. Wuppertal

Wuppertal is known as one of the greenest cities in Germany. It’s said that you’re only ever 10 minutes away from parks or woods! The best way to take them in is a ride on Wuppertal’s famous monorail, which is suspended in the air and can provide a bird’s eye view of the entire landscape. Other cool things to do in Wuppertal include taking a historic tour, visiting a local market, or exploring nature through one of the region’s many trails.

6. Dartmoor National Park, England

If you’ve always wanted to visit an authentic English moorland, pack your wellingtons and hit up Dartmoor National Park. It’s almost entirely pasture, and it offers lots of opportunities for both quiet contemplation in nature and high-octane outdoor adventure. Either way, you’ll be able to flee the real world for a while and exist entirely in the green.

7. Kladská, Czech Republic

Kladská is a travel destination that you can visit at any time of year. In the warmer months, it blooms with flowers and can offer an alpine-style holiday experience with cottages in the woods. In the wintertime, it gets buried beneath several feet of snow, allowing you to break out your snowshoes and enjoy beautifully pristine powder untouched by crowds.

8. Arnarstapi, Iceland

Another great destination for natural beauty, Arnarstapi is nestled in the foothills of a formerly volcanic mountain. It’s home to everything from ravines and rock formations to dried lava fields surrounded by glaciers, so if you’re into sightseeing, you’ll have plenty to hike, bike, climb, and trek. You won’t be alone; small villages are dotting the wilds, and their lights will beckon you when the cold winds start rising. If you’d prefer to stay off the map, however, you can enjoy some hard-won solitude as well.

9. Koguva, Estonia

Koguva is sometimes called “the town frozen in time” because it preserved the old ways of life. Its wooden carts, thatched roofs, stone pathways, and rickety windmills all date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Only a small handful of residents still live and work within the area. If you’re looking for travel destinations that time forgot, you’ll love Koguva.

The Best Isolated Destinations in Europe

You don’t have to visit Paris or Venice to have a great time in Europe. Ripping up your map can often lead to unforgettable adventures in distant, offbeat destinations that you’d never think to visit otherwise. Don’t be afraid to have the spirit of an explorer on your next holiday!