4 Hidden European Towns to Visit in 2022
With travel restrictions changing like weather, it pays to keep a list of dream destinations on hand. From villages tucked in the mountains to sleepy hamlets set on the edge of the world, here are 4 hidden towns you have to visit in 2022.
Alberobello Puglia, Italy
Nestled in the Puglia region of Italy, Alberobello is an enchanting town known for its clusters of traditional whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs. Using local limestone and ingenious building techniques, the iconic homes were constructed under the order of local rulers for the purpose of evading taxes in the 1500s. Due to their mortarless walls, the structure could be easily taken down during royal inspections, thus keeping the tax bill low.
Thankfully, many of the trulli remain standing today, which helped in cementing the town’s position as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the heritage status is often an assurance of a good time, it also draws large crowds. If you’re tired of being photobombed while posing for your new profile photo, cross over to Aia Piccola where you’ll find trulli that are real homes but without the crowd.
Unbeknownst to many, the spellbinding Puglia carries many wounds. A short 5-min drive out of town and you will arrive at the red house of Alberobello, an agricultural institute turned internment camp. Now derelict with its graffiti-covered walls, the red house is a crimson stain on the region’s history. Over the years, the attraction has been at the center of projects that would like to transform it into a museum and cultural container.
When visiting Alberobello, no trip is complete without staying in a trullo. Click here to book a stay at Tipico Resort, or here for Trullidea, two of the most highly-rated trulli in town.
Where to visit
Trulli di Alberobello, Parrocchia Sant'Antonio di Padova, Cantina Albea winery and museum
Built in 1070, Bergen is arguably Norway’s most charming town. Perched on the southwestern coast surrounded by a ring of hills (Seven Mountains), Bergen boasts an idyllic setting fit for the back of a postcard.
In addition to amazing sights, Bergen happens to be one of the leading cultural destinations in the country. One of the must-visit attractions is of course the instantly recognizable Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf. Chock full of workshops, studios, and boutique shops, an afternoon spent exploring old merchant houses and charming alleyways will be hours you’ll never forget.
Like all cultural hubs, beautiful museums constructed for various purposes can be found peppered across town. From the Grieg Museum that commemorates the life and work of the famous composer Edward Grieg, to the old Bergenhus Fortress that details the resistance during the 1940-45 German occupation, the town is a treasure trove of historical knowledge awaiting to be uncovered. Not a history buff? Bergen is also home to a slew of arts and music events such as the Nattjazz Festival and the Bergen International Festival that you are bound to enjoy.
Where to visit
Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, Bryggen Museum, University Museum of Bergen, KODE Museums
St Moritz, Switzerland
Known for its alpine mountains and winter activities, St Moritz is a luxury resort town set in Engadin Valley overlooking the town’s eponymous lake: Lake St Moritz. If you’re looking to try your hand at winter sports, St Mortiz is the place to do it.
From gentle slopes suitable for novices to snow parks where daredevils perform gravity-defying tricks, there’s no shortage of tracks suited for every skill level. Besides skiing down slopes with sweeping views of the magnificent mountain range, you have a selection of alternative winter sports such as cricket on the frozen lake and bobsleighing.
When summer rolls around, St Moritz takes on a different form, ripe for a new variety of activities. Snowy downhill ski trails make way for running routes as icy plains reveal open meadows beneath. For outdoor activities, go on a hike, or grab a rod and hop on the fly fishing trend. If you’re fascinated with the arts, head over to St Moritz Bad and the village centre for some of the best galleries you’ll ever see.
Where to visit
Lake St. Moritz, Piz Nair, Segantini Museum, Chesa Futura
Clinging to the Julian Alps foothills, the mere mention of Bled brings to mind a fairy-tale church steeple perched atop a tiny island on the glacial lake. In recent years, Bled has become increasingly popular with solo and family travellers looking for a quiet getaway. Against a backdrop of stunning mountains, the town exudes an old-world charm that invites every weary urban traveller to relax and rest. While small, Bled town is a lovely place with many dining and accommodation options.
For an incredible view of Lake Bled and the island, head over to Bled Castle. Perched on a craggy cliff high above the lake, the castle is the oldest castle in the country. More than an architectural treat, visitors can also learn about printing works, meet the Castle lord, and participate in an archery tournament. For the outdoor enthusiasts, hop over to Vintgar Gorge, a 1.6km scenic trail that leads to the Sum Waterfalls just 4km outside of town.
Where to visit
Triglav National Park, Lake Bohinj, Bled Castle, Church of the Assumption