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Offbeat family destinations in Europe

Offbeat family destinations in Europe

Europe, Holidays, International, Kids, Travel

What do you think of when you hear ‘Europe’? Snowy peaks of Switzerland, flamenco show in Spain, shopping in Paris or maybe eating in Italy? Everyone travels to the “popular” and well-known destinations in Europe but most of us don’t know about the hidden treasures of this beautiful continent Europe has a lot to offer the offbeat traveler as long as you have the wanderlust. Here are the top 10 offbeat destinations in Europe you need to consider for your next family vacation:

  • Croatia: Live your fantasies of pristine blue waters, unexplored white sand beaches alongside ancient walled towns in Croatia. It is a picture perfect holiday, blessed with a wealth of natural beauties – a 2,000km-long rocky shore and over a thousand islands. You can immerse yourself in the beauty of these off-the-beaten-track islands, quaint coves and stone built villages. Head up from the capital Zagreb to experience the undulating hills and charming villages. Croatia is the perfect place to break-free from the mundane routine and add some novel experiences to the book of life.

Best time to travel: July and August 

  • Portugal: Its idyllic climate, verdant mountains and vineyards, glamorous beaches and medieval villages make it a haven for travelers. Head to Nazaré and experience the colour, culture and cuisine of this quaint little traditional fishing village. Nature lovers can go to São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores archipelago with volcanic islands to explore lakes, cliffs and natural hot springs. Adventure junkies can try out adrenaline pumping activities at the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Best time to travel: in spring (February) or early autumn (October) 

  • Slovenia: Immerse yourself in nature with lush valleys and trails, winding through the Alps and revel in the folk culture of the region. A must visit is Ljubljana, the capital which is packed with magnificent architecture of the Baroque period. For a change of scene, head to Bled, a fairytale town with a glassy lake, a small island in the center and a Gothic Church perched on a hilltop. Get some action at the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting of the highest hall of cavesin Europe.

Best time to travel: Between May and September

  • Belgium: Though Belgium is a relatively small country, it has a plethora of interesting places to explore. You could start off with a trip to the Blue Forest, which has a spectacular spread of blue flowers carpeted throughout the terrain. If you are looking for something more unusual, head straight to the Caves of Remouchamps, dating back to 8,000 years. And while you are in Belgium, don’t forget to indulge in some sinful waffles with whipped cream and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Best time to travel: July and August 

  • Romania: A country of contrasts, Romania is known for its quaint old towns, mountain resorts and art and culture in all its glory. Start your trip with Bucharest, a city that blends the old and new beautifully. If you want to go hiking and skiing, head out to Sinaia, a mountain resort town. Treat your eyes to the picturesque Painted Monasteries of Bucovina with 15th and 16th century frescoes.

Best time to travel: Between March and June or from September to October

  • Ireland: Called the Emerald Island, Ireland is known for its friendly people, relaxed culture, fascinating history, rugged yet romantic landscapes and of course, whiskey! You can see all these natural wonders and more at the Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough, an important monastic site and the Aran Islands, wild, rugged and absolutely stunning. The best time to visit Ireland is spring and fall.

Best time to travel: July and August

  • Serbia: A fine blend of old world charm and modern amenities, Serbia is a holiday goer’s perfect cocktail for fun and adventure. It boasts of Communist-era architecture in the capital city of Belgrade and imposing fortresses of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, all evoking images of a bygone era. Those interested in adventure sports, can head to the south of Serbia which has a plethora of ski resorts. The Kopaonik National Park, the highest mountain range in the country which is designated a national park, is a popular place to see some rare species of birds.

Best time to travel: April and June 

  • Finland: A nature lover’s paradise, Finland is all about nature, hiking and trekking around a spectacular picturesque landscape. When in Finland, you must explore the high slopes of Koli, a famous landscape known for its rugged beauty. Also, don’t forget to check out the SnowCastle of Kemi which is recreated every year and open from January to April. It has a hotel, art gallery, and chapel, where some people even get married.

Best time to travel: February and March.

  • Slovakia: Slovakia is soon gaining popularity in the tourism circuit. Check out the blood-soaked ruins of the Cachtice castle, walk around a perfectly preserved hill village in Cicmany and understand the history and culture of the place through the magnificent museums dotted all over Slovakia. It will surely be a trip that will take you back in time.

Best time to travel: May, June and September

  • Norway: The all-encompassing mountains, deep coastal fjords and floating glaciers make Norway a dramatic holiday destination. Understand the culture and ethos of the country through the museums at Oslo, the capital city. Venture out on a cruise to the dramatic Sognefjord or drive through the serpentine roads over the Norwegian Sea and walk at 2,300 ft on the ‘Troll’s Tongue’. Norway’s essence lies in its remarkable landscapes; so come and indulge in this natural extravaganza.

Best time to travel: June and July

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