The must-sees are must-sees for a reason. But what about those lesser-known places? Sometimes the things you don’t expect make for the greatest journeys.
Barcelona is a bucket list city, and understandably so. As soon as you drop your bag off at the hotel, you’ll be ready to dive in. Maybe you've always wanted to visit La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, or La Rambla. Your first time in the city, these are the things you feel you HAVE to experience, right? Answer: Probably, and with reason. They’re all amazing in their own way.
But the must-sees won't necessarily be your most memorable experiences in the city. Gaudi’s work is timeless and inspiring, and witnessing it in person is an incredible experience. But the unexpected things, the surprises along the way are often what make the trip. This is why Collette travellers often seek out the unknown when they’re booking their tours.
Imagine: Catching a street performer playing your favourite ABBA song on a pan flute. Clinking glasses of cava, the delicious local sparkling wine, with someone special at a small bar you found while wandering around at night. Stopping to take photos of the amazing street art hidden around every corner. The things beyond your to-do list may just be the things that make your heart sing most during your travels.
There’s something special about a trip that’s a little more focused on hidden wonders. There’s magic when you dig into some of those items that aren’t in the first few pages of the guidebook, especially in Europe.
Once you have that hunger for hidden gems, where should you go? Consider these cities and cultural items that may not be on your bucket list, but are certainly worth the trip:
An Edgy Port City
Once the black sheep of the Provencal coast, avant-garde travellers are flocking to Marseille, which has quickly become a beacon of culture and style. Explore the walkable city on your own, plus choose to dive deep into it with a cave or museum trip.
Featured on: Collette’s Mediterranean Coastal Journey tour
Istrian Foodie Culture
The Istrian Peninsula is arguably Europe’s best, and still largely undiscovered, foodie destination. Overnight at a winery hotel, overlooking stunning vineyards. Sip on award-winning wines. Join a third-generation truffle-hunting family on their private grounds and watch their dogs in action. There’s much to do (and taste).
Featured on: Collette’s A Taste of the Balkans tour
Donegal is tucked away in the northwest corner of Ireland. It’s home to some of the country’s most unspoiled and breathtaking scenery. Over a third of the population speak Irish as their first language in this proudly independent county, where the commitment to traditional music, dance, and the art of storytelling is still going strong.
Featured on: Collette’s The Best of Ireland tour
Ready to dive deeper into Europe? Contact us today to book or learn more.