Aesthetically pleasing places to visit in Europe
We will start with a clear choice and a place I was looking at since I first monitored it; Pocitano, a coastal city on the delightful Amalfi Coast in Italy. Positano is nestled in the jaw-dropping Amalfi Coast reef, far enough away that you'll find an attempt to reach it, but enough to make the region a complete journey in itself. Around Positano you have the Isle of Capri, nearby Sorrento (which I also highly recommend), Ravello and Amalfi itself. Each of these cities is worth noting for a few days, but suffice it to say that Positano is the one who will carry the hook, line and sinker of your heart.
It is no secret that I love Belgium and still believe that it is one of the lowest, undiscovered countries in Western Europe. Before traveling to Belgium for the first time I was warned that it would be "boring", "expensive" and "not worth my time". Wrong, wrong, wrong again. Belgium is full of quaint little charming cities / towns and this is most pronounced in the city of Bruges.
Lake Como, Italy
If it is good enough for Clooney, then I am definitely interested in it. Lake Como in the Northern Lakes region of Italy feels like a world away from reality. Small towns, yacht transport, impressive villas and incredible regional cuisine are just the beginning. If you ever feel like you just want to "get away from it all", here's your chance to spend days surrounded by lakeside, colorful flowers and even more colorful locals.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole is often overlooked. While many travelers pass on a day trip from nearby Dubrovnik (in Croatia) to visit Mostar, I can say with absolute certainty that this country deserves much more than a day trip. A few years ago I spent a week with a local family in Blaug, a small town outside Mostar. Sure, it was Mostar who first caught my attention but after walking around the small country in the Balkan Peninsula, I realized that beauty is far from the scenery. It is the abundance of hospitality, food, culture and friendship that has made this country worth visiting. Do yourself a favor and stay for a while.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov takes center stage as the most attractive city in the Czech Republic and is certainly one of Europe's most favorite small town destinations. In summer, this small town, a short bus ride from Prague, is filled with travelers from all corners of the world. However, the story is very different in the winter when the crowds are long gone, with snow often landing on the city and escaping in a magical winter. Whatever the weather, this city is so attractive that there is no doubt that your breath will stop.
The Cotswolds had been on my bucket list for so long that when I actually arrived there, I felt as if I already knew the places. The area itself is in rural England and is named after a collection of small towns and estates, mostly built with distinctive local yellow limestone. The area is best enjoyed in a week of road-tripping from city to city during the summer, so be sure to plan to stay a while!
Aulanka National Park, Finland
Years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Finland, which had been on my radar for a long time, thanks to the inspiration from the Chronicles of Narnia and my unwavering desire to find such a magical place in real life. I found that in the early winter in Olanka National Park, covered in a layer of snow and slippery snow (I learned the hard way!) If you are an outdoor traveler and want to get off the grid, Lapland is perfect for doing so. A great introduction to the setting and distinctive Finnish culture as you begin to venture more north.
When you think of picture-perfect cities in Europe, Colmar is often one of the first to come to mind. Located on the eastern border of Germany to France, Kolmar has a unique blend of Franco-German architecture, culture and culinary arts. While here be sure to rent a bike and go on the open road - you will find that there are endless vineyards and bike trails at your disposal.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
As far as fairy tales are concerned, visiting the one and only "Disney castle" in real life is like fantastically pinching — as moments come. Europe is full of beautifully restored castles and many of them can be found in Germany. If you want to stick to some of your bucket lists, check out these fairy tales to visit in Germany!