UK Seaside Town Among Europe’s Best “Hidden Gems” of 2024

| April 30, 2024
UK Seaside Town Among Europe's Best "Hidden Gems" of 2024

A charming little seaside town in the United Kingdom (UK) made the 2024 best “hidden gems” list of European destinations.

Travel website European Best Destination named Staithes the 18th best “hidden gem” in Europe.

A “hidden gem” is a place that is not well-known or popular among tourists but has something special or unique to offer.

European Best Destination has been ranking the best in Europe for millions of travelers, tourism professionals, and travel media since 2009.

Staithes is a charming little fishing town on the coast of North Yorkshire, just an hour and a half away from Newcastle and Leeds.

According to European Best Destinations, Staithes is perfect “if you’re a geologist or want to go fossil hunting with your kids.”

The coastal town is also renowned as England’s “foodie getaway” or food lover’s paradise.

Time Out describes Staithes as “gorgeous” and “built like a picture-perfect toy town,” and ideal for a budget staycation.

Since it’s relatively unknown, accommodations there are inexpensive, with rooms and short-term leases starting at £30 a night.

Europe’s best “hidden gems” in 2024

Staithes was the only UK destination among the other secret destinations in Spain, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, and Portugal.

Taking the top spot for the best secret destination in Europe is Villajoyosa in Spain.

The small town between Alicante and Benidorm features brilliantly painted houses along a gorgeous beach.

Next on the list of top hidden gems of Europe is another town in Spain, Ares del Maestre, located halfway between Barcelona and Valencia.

Located on top of a rocky hill, Ares del Maestre is an enclave that offers magnificent views of the Maestrazgo’s mountainous landscape.

Third on the list is Primosten, another stunning coastal village, this time in Croatia. Fourth is the floating village in Bokodit, Hungary.

Fifth on the list is Naantali in Finland, followed by Bour, the Faroe Islands, in sixth place.

Blavand, in Denmark, ranked seventh, while Ulm in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, took eighth place.

Aljezur in Algarve, Portugal, is ranked the ninth-best secret destination in Europe, and Dartlo, Georgia, is ranked tenth.

The other secret destinations in Europe listed as the best of 2024 are Castro Urdiales in Spain, Landmannalaugar in Iceland, Cicmany in Slovakia, and Pico Island in the Azores, Portugal.

Then, only three towns remain ahead of the UK’s Staithes. Two are in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, France, Pont-en-Royans and Le Puy en Velay. The other one is Germany’s Wuppertal.

New upcoming travel policies in Europe

Travelers who want to vacation-hop to these hidden gems of Europe must know the upcoming policies when traveling to the UK and the European Union (EU).

By the end of 2024, non-visa nationals visiting the UK must have an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).

This includes EU citizens and other nationalities who do not need a visa to visit the UK.

It costs £10 per application and is valid for multiple visits over two years or until the passport it is linked to expires.

The EU will launch its digital travel permit, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

By mid-2025, when the ETIAS is set to launch, all visa-exempt visitors, including British citizens, must have one before traveling to the Schengen Zone.

An ETIAS will cost €7 and be valid for three years, allowing multiple visits.

Travelers must have both electronic travel permits to travel to the UK and Schengen Zone.

Two other UK destinations deemed the best in 2024

The travel website European Best Destination published its top 20 best European Destinations for 2024 in February.

London took the ninth spot in the overall rankings and was awarded the “best offbeat city break.”

The capital of England boasts of diverse communities that offer different experiences that cater to the many interests of different tourists.

On the other hand, Newquay is the website’s 19th-best European Destination of 2024.

The seaside town on the north coast of Cornwall also earned the title of “best family holiday destination in England.”

Newquay is known as the surfing capital of England and is an ideal destination for a romantic or peaceful escape.

It also offers golf, biking, go-karting, and more, ensuring there’s something for every family member to enjoy.