5 unexplored destinations in Europe that should be on your summer getaway itinerary

This year, give the tourist-frequented haunts a skip.

Harper's Bazaar India

We’re midway into March, which means it’s the ideal time to get a head start on your summer plans. With everyone flocking to Europe to escape the intense heat of the subcontinent for a milder climate and promise of impressive architecture, pristine beaches, and scrumptious food, you should be considering too. Our tip: instead of having the same old places on your must-visit list, head to these less crowded but just as beautiful gems. 

Menorca, Spain 

While islands like Ibiza, Mallorca, and Tenerife are popular among travellers, their neighbour Menorca is just as stunning, without all of the crowds or commercialisation. You’ll get undiscovered beaches, old ports, small restaurants doling out delicious Spanish fare, and quaint stays instead of raves or glam retreats. If you’re looking to get the best of both the city experience and the seclusion of beaches, then head to the island’s capital Mahon that has everything from buzzy bars to chic art galleries. 

Spetses, Greece

Mykonos and Santorini bag all the attention when it comes to Greek holiday destinations, but there are plenty of other less explored islands in the country that deserve the spotlight—Spetses is one of them. The small island is dotted with historic Venetian-style mansions and white-washed neoclassical buildings. During your time there, walk around the cobbled streets to soak in the relaxed yet elegant vibe or visit the old harbour Baltiza for its palm tree-lined boulevards and the port where you’ll spot yachts and boats bobbing in the azure waters. There are plenty of churches, chapels, and shipyards to explore too. Plus, if you need more convincing, the island was the location for the December 2022 whodunnit Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery starring Daniel Craig. 

Veszprém, Hungary 


A post shared by Krasznai_e (@krasznai_e)

Budapest might be the most popular city in Hungary but don’t give its neighbour Veszprém a miss. Also called the “City of Queens” because the queens of the country were once crowned here, the historical town has much to offer—from winding cobbled streets to pastel-hued buildings. This is the place to go for lovers of culture—it has a number of art galleries and boasts an exciting music scene. Add ancient architecture, small bustling cafes and plenty of fine dining restaurants to the mix, and a fun time is guaranteed. 

Timisoara, Romania

Nicknamed Little Vienna, Timisoara is a western Romanian city that might be similar to the Austrian capital thanks to its restored plazas and greenery, but without feeling like a tourist trap. In the city you’ll find clubs that host jam sessions, sprawling gardens, a string of museums, theatres, and more. 

Salento, Italy


A post shared by Salento_Page (@salento_page)

So many Italian destinations are popular with travellers that it is hard to imagine an undiscovered city in the country. But Salento, a region located at the heel of Italy. If a laid-back, languid vibe is what you’re seeking, you’ll find it here. With imposing  limestone cliffs made for indulging in a bit of cliff-jumping, walled gardens, and baroque architecture , there’s a lot to see and do, but even if you park yourself at one of the exquisite beaches and stare at the intensely blue water all day, we won’t blame you. 

Lead image: Visit Alaior/Instagram