Europe's best hidden gems 2022
Europe's secret destinations, away from the crowds, await you. Get off the beaten track and discover the most beautiful destinations on a human scale in Europe.
The most beautiful hidden gems of France with its hillside villages, the most amazing secret destinations in Spain with its pueblo blancos or its authentic family seaside resorts, the Algarve islands, the medieval villages in Italy, the most beautiful destinations of Georgia, discover your best hidden gems in Europe.
Book your flights, accommodation, activities and tours at the best price, ready to pack for the most beautiful and incredible destinations that will be the trends of tomorrow. You will not be disappointed!
Adjara Region - Georgia
This year you voted one of the most sparkling and incredible destinations in Europe at the top of the Best Hidden Gems in Europe: Batumi.
The capital of the Adjara region, Georgia, is a destination to visit all year round.
We love strolling through the historic streets of Batumi’s old city centre, hiking, biking or canyoning in the nearby Adjara mountains, strolling through one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Europe, lazing around on Batumi beach or being pampered in a wellness hotel facing the sea.
Rich in history, heritage, museums unique in the world and one of the most daring architectures in all of Europe, Batumi is also a destination for foodies and wine lovers.
You will fall under the scent of cherry blossoms in May-June; Batumi is a perfect destination in summer also for a trip combining city-break & beach, wellness & shopping. Autumn dresses the parks of Batumi and the nature of the Adjara Region in flamboyant colours. It is probably the best time of the year to combine city break & nature getaway as a couple, with family or friends.
With new trendy hotels opening every day, Asia & Europe fusion restaurants, rooftop bars at the top of the most incredible buildings, independent shops, designers, stylists, and an exceptional nightlife, Batumi is much more than your Best Hidden Gems in Europe, it stands out as one of the best City Breaks in Europe.
Want to ski or dive into the magic of Christmas? Discover Batumi in winter, a destination that won't stop surprising you.
Are you ready to blow up your Instagram account? Book your flights to Batumi, your accommodation in Batumi as well as your tours and activities in Batumi such as a "Batumi: City Highlights & Batumi Boulevard Walking Tour".
How to get there: The City of Batumi is easily accessible. The nearest International Airports are Batumi International Airport, Kutaisi International Airport, and Tbilisi International Airport.
Where to stay: Book your accommodation from a large selection of 5-4-3 star hotels, wellness hotels, seaside hotels, boutique hotels or tourist apartments.
Alicante - Spain
Discover the "Laguna Salada de Torrevieja" the pink lake that will blow your Instagram account and leave you with memories for a lifetime. It is in the Natural Park of the Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja that this pink lake is located. In addition to being of such a unique colour, this lake would have therapeutic properties especially on rheumatism and healing virtues with its salty waters.
A freshwater lake but also kilometres of sublime beaches await you not far from there so pack your bags, book your flights to Alicante as well as your accommodation and your tours and activities in Spain such as a "Sunset Catamaran Cruise".
How to get there: Book your flights to Alicante (40 min by car, 1h20 by public transport).
Where to stay: "Hotel La Laguna Spa & Golf" for its hydro-massage swimming pool and spa.
Basilicata Region - Italy
We expect to see basil bloom everywhere in a region that bears the pretty name of "Basilicata". Basil is called "Basilicum" in Latin. The name of this region most probably comes from the Greek "Basilikos" in reference to the Byzantine emperor "Basileus". Anyway, the first name of Basilicata was "Lucania" which derives from Leukos and means "sacred wood" which corresponds more to the identity of this region located between the heel and the tip of the boot of Italy.
This region of forests and mountains is best known for the city of Matera. Don't miss a stop at "Castelmezzano", another village considered one of the best hidden gems of Italy.
Like Castelmezzano, Pietrapertosa is a village nestled in the mountains and seems to be built into the rock. With its narrow streets and medieval houses at the foot of the castle, this hamlet is one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Italy.
Climb to the top of the castle and enjoy breathtaking views. Want an adrenaline rush? Live a unique experience with one of Europe's fastest zip line which joins 2 hidden gems of Italy: Castelmezzano and Pietraportosa.
How to get there: Book your flights to Bari Airport (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: “B&B L'Arabatana" located in Pietrapertosa centre.
4. Rio Marina
Elba Island - Tuscany - Italy
Rio Marina is one of the best hidden gems in Tuscany. Located on the island of Elba, Rio Marina is a destination of rare beauty, nestled between the sea and the mountains.
