In Europe, 76 destinations off the beaten path
Looking beyond Rome, Paris or London? Consider Europe's lesser-known destinations, such as Monschau, Germany, a town so quaint you can hardly believe it isn't a theme park or San Marino, one of Europe's oldest and smallest countries (drive through it slowly).
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Montenegro( Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times )
A few intrepid travelers came here for suntans and seafood in the Soviet era, when Montenegro was a part of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and hotel rooms were a steal. But the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, of which Serbia and Montenegro were a part, in the early 1990s, followed by a dark decade of ethnic cleansing and war, virtually erased the region from the tourist map.
Now, with peace restored and all but two of the six republics that made up the former Yugoslavia independent, vacationers have started returning to the southern Balkans.
-- Susan Spano
Read more: Montenegro plays understudy to the Riviera
Pictured: Hotel Sveti Stefan, a former fortress, on the Montenegron coast.