With almost 50 countries, hundreds of cities and a mind-boggling array of natural destinations, Europe has endless possibilities of places to explore, sights to see and delicious foods to taste however one of best ways of getting a true sense of European life is by heading to the fairly off the radar places. From Italy to Iceland, there’s a whole array of amazing places to visit that are fairly far from the madding crowd…

10 Off The Radar European Destinations To Visit This Year (1)

Take a look at Europe’s most stunning off the radar destinations to visit this year:

1.) Faroe Islands

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This small archipelago is situated in between Scotland and Iceland with strong connections to Denmark. Faroese nature is as dramatic as you can expect; dramatic cliffs, dramatic lakes… dramatic everything! The islands are nature lovers paradise.

2.) Isles of Scilly, England, United Kingdom

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The Isles of Scilly is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. These almost tropical islands are warmed by the Gulf Stream currents from the Caribbean, giving it a warmer climate than the rest of the UK. Filled with white sandy beaches, palm tress and unspoilt nature, the Isles of Scilly are the perfect if you want to explore an unspoilt slice of UK life at a relaxed pace. You can even snorkel with seals! 🙂

Inspired to visit the Isles of Scilly? See more of its stunning islands during a one-week travel itinerary.

3.) Gdańsk, Poland

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This quaint sea-side city in northern Poland is a wonderful place to spend a weekend exploring the heritage, delicious food and charm of Poland. Travel here to enjoy its historical allure and learn much more about the cities prized possession, amber.

If you’re thinking of visiting, take a look at some of the best things to see and do in the city right here.

4.) Stromboli Island, Italy

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This small volcanic island is just off the north coast of Sicily in Italy (not to be confused with Scilly, in the UK). Complete with a picturesque fishing village this island is best visited in summer when day trips leave from the mainland and Sicily. Discover its small island charm, fishing community and dramatic landscape that basks in the sunshine of the mediterranean.

If you’re visiting Sicily, take a look at our post on spending a weekend in its biggest city, Palermo.

5.) Dyrhólaey, Iceland Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (15) Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (16)  Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (11) Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (12) Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (13) Dyrhólaey, Iceland - A Photo Diary... (7)

About 5 hours drive from Reykjavik is Dyrhólaey, situated in a South Easterly direction from Iceland’s capital city. Not only is this area of Iceland perfect for nature lovers, it’s one of the best places to view the Northern Lights. Almost total blackness and limited light pollution make this area a stunning backdrop for the light show overhead.

Visiting Iceland? Take a look at our comprehensive plan to visit the island in 5 days. Not sure what you need to pack? Then read here.

6.) Bratislava, Slovakia23 Sights You Have To See in Bratislava! (27) 23 Sights You Have To See in Bratislava! (29) 23 Sights You Have To See in Bratislava! (33) 23 Sights You Have To See in Bratislava! (34) The Cheapest Cities In Europe That You Need To Visit! (2)

This Eastern European capital city is a picture perfect place to explore a little slice of Slovakian charm. Wander through its cobbled streets and grab some hot cocoa and roasted butter corn. Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Bratislava and Devin castles.

Want to visit Bratislava? Read more on what to do for a weekend in the city, here.

7.) Lake Bled, Slovenia

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Nestled within the Julian Alps of Slovenia, Lake Bled is arguably one of Europe’s prettiest lakes. Head to the northwest of this small European country and explore the pristine nature of the Carniolan region.

8.) Bornholm, Denmark

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Bornholm is small danish island that sits within the Baltic Sea. Take a ferry to this island or travel directly from the amazing city of Copenhagen. A perfect little island that’s regularly missed when travelling around the Baltic Sea.

9.) Portmeirion, Wales, United Kingdom

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This stunning Italian town is actually not in Italy at all but nestled in Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Famed for its beautiful architecture, Cambrian views and relaxed charm, it is the perfect place to spend a day (or a few nights in the towns hotel) while eating gelato and enjoying its surroundings.

