Europe is a continent that is every traveler’s paradise. It is a land of unparalleled natural diversity that is adorned with mighty mountains, lush green valleys, and sparkling seashores. It also boasts of a rich cultural heritage that has been immortalized in the form of opulent monuments, sprawling museums, and enchanting festivals. Although Europe offers beautiful sights throughout the year, it is during summer that the waters embracing the golden beaches are the bluest and the climate is most favorable for exploring the spectacular coastline. Here are some of the lesser known European cities that you must visit during the summer months to enjoy the hidden treasures of this continent.

Lecce in Italy

The quiet university town of Lecce in Italy is home to some of the finest Baroque buildings that date back to the 17th century. It is also known for its Puglian cuisine and for the enthusiasm of the locals regarding papier-mache. The facade of the Basilica di Santa Croce is an intriguing piece of art and is adorned with the images of an eclectic mix of creatures. The Lecce Cathedral also boasts of an imposing architecture while the Castello di Carlo V is a massive medieval castle with elegant towers and ramparts. The museum and gallery of M.U.S.T. offers a wonderful view of the Roman theater and houses several artifacts from the different chapters of this region’s history. One must also visit Piazza del Duomo, the throbbing center of the city that displays some magnificent Baroque architecture.

Cadiz in Spain

One of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in Spain, Cadiz has a captivating history that dates back to 1100 BC. Most famous for its ancient monuments and its delectable seafood, Cadiz is a town comprising of winding streets that will transport you back in time. Adding to the glory of the evening sky is the majestic yellow dome of the Catedral de Cadiz, a sight best enjoyed from the seafront as the sun goes down. Towering above the rustic houses of the town, this masterpiece of architecture is the iconic symbol of Cadiz. The marble sculptures exhibited at Museo de Cadiz and the polygonal structure of the fort of Castillo de San Sebastian are other popular attractions. Wherever you go in this enchanting town, the cawing of the seagulls will follow you and the old world charm will warm your heart.

Makarska in Croatia

One of the most serene retreats along the coast of Croatia, Makarska is a town that is known for its sea-facing promenade that is lined with restaurants and coconut trees. The horseshoe shaped bay is ideal for enjoying the frothy waves of the Adriatic Sea while the Biokovo Mountain is the perfect site for adventure sports such as hiking and mountain biking. The main town area offers a tranquil environment and is dotted with medieval churches and lively fruit markets while the Franciscan Monastery displays the ancient architecture of the region. Within the premises of the monastery is a Sea Shell Museum that displays some rare marine gems while the Municipal Museum sheds some light on the history of this fascinating harbor town. Real estate market here is also in bloom, so if you are looking for property in Croatia, look no further. If you wish to enjoy the sounds of the sea and the rustic Croatian lifestyle, then Makarska is the destination to head over to.

These glorious destinations may not be as popular but they have managed to preserve the true essence of European culture. These cities are where you can truly comprehend the complex history of the region and its impact on the local traditions. Add to it the sheer natural resplendence of coastal Europe and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable vacation.