Vacation in three different countries, recommended by travel experts. From the “Venice of the Alps” to the “land of a thousand lakes”

Tourists who want to travel in Europe, who want to enjoy a different kind of vacation, are recommended destinations that are out of the ordinary and off the tourist circuit, located in France, Italy and Germany, where they can enjoy the beach, nature , but also of history, monasticism and gastronomy.

Lesser known tourist destinations in Europe recommended by Collage tourism experts

One of these tourist destinations is located at the foot of the French Alps, known as “Venice of the Alps”which boasts a castle that was the inspiration for “Sleeping beauty” of Walt Disney, another is only an hour away from Rome and has a blue flag beach, but also one of the largest Italian medieval castles, and the third is located in “land of a thousand lakes”.

If you’re tempted to stay away from the seaside this scorching summer, you can follow the advice of travel experts for The Guardian.

Heaven at the foot of the French Alps

Lake Annecy, in Haute-Savoie – France, is neither in the Balearics nor in the Mediterranean, but at the foot of the French Alps, near an incredibly picturesque medieval town from which it borrows its name, just an hour away from Geneva.

It is also called “Venice of the Alps” thanks to the network of canals that run through the Old Town. Just like in the original Venice, the narrow stone-paved streets and flower-decorated bridges become very crowded during the summer. But by comparison, Annecy “he has an ace up his sleeve” – a fantastic public transport network, with buses offering free rides in July and August to both tourists and locals around the lake and surrounding mountains, plus a bike path that follows the shoreline.

It is the third largest lake in France that attracts tourists from all over the world with its turquoise waters, villas and hotels that line the shores, with pontoons and private beaches. There is also a fortress in the area, in Menthon St Bernard, which is said to have inspired the castle “Sleeping Beauty” of Walt Disney; as well as the romantic Veyrier-du-Lac with its hiking trails up to the Mont Veyrier Peak, while the views of Mont Blanc or Doussard are simply breathtaking.

And there is also a nature reserve here with some family-friendly campsites. There are also public beaches around the lake, with volleyball courts and a children’s pool, such as the municipal beach of Talloires. The lively Marquisats is easily accessible on foot from the town of Annecy, and the sky is within easy reach of paragliders.

Castle lake and culinary heaven near Tuscany and Umbria

Lago di Bracciano, in Lazio – Italy, is a lake one hour away by train from Rome. Extremely lively in the summer months, but never chaotic like the flashier alternatives on the Tyrrhenian coast, it appeals with its white and pale pink lakeside buildings, its multitude of hiking and cycling options to the nearby countryside, being a haven perfect summer for both tourists and Italians.

The lake, created by a volcanic eruption, is surrounded by olive groves, ancient Roman ruins and three picturesque towns: Trevignano Romano, Anguillara Sabazia and Bracciano, above which rise the imposing walls of the 15th century Orsini-Odescalchi Castle , one of the largest and best preserved constructions of this kind in Italy. The fortress holds an extensive collection of Renaissance art and historical artifacts, but its real attraction is the spectacular view from its towers.

Due to its proximity to Tuscany and Umbria, the region is a culinary paradise, with strong Apennine inflections, especially when it comes to cheeses and charcuterie. But as fine as the salumi, caciofiore cheese and fried porchetta are, no trip to Bracciano would be complete without trying a cartoccio di latterini fritti – the fresh fish from the lake, fried and served in a paper cone.

A short bus ride can take you to Trevignano Romano where there are plenty of restaurants and bars dotted around the cobbled streets of the historic center or along the lakeside promenade. The town also has a blue flag beach – the international certification given to places that meet the highest quality standards – and a path draws you to the ruins of Rocca dei Vico for its breathtaking views. Also nearby is Lago di Martignano, a crater lake above Bracciano, ideal for a picnic and a swim.

Mecklenburg Lakes region with nature parks and houseboats

Although Berlin is only two hours away by train from Mecklenburgische Seenplatte, the region with more than 600 interconnected lakes is an unknown destination for foreign tourists. His nickname of “the land of a thousand lakes”slightly exaggerated, also refers to the charming towns and villages, with mansions and natural parks.

Mirow, Neustrelitz, Plau am See are easily accessible thanks to an easy network of trains and buses. Waren an der Müritz is a picturesque old town on the northern shore of Lake Müritz – Germany’s largest – notable for its medieval architecture and chic cafes and restaurants. Here is the Mürizeum, with a freshwater aquarium for native fish species and an interactive multimedia exhibition about the Müritz National Park, which has over 100 lakes, as well as hiking and cycling trails. Endangered birds, such as white-tailed eagles, buzzards, but also red deer, black storks, have their home in this park, along with bears in the largest such sanctuary in Western Europe – Bear Park Müritz.

The whole lake region has wonderful and interesting places to stay, with guest houses from other eras, accessible campsites and also houseboats.