While exploring Europe looking for the next Untravelled Paths experiences, we often stumble across so really authentic hidden gems which feel like time forgot. Ideal for exploring or simply sitting back and observing the fascinating local culture. Here are some of the most remote villages we’ve found so far.
Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania
Local house in the fishing village of Sfantu Gheorghe which is teeming with wildlife, including ducks!
Only accessible by boat, located in the far south-east corner of the Danube Delta approximately 1km from the mouth of the Black Sea, the charming fishing village of Sfantu Gheorghe is the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation and is the only village where you can glimpse both the Black Sea and the Danube at the same time. The more rural parts of the village are a delight to stroll around in the warm afternoon sunshine with their cheerful facades and free-roaming geese. Clusters of rainbow-coloured houses with traditional reed roofs burst to life surrounded by blue picket fences and hatches of chickens perched in front of quaint little gardens. Sfantu Gheorghe also boasts its very own wild beach that is completely deserted save for a few cows that parade along the shore. If you’re lucky you’ll even get to see herds of wild horses galloping along the beach but do be make sure the water is safe to swim in if you fancy a dip as the currents can be surprisingly strong despite the water not being deep. Be sure to try the famous black caviar or icre negre too while you’re here. If you are interested in visiting then join one of our awesome Danube Delta Experiences.
The local church in Theth and the lush green valley in which it is located
Usually, visitors hike 4-5 hours from Valbona, across the pass and into the valley where the picturesque village of Theth sits. Set in a lush green valley encircled by the dramatic snow-dusted peaks of the Shala mountains, Theth is peppered with traditional farmhouses and is home to a 19th Century Catholic church as well as the infamous kullas, or defense towers used by those caught up in the blood feuds. On her visit to the remote village in 1908, Edith Durham, the famous English writer and traveler had this to say “I think no place where human beings live which has given me such an impression of majestic isolation from the entire world.” We couldn’t agree more! If you’d like to visit Theth then have a look at our Albania Experience and hopefully, you’ll join us for an adventure!
Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro
Village of Rijeka Crnojevića and the nearby Lake Skadar
Located between Cetinje and Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica you’ll need to be alert or you’ll miss the turning down a very windy road that takes you to the little-known village of Rijeka Crnojevica. An ideal location for a lunch stop or for those looking to explore the waters and nature of Lake Skadar. As you explore the sleepy village it’s hard to imagine that in 1478, after defeat to the Ottomans, Ivan Crnojevic retreated to Rijeka Crnojevića and made it Montenegro’s new capital! If you’re interested in having the opportunity to visit then please join us on our Montenegro Experience.
Written by James Chisnall and Marion Poerio