Wandering off the well-worn Paris path can offer insight into a different time. Reader santamaria is particularly fond of the harder-to-reach town of Aurillac (site in French only), and its downtown filled with historic architecture. "Many 'Musketeer' films have been filmed on location in Aurillac, and you can feel the historic atmosphere when you walk around the small streets and narrow alleys. Since normally cars are not allowed, you can easily imagine yourself a Musketeer from another century."
Though we couldn't include every suggestion, there were some that were too good to pass up. So, we're adding a few honorable mentions to this list. To see readers' full comments, please visit their profile page.
Reader gbruels recommends Cangas de Onis in Northern Spain for a stay in a converted monastery.
Reader Mediterraneo offers driving tips and places to stop along the southern coast of Crete.
Reader gemsam provides insight into Abernathy, Scotland, and its Black Watch Memorial.
Reader abruton finds a bit of Switzerland in Greece in the small town of Metsovo.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Europe's hidden gems. Where else might you recommend other travelers look beyond the everyday tourist areas?
(Photo: iStockphoto/Rene Lubberdink)