Destinations / Travel

Underrated destinations for your euro summer

We're inching closer and closer toward the month-long Europe sojourn. For those with booked tickets, it's almost time to line your suitcases -and travel diaries - with a surplus of options. Euro Summer has been done to death. We've seen the aperols, the sun-decks, the red buses hurtling across the Thames. Perhaps I am writing this with a tacit bias - as this year I will be seeing Euro Summer through the realms of my favourite restaurants.

It's hard to keep the morale when the 70th story of a Parisian escapade hits your socials, (though we can't blame them, we've collated a pretty sturdy guide on where to stay ourselves) but in the most trying of times, we remain unchanged in our quest of delivering the editorial crème de la crème. This time, we're rehabilitating your Euro Summer plans.

Currently, there are over 800 cities within the European Union. The majority of these, almost 700, are small and medium-sized cities and are all worth your time. Though it would take many a Euro summer to tick them all off a bucket list, we thought we'd get you started on a handful of spots that I for one am pining to return to. Read on for our slightly off-the-beaten track guide around Europe's quieter destinations.

Sitges, Spain


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Oh, Sitges. What is there to say? By sun-up it emerges as one of Spain's sleepy, coastal towns and by nightfall it also claims the stalwart title of one of the nation's rowdier party islands. It is uncompromisingly queer-friendly, and you can sunbathe nude just about everywhere. When the sun is sinking into the ocean at the day's end, trot over to one of the promenade cocktail bar for an icy drink to cap it all off.

Mostar, Bosnia


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My trip to Mostar started with a bumpy, sweat-soaked bus ride and ended with a wade in the Krevice waterfalls. In between that, I stocked up on baklava, trotted dutifully across the Mostar Bridge where evil eye charms decorated every storefront, and made time for a pre-swim swim in the Neretva water. It neighbours the touristy Dubrovnik, and is accessible also from Montenegro. Make room to try the avjar and meat-stew pilafs.


Avignon, Saint-Rèmy-de-Provence

A short train ride from Paris will transport you to the clandestine inlands that make up the South of France. Avignon is one destination that we cannot fault. The city's cuisine is a marriage of traditional Provençal cooking and Mediterranean influences. Local markets stock plentiful produce, herbs, and seafood, inspiring dishes like ratatouille and bouillabaisse. It's also within distance of the vastly built Pope's palace, which houses the largest gothic palace in Europe.

Rapallo, Italy

Rapallo is just a shave away from the well-populated watering holes of Portofino, Liguria, and the 5 towns of Cinque Terre. The coastline you get is the same, the company is not. The town is a student-holidayer's go-to, with droves of younger Italians making their way to the city center around summer for the same reasons we do. The beach chairs are also more budget-friendly without having to fend off hordes who are looking for their own Kardashian-Barker wedding.

Koper, Slovenia


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Koper, one of Slovenia’s oldest towns, was previously an island belonging to north-western Istria. Today’s city centre is situated on the ancient island, while its current-day make up is the result of a 2000-year-long development that began as early as the Roman times. According to traditional lore, the first bishop of Koper was St Nazarius. He was born between 470 and 480 in the Istrian village of Elpidium – Boste – Boršt. St Nazarius was consecrated Bishop of Koper in 524. The year 524 thus became the founding of the city-scape Koper. It's got the narrow side streets of any respectable European destination, and a bell tower for you to climb.


Innerthal, Switzerland


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Deep in the canyon of Schwyz, you can find the bucolic scenery of Innerthal. It's nested away in a ring of green, against the great lake in the upper lake Wägital. It is ripped off the pages of Hammerstein's Sound of Music, in the sense that its pastures are so picturesque one could almost picture a nun turned governess frolicking across its plains. The bleating goats and their bells chiming in the distance could soothe any troubled soul to sleep. Also stop by at any local tavern for a hunk of schnitzel and a tankard of beer. En Guete.


Evora, Portugal

The entire town is a UNESCO-Heritage site. Yes, the entire perimeter. Cobbled streets tucked behind fortresses that have weathered millennia, and history that predates the golden age for Portugese royalty. Considering the historic city-center is located on a strip of land just half a square mile in size, there's a lot to tuck into and see without hurtling past 12,000 steps a day.


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