I enjoy seeing where my fellow travel enthusiasts are, where they’ve been, what they did there. Living vicariously through others’ journeys is an effortless way to absorb so much more of the world. I know that I might never make it to some of those destinations – I might be too unfit for some experiences, some places might just be above my pay grade – but that doesn’t stop me from constantly adding elements to my bucket list. The Lonely Planet way is to find the unfamiliar, even in destinations that you’ve been to before. Finding the unusual adds a fillip to an exploration, and it is aspirational and inspirational.
In this Hidden Europe special, we know we’re going to get you to look at some familiar destinations with new eyes – are you ready to be frightened out of your wits in Switzerland? To follow in Napoleon’s footsteps in Southern France? Have you even heard of an island called Salina in Sicily? We hadn’t! Would you have imagined that Finland could be hot? How cool is it that these classic European destinations still have unexplored corners to pique our interest, especially at a time when many time-honoured sites are being regulated to avoid over-tourism. The best part? You don’t have to drop everything and go now – these are secrets that have endured and will continue to do so. Because that is the way with our planet – it always has something up its sleeve, and it’s waiting to show it to you.
– Primrose Monteiro-D’Souza