As we search for quieter, unique travel destinations, why not take one of these holidays off the beaten track with these best destinations?
Depending on where you live, it could be some time before you’re allowed to visit an overseas destination. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream of where you want to go. It is a little trickier for pet owners because they won’t be able to bring their dog or cat in most cases. If it is a possibility, you might need to get CBD for pets if they find traveling tricky. You may also need to consume CBD yourself if you’re not fond of planes!
1. Pula, Croatia
Although it is the biggest city in the Istria County region of Croatia, Pula is still small on a global scale. With fewer than 60,000 inhabitants, it is often overlooked in favor of Split and Dubrovnik. However, Pula is a beautiful seaside city with a splendid mixture of Roman and Croatian culture.
The Romans conquered the Istrian peninsula in the early second century BC. Pula achieved colonial rank amongst Roman territories during the 40s BC. It took the wrong side in the Roman civil war by choosing Cassius. Once Octavian became the first Roman emperor, he had the town demolished. However, his daughter, Iulia, had it rebuilt. The magnificent Pula Arena, a Roman amphitheater, was completed in 68 AD and remains one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks today.
Pula depends on shipbuilding, but that is an industry on a steep decline. As a consequence, the city is beginning to increase its tourism sector. However, it still attracts significantly fewer people than the likes of Dubrovnik. As such, it will probably retain off-the-beaten-track status for several more years.
Ensure you bring sunscreen if you visit Pula during the summer, as its temperatures can reach the low 80s Fahrenheit. The city has some beautiful beaches, and local produce such as Kumparicka Cheese and Trapan Wines is well worth trying. Apart from the Arena, there is also the Pula Forum and a host of mosaics for history lovers. It remains a relatively inexpensive place to visit, though that will inevitably change as it becomes more popular.
2. Valetta, Malta
The capital city of Malta isn’t exactly a small town; its metro population is almost 400,000! However, Valetta itself has a population of less than 6,000. Hardly a surprise since its area is just 0.61 square kilometers! Even so, there is a huge amount to see and do in the city. It was the joint European City of Culture in 2018 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Jean de Valette founded the city in 1566, but sadly, he died two years later before seeing the city’s completion. Today, Valetta offers a combination of cultures, including Arabic, British, and even Roman. Since it’s such a small city in terms of area, it doesn’t take long to go from one attraction to the next. This will significantly reduce stress and also enable you to spend longer in any given location.
Valetta is known for its collection of boutique guesthouses, which means there’s an excellent chance of finding somewhere memorable to stay. According to visitors, the city provides you with something unique and beautiful around virtually every corner. The limestone streets make for a wonderful postcard opportunity, and every so often, you get the fleeting feeling that you have gone back in time.
3. Brasov, Romania
A significant number of tourists head to Bucharest if they elect to visit Romania. However, the nation’s capital is often overrun with visitors eager to see incredible sights such as the gigantic Palace of the Parliament.
Although Bucharest is a great place to visit, so is Brasov, and you won’t have to fight through huge crowds. Brasov is located in Transylvania, with a population of over 250,000. It is a major part of the region’s history and is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians.
There is evidence of human activity in Brasov dating to approximately 9,500BC. During the Middle Ages, the city served as an important trading route linking Western Europe with the Ottoman Empire. However, it was only in the 20th century that Brasov began to grow. Its population rose from 34,000 in 1900, to 84,000 in 1941. By the early 1980s, it exceeded 330,000.
4. Sperlonga, Italy
With hilly streets and winding roads, this little town is the perfect place to escape to in Italy. This town does make for a lovely day trip from Rome but why not spend a few nights here to relax and unwind.
You can visit gelato bars and pizzerias without the many, many tourists that head to Italy each year. You can enjoy the soft sandy beach or visit the caves such as Grotta Delle Care. Take a stroll in Sperlonga Old Town to appreciate the gorgeous whitewashed houses and small alleys, making for perfect pictures. Visit Emperor Tiberius’s Palace and the archaeological museum before trying the specialties of the area; pizza and seafood.
Known as the city of a thousand windows, Berat is home to pretty cottages perched along the hillside. Berat is a cheap destination to visit too, meaning you can enjoy plenty of meals and drinks out, perfect for relaxing evenings.
You will want to spend at least 3 nights in Berat to see the sights and enjoy the city; it is a compact city so you can see most sights in just a few days.
Climb to Berat Castle for incredible views of Gorica Quarter then visit the church of the Holy Trinity. Explore the museums, see the ruins of Berat’s Red Mosque and eat traditional food in a local restaurant.
Why you should visit an off-the-beaten-track destination?
There are so many reasons to visit these off-the-beaten-track destinations in Europe. They are often much cheaper than other cities on the continent, they are quieter and offer a taste of Europe without the tourists.