Mining capital of the island of Elba, Rio Marina no longer attracts gold diggers but rather holidaymakers looking for beaches of fine golden sand, crystal clear waters, hidden coves and secret beaches such as Cala delle Alghe or the Spiaggia Luisi d'Angelo.
8 Ferries a day connect Piombino (mainland) to Covo (Elba Island) located 10 minutes by car from Rio Marina.
How to get there: Book your flights to Florence (2h by car to Piombino + 45 min by ferry to reach Covo on Elba Island).
Where to stay: "Experience Relais "Il Termine Elba" features an outdoor heated pool, a spa area and turkish bath
5. Veli Losinj
Losinj Island -Primorje-Gorksi Kotar County - Croatia
Located 10 minutes by car from the sublime town of Mali Losinj, Veli Losinj is one of Europe's best hidden gems, a secret destination that will make you fall in love with Croatia.
If you like 100% natural landscapes, crystal clear blue waters, sun and good food, Croatia is for you. With its heavenly beaches, its must-see destinations of rare beauty and its hidden gems, Croatia has been one of the trendiest countries in recent years.
Veli Losinj was an important fishing port until the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years the village has been transformed to welcome tourists and develop new nature activities such as the aromatherapy center which will appeal to lovers of essential oils. Located at the foot of the Kalvarija mountain and facing the Mediterranean, Veli Losinj is truly a paradise on earth.
Whether you are a lover of secret places, history, nature, or simply for a sunny holiday on one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia, book your flights, your accommodation and your tours and activities in Croatia.
How to get there: Book your direct flights to Losinj or Rijeka Airport (located on the island of Krk), and take the bus or ferry. You can also book your flights to Zadar and make the crossing. The Jadrolinija company connects Zadar - Losinj daily in high season.
Where to stay: "Glamping Tents Trasorka" situated in Veli Losinj.
6. Calella de Palafrugell
This is one of your best hidden gem in Europe. Calella de Palafrugell is a perfect destination for those who want to escape from the city and enjoy an afternoon of idleness in a sublime old fishing village also famous for the beauty of its coves and small beaches.
With its intact architecture, Calella de Palafrugell is one of the most beautiful villages in the Costa Brava.
How to get there: Book your flights to Barcelona (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: "Hotel Alga" just 200 m from Calella de Palafrugell Beach.
Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur - France
Not many people know this little paradise located 1h30 from Nice. A perfect place to stay for exploring the Gorges du Verdon, Bauduen is also a privileged holiday spot in the heart of nature.
This traditional village appeals to families who take advantage of the activities offered by the nautical center and can observe the starry sky at the astronomical observatory or visit the children's museum "Art in toys".
The few restaurants and brasseries in Bauduen offer simple and tasty cuisine at quite affordable prices, compared to some restaurants on the Côte d'Azur.
Bauduen is one of the most beautiful villages in France and one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
How to get there: Book your flights to Nice (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: To observe the stars with your family, book your stay at the "Astronomical Observatory". All guests are invited to spend an evening star-gazing in the observatory.
Alicante - Costa Blanca - Spain
Moraira is typically the kind of small seaside resorts one dreams of for a holiday in Spain. Far from the crowds, from soulless buildings, this family seaside resort right on the water is what you need for a relaxing holiday under the sun of the Spanish coast.
Probably one of the most beautiful villages on the Costa Blanca, Moraira is really ideal for a family or romantic holiday. Beautiful beaches and a temperate climate (never too hot even in the heart of summer) awaits you. If you love nature you will be delighted. Moraira is also ideal for water sports enthusiasts.
Moraira has something for everyone and will also appeal to history buffs (be sure to visit its castle) golfers (3 golf courses ) or those who just want to rest, take a boat trip, swim and end the day by tasting the local specialties in a restaurant.
Moraira is not only one of the best hidden gems in Europe, it is certainly also one of the best destinations for summer holidays in Europe.
How to get there: Book your flights to Alicante (1h by car) or Valencia (1h20).
Where to stay: "Caballito de Mar" for its lovely gardens and the excellent views of the sea.
Canton of Bern - Switzerland
Thun gave his name to the lake...which you will have understood bears the same name: Lake Thun. Popular with the inhabitants of Bern who come to spend relaxing weekends not far from the Swiss capital. Thun is one of Switzerland's best hidden gems with Spiez just a short drive away.
Do you speak a little German? That's perfect, it's the official language in Thun, although the language spoken is more of an Alemannic Swiss German dialect,... anyway Thun is cosmopolitan and you'll probably make yourself understood as well in German, English, French or Italian.
