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Are you flying to Europe this summer and still don’t have your itinerary fully planned out?
We know it might seem like a lot to organize, especially when you’re cramming as many iconic places as possible into one trip, but it’s important not to fall victim to the increasingly common travel exhaustion.
Cities like Barcelona, Athens, Paris, London and Amsterdam definitely not to be missedbut before the burnout from back-to-back city breaks sets in as you tour Europe, why not mix it up a bit and add a smaller town or two for a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle?
Are here 4 of the most beautiful towns you can visit in Europe to take a breather this summer and recharge your batteries before the next big city:
Greece is best known for its Aegean islands, particularly the Cyclades, where party hubs like Santorini and Mykonos lead booking trends during the summer.
If you’re flying across the pond to entertain your hellenomaniahowever, you better get it right and add a little more diversity to your sunny getaway:
Mainland Greece is just as stunning, and while you won’t find whitewashed resorts cascading into the water on inland mountains, or an electric music scene, you’ll nonetheless be mesmerized by the quaintness and ancient charm of small towns like Arachova.
Located in central Greece, in the historical region of Boeotia, it is famous for its wood-engraved handicrafts and quirky centuries-old shops displaying colorful rugs and curtains.
Although it is known regionally as a winter destination due to the nearby ski facilities, it can also be enjoyed in the hot summer monthswhere folkloric events take place and tables are set up along the uneven cobblestones for alfresco dining.
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Near Arachova, tourists can visit the ruins Delphisite of the oracle of ancient Greece, with incredible views of the Parnassus mountain range.
For those who rent a car during their visit, the drive from Athens to Arachova takes just under 2 hours, making it a popular weekend getaway if your base is the Hellenic capital.
Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
Are you going to Spain this summer? You will likely find yourself heading to the popular Costa del Sol sometime.
Located within the historic region of Andalusia, it is full of resorts, beaches and is home to one of Spain’s most modern coastal cities, vibrant Malaga.
Once you get tired of swimming in the Mediterranean and socializing at those packed beach clubs, you can always take the short hour-long drive to Setenil de las Bodegas.
One of the firms from Spain white townsis a surreal whitewashed town nestled in the Andalusian hills that has gained popularity on social media for being built under a spectacular rock ledge.
The most famous street in Setenil is Calle Cuevas del Sol, where the houses are carved into the rock and a row of tapas bars and Andalusian restaurants await you.
You’ll also find a perfectly preserved medieval settlement from the Moorish era, with old stone bridges spanning a picturesque river and a fortification atop the tallest rock.
The easiest way to reach Setenil is by driving, although, alternatively, regular day tours depart from Malaga, Seville, Ronda and other larger cities in the province.
Intermunicipal buses leave from Ronda to Setenil several times a day, covering the distance of 13 kilometers in just under 40 minutes.
The south of France is commonly associated with the Cannes Film Festival, the blue waters that run along the expanse of the world famous Cote d’Azur, and the beautiful era Nice sophistication.
On any visit to the region, take a day trip to smaller, more traditional places towns in and around the Alpes-Maritimes department is an absolute necessity. OtherwiseWhen you don’t leave the city behind, will you experience the magic of the southern Mediterranean?
Forget Antibes, Frejus, St Tropez, Menton and the like – head inland to Tourrettes-sur-Loupa mountain town that most tourists are unaware exists.
It may not be the most accessible destination, with many stairs to climb, but the city is arguably one of the most fascinating in Europe, with its narrow streets and unique geography, with stone medieval houses handed down from generation to generation that seems to blend into the arid backdrop.
Untouched, with virtually no cars, zero noise pollution, and narrow 15th-century corridors unchanged since they were first designed, Tourrettes-sur-Loup serves as a rare window into life in rural France of yesteryear.
A historically overlooked country, Bulgaria is rising to prominence as one of the best alternatives to an overcrowded Mediterranean Europe this year due to its pristine Black Sea coastline, laid-back vibe, and Competitive prices.
Of course, there is more than meets the eye: away from the golden sandy beaches and bustling nightlife of Varna and Burgas, there are a hidden place foreign visitors are yet to discover.
Koprivishtitsa It’s a historic city steeped in history and packed with Bulgarian Revival architectural gems, colorful houses that have been restored since their cultural appeal was recognized, and adorable souvenir shops.
Walking around Koprivishtitsa, the only sounds are the chirping of birds on the neighboring Sredna Gora mountain, which borders the outer limits of the municipality, the chatter of curious Bulgarians you drinkand the calming, continuous flow of the creek that meanders through the heart of the city.
Koprivishtitsa can be easily visited as a day trip from Sofiathe Bulgarian capital, as it is only 1h45 away, but we recommend that you spend the night here to really enjoy the bucolic scenes, appreciate the hospitality of the locals and take peaceful walks in the surrounding nature.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com