Meteora by ©Aleksandar Todorovic

Do you think it’s time for a new adventure?

Favoroute has created a list including 6 of Europe’s best kept secret places that will help you embark on a new adventure, travelling through beautiful cities and islands that offer a touch of history every step of the way. 

Have you ever heard of these unexpected secret places?

 

Secret Places: Metéora, Greece

Meteora by ©Aleksandar Todorovic

Meteora by Aleksandar Todorovic

The Metéora is one of the most breath taking and unique rock formations in the world – it is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These large, solid rocks emerged about 25 million years ago, as an elevated seabed material that was the outcome of strong tectonic movements. The first hermits arrived in this area, seeking spiritual isolation and inhabited the caves of the rocks. From the 14th until the 16th century they built 24 monasteries on the summits of the rocks, only 6 of these remain to be explored and appreciated by visitors today.

These monasteries are known as having produced some of the best pieces of religious art and craft, many of which are displayed in their museums. This secret place can be found in the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly, near the centre of Greece.

Secret Places: Faial, The Azores, Portugal

Faial by fuxli

Faial by fuxli

Faial is a Portuguese island, part of the Central Group of the Azores. The island has about 15.000 inhabitants and its main municipal seat is located in the city of Horta. The inhabitants primarily make their living out of agriculture, cattle raising, dairy production, fishing and tourism – which is constantly growing mainly due to its lovely capital that has a famous marina (Marina Da Horta) where transatlantic sailors from all around the world meet, creating a unique international aptitude for the island.

Faial is often given the name ‘The Blue Island’ as different shades of blue decorate the houses, divide the fields and line the roadsides, it is without a doubt one of the most charming islands of the Azores!

Secret Places: Zadar, Croatia

Zadar by  Paul Prescott

Zadar by Paul Prescott

Zadar is a three thousand-year old city located on Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast. The city is full of historical and cultural monuments – in the past the city has often been destructed, but every time it emerges from the ruins stronger, richer and more beautiful.

Zadar is known to be the ideal tourist getaway as it offers plenty to see without the busy crowds such as other popular destinations in Croatia. In the Old Town there are magnificent sightseeing attractions including ancient Roman ruins, medieval churches, and quality museums. Zadar also offers two unique attractions that need to be seen – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation. Besides all the attractions, there are many beautiful beaches along the coastline where you can swim, relax and sunbathe.

Secret Places: Bled, Slovenia

Bled by josh.tagi

Bled by josh.tagi

Bled, along with its surroundings, ranks amongst the most beautiful alpine resorts in Europe. Bled is also Slovenia’s most popular resort, attracting businessmen, honeymooners, explorers, families, the old and the young – enchanting them by the beauty of the mountains that are reflected on the lake, the sun and the serene atmosphere.

Bled’s major tourist attractions are the glacial Lake Bled, and the iconic Bled Castle which is located on a rock overlooking the lake. This secret place also has a sweet specialty – krešnita, a vanilla and cream based pastry! Yum!

 

Secret Places: Fuerteventura, Spain

Fuerteventura by Karahgo

Fuerteventura by Karahgo

Fuerteventura, known as Europe’s Hawaii, is the oldest of the Canary Islands. It emerged between 30-70 million years ago when a large volcanic eruption spewed lava through a hot spot between two tectonic plates, South America and Africa, and eventually due to more eruptions created the remaining islands of the archipelago. Don’t worry! The last active volcano fell silent 4 million years ago!

It’s striking landscape of ancient volcanoes and rolling sandy hills add onto the coziness of the small picturesque villages. With over three thousand hours of sunshine per year, warm weather conditions, and rare rainfall, this beautiful island is made for relaxation and adventures. Maybe there are some secret places near the volcanoes you can discover?

If you’re looking for a different type of adventure in Fuerteventura, Favoroutes’ Evelyn Zielstra has created an offline surfing guidebook, check it out!

Secret Places: Positano, Italy

Positano by eoks

Positano by eoks

Positano, in John Steinbeck’s words “is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone” (1953). Positano is a village and comune located in Campania, in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast. It is the coasts most picturesque and photogenic town, with what looks like houses dramatically tumbling down to the sea in a panorama of beautiful soft colours.

The majolica (pottery decorated with brightly coloured lead glazes) tiled dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is one of Pasitano’s main attractions – it also has a Byzantine inspired icon of a black Madonna that dates back to the eighteenth century conserved inside the church.

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