If you’re looking for a European summer experience unlike your stock standard landmark hopping extravaganza, boy have we got a list for you.
Lonely Planet has released its top 10 European destinations for those looking to dodge the crowd and experience something truly immersive.
From Italy’s foodie heartland to the spectacular wild landscapes of northern Spain, the original travel authority has scoped out the best experiences in it’s annual Best in Europe list, revealing their pick of the most exciting and underrated destinations to visit across the continent.
This year’s list directly tackles the hot topic of ‘overtourism’, aiming to inspire travellers to discover some of the best lesser-visited regions, alternative city breaks and hidden gems, beyond Europe’s busiest tourist hotspots.
Emilia-Romagna in Italy takes the top spot as Europe’s number one destination this year. The Italian region is often overlooked in favour of more popular regions like Tuscany, Campania and The Veneto, but is increasingly carving out its reputation as the nation’s number one destination for food lovers.
The birthplace of ragù, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese, its foodie legacy can be explored at Bologna’s newly opened FICO, the world’s largest culinary theme park, while new cultural openings in Ferrara and Rimini (which can now be reached by direct flight from the UK) provide even more for visitors to get their teeth into.
Also making this year’s Best in Europe 2018 list: the Spanish region of Cantabria, a land of wild, sandy beaches, mist-shrouded mountains and enchanting villages; Scotland’s Dundee, a city reinvigorated by new cultural openings including the newest branch of the V&A; and Friesland in the Netherlands, a region of beguiling landscapes whose lively capital Leeuwarden is this year’s European Capital of Culture.
Without further ado, feast your eyes on this year’s list:
For more information on each location, check out the full list here.