At SafeScore, we have nothing against big cities, and big tourist hotspots – we’re a fan of all travel. But, sometimes its good to discover the slightly-less-known, avoid the crowds, and head to the smaller cities.
These are some of our top picks.
If you’re visiting Italy, and want beautiful piazzas, excellent seafood, and aquamarine views, then Trieste will be your spot. Perched on the Adriatic coast, Trieste, is almost entirely surrounded by Slovenia, so you could add another country to your itinerary. As a result of its geography, its cultural history is a melting pot of history, with influences from Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Greece and more. The city was once a great seaport, as is demonstrated by it’s grand waterside architecture. Now, however, it plays a different role. Once you’ve finished playing the tourist, you can admire the rows of elegant white yacht gently bobbing on the water while you sip on your Aperol Spritz.
Located in southern France, and just northeast of Toulouse, is the river-side town of Albi. Infrequently discovered by the usual tourist, Albi offers a picturesque and fascinating visit, without the crowds. The world-renown artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was born here in the 19th century. Dive into a world of Belle-Epoque cabarets and circuses at the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. Next door you’ll find the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The episcopal city is a marvel of gothic renaissance architecture, towering over the banks of the Tarn River. Venture further out of the city, and meander through the region’s vineyards, or, take a leisurely boat cruise down the river and see the city from another angle.
São Tomé and Príncipe
Just 6 hours flight from mainland Europe are Africa’s answers to the Galapagos Islands. São Tomé and Príncipe are located on the equator, and serviced by direct flights from Portugal, Ghana, Angola, and Gabon (under usual circumstances). Once you’ve arrived, you’ll find looming volcanic mountains, flocks of endemic bird species, and waterfalls and lakes hidden by the rainforest. One third of São Tomé, the main island, is a national park, making it a unique destination and offering visitors plenty of activities. If you need to unwind, the islands have many fabulous beaches, and the rich marine life will keep you diving, or snorkeling for hours.
The Faroe Islands
If you fancy dramatic landscapes, a sense of mysticism, and plenty of outdoor activities, then head to the Faroe Islands. Out in the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean, these 18 volcanic islands will transport you to another world. The lush green valleys, and turf roofs of the houses will make you think you’ve stepped into J.R.R. Tolkien‘s imagination. Precipitous cliffs thrust waterfalls into the sea, and hiking trails will lead you to panoramic views over lakes and mountains. After a day battling unpredictable weather, relax and enjoy the local music. The haunting ballads are a deeply rooted element of the Faronese culture. When the hiking has given you an appetite, try the local gastronomy scene, which is gaining world traction.