Welcome to part 4 of my Best Places to Visit in Europe series. Today, I’ll be taking you to Italian coastal villages that could’ve only existed in fairy tales, Denmark’s seventh heaven for bird watchers, and a valley in Switzerland that is gifted with amazing streams.
There are a lot of places to visit in Europe. However, what I am featuring here are great locations that you might not have heard of before. That’s why this content is perfect if you’re searching for places to visit in Europe.
In this article, I’ll take your mind to the meadows of Secena and Alpe De Siusi, the colorful coastal villages of Positano and Cinque Terre, the strange-looking river of Valle Verzasca, and the mountains and hills of the Faroe Islands where different species dwell.
Val Gardena is one of the most photogenic regions of the Dolomites in northern Italy. As a mountainous region, it is a very popular summer destination for hiking. But in winter, you will find thousands of ski resorts.
Val Gardena has thousands of hiking and walking options to do, and I highly recommend exploring this region if you have the time. I chose to do the Seceda trail because I dare say it has the most unique and unusual view. After watching some videos on the internet, I couldn’t get this place out of my head.
I got there at 8:30 am, exactly when the cable car opens, because I wanted to enjoy the place before it was full. This is a very popular destination with families so during midday/afternoon it gets quite busy. As it is easy and accessible, even for wheelchair users/baby carriages at certain points, it is a destination that attracts all types of public.
The cable car climb is breathtaking. On a clear day, you can even see some peaks in Switzerland. This is a very privileged region in terms of mountains, with beautiful views from all sides. As soon as we arrived, I took some pictures and went up the path that runs close to the railing, behind the playground on the left. Up there, you have one of the best views, with 360 of the entire valley! Right away, you will see the typical peaks that make Seceda so famous! As it was still quite early (and cold), there was a lot of cloud and mist in the mountains. The best time to shoot from this point in summer is between 11 am and 12 pm.
After the photos, just continue along the same path, bordering the grid. You will pass a restaurant on the right (which also has a cable car that only works on certain days), and you should keep going straight until the next viewpoint. At this point, you can choose to go up to the left to get a closer view of the mountains. I highly recommend it! But if you’re afraid of heights, stay away from the edge.
If you’re not willing to go on a long trail, go down, keeping to the right, and head towards the cable car you came from. As I said, you will see thousands of options for paths, and you can adapt depending on your mood and desire.
Finally, I recommend visiting the Alpe De Siusi, where you can go for a relaxing walk on a verdant meadow. Alpe de Siusi is the largest meadow in the world that sits atop a mountain. Festivities happen in summer and winter. During the sunny days, the trails are waiting for you to traverse by walking or mountain biking. During the cold days, snow covers the gentle slopes of Alpe de Siusi and invites you to use the ski or the snowboard.
There is always a first time, a first experience, and this was my first trip to Positano, a place like a movie, with which I fell madly in love. This town is perhaps the best-known and one of the most beautiful on the Amalfi Coast, and an area declared a World Heritage Site. A beautiful place in pastel colors, a symbol of the Dolce Vita that attracts many tourists year after year. And of all the places to see in Positano, I would recommend the following.
- Stairs and streets of Positano: The main tourist attraction to see in Positano are its streets, narrow and beautiful alleys dotted with pretty handicraft, soap, and limoncello shops. One of the most beautiful streets is the one that runs down from Piazza dei Mulini to the Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion.
- Church of Santa María de la Asuncion: The main temple of the town and the main monument to see in Positano is the Church of Santa María de la Asuncion, known worldwide for its dome decorated in majolica with green and yellow colors. It is a building from the year 1,200 that houses a Byzantine image and a painting that represents the Black Madonna with the Child in her womb.
A few meters from the church, you can find the bell tower built in 1707, with a medieval bas-relief in its center that represents a sea monster made up of a fox and a fish.
- Positano Beaches: The most famous beaches to see in Positano are Spiaggia Grande or Marina Grande, located right in the center of town next to the church and Fornillo beach. Both can be reached on foot. At Spiaggia Grande, you can see beautiful views of Positano from a different perspective than the viewpoints. By sea you can also reach the beaches of La Porta, Arienzo and San Pietro Laurito.
I recommend exploring Positano with a bike because you’ll see the picturesque views that come from the colorful houses of the locals, the dangling flowers on their balconies, and the steep winding roads that overlook the beaches. You will truly love this place, and that is why I recommend including it in your list of best places to visit in Europe.
