Europe is home to some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, such as France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. However, there are many other countries in Europe that are just as beautiful, fascinating, and worth exploring, but often overlooked by travelers. In this blog post, we will explore the 5 most underexplored countries to visit in Europe, where you can experience unique cultures, stunning landscapes, and memorable adventures.
Located on the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is a country that is often overlooked by travelers but has a lot to offer. With its beautiful Mediterranean coastline, rugged mountains, ancient ruins, and vibrant cities, Albania is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The country has a rich history and culture, influenced by the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, and Communists, which can be seen in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions.
One of the must-visit places in Albania is the capital city of Tirana, which has undergone a transformation in recent years and now boasts a lively arts and culture scene, hip cafes and restaurants, and colorful buildings. Another highlight is the Albanian Riviera, with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and charming villages. For history buffs, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint, an ancient Greek and Roman city, is a must-see.
Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Russia and Poland. However, this country has a unique culture, history, and nature that are worth exploring. Belarus has a rich tradition of folk art, music, and dance, as well as a fascinating history that is reflected in its museums, castles, and monuments.
One of the top attractions in Belarus is the Mir Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 16th century and features a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. Another must-visit place is the Białowieża Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe and home to many rare and endangered species, including the European bison.
Moldova is a small landlocked country located between Romania and Ukraine, often overlooked by travelers, but it has a lot to offer. With its rolling hills, vineyards, and monasteries, Moldova is a charming and peaceful country that is perfect for a relaxing vacation. The country has a rich wine-making tradition, with many wineries and cellars offering tours and tastings.
One of the must-visit places in Moldova is the Old Orhei Archaeological Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site that includes a cave monastery, ancient fortifications, and traditional Moldovan houses. Another highlight is the Mileștii Mici Winery, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest wine collection in the world, with over 2 million bottles stored in underground tunnels.
North Macedonia is a small Balkan country that was part of Yugoslavia until 1991. It has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from the ancient Macedonians, Romans, Ottomans, and Slavs. The country is famous for its traditional music, colorful markets, and delicious cuisine, which includes dishes such as ajvar (a red pepper spread) and kebabche (grilled meat skewers).
One of the must-visit places in North Macedonia is the city of Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is located on the shores of Lake Ohrid and has over 365 churches, monasteries, and other religious buildings. Another highlight is the capital city of Skopje, which has undergone a massive reconstruction in recent years and now features impressive statues, fountains, and bridges. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Mavrovo National Park offers hiking trails, skiing, and stunning mountain scenery.
Estonia is a small country located in Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea. Despite its small size, Estonia has a rich history and culture, with influences from the Vikings, Germans, Russians, and Swedes. The country is famous for its picturesque old towns, medieval castles, and stunning nature, including forests, lakes, and beaches.
One of the must-visit places in Estonia is the capital city of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage site that features a well-preserved medieval old town, with narrow cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and impressive city walls. Another highlight is the Lahemaa National Park, which offers hiking trails, wildlife watching, and stunning coastal scenery. For a unique experience, visitors can also visit the abandoned Soviet military town of Paldiski, which has been left to decay since the end of the Cold War.
Europe has many underexplored countries that offer unique cultures, stunning landscapes, and memorable experiences. Albania, Belarus, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Estonia are just a few examples of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, food, or adventure, these countries have something for everyone. So why not plan your next trip to one of these underrated destinations and experience the beauty of Europe beyond the usual tourist hotspots?