Special areas of Europe worth seeing: Millions of people holiday in the European Union every year, and Paris, Milan, and Barcelona are among the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. While these are undeniably amazing cities, there are some equally great destinations that unfortunately go unnoticed.
In addition to the 27 member states of the European Union, there are 32 special territories. Some of them are the most remote regions of Europe, while others are overseas territories of former colonial empires.
6 special areas of Europe worth seeing
- Faroe islands
Self-governing but part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are located between Scotland, Iceland, and Norway. Tourists rarely pay attention to this destination, despite the fact that getting to the islands from Europe is very easy. Most visitors to the island come there in the summer when the breathtaking scenery is in the light of the polar day.
Recently, the islands have built the world’s first underwater roundabout connecting the two main Faroe Islands. The tunnels are designed to make it easier to travel from one island to another.
Of the ABC islands in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is the largest but is often overshadowed by Aruba as a tourist destination. While Aruba is more famous and Bonaire is less developed, Curaçao exists as a kind of middle ground between the two.
Curacao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has a wonderful climate and ample opportunities for a beach holiday. Curaçao is also not as touristy as many of its Caribbean neighbors, so if you’re looking for a place without the crowds, this is the island for you.
Reunion, is an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is an overseas territory of France but has much in common with the neighboring island of Mauritius, an independent sovereign state.
However, while Mauritius is a hiker’s paradise where you’ll see the sun, sea, and sand, Réunion has more to offer for the adventurous traveler. It is also smaller and quieter, with fewer tourists per year.
If you want to combine a relaxing holiday with active activities, a Reunion may be your best choice. One of the main attractions of the island is Piton de la Fournaise, a huge shield volcano and one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Enjoying the view from afar or walking to the edge of the crater – the choice is yours.
- Saint Maarten / Sint Maarten
Saint Martin Island is located east of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea. It is divided into two parts: the northern 60 percent of the island is the French overseas territory of Saint Martin, and the southern 40 percent is Sint Maarten, an area that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is the smallest island in the world, divided between two countries.
Saint Maarten is less developed than Sint Maarten and more laid back, and Sint Maarten’s nightlife especially draws tourists to this side of the island. However, Marigot, the capital of Saint-Martin, is great for shopping in duty-free shops, where you can find a lot of jewelry and products from high-end fashion designers. One of the main attractions of the island is the beaches. There are 37 beaches in Saint Martin, so relaxing is not difficult.
As the Faroe Islands, Greenland is a self-governing territory but remains part of the Kingdom of Denmark. However, unlike the Faroe Islands, it is considered part of North America. A huge but sparsely populated land, many visitors head to South Greenland or the metropolitan area.
The capital Nuuk, with a population of less than 17,000, looks like a small village, but it also has the features of a large city. The city is in the heart of the largest fjord system in the world, Nuup Kangerlua, which is well worth a visit, and you can also head to Imanek Street in the city center to find some great bars.
Ceuta is a Spanish city on the coast of North Africa, bordering Morocco, less than 30 km from Gibraltar. It is also known as Sebta in Arabic. Trade in the city is duty-free, and the population of more than 80,000 people speaks not only Spanish but also Darth (Moroccan Arabic). The city is small and compact, but there are more than enough things to do here.
The Maritimo del Mediterraneo Park, designed by Cesar Manrique, is a great place to visit during the summer months, and the architecture of the Plaza de Africa in the center of Ceuta is something you won’t want to miss.