I was in Cinque Terre, the mythical five villages tucked away on the Ligurian coast and listed as a Unesco Heritage Site. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the five lands (actually villages) that make up the Cinque Terre.
This is a special tourist region, surrounded by a natural landscape that seems to have come out of a movie: a stunning blue sea and hills “adorned” by colorful buildings amid terraces of olive trees and grapes used to make Sciacchetra wine.
Add to this scenery the trails that connect the five villages offer magnificent views. I visited Cinque Terre for the first time in June 2010, and at that time, I managed to hike the famous Via Dell’Amore. Unfortunately, in late 2011, a flood destroyed part of the trails, and today Via Dell’Amore is closed.
Despite being a little disappointed for not having traveled the romantic and scenic route, I can say that my tour of the Cinque Terre was not harmed. In the week I spent there, I traveled around the region by train, rented boat, public boat, and on foot. During my stay, I also came across a lot of people from all over the world, which made me realize that the lands are really one of the most sought-after destinations in Italy.
Cinque Terre also takes pride in the number of its cheap restaurants. Visit any of these, and you’ll discover that all dishes are delicious, no matter how simple. Moreover, the restaurants are always aiming to provide guests with dining spots that offer the most spectacular view of the sea.
The beaches of Monterosso, Manarola, and Vernazza are where you should go to experience the best that Cinque Terre has to offer. Soft white sands characterize these beaches. Moreover, hotels and inns don’t spoil the view that they offer. Of course, swimming is great.
The Verzasca Valley is another of the best places to visit in Europe that seems to come out of a fairy tale. Between waterfalls, the crystal-clear river of emerald color, and geographic landscapes that seem untouched, the Verzasca Valley is a fascinating place in Switzerland. There are 35 kilometers of natural landscapes, villages, bridges, and landscapes to be discovered.
Valle Verzasca’s streams interconnect and flow through the municipalities that it comprises. The municipalities feature traditional swiss houses, where the most beautiful ones are near the streams. Hotels aren’t many. However, the lodges and inns that have warm beds and neat interiors are more than enough for an excellent stay.
Setting the streams and their rock formations, Valle Verzasca is actually a rich spot for seeing the remnants of medieval culture in Switzerland. In Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, are the Castles of Bellinzona. The Castles of Bellinzona are three castles that provided fortification for Bellinzona. Each of the castles is in pristine condition and available for day tours.
Next to exploring the Bellinzona Castles is taking photos of Ponti Di Salti. The Ponti Di Salti is an old bridge that has existed since the medieval era. It’s famous because flowing under it is one of Valle Verzasca’s clear streams. It’s a great spot for taking wonderful souvenir photos. Using it as a diving platform for a fun swim on the stream underneath is also an option.
After Ponti d Salti go to the Versazca Dam. This is a huge arch dam that taps the power of the Verzasca River. This dam has a height of 720 feet, and you can try bungee jumping. If you’re afraid to do this heart-shaking activity, then there’s the bank of Verzasca River for you to explore.
The Faroe Islands is an archipelago that’s part of Denmark’s territory. It’s accessible via Scotland, Iceland, Norway, and Demark, with the first of the places mentioned serves as the nearest point.
The Faroe Islands is a famous location for its birds. More than 80,000 tourists visit these islands, comprising mostly of bird watchers who want to see the 305 bird species thriving in it.
The first place that I recommend you to visit in the Faroe Islands is the Mykines. Mykines is an island that sits on the westernmost side of the Faroe Islands. The puffin population makes this island famous. As per estimates, about 500,000 thousand puffins thrive on Mykines, and they’re more than ready to receive tidbits of crackers and other food.
After visiting Mykines, consider visiting the Dranganir Islet. Dragonair is an islet that looks like a high-heeled sandal, perfectly shaped and positioned. The journey toward this place will let you see the islands of Tindohlmur and Vagar (two islands that also look stunningly beautiful).
Before going home, take a look at the Molafossur and the Bolafossur waterfalls. These are picturesque cliffside waterfalls that are empty to the sea. Between the two, you might like Bolafossur better because hiding behind it is a scenic lake that a joyous meadow surrounds.
Traveling to any of the best places to visit in Europe listed above is worth it. Planning and knowledge about the weather, what to do, and where to stay will ensure your vacation is fabulous. Don’t worry too much about the language. Pack a good dose of curiosity and excitement and set off on your Eurotrip without fear. You will live unforgettable experiences!