Instead of Brittany, France
Go to Rügen, Germany
Why This island in the Baltic Sea was a getaway for the East German elite during the Cold War. With its 400-foot-high chalk cliffs and white-sand beaches, Rügen now attracts a stylish crowd from Berlin, a four-hour train ride away. Hike or bike through the beech forests of Jasmund National Park or poke around seaside towns, such as Sellin and Binz. Getting There Trains connect the island's main city, Bergen, to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, and Berlin. A summer ferry runs between Stralsund and Altefahr, on the island's southwestern shore. Great Value Panorama Hotel Lohme (49-38/302-9222; www.lohme.com; doubles from $105). For More Information cometogermany.com.
Instead of the Scottish Highlands
Go to Northumberland, England
Why With its moorland and jagged coastline and 1,000-plusyear-old history, England's northernmost county promises stunning landscapes and ancient culture. Hadrian's Wall, built in the second century, now has its own 84-mile hiking trail. And the region has 43 castles—more than any other English county. Getting There Flights leave daily from Heathrow to Newcastle Airport, a 15-minute drive from the Northumbrian border. Great Value The Orchard House (44-1669/620-684; www.orchardhouserothbury.com; doubles from $140). For More Information www.northumberland.gov.uk/vg
Instead of Santorini, Greece
Go to Skopelos, Greece
Why Although it's considered Greece's greenest island and is known for its 360 whitewashed churches, Skopelos remains virtually untouched. Well-heeled Athenians flock to it for culinary specialties like spiral-shaped cheese-and-spinach pie. Climb the narrow streets of Skopelos Town or cycle through the lush pine forests that make up the island's interior. Getting There Fly to Skiathos airport and take a ferry to the island's main port at Skopelos Town (50 minutes) or to the northern port of Glossa (15 to 30 minutes). Great Value Hotel Agnanti (30-24240/22722; www.skopelos.net/agnanti; doubles from $48, including breakfast). For More Information www.skopelosweb.gr.
Instead of Tuscany, Italy
Go to Istria, Croatia
Why The Adriatic's largest peninsula is giving its more popular neighbor a run for its money. Rolling vineyards, Roman architecture, and Italian-inspired cuisine are already drawing the most discerning of travelers, and locals are renovating their villas to meet the demand. Getting There From Zagreb, take a flight to Pula (50 minutes), Istria's largest city, or drive three hours on the Istrian Y highway. Great Value Rent a villa from Vintage Travel (44-1954/261-431; www.vintagetravel.co.uk; from $595 per week). For More Information www.istra.com.