For walks or bike rides along the lake, mountain biking, water or winter activities or for a gastronomy & wellness stay, Thun is a destination made for lovers of nature, wide open spaces and well-being.
How to get there: Book your flights to Bern Airport (30 min by car, 20 min by public transport).
Where to stay: "Hotel Restaurant Bellevue au Lac" on the shore of Lake Thun.
10. Port Grimaud
If Grimaud is perfect for lovers of old stones, steep streets, typical Provencal villages, Port Grimaud will appeal to lovers of boats, sailboats, yachts. If you don't have the financial means to have your own boat you can always sail in Port Grimaud with a rental boat or simply take a walk and have a drink on the terrace of one of the many restaurants and bars along the flowery streets of Port Grimaud.
With its colorful houses, its canals, Port Grimaud is a bit of Venice on the French Riviera.
How to get there: Book your flights to Toulon Airport (50 min) or Cannes Airport (1h15 by car).
Where to stay: "Nova Lodges" located on the sea front.
Saxony Anhalt - Germany
You will fall in love with the half-timbered houses and medieval streets of Quedlinburg. If you can take beautiful walks in Quedlinburg, in particular by visiting its castle and its church which shelters the tomb of a German king of the 10th century, nature lovers will also appreciate the walks around Quedlinburg in the vast forests which surround it.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quedlinburg was a very powerful and wealthy city in the Middle Ages, it is also one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe.
During your stay in Quedlinburg, be sure to visit Erfurt, one of the best hidden gems of Germany, which in winter hosts one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. For history buffs Quedlinburg is a must-see destination as well as for architecture lovers.
How to get there: Book your flights to Leipzig (50 min by car) or Hannover (1h15).
Where to stay: "Finkenherd 5" offers accommodation in the historic town of Quedlinburg.
12. Sainte Marguerite Island
Lerin Islands - Alpes Maritimes - France
Facing the Cannes Croisette, Île Sainte-Marguerite is the icing on the cake.
Many cruises depart daily from the port of Cannes but also from the Port of "Golfe-Juan" and "Juan-les-Pins" towards Sainte Marguerite Island. Largest of the Lerins Islands, Sainte-Marguerite Island is described by its tourist office as a destination with serene beauty. A mixture of sea air, eucalyptus and maritime pines, Sainte-Marguerite Island is an ideal destination to rest, swim, walk, cycle or simply enjoy beautiful natural and wild beaches.
Two restaurants, open from April to October, make the local specialities. For a business seminar in the countryside, exceptional holidays in a 100% natural setting, sports holidays, alone, as a couple or with the family, Sainte-Marguerite is a unique destination to put at the top of your travel wishlist.
How to get there: Book your flights to Cannes (+ ferry) or Nice Airport
Where to stay: There is no accommodation on the island but you can stay opposite Sainte Marguerite Island, in Cannes.
13. Sant' Angelo
Ischia Island - Italy
Discover the pretty colourful houses of Sant Angelo during your stay in Ischia, the favourite destination of Audrey Hepburn, who was one of the biggest Hollywood stars and also the place that inspired Elena Ferrante with her famous Neapolitan trilogy “my brillant friend”.
If Ischia is an exceptional destination, St Angelo is really the perfect place for an afternoon of idleness and relaxation. Feel peckish? Stop at one of the many restaurants regularly stocked with fresh fish by local fishermen. Need to rest after this good meal? For about thirty euros rent deckchairs and a parasol for the family and spend a day at the beach enjoying the crystal clear waters (take your diving goggles, there are many fish to observe). Venture out and discover secret beaches perfect for a just the two of us afternoon. During your stay, be sure to visit the Aragonese Castle, ranked among the best Castles in Italy as well as among the best film locations in Europe.
The only way to reach Ischia is by sea. Book your flights to Naples and board a ferry to Ischia from the Port of Naples or Pozzuoli. There are ferries every day, all year round. In high season you can also take the ferry to Ischia from Salerno or Capri.
How to get there: Book your flights to Naples and reach Ischia by Ferry (daily departure from the port of Naples).
Where to stay: "Miramare E Castello" featuring panoramic views of the Aragonese Castle.
14. Zahara de la Sierra
Cadiz - Andalusia - Spain
Climb up the hills of Andalusia and discover the most beautiful "Pueblos Blancos". Zahara de la Sierra, located in the Province of Cadiz, is a must-see during your stay in Andalusia.
