Europe, off the Beaten Path

Kimberleigh Tessendorf

“Getting away from the capitals from time to time is often the best way to get a more authentic experience of a country and its people.” – BootsnAll Travel Network

Considering a trip to Europe? Look beyond the tourist traps of the capital cities, and venture upon a road less traveled. Besides the cities of Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, Europe offers a vast and varied history, beauty and culture.

Lofoten, Norway

Discover the untamed island of Lofoten, Norway. This unique wilderness outpost offers landscape of majestic mountains, deep fjords, seabird colonies and unspoilt beaches. For those seeking nature experiences; you can kayak between the islands, go fishing, or enjoy one of the world’s northernmost surfing paradises. Between May and July you can experience the midnight sun, and the northern lights can be viewed from September to April. With the unique Arctic light and serene landscapes, Lofoten offers unmatched beauty.


Utrecht, Holland

If you’ve been to the Netherlands, you’ve most likely visited Amsterdam. However, if you crave the same liberties, with even more character, Utrecht may be the place for you. As one of the oldest cities in the country, with the youngest population, it has become known as the beating heart of the Netherlands. Its medieval city centre is small enough to explore on foot but large enough to host world-class festivals, modern architecture, fashionable shops and fascinating museums. Discover the secrets and charms of Utrecht amidst the cobbled streets, picturesque canals and outdoor cafes. 

Cappadocia, Turkey

Lying in south central Turkey, the moonscape region of Cappadocia is famed for its unique geological features, referred to as fairy chimneys. The large, cone-like formations were created over time by the erosion of soft volcanic ash. The best way to experience Turkey’s most visually striking region is by hot-air balloon. The spectacular surrealistic landscape combined with perfect flying conditions allows the balloons to gently drift over and between fairy chimneys and through impressive valleys.

Cinque Terre, Italy

The Italian Riviera is not short on rugged coastlines and romantic towns, but the five fishing villages of the Cinque Terre is a sight to behold. They are no longer isolated hamlets, now connected by a 19-century railway line, however there’s still a feeling of remote authenticity with few roads, perfectly preserved architecture and a network of magnificent coastal and mountain trails. Experience spectacular views over the Ligurian Sea, and traverse one of the cliffside trails connecting the five villages. The Cinque Terre is a destination with timeless appeal; enjoy a glass of local wine at a waterfront table, visit an ancient parish church, or rest your weary legs on a clifftop high above.

Cinque Terre

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Known as the ‘Fairy Lake’ on the foothills of the Alps, Lake Bled is a place surrounded by idyllic scenery. Cosmopolitan seekers of diverse beauty, relaxation, inspiration, tranquillity and outdoor activities, will regard Lake Bled as a utopia. Experience hiking trails around the lake, ride traditional boats, ring the island’s wishing bell, explore the castle treasures, golf courses, and fish in the gorgeous water.