Haute Hideaways

Off the Beaten Path

Popular European destinations are becoming increasingly crowded, especially in high season (April to September). As such, Ignacio Maza reveals his list of unforgettable alternatives to favorite hot spots.

Love Lake Como?

Lake Garda is also exceptional.

Authentic and charming Lake Garda is famous for its crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains. Hike, kayak, swim, and windsurf to your heart’s content, visit the Sirmione Castle, taste regional specialties, and savor the best gelato in Northern Italy at Bar Gelateria Flora in Riva del Garda.

Trekking the Dolomites?

Try the Piedmont region.

Italy’s Northwest frontier has the highest peaks and largest glaciers in the country. Visit Monviso for breathtaking Alpine panoramas, and taste some of Italy’s finest wines at their source, including Barolo and Asti. Stay at Relais S. Maurizio, a former mountaintop monastery turned elegant hideaway.

Betting on Barcelona?

Valencia can be just as fun.

Spain’s third largest city has over 2,000 years of history, countless gothic and art nouveau landmarks, and the ultramodern City of Arts and Sciences, designed by native son Santiago Calatrava. Shop the Mercado de Colón, explore the El Carmen neighborhood, and taste paella where it was invented.

Tuscany sound tempting?

Umbria is an Italian gem.

The “green heart of Italy” offers Etruscan sites, rolling hills, charming medieval villages, and Perugia’s superb art collections. Orvieto and Assisi—St. Francis’ hometown—get all the attention, but Todi and Gubbio will steal your heart. Taste delicious cuisine and excellent white wines from the region.

Icelandic Fun?

You’ll fall for the Faroe Islands.

The Faroes attract intrepid travelers searching for dramatic peaks, stunning landscapes, green valleys, and countless waterfalls. Hike, bicycle, fish, or ride a Faroese horse. Stay in Torshavn, the island’s charming and tiny capital, the best “base camp” for adventures.

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