Story highlights

Go beyond the obvious picks to explore these European spots

One European country has two spots on the top 10 list

CNN  — 

Though most visitors to Iceland enjoy all that the capital city of Reykjavik has to offer, those who want to explore small-town Iceland can head five hours north to Akureyri.

Less than 100 kilometers from the Arctic Circle and home to one of the country’s longest fjords, Iceland’s second-largest city (population 18,000) is the perfect spot to enjoy nature, to hike or to ski through the north.

Off-the-beaten-path Akureyri topped Lonely Planet’s “10 Best Places in Europe” list, released Tuesday.

Want to explore Europe beyond the usual capital cities? Lonely Planet travel publisher’s writers and editors picked this year’s Best in Europe list to encourage travelers to explore up and coming destinations, overlooked spots and known locales that are celebrating something special.

“We want to shine a light on places in Europe that maybe have been less celebrated or we feel are up and coming, and we want to talk about places that are simply great to visit right now,” said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s editorial director.

Did the editors pick the best spots in Europe? Click through the gallery to see.

Explorers can also check out Lonely Planet’s 10 Best European Beaches and 10 Best Places in Europe for Family Holidays at