Espen Brett (known on social media as Espen Valverde) is a travel and lifestyle content creator based out of Denmark
We sat down with Espen to have a talk about his way of travelling and some of his favourite places to disconnect from the rest of the world. From the talk came an interesting perspective on exploring the unknown and three suggestions on where to go.
“For me, travel has always been to discover new places and lesser-known places or at least less discovered. I simply don't feel the need to visit a place that I have seen on social media a thousand times. Of course it's hard in these days and age, where it nearly impossible to go to a place that isn't swamped with people.
Another thing that has always been important to me is to go to places where you have the chance to take it all in and truly experience the surroundings. Places like the Eiffel Tower and Venice simply don´t do that for me.
One thing I love is to hunt hidden gems in Europe, the places still not discovered by the classic tourist. One thing that is amazing about Europe is the ease it is to hire a car and just drive around. I´m a big fan of cars when traveling in Europe, just because it gives you freedom in the sense that you are not depended on buses or tour guides.” - Espen Brett
So here are three places in Europe you need to give a thought before booking your next trip to New York, if you ask Espen Brett.
The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands is an up and coming travel destination, but you can still make it before the crowds! For me, The Faroes is one of the most beautiful and unique countries in Europe and I have been lucky enough to experience this purple twice over the last 12 months. If you like wilderness and fresh air then this is the destination for you.
A car is the best way to explore and get the full sense of this beautiful country. I would recommend places like Sørvágsvatn, Tjørnuvík, Kallur, Lighthouse Kalsoy and Mykines if you want to explore something unique. These are all places that will make your friends at home jealous.
Visiting in April/May or in Autumn would be the best way to avoid the crowds.
When you think of Italy the first places that come to mind is, Venice, Rome, Pisa, Lake Como, and the list goes on. The Dolomites may be well known, but is definitely a top tourist attraction for the avenge tourist. Even though you may think this location is all about hiking and tents it's actually the perfect location for driving around and you will find plenty of amazing hotels - I would highly recommend finding a hotel near Seiser Alm or Bressanone.
I have always loved the Dolomites even though it's very popular. The locations you will find here is just out of this world. You will truly have your breath taken away.
I would recommend visiting places such as Würzjoch, Seiser Alm (for sunrise), Seceda , Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Erdpyramiden Oberbozen - to name a few.
Where to start? Tuscany has been on my bucket list ever since I saw Under the Tuscan Sun (watch it before going to Tuscany).
You may think Tuscany is all about Pisa, Lucca, and Florence, but you couldn't be further from the truth. For me Tuscany is all about culture, breathtaking hills and of course wine, oh don't get me started on Tuscan wine.
Again hire a car, it will give you the freedom to truly experience Tuscany.
For me, Tuscany is all about Val d'Orcia. Val d'Orcia is what truly defines Tuscany´s beauty. If you want to get the full experience you should witness this area for sunrise - it's magical and such a memorable experience.
The places I would recommend is: Podere Belvedere, Farmhouse Poggio Covili, Val d´Orcia, Chapel Vitaleta and Agriturismo Baccoleno.
Of course, you should drink some wine - the Chianti wine is my personal favourite. I would recommend doing a wine tasting at Badia a Coltibuono (a wine farm and hotel) and maybe even stay there for a night.