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Lonely Planet announces its Best in Europe 2016 list

Photos logoPhotos 25/05/2016

Lonely Planet's travel experts have come up with a list of top 10 European destinations that should be on every traveler’s radar this year. The 'Best in Europe 2016' list includes places that are less popular but offer new experiences. Which town or city makes the cut in this year's list?

10. Northern Dalmatia, Croatia

© Marin Tomas/Getty Images

Sun-kissed islands, Mediterranean cuisine, and the imposing Velebit mountains make Dalmatia a vacationer's paradise. Zadar, a fast-growing historical city of the region, along with Zrće Beach and Tisno, form the nucleus of Croatia's premier summer clubbing scene. The sandy coastline of Nin, the rough nature of Paklenica National Park, and the ancient city of Asseria are also worth a mention.

9. Texel, The Netherlands

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Texel, the largest of the Netherlands’ Wadden Islands, boasts of wildlife reserves, long white-sand beaches and pine forests. Adventure seekers may climb up its iconic red lighthouse, a 150-year-old building offering sweeping views of Texel and the neighboring island of Vlieland. Nature lovers can head to Ecomare, located in the National Park Dunes, to learn all about the Wadden Sea and North Sea, or just sit back and take in the natural beauty of the landscape.

8. East Coast Tenerife, Spain

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The island is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. If you wish to leave the crowd and rowdy revelry behind, East Coast Tenerife has extraordinary volcanic moonscapes, simple fishing villages and dramatic cliffs to offer. Unlike the international resorts of the south coast, this region features pleasant low-key beach towns that are yet to be explored.

7. Extremadura, Spain

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The western Spanish region is the heart of old Spain. You can see traces of Roman empire, and soak in the beauty of some preserved historical settlements. For a culturally-enriched experience, a visit to Trujillo, Guadalupe, Mérida, Alcántara and Cáceres is a must. Foodies can relish some of inland Spain's best food here, including roasted meats, Torta del Casar cheese and the finest jamón (ham) from Monesterio.

6. Warwickshire, England

© Royal Shakespeare Company

With its bucolic hills, sublime castles and historic market towns, Warwickshire makes it to the list. Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is marking the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death by holding various festivities; while Warwick Castle restored and relaunched its 22-tonne trebuchet — the world’s largest siege machine — this year.

5. Lviv, Ukraine

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The Ukrainian city offers rich and diverse culture, owing to the past rulings of the Polish Empire, Hapsburgs, Soviets and Nazis. The city’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while the main city itself remains teeming with festivals and concerts that are held every week.

4. The Dordogne, France

© Andrew Montgomery/Lonely Planet

Apart from being a paradise for food lovers with its vibrant culinary heritage, the region features sweeping meadows, picturesque hilltop villages and vineyards. You can see some of the world’s most amazing prehistoric art here in the caves of Vézère Valley.

3. Venice, Italy

© Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

With its Venetian Gothic architecture and aqua passageways, the Italian metropolitan is considered to be one of the most alluring cities in the world. Once you are done with a tour of Grand Canal, you can enjoy a moonlit gondola ride, hang around with locals at Piazza San Marco or taste the original Bellini cocktail at Harry's Bar. Spring (April-June) is the best time to visit but if you want to attend Carnevale di Venezia, one of the most famous masked party in the world, plan your trip in February.

2. Aarhus, Denmark

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The second-largest Danish city features beautiful neighborhoods, captivating architecture and culinary wizardry. Check out the exhibits from the Stone Age to Viking days at the Moesgard Museum of Prehistory, or visit modern cafes buzzing with lively music and dance for a relaxing evening. Den Gamle By, a Danish open-air museum of urban history, is open throughout the year.

1. Peloponnese, Greece

© Maria Toutoudaki/Getty Images

The Peloponnese tops the list for this summer. This diverse and vibrant region offers several magnificent ancient sights such as Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras. For adventurous souls, a hike to the new Menalon trail is a must; while wine lovers shouldn’t miss the Nemean wine region, which offers the perfect spot to take a tipple.

To help travelers experience the very best of the Peloponnese, Lonely Planet is offering a free PDF about the region, as featured in Lonely Planet's Greece guide. 

Lonely Planet's experts have also compiled a free ebook "Secret Europe 2016," featuring other European recommendations.

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