Want to make this stay even more magical? Come in April when the orange trees are in bloom. Their scent fills the whole region. You may be tempted during your stay in Andalusia to catch an orange hanging from a tree in the streets of Seville or Cadiz, it's a safe bet that you will have a hard time eating the whole fruit.
This variety of oranges, called "Citrus aurantium" has a terribly bitter taste and is full of seeds. These oranges are used for marmalades not for orange juice!
Book your flights to Sevilla (1h by car), Cadiz (1h30 by car) or Malaga (1h45) as well as your activities and tours in Andalusia such as a "From Seville: Full-Day White Villages and Ronda Tour".
Where to stay: "Acogedora casa rural en Zahara de la Sierra" boasting a garden and an outdoor pool.
15. St Jean Cap Ferrat
Provence-Alpes-Côtes-D'Azur - France
Take a walk along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and walk on in old Nice along the Boulevard Princesse Grace de Monaco. Stop for a while on the "Plage des Marinières" walk along the "Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild" ranked among the best wedding venues in Europe and reach Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, one of the best hidden gems in France.
This beautiful walk can be done on foot (1h30) by bike (30 min) by car or by public transport (30 min). Truly unique, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a green lung surrounded by the Mediterranean. For lazy, gastronomic holidays (we love the many beach restaurants in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat), for shopping with many high-end or bohemian chic clothing boutiques, or for nature and sports holidays, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean-Cap-Ferrat is truly a unique destination in France.
How to get there: Book your flights to Nice (15 min by car) or Cannes airport (50 min).
Where to stay: "Grand-Hôtel du cap Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel" for its award-winning 750m2 spa centre.
Basque Country - Spain
Are you hesitating between travelling to France or Spain? Book your stay at Hondarribia, one of the best hidden gems of the Basque Country. This Spanish coastal town located in the North of Spain faces Hendaye in France. Do you have a craving for Camembert? No problem, the French supermarket is 5 min by car. You want pixos, the tapas of the Basque country, no worries, they are at both sides of the border. Renowned for its gastronomy, the Basque Country is also renowned for its culture and traditions.
For a holiday immersed in Basque culture, book your flights to Donastia-San Sebastian and your accommodation in Hondarribia as well as your tours and activities such as a "Famous Local Basque Cooking Club Private Meal".
How to get there: Book your flights to Donastia San-Sebastian Airport (5 min by car).
Where to stay: "Parador de Hondarribia" is set in an impressive 10th-Century Castle.
Provence-Alpes-Côte-D'Azur - France
Discover its superb beach, go hiking, taste local products, dive, visit the "Pointe de l'Aiguille" natural park, and the Estérel massif, visit Sainte Marguerite island, there are 1000 experiences to enjoy in Théoule-sur-Mer, one of the best hidden gems in France.
With its castle by the sea Théoule-sur-mer reminds us of "Tossa de Mar" one of the hidden gems of Spain. There is everything you need in Théoule-sur-Mer for lazy afternoons with several beach restaurants including "Le Magellan", "L'Aiguille", "Le Marco Polo", "Chez Philippe". They are open all year for some and only in high season for others. We particularly appreciate the beach restaurant "Beach restaurant Moya" for its swimming pool facing the sea.
For a romantic or family holiday in one of the most beautiful destinations on the French Riviera, stay in Théoule-sur-Mer, one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
How to get there: Book your flights to Cannes Airport (15 min by car) or Nice Airport (30 min by car).
Where to stay: "Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa" offers a heated outdoor pool, a private beach and a fitness centre.
Alpes de Haute Provence - France
Look carefully at the photo. Do you see anything special? Yes, of course you see a beautiful village in Provence nestled at the foot of beautiful cliffs, but take a closer look. A star hangs between the two cliffs above Moustiers Sainte-Marie. There are many explanations to that: one of them says that a knight had sworn to put on a 12-pointed star, symbol of his family, if he came back alive from the war; another says that 2 lovers of enemy families had thrown themselves off the cliffs and that the star was a symbol of the tragedy… Come by and make up your own mind.
Awarded the title of most beautiful village in France, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is one of the hidden gems of Europe. A place to put at the top of your travel list. For a hiking trail, a day of kayaking in the Gorges du Verdon or simply to discover the beautiful village of Moustiers Sainte-Marie, its authentic alleys, its craftsmanship including its earthenware, its local products..., Moustiers Sainte-Marie is much more than 'a hidden gem.
How to get there: Book your flights to Marseille (1h30 by car) or Nice (2h).
