Fall is one of the best times to visit Europe. There are far less tourist crowds and relatively mild weather. September and October has the combined advantages of both peak-season and off-season travel. In addition, many of Europe’s natural parks and scenic landscapes are simply breathtaking at this time. As leaves turn shades of orange and red, here are the most beautiful and underrated European towns that stand out. We implore you to visit them and revel in fall’s seasonal charm.
1. Buje, Croatia
Buje’s pride in its heritage can be seen in the nicely preserved architecture. Church of St. Servelus was built in 1272 on the remains of the Roman Temple of Jupiter. It was overhauled in 1784 in late baroque style and is now considered one of most important structures in Istria. The Mediterranean climate is ideal wine-growing region. In fact, 23 wineries are found in the area. Fall is the most appropriate season for wine-making ; thus, a great time to get to know some of the local vintners and their produce.
2. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mostar is one of the most ethically-diverse towns in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Stari Most or ‘Old Bridge’ is its most notable architectural landmark. Destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War, it was restored in 2004. It connects the two sides of the city, which extends 28 meters across the Neretva River.
3. Piran, Slovenia
It is located on the Adriatic coastline, sitting at the tip of a narrow peninsula. Piran has been described as Slovenia’s Vienna because of its well-preserved Venetian Gothic old town center. Summertime can be rather crowded. So, the fall is the best time to visit Piran for nice, warm weather and fewer crowds.
4. Angles-sur-l’Anglin, France
Angles-sur-l’Anglin is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. This French town is centred around the Anglin river and the remnants of a Medieval castle. Fall is a great time to admire the changing colors as you stroll along the river. It is also ideal for a relaxing canoe ride.
5. Hallstatt, Austria
It’s a 7,000-year old Alpine village set on the shores of a striking lake which shares the same name. Hallstatt is the epitome of Austrian mountain charm with its scenery. The best time to come is when the trees have shed their autumnal coats but have not yet been covered in a blanket of snow.
6. Rothenberg, Germany
This German town was actually where Walt Disney got the inspiration for Pinocchio. Rothenberg is an old, romantic town thanks to its Medieval architecture. It is one of the stops along the so-called ‘Romantic Route’ that traverses Germany. This is particularly enchanting at this time of the year.
7. Orta San Giulio, Italy
In its location facing Lake Orta, the small town of Orta San Giulio is a favorite place of romantic souls. This is believed to be where the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche is said to have fallen in love because of its captivating lakeside village. Autumn is when mushrooms and the finest truffles pop everywhere.
8. Skipton, United Kingdom
This town is nicknamed as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’. Skipton is a historic market town located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Its wider area features a lovely countryside, attractive villages and a network of roads and walking routes. The fall is a wonderful time to explore the Yorkshire Moors. Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a traditional pub to warm up by the fireplace.
9. Besalú, Spain
The Catalan countryside is home to a number of fairy-tale villages. However, Besalú has to be one of the most magical. The town center, a former Roman settlement, has preserved much of its Medieval architecture. This includes the picture-perfect bridge which gives access to the town.
10. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
This is a UNESCO World Heritage village. Český Krumlov represents Czech Renaissance and Baroque architecture, just like a mini-Prague. Český Krumlov castle is its most famous site. There are also a number of lively bars and restaurants dotted across the town.
11. Colmar, France
Some of things you can see as you wander along the cobbled streets of Colmar are traditional Alsace houses, crisp white wines, colourful floral displays and romantic canal-side walks. It’s located close to the border with Germany.The town is rich in history and culture which residents are only too happy to share with visitors.