4 Favorite Small Towns in Europe

Off the Beaten Path, But Worth Visiting

Author: The Traveling Professor/Tuesday, January 8, 2019/Categories: Italy, Norway/Iceland/Denmark, Ireland & Scotland

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Through our travels around Europe, we love to uncover those off-the-beaten path jewels, some of which it is hard to find nary a tourist. Here are The Traveling Professor's favorite small towns in Europe:

Flam:  It's a tiny little town sitting at the foot of the mountains at the end of a fjord.  Probably the most beautiful place on the list, we go there every time on our small group tour to Norway.  The Fretheim Hotel is one of my favorite places to stay.  Get a room with a terrace and a fjord view and you'll want to stay forever.  Most people only stay a night, but we stay for at least 2 nights to enjoy the hiking and the Fjord Safari.  Did I forget to mention the spectacular Flamsbana train ride it takes to get there?

Bassano del Grappa, Italy: We did a small group tour to Italy that included Venice, Florence, Rome, and Amalfi Coast.  I practically had to bribe our travelers to do a quick day trip from Venice to Bassano del Grappa.  You know what?  If you ask people on the trip what was our favorite stop, I would say more than half of them would pick Bassano del Grappa.  Why?  It is one of those uniquely Italian towns where shops still close for lunch.  It is at the foot of the Dolomites with an icy river of melting snow running through it.  There's never a problem in getting a prime spot with a wonderful view to enjoy a 3 euro Aperol spritz.  Leave the crowds behind and enjoy a day in Bassano.

Borganes, Iceland:  One time, after doing a small group tour to Iceland, we decided to do a trip to the remote Snaefellsnes National Park.  On the way, we stopped in quaint Borganes and drove into town for lunch.  It only has a population of about 2,000 people but there is a Heritage Museum that serves a great bowl of Icelandic lamb soup.  On a clear day you can see forever here, all the way from the mountains to the sea.

St. Andrews, Scotland: Well, maybe it is a little bit bigger than a small town, but it is one of The Traveling Professor's favorites. The University of St. Andrews is one of the most prestigious (and beautiful) schools in Europe.  On our small group tours to Scotland we always visit as well as take a walk on the famed St. Andrews Links.  The ruins of St Andrews Castle and Cathedral invoke the history of Scotland, especially if there is a bit of rain falling.   

 

 

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