10+ 3 abandoned European villages that only a truly brave solo traveler should visit



It may happen that, between one trip and another, we feel like trying our luck and organizing something a little more exciting than usual. You know, traveling alone can mean a few more unexpected events but, if for one reason or another we decide to get away from everything and everyone, here are some cities or villages around Europe that only the bravest should visit traveling alone.

These are some villages that for various reasons (geological events, wars or more), have been evacuated and never returned to their original state. The inhabitants have been relocated en masse to new nearby settlements and now only onlookers, photographers and wildlife roam here.

1.Oradour sur Glane: This French village not far from Limoges is remembered for a massacre that took place on June 10, 1944, during the Second World War. Here 642 people lost their lives and, since then, only a museum of memory has been established here. Everything else is in a state of neglect. If you decide to come here, remember what happened and that it still remains a place of memory.

Wrecked car in Oradour Sur Glane (Photo by Guitou60 from Adobe stock Photo)

2.Doel, in Belgium, has a very special history: up to the 1970s it had a thousand inhabitants but with the new project to expand the port of Antwerp it was decided to start demolishing houses here. However, there are still a few hundred “dissidents” who do not want to know about selling their house and, today, Doel has become the village of street art and murals.
So there remain closed windows and doors and walls full of incredible drawings. Maybe a visit here could be worth a few hours of your trip if you are passionate about street art

Doel: facade of an abandoned house (Photo by Ronny from Adobe stock Photos)

3. Pripyat also has a very special history. It was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster, the well-known accident at the nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 that initially caused 65 deaths. Pripyat, evacuated after the disaster, can now be visited thanks to some Kiev tour operators who organize excursions here. On the way back, if you just can’t resist the idea of visiting this desolate place, there are still many radiation checks. It even seems that a few hundred inhabitants managed to escape control and now reside permanently here.

Pripyat: Abandoned bumper cars-Photo by Robert Armstrong from Pixabay


4.If it is already hard to think of going to the Svalbard Islands (either alone or with others), trying to get to Pyramiden could prove to be fascinating but somewhat prohibitive.
Founded as a mining town in 1910, Pyramiden bears this name due to the shape of the mountain behind it. In 1998 it was abandoned by the last Russian miners after being used by several mining companies for years. Since 2011 it seems to have been inhabited again for tourist purposes. If you do not like the idea of coming here to meet bears, birds, wild animals and some humans, however, know that on the Svalbard Islands you can visit 3 other ghost towns:
-Advent City
-Grumantbyen ( photo below)
-Colesbukta
… unless a polar bear eats you first

Grumant settlement at Svalbard, Spitzbergen

5. Belchite, in Spain, was also destroyed by a war. We are in the period of the Spanish Civil War and on 22 August 1937 a siege begins which will only end at the beginning of September. Belchite will be completely destroyed and only a monument of the heroes will remain here. Some films will also be shot after Belchite. But what you see in the photo below is what remains of the historic center of the city.

a view of the remains of the old town of Belchite, Spain, destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and abandoned from then, highlighting the San Martin de Tours church

6.Craco is a small town in the province of Matera in Italy and in the 1950s it began to depopulate due to a landslide that endangered the stability of its houses. At the beginning of the 80s Craco became a ghost town even if today it is a real tourist destination and even a film set on some occasions. Surely a destination within the reach of even the most fearful.

Craco: a donkey grazes the grass at the foot of the abandoned town

7. Dvigrad is a medieval Croatian city also called Due Castelli. Its history has been full of battles and continuous sieges which it has often resisted thanks to its fortifications but, only in 1715, after a strong malaria epidemic, even the last inhabitants were forced to leave

Aerial view of the abandoned village of Dvigrad

8.Not much information about Jantuha, a city in Abkhazia, one of the autonomous republics in which Georgia (formerly the Soviet Union) is divided, but it is certain that looking at the image probably even the most fearless of solitary travelers would find it difficult to enter such a desolate and abandoned place.
Doesn’t it remind you of a scene from the film “Eurotrip”?

