Visiting Europe? There are so many great places in the world you could visit, but nothing gives you such a unique experience as visiting a rural area does. We present you the 6 best rural places to visit in Europe.
1. Asturias and Cantabria in Spain
Have you heard about the famous cave paintings in Spain? Well, this is where they are located. Asturias and Cantabria are regions between the cities of Gijon and Santander and are well known for their cider, so don’t miss to visit one of many Cider Houses and try this if you are visiting.
They also have a widely popular Cabrales blue cheese, which goes great with the cider which simply have to try. The famous cave of Altamira, famous for Upper Paleolithic cave paintings of humans and animals is located in this area,. There are also other less known but just as amazing caves you could visit in the area.
You should also visit the National Park of Sierra de Covadonga to see the beautiful mountain lakes the park is famous for. Or, Ribadesella port located close to the caves of Tito Bustillo where you will find lots of amazing restaurants and have a chance to try local cuisine. Make sure you try fish dishes since this region is famous for them.
2. Schist Villages in Portugal
Located in central Portugal, the Schist Villages are one of the best rural places to visit in Europe. They got their name from the rock schist, a material from which almost all of the houses in this area are built from. This area is simply beautiful and it is a great choice if you’re an outdoor type of person.
Some beautiful hiking trails as well as some of the best mountain biking spots in Portugal are located here. The nature is absolutely breathtaking, so that alone is a reason enough to visit the Schist Villages. And of course, don’t forget to try the local cuisine, since this is the place where you can find some of the best central Portuguese specialties. So, if you want to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature, Schist Villages might be a great choice.
3. Provence in France
We’ve all heard of it, it’s the beautiful wine region in France, adjacent to the Italian border. It is a beautiful and romantic place that you have to visit at least once in your life. It is best known for its cuisine and the wines. Provence is famous for some great sea food dishes and you will find the famous herbs of Provence in almost every meal. It is a mixture of dried herbs widely used in this cuisine and it’s what gives it its recognizable taste.
The wines are a story for itself. You can choose between a huge number of wines to find something for your taste. Don’t miss to try the Pastis, a traditional liqueur flavored with anise. Apart from cuisine, wine and the beautiful nature, Provence is a home of the wonderful city of Avignon which is classified as World Heritage Site. If offers a great number of wonderful museums to see and the beautiful Notre Dame des Domes cathedral.
4. Val Chisone in Italy
This is not a very well known region, located in the north-western part of Italy . It is actually one of those beautiful little hidden treasures that locals jealously keep to themselves. It is crossed by a stream Chisone from which it got its name. This is a perfect site for hiking, mountaineering, skiing and mountain biking, since it located in the Alps. Val Chisone is also a home to many museums and the wonderful Fenestrelle Fortress.
The fortress was built in 1728 and it is the only Piemontese fortress to survive the Napoleonic period. Its look provided it with a chance to never fire a single bullet and still change the course of history. It was one of the most notorious prisons during Napoleon’s time and it inspired Alexandre Dumas to write his famous The Count of Monte Cristo. The fortress is also a home to the longest covered stairway in the world with 3997 steps.
5. Pfalz (Palatinate) Wine Region in Germany
It is located in south-west Germany, it is the second largest producer of wines in Germany and it is among the 5 best rural places to visit in Europe. If you are into fine wine, interesting cuisine and some beautiful villages, the Palatinate Wine Region might just be your cup of tea (or glass of wine in this case). There are a lot of festivals going on in this region, especially during the harvest time, so if you’re a festival type of person, look them up and plan your trip according to this.
You can choose between wines made of 45 white and 22 red grape varieties and you can either drink it pure, or mixed with sparkling water in what they call “Schorle.” You can also visit the beautiful UNESCO Biosphere reserve Palatinate Forest and enjoy some hiking or mountain biking. Or you can visit one of several wonderful castles in the forest, among others Hambach Castle or Berwartstein Castle. In any case, you will enjoy the beautiful nature, some fine dining, peace and tranquility.
6. The Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Firstly, it offers some of the most stunning natural scenery in Europe, with rugged mountains, vast expanses of moorland, and beautiful lochs and rivers. You can explore the stunning landscape on foot or by bike, taking in the fresh air and beautiful views.
The Scottish Highlands is rich in history and culture. It is home to many historic sites, including castles, forts, and ancient burial sites, as well as traditional Scottish towns and villages.
The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer, golden eagles, and red squirrels, making it a great destination for nature lovers.
Visitors can enjoy traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties, and Cullen skink, as well as locally brewed beers and whiskies.
Seeking out rural areas while travelling or taking a trip can be incredibly rewarding. You will have the chance to live like a local, while learning about the ancient traditions of the country you’re in, and have a completely different experience to the one you would be having staying in a city-centre hotel.
Read on to find some benefits and drawbacks about travelling in rural areas.
If you’ve already been to one of these places, please share your opinions and experience.