A new year deserves some new ideas, so I thought I’d share some places that you should consider visiting in 2018. With individual cities and destinations I find it hard to keep the list short. Therefore, I’ve decided to restrict myself to the best regions of Europe, as each of them include plenty of stellar travel destinations. So without any further ado, in my mind these are regions in Europe you should be looking to visit this year.
There’s a reason that I’ve visited the northern region of Belgium twice in the last year. No matter if it’s history, culture, food or alcohol, Flanders is simply overflowing with things to do for tourists of all persuasions. Across the region are some of Belgium’s most popular spots like epic Bruges and beguiling Antwerp, but there’s plenty more as well.
Cities like Ghent and Leuven hold proud university traditions that guarantee to entertain you. Smaller destinations like Ypres and Tongeren reveal fascinating insights into different periods of the region’s complex history. Oh and if you like a good drop of beer, go anywhere in Flanders and you’ll be well pleased.
You can read more about Flanders:
Few regions of Europe conjure up such a spooky, gothic atmosphere than the Romanian region of Transylvania. What makes this interesting is that most people actually know little about the region beyond that. This is quite a shame as Transylvania is home to some fascinating destinations that are mostly free of tourists.
History lovers can explore grand and mighty castles like at Corvin and Peles. Nature enthusiasts have the dense mountain forests that surround Brasov to explore. Cities like Cluj and Sibiu offer a great mix of tradition and modernity that is bound to impress.
You can read more about Transylvania:
Considering its smaller size, you wouldn’t expect to come across a corner of Malta that feels untouched. Yet, there it is, the island of Gozo. Whenever I find myself talking about Malta, I can’t help but recommend spending some time on this quieter, more rustic island.
With far fewer people, there’s more countryside to explore on Gozo and its small size means you can comfortably explore everywhere on foot. From its cliffs, to rural valleys, Gozo is a delight to wander for those who enjoy the outdoors. It still has its fair share of cultural and historical sights too, with the Ggantija temples and the main city of Victoria. Gozo is well worth more than just a day trip.
You can read more about Gozo:
- The Great Gozo Guide: Everywhere You Need to Know
- Explore the Island with These 4 Wonderful Hikes on Gozo
Centro Region, Portugal
Visitors to Portugal are bound to set their sights on Lisbon and Porto, with good reason. But what’s between the two? Should you stop? Yes! Between the two superstars is an equally remarkable part of the country, Portugal’s Centro Region.
Centro region may not have cities the same scale as say Porto, but the university city of Coimbra is bound to charm those that take the time to visit. If the seaside has a hold on you, you’re bound to fall in love with towns like Aveiro and Nazare. Last of all, if you’re after the perfect place to snap your new profile picture or see an awesome fortified town, Obidos is your place.
You can read more about Central Portugal:
- Elsewhere: The Enchanting Seaside of Aveiro, Portugal
- Nazaré, Central Portugal’s Alternative to the Algarve
Most definitely the least explored region on this list, but I have a feeling that the northern Vojvodina region of Serbia is going to grow in popularity. Probably the country’s most accessible part after Belgrade, Vojvodina is amply blessed with stunning architecture and plenty of character. I’ve only just started sharing articles from my travels there in 2017 but there’s more to come.
Cities like Subotica and Novi Sad both invoke a noble atmosphere that will likely surprise visitors. The wilds outside Vrsac, not to mention the Fruska Gora National Park provide a welcome break among nature. What else lies in Vojvodina is any westerner’s guess, and isn’t that kind of cool?
You can read more about Vojvodina:
While neighbouring Tuscany is Italy’s darling region, Umbria is sorely overlooked and what a shame! This hilly region in the centre of Italy is home to some outstanding historical and cultural places. What is more, despite its size, you can still find quite the diversity among its destinations. And plenty of sumptuous porchetta paninis.
One thing places in Umbria seem to have in common though, is that you find them on hill tops. There’s grand old Perugia as it follows the contours of the hillside. Pious Assisi is quite the spectacle from afar as its many, many churches cling to the Umbrian hills. Let’s not forget, the imposing fortress of Orvieto, truly a sight to behold from below. I’d highly advise a detour to explore Umbria on your next Italian sojourn.
You can read more about Umbria:
Which of these regions of Europe have you had the chance to visit? What ones would you recommend to your fellow travellers? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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