• Posted:Friday, October 9, 2009
  • Comments: 0

Posted in: Travel
Go off the beaten track in Europe
I've always been a fan of heading off the beaten track, exploring places that many people just aren't aware of. Backpacking allows you to do this much more freely than other types of holiday, as you can just book a flight to a given destination and then explore at your leisure - finding the best hostels along the way, of course. That freedom simply isn't available if you've arranged a stay in a hotel by the beach for a few days.

But the problem with visiting unknown places tends to be finding out about them in the first place! I've got some friends who like to recommend wherever they've been on their cheap travel holidays, but I don't like to rely on this alone. That's why I was pleased to hear that the latest list of European Destinations of Excellence has been released.

The project is run by the European Union and exists to promote non-traditional tourist destinations across the continent. Perfect! National competitions are held every year to determine choices, with winners being those places that show a commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

So what can you find on this year's list? Well, a total of 22 destinations were identified and they include Ireland's Sheep's Head Peninsula. Located just off the south-west coast, it features various forts and monuments and, of course, plenty of pubs and restaurants.

If you prefer a slightly more continental flavour, why not head to Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park in France? There, you can check out sandstone and hot springs, as well as some of the world's best crystal and glass makers.
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