Planning a trip to Europe? Whether this is your first or a return venture, you will not be disappointed traveling to these less-known landmarks. You will be awed, you will be off the beaten path and you will have adventures your friends will be envious of.
Rioja Alavesa, Spain
The Rioja Alavesa Wine Route offers you the tours of wineries in the region and much more. Throughout the year there are fairs, exhibitions, car rallies and marathon races. The area is known for its deep musky Rioja wine and for its landmark modern architecture. The land has a rich history that is seen through many found remains that date back to the Bronze Age.
Vezelay is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for the eleventh century Romanesque Basilica of St. Magdalene and one of the most underrated attractions in Europe. Legend has it the basilica was built to house relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene brought to Vezelay by the Benedictine monk, Baudillon. The Basilica has been a pilgrimage place for hundreds of thousands of followers.
Beyond this, the beauty of the Vezelay Abbey is said to rival Chartre Cathedral, and the village, being set into a hillside in Burgundy, is one of the most picturesque in all of France. The surrounding countryside is home to France’s burgundy wine country.
Twenty miles north of Stonehenge lies one of the eeriest Neolithic monuments in Europe: Avebury. It consists of multiple concentric circles of stone constructed around 2600 BC, amid which the medieval village of Avebury grew. Archeologists assume the purpose of the stones and placement to be ritualistic.
Thanks to a collaboration with the BBC a few years ago, Avebury Mansion has been restored with a museum for exploring the monument. Visitors can re-experience the BBC series the Manor Reborn, tour the Mansion and the Gardens, and experience the Stone circle that borders the edge of the Mansion Property.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
On the north end of the Danish Island of Zealand lies Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. The museum prides itself on its interface of art, nature and the museum’s modern architecture.
Louisiana Museum has one of the largest collections of modern art in Scandinavia and includes artists from Picasso, Giacometti and Dubuffet to Warhol, Rauschenberg and Guston. They have a tradition of cross-cultural exhibitions and of large, international photo, design and architectural shows. The museum looks across to view Oresund Sound to Sweden, along with Hamlet’s Elsinore Castle, the summer home of Danish royals-Fredensborg Slot and the many beaches and cliffs all nearby.
Culture is the word that comes to mind when one mentions Dresden. The city has three major landmarks and many more minor ones too numerous to mention: Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, and the Church of Our Lady. For 700 years Dresden has been famed for its music and the calendar year round is packed with musical events from international festivals like the International Dixieland Jazz Festival to theatre and dance happenings to the famous Semper Opera Ball. Christmas is a special time in Dresden as it is home to the oldest Christmas Market, Striezelmarkt, first documented in 1434. No other place has the lights, sounds and tastes of this one.