Where to stay: "La Ferme Rose-Hotel de Charme". This hotel offers a seasonal outdoor pool.
19. Ilha do Farol
Algarve - Portugal
More than ever you want to avoid crowds, cities, and stress? The best choice is to escape for a week or two on an island, but which one ? For a total change of scenery we suggest the little-known but sublime islands of the Algarve.
Accessible by boat (crossing is easy several times a day at an affordable price) from Olhao, the islands of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve are the secret islands where to recharge your batteries this summer. Some of you will favour the "Ilha de Armona" which has a rustic campsite for simple and natural holidays on a carfree island. Want to meet the locals? We suggest Culatra Island with its small fishing community.
Restaurants and shops, are more on Farol Island. You will be amazed by the magnificent tiny holiday homes built on this island and the relaxing and lazy atmosphere . The sunsets are sublime and a change of scenery is guaranteed.
The place is so uncrowded that there is almost no accommodation except a few houses rented on Airbnb. You can stay in Olhao and take the boat trip or treat yourself to a 5-star stay at the hotel "Vila Monte Farm House".
How to get there: Book your flights to Faro (20 min by car).
Where to stay: “Vila Monte Farm House” Offers a tranquil retreat with a garden and 2 heated outdoor pools.
Split-Dalmatia - Croatia
It would take a lifetime to discover the best hidden gems of Croatia as well as to visit the more than 1000 Croatian islands and sublime hidden villages, secret beaches of this country considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Located near Split, one of Croatia's must-see destinations, Trogir is a beautiful destination where you can enjoy lazy afternoons in the shade of olive and pine trees. With its Fort, symbol of the city, Trogir and its pretty port, is a postcard destination that will appeal to lovers of hidden gems, secret and authentic destinations.
Trogir attracts experienced travellers who appreciate the blue sky and crystal clear waters but also the architectural, cultural, spiritual and even gastronomic heritage of Trogir. The walls of Trogir have seen centuries of history, battles, conquests, celebrations and defeats, history, culture and tradition. Do not miss to visit the castle of Trogir classified among the most beautifuls castles in Croatia.
Book your flights to Split (30 min by car) as well as your accommodation and tours and activities in Croatia such as a "From Split: Krka National Park Day Trip with Boat Ride".
How to get there: Book your flights to Split (30 mins by car).
Where to stay: "Apartmani Krijan" located in Marina.
Costa Azul - Portugal
The name of this destination is already an invitation to travel. Sesimbra offers unique experiences to live, artistic and culinary encounters, sporting challenges, a reconnection with nature.
Stroll with the family and discover the thousand landscapes at the "Beira-mar" the seashore in portuguese, go kitesurfing, paddling , canoeing or birdwatching. Do you have very young children in strollers, or are you a person with reduced mobility? Sesimbra is a destination that takes care of everyone and is inclusive with beaches awarded the title of "Praia mais inclusiva de Portugal", most inclusive beach in Portugal. The name of this inclusive beach "Praia Ouro" is the promise of golden and warm sand, perfect for lazy afternoons. Protected by an artificial breakwater, this beach is also ideal for families with young children because there are fewer waves and currents are milder than on other Portuguese beaches.
Want to try new experiences on holiday? Ditch your swimsuit and try Sesimbra's nudist beach, Praia de Meco, one of Portugal's premier nudist beaches (and one of the best places to watch the sunset).
Do not miss to taste the Sesimbra bread: it is known as one of the best bread in Portugal (and the Portuguese know how to make good bread).
Where to stay: "Refugio da Falésia" for its decoration and its magnificent ocean views.
Liguria - Italy
Did you know that “soap” in French is called “savon”. Starting from there we sought to know the history of Savona, probably the city at the origin of the word "soap" as Bologna is at the origin of "Bolognese" and Parma of "Parmesan" but no, “soap” is “sapone” in Italian, so let’s forget about it and talk about Savona, one of the best hidden gems of Liguria and Italy.
It looks a bit like "Cinque Terre" and is not located so far from this postcard destination often invaded by travellers (1h40 by car).
Savona is quieter, more peaceful than Cinque Terre, less touristy and more authentic too. The city has managed to preserve its old historic center and its Baroque architecture.
For those who love real places and who want to meet Italians in an attractive city, book your flights to Genoa (30 min by car) as well as your accommodation in Savona and your tours and activities in Liguria such as a "Savona: Traditional Food Tour".
How to get there: Book your flights to Genoa Airport (30 min by car).
Where to stay: "Mare Hotel" Set on Savona's seafront.