10.) Montepulciano, Italy

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Montepulciano is a medieval town perched high in southern Tuscany. Take a wander around its independent craft and arts shops while sipping on some of the regions award winning wines. Standing over 600 metres high, you’ll also have some stunning views across the Tuscan countryside. Bellissimo!

Visiting Italy? Don’t forget to include these 23 places on your trip.

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  • Kayley Nammari

    I never knew about Stromboli Island and have now added it to my every growing list of places to explore! Thanks! Also, isn’t Dyrhólaey, Iceland east of Reykjavik, not west? I’ve been, it’s other-wordly.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s wonderful in Dyrhólaey isn’t it Kayley. Even the drive across from the ‘mainland’ area is stunning! When we visited it was icy cold but so sunny – such a great place we totally agree. 🙂

      Yep, it’s definitely East – typo central ‘About 5 hours west from the Reykjavik is Dyrhólaey on the South Easterly direction of Iceland’ haha! I’m not sure why I wrote West, then east! Too much coffee haha! Thanks for pointing it out 🙂

      Lloyd xx

  • Why your every post is SO beautiful and make me feel like “I need to go there, NOW!”???
    Palm trees in UK? Amazing 😀 And this slovenian lake… So delicious! 😉

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! So glad you like it! Lake Bled is magical isn’t it! 🙂

      xx

  • So many incredible places! I haven’t heard of a lot of these, but I think I have some researching to do 🙂 Lake Bled looks stunning in the snowy setting!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, Rachel – it’s almost as though Frozen (the disney film) was set here! xx

  • Once again you guys have put together an amazing list, and I’ve added so many of these places to my travel list!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad Kate – so glad you’ve found some places you love! 🙂

      xx

  • I’ve been to 3 out of 10:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! Which is next Tanja? xx

  • THESE PLACES ARE SO INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL!
    I’ve only beed to lake bled, and oh how i wish i lived in europe!!

    x Carina

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Come visit Europe again, Carina! 🙂 It’s always even better the second time 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Wow, these places are so beautiful, I thought: ‘is this even Europe?’ Haha. I’m planning on going to Poland one day. I have never been on that side of Europe, but I hear (and see!) it’s good.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! So glad you like them Ariane. Poland is such a lovely country and you will honestly love Gdansk. It’s such a friendly and pretty city… plus much cheaper than other destinations like London or Paris 🙂

      Lloyd xx

  • Ali

    This list is awesome! Lake Bled and the Isles of Scilly look absolutely beautiful!

    alibourke.blogspot.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      They really are special destinations. So glad you like them too! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • So amazing!! ??? have you guys been to all of these places? Which one is your favorite?
    xx http://www.nuunablog.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We’ve visited the ones below, Emma. 🙂

      Portmeirion, Wales, United Kingdom
      Montepulciano, Italy
      Bratislava, Slovakia
      Dyrhólaey, Iceland
      Gdańsk, Poland
      Isles of Scilly, England, United Kingdom

      They’re all such amazing places to visit for different reasons – but if we had to choose two it would be Iceland and Isles of Scilly. Such beautiful places to explore…

      … though, we love them all soooooo much! Haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I wana go to the top two sooooo bad! I lived in Cornwall for years and years but never went to Scilly!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah – you’ll have to organise a trip to Isles of Scilly Holly. They are such a wonderful place to explore. Soooo beautiful! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Awesome post, beautiful pictures! I must confess I had never heard of Scilly. This sounds beautiful and delightfully exotic.
    My favorite destination on this list is Iceland… I’ll be going there next July and I just can’t wait.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Totally agree, Iceland is stunning 🙂 ahhh – where are you going in Iceland?

      Scilly is such a wonderful set of islands to explore! We loved every second when we were there. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I am so glad that you put Gdansk on this list along with Faroe Islands and other beautiful places! 🙂 Poland is a really beautiful country and has a lot to offer 😉

    • PS. This is very usefull post as I am planning my holidays for this year 😉

      • HandLuggageOnly

        Thanks so much! It really is beautiful – we totally agree. So glad you found our post useful too.

        Lloyd & Yaya xx