Abandoned mining ghost-town Jantuha, Abkhazia. Destroyed empty houses, the remains of the cars, remnant of The Georgian-Abkhazian war

9.This is a real gem and, even if we don’t recommend sleeping at night, it’s sure to be worth a visit. Kayakoy is a completely abandoned Greek-style village that overlooks the Aegean Sea but stands, or rather once stood on the Turkish coasts. The inhabitants now live in the valley and tourism is certainly not lacking here thanks to these splendid ruins surrounded by greenery. For all types of travelers.

Kayakoy, Fethiye, Turkey

Ten. Irbene and Skrunda-1 in Latvia are two Russian military bases with giant radars that are also abandoned. If you want to take a beach holiday, here we are not very far from the fresh seas of Northern Europe and, judging by the photos, already inside the abandoned site, you can see some sand dunes. There are also some hotels in the area. Think about it!

Foto: Edijs Pālens, http://www.edijsfoto.lv

How to survive and enjoy in Seville and Andalusia on your own for 6 months


I arrived in Seville in a cool February a few years ago, after winning an Erasmus scholarship. I had already visited this splendid city as a tourist and the idea of living there for a few months thrilled me madly!
But one of the doubts that bothered me most (assuming that something could bother me in the face of all this beauty) was the idea of being able to do it with the single monthly figure that the European community offered me.
After finding a room that already covered 50% of my monthly expenses, I realized that with the other half I would have to bear everything else and that, I wrongly assumed, it would not be that difficult considering I was alone in an unfamiliar city, that I would have to work and that I still lived in a relatively cheap area


My first error of assessment
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

But nothing went as I imagined…
I was teaching Italian in a language school in Dos Hermanas, the most populated town in the district of Seville and its surroundings.
Aside from all that I’m not going to tell, I remember that on the first day, several people at school and away, asked me if I had someone to go out with.

“No, I just arrived and I only know you and my roommates” was my reply.

Thus it was the beginning of endless visits to taperie in Seville and Dos Hermanas, local parties, endless nights and weekends spent out.

If not to sleep a few times, eat and shower every day my room was hardly needed…. At one point my roommates became strangers.

…so what?
Photo by Jeff Stapleton on Pexels.com


“…and now? now how
will you tell us about how to survive in Andalusia on little money?”

Seville is full of pubs, taverns, places to eat and drink. A beer but also a tapa cost very little and, unless you want to gorge yourself (I hope the translation is right), you will not spend too much to spend the evening in company. We talk, drink, walk and listen to music and, above all, over time we discover new places.

I spent whole Sundays to listening to jazz or attending events I would never have attended anywhere else, just because the idea of spending a few hours under the heat with a glass of Tinto de Verano relaxed me in that place.
Or I liked people who frequented a certain place and the idea that it was also cheap put it first for that day.

Sevilla and all the Andalusian cities and towns have many traditional events such as the Feria. For an honest price you eat and drink (very well) for days and days, meeting people and dancing until you are exhausted.
Schools close and people leave work early. If you know a lot of people you have the honor of being invited and, if you are a girl, you are often given a traditional dress to attend the occasion (many have one that no longer fits a member of the family and lend it to those who does not have it).

Getting around cheap
Photo by gya den on Pexels.com

And if you want to go to the beach, know that from the end of March onwards in Andalusia you risk already getting a good burn (and an Italian who grew up at the sea tells you this).
I found passes to Tarifa, cheap buses to Cadiz and, once, even a Seat ibiza full of people who smoked illegal stuff (I think) that took me for free to the port of Algeciras, where I took a ship to Morocco and spent an absurd weekend at super cheap costs (for us Europeans).


In short …
without having to live indoors or even having to desecrate the family vault, you can very well get by for a few months by being careful to attend good company and eat decently.
I don’t know how the world changed after the covid but the Andalusians were wonderful people before and, I don’t think they changed with the pandemic! Then, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in one of his famous “Gunny” films, the basic rule always applies: “improvise, adapt and reach the goal”