Europe's Secret Hot Spots

Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy

These under-the-radar European beach towns, wine regions, and lake districts are just waiting to be discovered.

Bergen, Holland

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Historically, artists and writers came here to be inspired by the coastline, just a 45-minute ride from Amsterdam, but Bergen has seen a recent influx of the newly monied, creating a scene that suggests the Hamptons with clogs. The good news is that if you’re not lucky enough to own a local vacation home, you can rent one of the funky, if basic, villas scattered around for a few hundred dollars a week (try holiday-rentals.co.uk). The luncheon spot SB Noord, whose weatherworn wooden terrace is strewn with chairs, overlooks the sunniest spot in the Netherlands. Rent a bike to cycle to the beach (three miles from town) and the pine forest, then head for microbrews and calamari at Fabel’s, all done up in oak and bluestone and set beside a ruined church and cobblestoned streets.

Europe's Secret Hot Spots

Bergen, Holland

Historically, artists and writers came here to be inspired by the coastline, just a 45-minute ride from Amsterdam, but Bergen has seen a recent influx of the newly monied, creating a scene that suggests the Hamptons with clogs. The good news is that if you’re not lucky enough to own a local vacation home, you can rent one of the funky, if basic, villas scattered around for a few hundred dollars a week (try holiday-rentals.co.uk). The luncheon spot SB Noord, whose weatherworn wooden terrace is strewn with chairs, overlooks the sunniest spot in the Netherlands. Rent a bike to cycle to the beach (three miles from town) and the pine forest, then head for microbrews and calamari at Fabel’s, all done up in oak and bluestone and set beside a ruined church and cobblestoned streets.

Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy
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