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Unearthing Europe’s summer treasures

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 14 May 2024 | Created: 29 June 2023

If you’re eager to explore Europe this summer but want to try something new, why not avoid the usual holiday hotspots?

These hidden gems offer unique experiences, and will give you a different view of the continent


The picture shows the beautiful Spanish village of Calella de Palafrugell. A golden beach extends from the village into the bright blue sea.

In 2022, around 16 million Brits took a trip to Spain1, with many heading to popular tourist destinations like the Costa del Sol and Benidorm.

But what if you want to discover a new side to this familiar country?

Calella de Palafrugell – Costa Brava

This beautiful old fishing village near Barcelona is among Spain’s best-kept secrets. Known locally for its idyllic beaches and coves, it’s the perfect place to unwind and let your hair down.

Cudillero – Asturias

Located on Spain’s often-ignored northern coast, the village of Cudillero is full of colourful houses and fantastic seafood restaurants. If you want to have a go at cooking any of the delicious local recipes, buy your fish fresh from the boats around 17:00 every day.


Picture shows the medievel town centre of Bayeux, one of Frances hidden gems.

Another popular choice for Brits this summer is France. Famed for its food, culture, and history, there’s a lot to enjoy. Last year, nearly 7.5 million of us visited our closest neighbour1.

While the bright lights of Paris attract millions of us, what if you want to experience a fresh French holiday? Then look no further than these underrated getaways.

Bayeux – Normandy

Probably best known as the home of the Bayeux tapestry, this town in Normandy is well worth a visit. See the nearly 1,000-year-old tapestry depicting the Norman invasion of England in 1066, then explore the historic town centre, which has an almost fairytale feel. It’s perfect for enjoying long strolls and pausing for the occasional coffee.

Foix – Midi-Pyrenees

With its labyrinthine streets and beautiful red roofs, Foix is a magnificent French town steeped in history. The commanding Foix Castle dominates the town, offering unbelievable views once you’ve reached the castle walls.


Picture shows a fishing boat in the crystal clear waters of the Greek island of Ikaria. In the background a small village sits next to a golden beach.

Greece was another popular choice for UK travellers in 2022. Almost 4 million of us enjoyed a holiday on the Greek mainland or one of its 227 inhabited islands1. With so many places to visit, plenty of gems are waiting to be unearthed.

Ikaria – the Aegean Sea

If you want to step off the beaten path and see a less touristy side of Greece, look no further than Ikaria. This small island is home to around 9,000 locals and is one of the least visited islands in Greece. Its coastline is stunning, and the local forests offer amazing hikes. Ikarai is perfect for an authentic Greek experience.

Pelion Peninsula

Another area almost untouched by tourism, the Pelion Peninsula is a special place to visit. Learn some Greek and chat with the locals while sampling delicious traditional food. Or explore the rugged coastline and enjoy the warm, nearly empty beaches and coves.

We hope we’ve inspired you to try something new in Europe this summer. If you’re trying somewhere different, or enjoying an old favourite, remember to buy your Travel Insurance as soon as you book!

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