Underrated Tourist Spots – Eze, France | A location made for movies. And in fact Walt Disney stayed here several times. The area surrounding Èze was already populated around 2000 BC. Eze was subsequently occupied by Romans, Arabs and by William of Provence. An Egyptian cross inside the church of Èze suggests the village’s ancient roots, when the Phoenicians erected a temple there to honor the goddess Isis. The oldest still existing building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix from 1306. Today Èze counts just 3000 inhabitants. It’s a renowned tourist site on the French Riviera, famous for panoramic views of the sea from its hill top and for its Jardin botanique d’Èze.
Underrated Tourist spots – Cesky Krumlov | The small town of Cesky Krumlov was first mentioned in 1240. In the late 15th century gold was found next to the town and German miners flocked in. For centuries the area around Cesky Krumlov was part of various German-Austrian territories. But in 1945 – after World War II – the town’s longstanding German-speaking population was expelled and it became part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1945 and 1990 communists ruled Czechoslovakia, and Krumlov fell into disrepair. Since the abrupt meltdown of communism in Eastern Europe much of the town’s former beauty has been restored. Cesky Krumlov is now a holiday destination popular with tourists from Germany, Austria and China. The town’s most famous son is Egon Schiele. Krumlov has a museum dedicated to this expressionistic painter.
Hidden tourist spot Kotor, Montenegro | Just two hours south of Dubrovnik lies Kotor in Montenegro. Kotor is by far the best preserved City in the region. It’s nicely hidden within brooding mountains but still has access to the Adria. That makes it a coastal town located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. From April until October this hidden gem attracts tourists from all over the world, with living history in a spectacular bay. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape.
Kotor, first mentioned in 168 BC, was settled during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium. The spot has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Roman Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Acruvium in 535.
In 1979, a major earthquake hit the Montenegrin coastal area. Kotor reported approx. 100 casualties. Half of the Old Town was destroyed, and its famous St. Tryphon’s Cathedral partly damaged.
No doubt Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the world and therefore became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. It is home to numerous sights, a.o. ancient walls which stretch for 4.5 km directly above the city. Sveti Đorđe and Gospa od Škrpijela islets off the coast of Perast are also among the more popular destinations in the vicinity of Kotor. Kotor Old Town only got 1,000 inhabitants. The surrounding urban area counts close to 13,000.
How to get to Kotor
If not arriving with one of the many cruise ships you might consider Podgorica Airport an option. The Airport is 65 km away, and it has regular flights to many major European destinations. Another one – Tivat Airport – is just 5 km away, but it only connects to Belgrade, Moscow and Paris. Option 3: focus on Dubrovnik first, rent a car and take a nice ride south at the Adria coast. You will arrive in Kotor within 2 hours.
Hidden Tourist spots – Piran, Slovenia | While some tourist hot spots are simply loved to death, others still give you room to breathe. Let’s stay in Slovenia one more day. Yesterday we introduced you to Bled. Today we are exploring Piran, a location a bit off the beaten path, still very much worth a visit.
Hidden Tourist spot Piran, Slovenia
From Venice in Italy it’s a 2h 15min auto ride to Piran in Slovenia. For more than 500 years this coastal town was part of the Republic of Venice, until it got annexed by the Austrian Empire in 1797. Traces of a rich Italian history can be found throughout Piran. It was a well-known port city. Today this hidden tourist hub only inhabits 4000 residents but welcomes nearly as many tourists each day, year round. Piran charms them with narrow streets within an old town wall. At the main square, one will be greeted by the statue of the most famous son of Piran: Giuseppe Tartini, composer and virtuoso violinist. This Tartini Town Square has been built in 1894, when the inner harbour was filled in and transformed into a new town centre. Why that? By then the harbour did smell so aweful, that the people of Piran had no choice but to seal the area.
Piran is bi-lingual (slovenian and italian), situated at the tip of the Piran peninsula on the Gulf of Piran. It borders Croatia to the south. If you are about to explore the Northeast of the Adriatic Coast, consider Piran as perfect base camp.
Hidden Tourist spots – Bled, Slovenia | While some tourist hot spots are simply loved to death, others still give you room to breathe. We are right in the middle of eleven blog posts that name locations a bit off the beaten path, but very much worth a visit. Bled is definitely one of them …
Hidden Tourist spot Bled
Bled is situated at the Eastern end of the Alp Mountains. Lake Bled is famous for the picturesque Bled Island. In the 17th century a church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary was built on that island. Today this spot became one of Slovenia’s most visited by tourists and newlyweds.
Bled Castle and the Julian Alps in the background add extra charm to this picture perfect Slovenian landscape. Mountains and canyons around Bled offer a good blend of diversity for outdoor sports fans: hiking through beautiful forests, jumping down waterfalls, climbing, swimming in fresh mountain water pools, mountainbiking …
Regarding the weather: It’s kind of ok to go to Bled all year round. The region has four distinct seasons, with each one of them being charming in their own way. Bled is 35 km from Ljubljana International Airport and 50 km from Villach in Austria.