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Villajoyosa. Alicante. Pueblo bonito
© Shutterstock

This Spanish town has been named Europe’s most beautiful secret destination

Nestled between Benidorm and Alicante, it boasts vibrant buildings and a gorgeous palm tree-lined beach

Liv Kelly
Noelia Santos
Written by
Liv Kelly
Noelia Santos

Plenty of Europe’s well-known destinations boast ‘gram-worthy smatterings of colour – just think of the stacked little houses of Cinque Terre on the Amalfi coast or the vibrant streets of Burano in Venice

However, Villajoyosa, Europe’s best hidden gem for 2024, also consists of brilliantly painted facades along a really gorgeous beach – it’s surprising more travellers don’t know about it. The small Spanish town, tucked away between Alicante and Benidorm, is top of European Best Destinations’ list of the best secret destinations for this year, but there are plenty more lesser-known treasures on the list, too. 

Another Spanish destination, Ares del Maestre, claims second place, and in third it’s Primošten, a stunning coastal village in Croatia. And in fourth it’s Bokodi, a floating village in Hungary

Yes, you read that right – the tiny town, which is about 80 km west of Budapest, consists of houses built on stilts, which were created in 1961 when energy from a nearby power plant warmed the Bokodi Lake’s water and kept it from freezing. That plant closed in 2015, but the destination is (unsurprisingly) ridiculously popular with photographers today. 

These are the 18 most beautiful destinations in Europe

  1. Villajoyosa, Spain
  2. Ares del Maestre, Spain
  3. Primosten, Croatia
  4. Bokodi, Hungary
  5. Naantali, Finland
  6. Bour, Faroe Islands
  7. Blavand, Denmark
  8. Ulm, Germany
  9. Aljezur, Portugal
  10. Dartlo, Georgia
  11. Castro Urdiales, Spain
  12. Landmannalaugar, Iceland
  13. Cicmany, Slovakia
  14. Pico Island, Azores
  15. Pont-en-Royans, France
  16. Wuppertal, Germany
  17. Le Puy en Velay, France
  18. Staithes, England

You can read about European Best Destinations’ other top picks on their website here

More ‘gram-worthy travel at Time Out

We really know our stuff when it comes to picturesque places. Have a browse of our roundup of the world’s most beautiful places, the prettiest islands, the most glorious beaches or the most underrated travel destinations right here. 

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