With tourism on the rise each year, people are increasingly looking to find their own piece of paradise that is yet to be overrun by tourists.
In a bid to promote some of Europe’s own hidden gems, travel site Best European Destinations has put together its own list. Topping the list of 13 destinations is the Greek seaside village of Kokkari on the island of Samos.
Peaceful and visually stunning with crystal clear waters, the island has a rich history and is known for the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus, and is also the home of Hera and the land that hosted Herodotus and Aesop.
Samos was an important trade centre in the Aegean and a major naval force in antiquity, linking people with various cultures from the Mediterranean.
“Samos is a place of overwhelming vegetation,” reads the website. “Everything around the virgin landscape is made of colour and light. Each step one takes is a revelation. Whether in the imposing mountains, such as Mt Kerkis and Mt Ambelos – with alpine winter temperatures and endless rain – or in caves and canyons, the environment of Samos reminds one of the Greek hinterland in miniature.”
Ranked second on the list of hidden gems was Italy’s Civita di Bagnoregio, followed by Rothenburg in Germany in third place.
Italy ranked highly with Positano, Alberobello, and Tellaro also featured, along with Preko and Cavtat in Croatia, Rocamadour and Menton in France, Bohinj in Slovenia, and Faial and Santana in Portugal.