As regular readers of this blog know, I have a soft spot for off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Yes, I love Paris and Venice and London, but I also like to explore the lesser-known out-of-the-wsy places that many travelers never reach.
Once years ago, I set off by train from Paris to visit Mont-Saint-Michel, a medieval abbey off the coast of Normandy that I had read about in college in the Henry Adams’ book, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres.
The trip took two full days because the train connections were awful, but I made it, and didn’t regret it. It’s a dramatically situated Gothic masterpiece, rising atop a rocky island with a maze of narrow streets surrounding it.
Traditionally, Mont-Saint-Michel has only been reachable by land when the tides are out, via squishy mud flats. When the tides come in, it becomes an island, and unwary travelers have been trapped. But this element of uncertainty only adds to its allure. (Never fear: there’s now a causeway leading to the island, and you can walk or take a carriage ride to it from the car or bus park at any time.)
So when I came across the Infographic below from Grand European Travel, titled “Hidden Travel Gems Across Europe,” I was delighted to see Mont-Saint-Michel among the 10 off-the-beaten-track European destinations highlighted. While it isn’t undiscovered — it’s become France’s third most popular tourist attraction — you still have tlo make an effort to get there. (And there are still no convenient train connections.)
And I can also vouch for gems such as Germany’s Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber and the Czech Republic’s Cesky Krumlov, both beautifully preserved medieval towns that I’ve had the pleasure of revisiting in the past couple of years. Both are surrounded by beautiful countryside, away from major cities.
Others, such as Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park, Turkey’s Goreme and Scotland’s Isle of Skye have been high on my own list. The national park in Iceland that’s included in the 10 will make my list as soon as I can spell it. And one, Kylemore Abbey in Ireland, is completely new to me.
So I hope this will give you a few ideas for out-of-the-way travels in Europe next time you go. And if you’re not sure how to get to them, check out Grand European Travel — with 40 years’ experience, they know their way around, and will set you up on the kind of guided vacations and river cruises thst are ideal for baby boomers.
If you have trouble reading the Infographic on your screen, click here for a larger version.
Presented by Grand European Travel – See more at: https://www.getours.com/expert-travel-advice/planning-your-vacation/hidden-travel-gems-across-europe#sthash.QHYqzKnX.dpuf