The ten cheapest vacation spots in Europe may not be what you expect. Most of the capitals and big cities are geared towards tourism, and you often pay for this big time. Europe still offers hundreds of out-of-the city destinations that are cheap, and just as enticing as the big cities. Savings can always be found in getting plane tickets and hotel deals together, but remember, everything is negotiable. If you want to forgo the inclusive package, it is possible to bargain for prices at the many hostels. The following list notes some of the best places to vacation that you may never have heard of. They all offer commonalities- a quaint town or small city with a distinctly old European feel, small specialty shops, castles and cathedrals, and winding brick streets.
Bolgheri, Italy- This town of about 1,000 residents is found among the Maremma vineyards. You can try some of the cities oldest wines, and nice lodging is available within a 5 mile drive south to Bibbona. The Relais Sant’Elana offers old style canopy beds, and fireplaces in each room. Rates are around $290 a night for two.
Staufen, Germany- Located about 70 miles from Strasbourg this town of 7,500 is located by the edge of the Black Forest. Wine lovers will rejoice at this destinations as vineyards dot the landscape. The town has a market place, small shops, and an outdoor wine bar. Hotels here go for about $120 a night for two.
Aberdour, Scotland- The town is not made for motor vehicles, and for good reason. Its beauty can be indulged in by taking the may walk ways throughout the city. The city is the host for the Edinburgh International Festival, but remains quiet through the rest of the year. The town contains about 1500 inhabitants and has a few pubs and a general store. Hotels are about $140 for two and dinners can be found decently priced.
Chassignolles, France- This destination is the sightseer’s dream. Dormant volcanoes dot the land and creeks run through the village. The village has a 12th century look and feel to it and is one of the most affordable places on the list. Hotel for two starts around $70 a night and specialty dinners run about $30 for two.
Getaria, Spain- Known for its exquisite seafood, this village of 2,600 is located 15 miles west of San Sebastian. The town sits by a tranquil bay, and the weather is a Mediterranean climate. Weekends are centered around food preparation. Hotels here run $150 a night for two, but expect to pay a little more for food than other destinations.
Marvao, Portugal offers a getaway atop a mountainside. The town was built around a Moorish castle and no other buildings stand over a few stories. Hotels range from $120 a night for two and dinners are relatively inexpensive. The area can be reached from Lisbon by car.
Viscri, Romania offers the most affordable and authentic destination. One guesthouse offers rates as low as $30 per person per night, all-inclusive! This town is the location of a historical preservation area, so is pretty much has the same look as it did in the 12th century. This Saxon village has a population of about 400 individuals.
Plios, Moscow offers a glimpse into the beautiful Russian architecture. The buildings are now used as guesthouses, with all the amenities of the past; wood stoves, and old Russian recipes drift through the buildings. The town of about 2,500 is 4 hours drive from Moscow. Hotels will cost around $75 per night for two.
Hall in Tirol, Austria is a bit more expensive on this list, with hotels ranging from the bottom 200’s for two. The medieval town is one of the few that remained intact and in good shape. The views of the Alps are amazing, and hiking and skiing are a few leisure activities to take part in. The drive is about twenty minutes from Innsbruck.
Hellnar, Iceland offers a glimpse of a well preserved environment based around the 11th century. The beauty of Iceland is readily apparent, with great views of mountains. In the summer mountain tours are available. Hotels range from the low 200’s for two.
These ten stops in Europe offer a view of the continent as it was in the past, and at much more affordable prices than the contemporary European cities. Before traveling to Paris, London, or Berlin, think about making stops at a few of these locations.
Travel and Leisure