The striking, fire orange sun compliments the blue horizon, along with a backdrop of pink clouds that shelters the volcano above. At least, that’s how it’s presented, if only armies of sweaty tourists didn’t ruin the view. However, there lies a more historical and authentic Greek experience, the city of Tinos. Tinos is home to an underground network of roads to protect the city from pirates. And whilst Santorini offers a volcano, Tinos offers a wide and quite alluring mountain range. Not to mention, Tinos hosts a wide array of beaches and turquoise seas, as well as historical marble statues. On your next Greek island adventure, make sure to stop by Tinos and immerse yourself in the cuisine and culture.
Instead of Amsterdam, Delft and The Hague
Now Amsterdam, Netherlands tourist capital has long been the prime location for tourists worldwide. This has caused many problems for this European hotspot with their touristy loutish behavior and destructive behavior in the red light districts. A better location to visit would be The Hague, the lesser know capital of Netherlands with its seat of Dutch government and countless, historical museums. Perhaps visit Delft, a medieval city chock full of Dutch history with museums hosting paintings from artists like Vermeer and canals or trade monuments hinting at its medieval past.
Instead of Barcelona, Valencia
Barcelona’s famous exhibits have long been tourist attractions from the past. However, recent revolts for Catalan independence have caused quite the numerous amounts of conflict. Thus, why not stop by Spain’s lesser known city of Valencia. This under the radar city boasts attractions such as an extraterrestrial-looking opera house, science museum and aquarium, as well as authentic cuisine and Michelin restaurants galore. A former Roman retirement city, Valencia has that iconic European Gothic and Romanesque architecture, as well Roman buildings and arches.
Instead of Dubrovnik, Kotor
Dubrovnik, a city in Croatia, has the same problem annually. Each year it is almost overrun by tourists that threaten to destroy its fragile architecture and sense of history. Therefore, why not visit Kotor. Kotor is accessible and as inviting as any other city in Croatia, yet it receives nearly half the tourists Dubrovnik does. Furthermore, it is home to the same amount of architectural wonders and castles, enough to please any would-be tourists. Kotor is a cultural and historical hotspot worth visiting.
Instead of Prague, Olomouc
Prague, the capital of Czechia, has been called the Paris of Eastern Europe. However, with over 7.9 million tourists arriving just last year, Prague is no longer an authentic Czech destination, a fate that occurs to many other capital destinations. So why not visit Olomouc, Olomouc is a center of Gothic architecture and museums that hosts pieces of Czech history and so does the local cuisine. It’s basilicas, paintings, and public parks also fail to attract tourists, which is a wonder on its own, without the UNESCO World Heritage site label. So in conclusion, try Olomouc on for size, and leave with a piece of Czech history in your mind.
Instead of Florence, Lucca
Florence, a famous Italian tourist destination has recently attracted over 3 million tourists, outnumbering its population of native 380,000 Italians. So why not escape the touristy crowds and head to Lucca. Lucca is home to authentic Italian culture with fresh pasta and rabbit ragus, as well as the famous Renaissance paintings of course. Don’t forget to visit Lucca’s ancient fortified walls and medieval architecture. With charming 14th century brickwork and cuisine, it’s a wonder why this isn’t Italy’s cultural capital, although one should be thankful it’s not before the tourists get ahold of it.