Sunset at San Sebastian, Spain. (Javier Etxezarreta / EPA )
Rick Steves will appear this weekend at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show to talk about -- what else? -- Europe. Steves wrote his first "Europe Through the Back Door" guidebook in 1980 and has churned out about 40 books since then.
His latest project reveals 12 hidden places in Europe that most Americans haven't visited. Steves takes viewers there and explains his picks in a public TV special "Rick Steves' Hidden Europe" that will air in March. Here are some of the spots he selected.
San Sebastian, Spain: The draw of this Basque town near the French border is as much about food as it is about beaches. "The best stop in all of Basque Country also just happens to cook up the tastiest of tapas -- or pintxos, as the Basques would say," Steves writes.
Lucca, Italy: This is a place to escape the tourists that swarm Florence, Rome and Venice -- and see a place Steves describes as "one of the most underrated Tuscan towns." There lots to see in this walled city that's just an hour from Florence.
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina: The town's landmark bridge has been rebuilt since the 16th century original Turkish span was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian war. "Once the heart of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia is a world where East meets West, where minarets and church spires compete for your attention, and where the cultural tectonic plates of Islam and Christendom rub together," according to Steves.
Check out the entire "Hidden Europe" list and photographs.