There’s no shortage of popular tourist spots in Europe, with cities across the continent attracting millions of visitors every year. For instance, London is famous for its grand shopping malls while Paris is regarded as “the city of light” and romance. However, there is more to Europe than these well-known attractions. In fact, this interesting continent is brimming with fascinating places that are worth visiting. Here are 5 of our favourite spots that you may not have heard of:
This stunning city is situated on the the southern coast of Corsica, a Mediterranean island owned by France, and is one of the region’s most significant harbours. The canton of Figari borders this area on the northwest while the canton of Porto-Vecchio borders it on the northeast.
Bonifacio is known for its marine park, a nature reserve that first came into existence after Italy and France signed an agreement in 1993. The agreement is meant to protect the strait from ships that pass through it, which contained dangerous chemicals. Hence, Bonifacio remained as a reserve that flourished with beautiful fauna and flora.
The city has two sections where the “vielle ville” or the old town is overlooking the vast Mediterranean Sea. This town was on the location of the citadel, which was constructed during the 9th century. It was also renovated several times ever since its construction, and it served as the French Foreign Legion’s administrative centre. At present, the site is used as a museum.
- Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is Monaco’s administrative area, and it is also the site where the infamous Monte Carlo Casino is – the inspiration of countless films, other casinos and even the online Euro Palace casino. In addition, the name pertains to the Monte Carlo Quarter, which is a larger district. There are four different quarters in Monaco, and Monte Carlo is one of them, including Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville, and La Condamine.
Found at the Maritime Alps’ base portion and along the French Riviera, Monte Carlo has gained popularity as a gambling centre. In fact, the casino in this part of Monaco started during the reign of Prince Florestan I and Princess Caroline. The main purpose of building a casino was to spare the House of Grimaldi from the brink of bankruptcy.
By 1845, the future Prince of Monaco, Charles, commissioned Albert Aubert and Napoleon Langlois to come up with a development plan that would initiate the building of a grand casino in Monte Carlo. Hence, in 1856, the very first casino was opened to the public in Villa Bellevue. Guests can play a variety of games such as stud poker, snap, craps, blackjack, several types of roulette, baccarat and trente et quarante, to name a few.
- Porto Santo
This is a small island that consists mostly of one long beach. It’s about 9 miles long, and you can find stunning white sand that lines the pristine blue waters. What makes this area even more interesting is the fact that it is considered one of Europe’s undiscovered, yet remarkable, resorts. There are also a few restaurants and hotels nearby, but these are extraordinarily designed to impress every tourist.
Porto Santo is a part of the archipelago in Portugal, which includes Madeira island found in the Atlantic Ocean at the coast of Africa. This lovely island has volcanic sand, and it has been known for its special powers which can cure various types of ailments and aches. Indeed, tourism has been the strongest industry in Porto Santo, particularly when the first hotel in the island was built during the 20th century.
This beautiful island also boasts a grand golf course, which was designed by Seve Ballesteros, a golfing champion from Spain. In Madeira, the Porto Santo Golfe is the largest, and there is now a 9-hole golf course and an 18-hole course on the island. To make it even better, the Golf Complex in Porto Santo has an equestrian centre and 8 tennis courts.
This hidden Italian gem is one of the Habsburg Monarchy’s oldest cities. It was also among the most significant ports in the Mediterranean, and it became a large city during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, next to other cities including Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Moreover, it was also a centre of music and literature at the time of fin-de-siecle, the old century.
For a lovely day out head to “Città Vecchia” the old town where most of the area is closed to traffic. Here you can find narrow streets with medieval houses, plenty of churches, a Roman theatre and much more.
Due to its location and its role as a port town during the 18th century, it has been influenced by many different cultures. Visit this border town and you can get a taste of some old Roman and Austrian empire architecture and Mediterranean styles.
For those who are interested in exploring an area that is popular for its lush greens, gastronomy, culture and history, then Sintra, Portugal, is the place to be. It is a fine jewel of a city, located between the sea and the mountains, and it only awaits to be discovered by those who are up for a whole new different place to uncover. With the splendour and magic that Sintra holds, spending a holiday in this part of Europe is quite a dream come true.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Sintra was known for its romantic ambience. Due to its soothing atmosphere and breathtaking nature sites. In fact the city was frequented by numerous writers and artists . Hence, it is not surprising that Sintra became a significant site of Romanticism in Europe.
These are only some of the remarkable sites and attractions in Europe that are relatively unknown, yet are nonetheless impressive and well worth visiting. Next time you’re planning a trip abroad, consider paying a visit to any of these amazing spots.
Written by Gareth Monet.