8 spooky spots to visit in Europe this Halloween

Oct 5, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Halloween is a great occasion to visit some of the spookier corners of Europe — and there are plenty of them. With centuries of turbulent history behind it, there is no shortage of eerie abandoned villages, haunted castles and a variety of certifiably scary spots all within relatively easy reach of London by plane.

Without further ado, here are some of the top places to get your spook on this Halloween.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

Celebrated for its iconic monastery and abbey that reach for the sky high above a windswept rocky tidal island, the 247-acre site actually had fortifications long before the feudal period, when the Mont took on its present aesthetic. While it’s known to get pretty touristy by day, by night there have been sightings of apparitions of monks roaming about the narrow byways of the citadel in ghostly medieval garb.

A view of Mont Saint-Michel, France, on September 16, 2019. Mont Saint-Michel is one of France's most visited sites, with over 3 million visitors per year. Mont Saint-Michel and its bay recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Photo by Salvatore Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Salvatore Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There are several flights a day from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Paris, mainly to Charles de Gaulle Airport, but also to Orly. Rent a car or take the TGV train from Gare Montparnasse to Rennes or Dol de Bretagne, followed by a coach ride to the Mont.

Dalt Vila, Ibiza

You might think Ibiza is all foam parties and beach bliss, but that’s not all. The old section of Ibiza Town is called Dalt Vila, and its medieval and later Renaissance walls are all still largely intact. Unlike the party island’s famous nightclubs, Dalt Vila is largely a brooding, abandoned seaside tangle — especially at night when it’s eerily quiet. Wander the ramparts and see for yourself just how spooky Ibiza can actually be. On a different spooky note, the islet of Vedra right next to Ibiza is a known energy vortex and is said to be visited regularly by extraterrestrials.

Fly nonstop to Ibiza on British Airways from both London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Alternatively, several low-cost carriers fly to Ibiza from around the U.K.

Chapel of the Dead (Cappela Mortiti), Otranto

The Puglia region of southern Italy is associated with sunny skies, beautiful stretches of coastline and a rich architectural heritage. But this is Europe and there’s no escaping the memories of darker times. Otherwise gorgeous Otranto, right on the Mediterranean, is home to this 11th century Norman chapel that houses the the bones and skulls of 813 Christian martyrs beheaded during a Turkish massacre in 1480. The skulls are stacked up high in a series of glass cases behind the altar, along with the stone upon which the martyrs’ heads were chopped off.

Fly from several of London’s airports nonstop to Brindisi Papola Casale Airport. From there rent a car for the drive south to Otranto.

Frangokastello Castle, Crete

There is something hauntingly beautiful about the entire windswept southern coast of Crete. When you approach the abandoned fortress of Frangokastello, facing the Libyan Sea, the first thing you may marvel at is how something so sturdy came to be such a lonely spot. The rectangular fortress was built during the period of Venetian domination of Crete in the 14th Century and later expanded during the Ottoman Turkish occupation. The castle is said to be haunted by ghosts of warriors who died during a battle in 1828.

Corner tower rises into clear spring sky from remains of Frangokastello.
(Photo by Brent Scheneman/Getty Images)

Fly nonstop from several London airports to Chania (CHQ) nonstop — EasyJet (from LGW), Jet2 (from STN), Ryanair (from STN) through early November. You can connect year-round via Athens on Aegean Airlines, a Star Alliance member.

Venice, Italy

By some estimations, Venice is the most haunted city in the world. Stray off the main tourist path and follow the dark canals to wherever they may lead, especially at night, and you’ll be hard pressed to not be a little bit spooked. The northernmost quarter (or sestier) of the city, Cannaregio, tends to be the most desolate at night and may also be the most haunted, but some of the tall palazzos that line the Grand Canal, such as Ca’ Dario, are said to harbor their fair share of not-so-nice spirits. The Venetian island of Poveglia, which was used in the past to hide both plague victims and lunatics, may house upwards of 100,000 ghosts (it’s also off-limits to day-trippers).

Fly from all major London airports to Venice through late October — Ryanair (from STN), EasyJet (from LTN and LGW) and British Airways (from LGW and LHR).

Varosha, Occupied North Cyprus

Ghost towns come in all shapes and sizes, but little Cyprus is home to the tragic and bizarre ghost town of Varosha. This is the southern section of the historic city of Famagusta, which, like the rest of northern Cyprus, has been occupied by Turkey since the summer of 1974. That summer remains frozen in time, with then-modern hotels lining the beach, abandoned. Varosha sits in the self-declared “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and is technically off limits, but you can easily take an organized tour from Larnaca, on the “Greek” side of the United Nations buffer zone.

A look over the fence of the military zone in the district of Varosha in the town of Famagusta, on the east coast of Cyprus. The former holiday village has been empty since 1974, when the turkish army occupied part of the greek territories on the island.
(Photo by AstridxAim/Getty Images)

British Airways has two flights a day from London Heathrow to Larnaca. Low-cost carriers like Wizz Air, EasyJet and Jet2 also operate to the city.

Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo

Let’s face it: There is never a bad time to visit Sicily. And as if you needed “The Godfathert” to remind you, Sicily does have its sinister side. Enjoy it in a famously spooky way with a visit to the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily’s capital city. The Capuchin crypt is the eerie home to some 8,000 mummies, in various states of decay and many striking curious poses, lining the walls. The catacombs were originally meant just for the Capuchin friars themselves, but by 1597, other Sicilians were invited to join in on this danse macabre. Some visitors have reported hearing whispers and whistling emanating from the skeletons.

(Photo by Massimo Borchi/Getty Images)

EasyJet and Ryanair fly between London airports and Palermo through October.

Craco, Italy

The Italian province of Matera in the Basilicata region has been getting a lot of attention recently as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Of course, its history goes back a lot farther than that, and in the case of the ghost town of Craco, to around 540 BC. Southern Italy is notoriously earthquake-prone and following years of landslides plus an earthquake in 1980, the whole town was simply abandoned. But the eerily empty stone houses are mostly all still there, seeming to emerge naturally from the rocky, lunar-like landscape.

(Photo by Dea/V.Giannella/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dea/V.Giannella/Getty Images)

Through October, you can fly EasyJet or Ryanair to Bari International Airport (BRI), which is the closest to Matera. Other airports in the area include Brindisi and Naples.

Featured photo by Joel Saget/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.