4 Lesser Known Destinations With Canals To Avoid The Crowds Of Venice This Summer

4 Lesser Known Destinations With Canals To Avoid The Crowds Of Venice This Summer


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Venice stands amongst Europe’s most iconic locations.

Traversed by centuries-old canals lined with pastel-colored buildings and exquisite, ornate church buildings, it’s certainly considered one of humanity’s best feats, however there are some big downsides to Venice first-time guests typically fail to consider when planning a trip:

It can get jam-packed with vacationers — a lot in order that native authorities are mulling over introducing a ticketing system to scale back overtourism, on high of already imposing a cruise ship ban, implementing strict insurance policies governing trip leases, and worse even, combating drying canals.

Traditional Barcos Moliceiros, Or Portuguese Gondolas, Traveling Up The Main Canal In Aveiro, A Venice-Style City In Northern Portugal, Iberia, Southern Europe

Yep, the legendary Venice canals are running dry.

This is one sizzling, crowded metropolis, however fortunately for canal lovers, it’s removed from being the one considered one of its variety within the previous continent.

Here are 4 nice different locations with their very own canal programs you’ll be able to go to as an alternative of Venice this summer time:

Aveiro, Portugal

Aptly nicknamed the ‘Portuguese Venice’, Aveiro is an historic metropolis in Northern Portugal, just one hour’s drive South of trendy Porto.

Much like Venice, it’s best identified for its numerous canals, besides Aveiro’s had been constructed artificially within the 18th century as a method to bolster native financial progress.

Sitting on the shores of the Atlantic, this medium-sized port is inhabited by round 80,000 individuals, in opposition to the Italian counterpart’s 261,000, making it much less densely populated, and extra nice to walk within the sizzling summer time months

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The Traditional Colorful Gondolas Of Aveiro, A Venice-Style City In Northern Portugal, Iberia, Southern Europe

Additionally, whereas the latter’s cityscape is ocher-colored, Aveiro’s is extra distinct for its vibrant tones.

You will discover a number of Iberian-style homes painted in vigorous hues of pink, yellow, and inexperienced lining the primary canal entrance, the place the normal barcos moliceiros, the Portuguese gondolas, journey carrying vacationers and items from the Atlantic Sea.

Besides taking a ship tour across the canals, guests ought to pay the gorgeous Cathedral of Aveiro a go to, a Fifteenth-century Catholic monument in an ideal state of preservation. The historic Aveiro Museum, housed inside a medieval convent the place a Portuguese princess is entombed, can be to not be missed.


Bruges, Belgium

In the Flemish North of Belgium, the place Dutch is essentially the most widely-spoken language, Bruges has been traditionally dubbed ‘Venice of the North’ as a result of its masterfully-engineered canals, instrumental to European commerce as late because the twentieth century, and boundless medieval treasures.

The metropolis middle has been listed by UNESCO as considered one of its World Heritage Sites, and taking a fast look at its grand canal, bordered by stone buildings, Fifteenth-century church buildings and their beautiful belfries, and cobbled promenades, you’ll quickly perceive why.

bruges canal in belgium

Close to 117,000 individuals dwell completely in Bruges, although solely 20,000 reside within the compact, walkable, oval-shaped middle, that means it’s not as crowded and positively not as polluted because the sprawling Old Venice.

Bruges will not be precisely a hidden gem, that includes on a number of journey brochures on Belgium and Central Europe, however it’s extra quaint, arguably extra romantic than its extra well-known Mediterranean competitor, and enjoys a small city really feel we’re positive {couples} on a belated, post-COVID honeymoon will admire.

Belgian Beer Set On A Table Overlooking A Canal In Bruges, Belgium

Empuriabrava, Spain

Perhaps the least well-known entry on this listing, Empuriabrava is an prosperous residential marina in Spain’s Costa Brava, throughout the autonomous province of Catalonia, encompassing greater than 24 km of navigable waterways and as much as 40 km of canals in whole.

You learn that proper.

Although the world has been inhabited since immemorial instances, Empuriabrava solely flourished as a vacationer vacation spot within the mid-seventies, when work on the canals was completed, and guesthouses and luxurious stays began popping up.

Aerial View Of The Empuriabrava Canals, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Southern Spain, Iberia, Southern Europe

Unlike Venice, nonetheless, it isn’t a historic metropolis, serving as an alternative as a resort vacation spot.

Although History buffs will admire the Roman archaeological zone of Sant Martí d’Empúries positioned close by, holidaymakers spending their summers in Empuriabrava are merely trying to find some rest and high quality time within the solar, and there’s nothing fallacious with that.

This extremely unique, high-end group has its canals arching alongside the Gulf of Roses, bounded by the azure waters of the Mediterranean, and the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà, a protected reserve standard amongst nature seekers.

The Canals Of Empuriabrava, An Upscale Community In Costa Brava, Southern Spain, Iberia, Southern Europe

Wrocław, Poland

The fourth-largest metropolis in Poland, claiming an space of 292.8 km² with over 673,000 residents, Wrocław (Anglicized as Wroclaw) is usually neglected amongst guests to this Eastern European nation, regardless of being as cosmopolitan as Warsaw, and simply as charming as Krakow or Gdansk.

On high of that, a little-known reality about Wroclaw is that it’s an city conurbation unfold throughout twelve islands on the broad Odra River. With many canals fed by tributaries of the Odra and over 200 bridges, it’s no marvel it’s generally referred to as the ‘Polish Venice’.

Aerial View Of The Wroclaw Cityscape, Capital Of Silesia, A Region Of Poland, Eastern Europe

Similarly to Venice, aside from the busy watercourses, Wroclaw has a bunch of world-class sights on land, resembling a Gothic city corridor erected as early because the thirteenth century, the towering Wroclaw Cathedral, sitting imposingly on Ostrów Tumski island, and a pedestrianized Market Square.

If you’ve been to Poland already, you recognize most of what you see round its Old Towns has been rebuilt or renovated following the devastating bombings of World War II.

Wroclaw is not any exception, however a majority of the constructions flanking Market Square have remained intact, making it a singular heritage website for Poland.

Wroclaw Cathedral Seen From The Odra River, Poland, Eastern Europe

Heading to Europe this summer time?

Find extra distinctive off-path locations to discover here.

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