The following is a re-posted portion of an article by Lonely Planet. 


Europe is a treasure trove of incredible travel experiences, which can make deciding where to go a challenging task. Thankfully Lonely Planet’s travel experts have been on the case to bring you the best spots to add to your bucket list for 2017.

If these ancient wonders, coastal escapes and off-the-beaten-track adventures have you reaching for your passport, sign up for our free Zagreb ebook chapter to find out more about why this dynamic city made number one.

4. Northern Montenegro

If the cruise ships queueing by Kotor’s bay are anything to go by, the cat is definitely out of the bag for Montenegro’s stunning Adriatic coastline. Fortunately, overlooked Northern Montenegro is brimming with off-the-beaten-track adventures – without the crowds. What’s more, the country’s compact size and good roads make this remote region more ripe for exploration than you might have thought.

Adventure hunters can raft through Europe’s deepest canyon at Tara, or cycle through lunar landscapes around the Durmitor ring. Foodies are catered for in highland towns where you can savour Montenegro’s growing slow food scene with mountain cheeses and hearty beef stews; while history buffs can take a pilgrimage to stunning monasteries etched into cliff faces at Ostrog or nestled in breathtaking valleys at Morača.

Epic experiences are writ large in Northern Montenegro's rugged landscapes © dellaliner / Getty Images

Epic experiences are writ large in Northern Montenegro's rugged landscapes © dellaliner / Getty Images

8. Moldova

This country of secret wine cellars and cliff-perched monasteries is truly Europe’s final frontier: little visited, lost in time and always surprising. In Moldova’s capital city Chişinău, leafy boulevards interlace with looming concrete. Its unexpectedly Parisian-style cafe and bar scenes brim with local wine, which continues to rise to acclaim as Moldova plays host to 2017’s Black Sea Wines and Spirits Competition as well as the annual ExpoVin.

Sip the best drops in Mileștii Mici’s gothic-attired cellars, housing the world’s largest wine collection. Explore sacred Orheiul Vechi, encircled by chalk cliffs, or lonely riverside monasteries like Saharna and Tipova. East of the Dniestr River is the self-declared (though unrecognised) republic of Transdniestr, a region locked in the Soviet past. Even experienced travellers to Europe will be amazed and disoriented by Moldova.

Orheiul Vechi's dramatic, rocky perch seems befitting of such a magical site © Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock

Orheiul Vechi's dramatic, rocky perch seems befitting of such a magical site © Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock