When In Europe, Go Off The Grid

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​Discover 7 of Europe’s secrets where peace and quiet beats overcrowded streets and touristy spots.

​1. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

​A small town in southern Spain, Setenil de la Bodegas is famous for all the whitewashed built into rocks, giving the impression that they’re all tucked away under boulders. It’s quite the place to explore. Also don’t miss the remains of the 12th Century Arab Nazari Castle, and the Church of La Encarnación. Setenil de las Bodegas is between Setenil and Granada and18km north of Ronda.

​2. The Algarve, Portugal

​Located in southern Portugal, the Algarve runs along the Atlantic coastline and offers stunning landscapes and beaches. It’s not touristy at all, but you’ll find enough to see and do. The Algarve is 250km from the south of Lisbon.

​3. Perast, Montenegro

​Perast is quaint, hidden and affordable. Located in Montenegro, it’s a small coastal village and breathtaking. Apparently only 274 people live in Perast but has 16 churches. Surrounded by mountains and a bay below, it’s definitely a place to put on the bucket list. Perast is 12km north of Kotor and 80km from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

​4. Brisighella, Bologna

​Charming and almost out of a fantasy book, Brisighella is a medieval town to the south of Bologna. It is rarely touted as a holiday spot but is a stunning place. Brisighella is an hour by train or car from Bologna, and about two hours from Venice. If you’re visiting from Florence, it takes one hour and 20 minutes by car.

​5. Mittenwald, Germany

​Mountains covered in snow, beautiful houses that look like watercolour paintings and lots of beer and food – Mittenwald could be taken off a page from a children’s book but it’s only 2 hours by train from Munich, and 45 odd minutes from Innsbruck, Austria. It’s a quiet place with lots of gorgeousness around.

​6. Varna, Bulgaria

​Cosmopolitan and yet understated, Varna is a seaside resort town with a vibrant cultural scene. Plus the beaches are beautiful too. It’s about 442km east of Sofia. If you’re coming in from the capital, it will take you five hours or so by road or two hours by flight. And by the way, you cross the Transylvanian mountains on the way.

​7. Ohrid, North Macedonia

​To the western mart of North Macedonia is Ohrid, a city tucked away on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Laden with history, culture and beauty, this town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered to be the “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. Walk down the cobbled streets and absorb the beauty of the lake visit churches, soak in the landscape – Ohrid is definitely a must-visit. To get here, you fly into the capital of Skopje and take a bus ride that will drop you to Ohrid in 3.5 hours.

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