Exploring the open seas and setting sail for foreign lands is always exciting, but sometimes the huge cities and crowded ports can be a bit overbearing and interfere with the peace and tranquility that we find out on the water. Of course we don’t have anything against the popular destinations — they’re well known and traveled for a reason, but some of the best time we’ve ever spent at port is in the less frequented areas that are free of the excessive congestion that larger cities attract.
3 of our favorite European ports to avoid the crowds:
- Ghent, Belgium
- If you’ve ever visited Bruges, then you’re surely well aware of how stunning the city is and while it’s certainly worth visiting, Ghent offers a comparable and even arguably better experience with way less hassle. Breathtaking, historical architecture? Check. World-class Cuisine? Check. Marvelous museums and a thriving art scene? You bet. Like we said, it’s quite comparable to a trip to Bruges, but with a better night-life and significantly more space to breathe. Ghent even has several spectacular parks to rest in while wandering through these gorgeous Belgian streets.
- Trondheim, Norway
- Trondheim was actually the capital of Norway back during a time when there was a very different type of sailor exploring the region, the historic vikings! The city is actually quite prominent in the region, but it’s far less trafficked by the crowds of tourists than Oslo. If you want to explore some of the ancient culture and heritage of Norway with the comforts of first rate accommodations and a thriving modern art scene, then Trondheim will surely lure you in.
- Preveza, Greece
- If you want a taste of the quintessential Greek island experience without all of the fuss, then Preveza does not disappoint. You’ll find the stereotypical beautifully painted Greek buildings and the lovely little marina is both peaceful for getting some rest and relaxation and within walking distance of the quaint old town area where you can mosey through the cobblestone streets exploring the vibrant and colorful shops and cafes. If you want to see a bit more of what the Greek world has to offer, you can also take a day trip from Preveza to tour Nicopolis.