Historical places in Europe
The region around Laxey was known for its lead and zinc mines. To pump water from the mines, a giant waterwheel was constructed in 1854. The mostly wooden wheel measures 22.1 m in diameter, making it the largest waterwheel in the world. You can climb to the top and the area has some trails too.
Set on St Patrick's Isle, Peel Castle overlooks Peel harbour. The castle is connected to the town by a causeway and a pedestrian bridge. The castle was originally constructed by the vikings and was used for 7 centuries by whoever was in power. Today you can explore the ruins by yourself.
This picture perfect castle sits on top of the harbour of Gorey village. The first castle was built in the early 13th-century, but it has been modified several times through history. Even the Germans used it during the occupation. You can visit the castle for a fee, and though the panoramic views from the castle are splendid, the best views of the castle are from the harbour below in Gorey.
The outdoor capital of Latvia is Sigulda. Although it's not Chamonix, there are both bungee jump, bike trails, bobsled tracks and down hill skiing in winter. For those less adventurous, there are some fine sightseeing in the area. A beautiful church, a medieval castle along with a newer castle - plus views to the open air museum, containing another medieval castle, across the gorge in neighbouring Turaida. The famous Gūtmana Cave is also nearby. The cave ceiling and archway is covered in centuries old graffiti. The oldest readable 'tag' dates back to the 1667, though sources state that graffiti already was chiseled in the 16th century. Believe or not, but the cave's modest length of 19 meters makes it the longest cave in the Baltic.
When you look out over the Kernavė Archaeological Site, you will only see a handful of hills, which once held forts. But this pretty area in the valley of the River Neris shows proof of human settlements for some 10 millennia, which is so unique that it became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. There are simple wooden staircases to the top of the overgrown hills and a few information signs, but that’s all. The site is very understated with no entrance fee and hardly any road signs to reveal the direction to the site. For more indepth information visit the next door archaeological museum, which displays lots of artefacts from the site, like pottery, Iron Age tools, and silver jewellery.
Always wanted to visit a nuclear missile silo? Look no further, at the Museum of Cold War, you have a chance to do just that visiting its four underground silos. This base was the first underground silos in the Soviet Union. Between 1960 and 1978 it held enough firepower to destroy most of Europe, and it was the base that delivered the missiles to Havana during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today is open for history buffs and everybody else. You can roam around inside the secret bunkers, stare down into the silos themselves or just appreciate that the ancient equipment, which has been left behind, did not suffer any civilization-ending malfunctions. The base itself is hidden deep in the forests of Žemaitija National Park, itself a beautiful detour.
The prehistoric megalithic temples at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra is Malta's Stonehenge, just older. They date back to about 3200 BC, predating both the Pyramids and Stonehenge, making them the oldest freestanding stone structures in the world. The huge slaps of rocks, which make up the temple complexes, stand tall on a ridge which breaks off into the Mediterranean Sea. Large tents have been erected over the temples to protect then from weather erosion. Surprisingly, little is known about these temples and the civilization who built them, but there are several others megalithic temples on Malta and Gozo: The Ġgantija Temples (Gozo), Tarxien Temples (Malta), Ta' Hagrat temples (Malta), and Skorba Temples. All of them are, of course, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The other attraction in Budva (beside the town's insane parties) is the fine old town, Stari Grad. Established for more than 2500 years ago and therefor the oldest settlement on the Adriatic coast. With its Venetian style, it is as picturesque as its big brother in Croatia, Dubrovnik, but only receive a fraction of the international tourist hordes - but it still get packed in summer time, but that might have to do with Budva's vibrant nightlife.
The old town of Herceg Novi is another medieval town along the Adriatic coast. It beautiful located at the foot of mt. Orjen (1.895 m) on a steep slope leading straight into the Adriatic sea. Beside the fine old stone houses, the main attraction is the Orthodox Church of Mihael Arhandel. Herceg Novi is tiny and there is not enough to see for a whole day exploration, but it will make a nice break between going to/from Croatia.
Ohrid is beautiful old city right on the shore of Lake Ohrid. It's so rich in history that it's a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old part of town is deadly charming with old houses, winding streets and exquisite churches, where St. John at Kaneo is probably the most famous one. The church was built in the 3rd century and have a magnificent location high on a cape overlooking the lake. In summer time the city transforms itself into holiday zone for mostly local tourists and partygoers. North Macedonia isn't packed with mind-blowing sights, so Ohrid will for sure be the highlight of any trip to North Macedonia.