Europe might be best known for cities and culture, but the natural world has a lot to offer too. While getting coffee in a city centre café or eating local food in a quaint restaurant as the sun goes down are of course excellent reasons to see the continent, more and more holiday companies are catering to those who like their exploration a little more rugged and wild.
Accordingly, we’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful places you can visit, from Ireland all the way to Greece. Read on to learn more.
Greece’s Melissani Cave
Also known as the Cave of the Nymphs, this popular tourist attraction is full of legend and mystery. The fascinating rock formations here are some of the most beautiful sites on any of the Greek Islands. Holiday companies often make a trip through the caves a key feature of tours around the Ionian Sea, and visitors are always amazed at the sights.
The crystal clear water lends a ghostly effect as boats seem to glide through the air, and while there are 3.5km of underground passages to explore, the main attraction is without doubt an opening where the collapsed roof allows sunlight to shine down, reflecting off the water and dappling the rocky interior in light.
Top Tip: Purchase worldwide travel insurance cover before you go to explore safely.
Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park
Those who know their history might be surprised to see the sheer natural beauty of the Balkans. Long a site of conflict, the increasingly settled region has become a favourite destination for adventurers to explore.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is among the Balkans’ best spots – over one million visitors flock to the region every year to hike the Karst Mountains and appreciate the gorgeous scenery which sees rivers, streams and waterfalls linking 16 lakes together.
Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher
At the other end of Europe where the western edges of Ireland drop into the Atlantic, these astonishing, sheer cliffs stand tall. The formation is over 300 million years old and rises as high as 200m above the water. The rock gets its name from a fortress that dominated the coastline in the eighteenth century.
Back on the mainland now, for a place so magical you’ll struggle to believe your eyes. 400m below the surface and stretching 42km from one end to the other, Eisriesenwelt is the largest complex of ice caves on the planet.
Top Tip: With hiking becoming increasingly popular worldwide, travel insurance is vital. Remember, you’re better safe than sorry.
Portugal’s Duoro River Valley
We go from an ethereal space where humans once feared to tread to one where they’ve cultivated wine, olives and more for over 2,000 years. Visitors can mix exploration with culture as they wander the luscious valley and enjoy its produce in the Portuguese sun.
Before You Go
Before you head out into the wilderness, make sure you invest in a comprehensive worldwide travel insurance policy. You’re not really descending into a world of ice giants or spurned nymphs, of course, but it’s still a good idea to be protected!
We hope these picks have given you some ideas for a European holiday off the beaten track – why not choose your favourite and explore further? Whatever you do, just remember to purchase worldwide travel insurance first.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in single trip, annual and worldwide travel insurance. The company offers great deals for various travel insurance policies, so clients can always rest assured that they’re fully protected no matter where they travel.