09 Nov Malta, Montenegro and Austria: Three Small Countries Worth Seeing
If you are looking to really get away, check out this list of can’t-miss alternative destinations where culture, food, and fun are still accessible on an intimate scale.
Malta is a small country with a lot to offer. Full of history and bursting with culture, this place should not be missed! Malta is hailed as a great place for avid divers or those who want a great snorkeling experience. The gin-clear water in Malta is full of caves, ship-wrecks, and stunning sea creatures.
Malta is primarily Roman Catholic, but the blend of cultures is apparent in daily life. For example, Maltese traditional food may surprise you! Popular cuisine includes Sicilian and Middle Eastern dishes. You will also find dishes made with local ingredients such as rabbit.
The architecture in Malta has modern elements as well as prehistoric sites, especially in Gozo. In Gozo, you will find thousands of sculptures including the giant ‘fat ladies’, held in many different museums. Enormous temples and structures from a wide variety of periods dot the landscape in a way you won’t soon forget.
Montenegro is “a slice of Adriatic heaven, an ancient town in rocky embrace, full of rugged mountains and primeval forests,” as described by Lonely Planet. This tiny country has something for everyone, whether it’s mountains, beaches, stunning wildlife, or and architecture. In addition, the people of Montenegro are alarmingly friendly and charming!
At just two-thirds the size of Wales, it is mind-boggling how much Montenegro has to offer. Considering it’s small size, the recent spike in popularity with tourists can easily overcrowd this beautiful country. No need to worry, however! When the beaches fill up, travelers can explore the towns and villages scattered throughout the mountains and countryside. If mountains aren’t your thing, perhaps the primeval forest of Biogradska Gora will peak your interest. For the more active traveler, popular activities in Montenegro include hiking and kayaking.
Set in the heart of Europe, travelers often overlook the small country of Austria when comparing other countries (like France or Italy). Despite its size, much like Malta and Montenegro, it has so much to offer visitors. Mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding are all top choices for activity here!
The history of Austria is evident in the architecture and art throughout the country. The country is full of stunning castles, which give other larger European countries a run for their money. Fans of baroque art will love Vienna, which is also the country’s capital city. For a music history lesson, head to Salzburg, the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Here you can visit two of Austria’s most important historic sites including the house in where Mozart was born and the home of his childhood.
The unique cuisine is another notable aspect of Austrian life and culture. The Wienerschnitzel is a very popular with locals and tourists, as well as various dumplings. Try the Tiroler Knodel (which is stuffed with onions and bacon), the apple strudel, or an Apfel Schlanger.
Austria is known for its dense, green forests and countryside, as well as the emerald colored lakes that perfect the landscape. When compared to, say, Switzerland, Austria is much more affordable, making it ideal for travelers on a budget.