The sovereign power of Europe’s royal families may be a thing of the past, but in the 21st century, modern royals continue to cast a spell over travelers.
If you’re looking to spend your summer vacation in Europe, look no further. The weather in and around the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula is perfect in summer; it’s just warm enough to remind you what season it is without roasting you. The Douro valley in Portugal is famous for its wines, and what better time to sample it than summer? Mild temperatures make for ideal for sipping outside or on a cruise ship. Port wine was once shipped on the Douro River, from the steep wine valleys inland, to Porto. Difficult to navigate in the past, the river is now a smooth ride for cruise boats that offer breathtaking views of the Douro Valley, topped with visits to regional monuments, folk music and, of course, wine.
When you travel to Europe, it’s not just about enjoying the sights and sounds. It’s about immersing yourself in the culture to get even more out of your trip. That means jumping in head first to education experiences that you might not do otherwise. Whether you’re studying abroad in Europe for school or on a month-long sabbatical from everyday life, enjoy a wide range of experiences to truly enjoy European culture.
The snow-white scenery of the Dolomites is an ideal destination for those who love skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, climbing, snowshoeing and trekking. Internationally famous for its ski resorts, it’s a magic realm offering numerous slopes in one track for hundreds of kilometers while being surrounded by magnificent heights and enchanting landscapes. There are so many sports to practice on Mount Rosa and its valleys; the three valleys of Ayas, Gressoney and Valsesia have some of Italy’s biggest ski resorts.
Before planes, trains and automobiles, Europeans traveled by foot to visit famous religious sites. Today, many tourists embark on Europe’s religious routes to explore their spirituality, experience an epic adventure, and learn more about European culture. No matter what their motivations may be, every traveler seems to get their spiritual fix on these European pilgrimages.
Europe holds many impressive cathedrals, synagogues and mosques. These houses of worship hold important cultural, historic and religious significance. Many of these great buildings took centuries to build with ornate design and unique architecture.
Mystery abounds in every European country. You just have to know where to look. Welcome to the spooky side of Europe, home of ghastly ghosts, haunted happenings and eerie experiences for only the most adventurous of souls. Turn off the lights, get under your covers and dare to get familiar with some of the creepiest, scariest and most mysterious places in Europe.
Europe’s wonder shines brightest in its most natural locations. With over 350 national parks scattered throughout the continent, there’s plenty of wonder to take in during your next trip. From Spain to Finland, Denmark to Greece and everywhere in between, you’ll find national parks featuring unique terrains, breathtaking views and endless activities. One thing is certain: outdoor adventure abounds at each and every European park.
Explore Europe’s outstanding diversity by boat
Away from the excitement of cities like Paris, Barcelona and Florence is a place a little quieter. It’s somewhere you can stretch out your legs and breathe in the freshest air in Europe. It’s the European countryside and farms. Nearly every country is speckled with picturesque fields, bountiful farmlands and sweet serenity. Whether your heart and soul is drawn to farmlands or you want your vacation to go beyond the tourist cities, the European countryside is where you belong.
From the cool winds of the Atlantic to the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Europe’s coastline defines the continent in every way. It has created communities, inspired exploration, driven trade and attracted tourism, while remaining a constant source of natural wonder.
Europe’s rich literary traditions have filled libraries with some of the world’s best-loved poems, plays and novels. Many of the settings in famous stories, or places where your favorite authors wrote their masterworks, still exist today. Turn to the pages of a map and pick your adventure. Classic stories, authors and history await.
Every European country has natural treasures to explore, but where to begin and what to do? From iconic natural formations to national and regional parks, an ecotourism vacation provides the chance to experience natural settings, observe unique wildlife and support conservation efforts.
There are ways to lodge in Europe that are simply more European. Perhaps the most unique one is in a hostel. Affordable and creative, these small hotels and inns are found in all European countries. Whether you’re backpacking through Spain or on holiday in Sweden, spend your nights in a hostel for a more immersive experience.
Spring is the perfect time to be in Europe. The sun comes out, the days get longer and all the plants begin flowering. Itʼs also the perfect time to get away from busy European capitals and enjoy the out of the way secret locations and green spaces of the world. Make your way to Belgium for the Greenhouses of the Royal Palace at Laeken, Brussels. Beauty can be found at the Winter Garden in both its plant life and Art Nouveau architecture; the massive greenhouses with their ironwork frames are home to many rare and beautiful plants. They cover six acres of striking rotundas, domes and galleries. Twenty full-time gardeners meticulously tend this impressive collection.
Some of the most luxurious items in the world, from Rolls Royce to Rolex can trace their beginnings to Europe. Many of these brands have enticed shoppers for generations and show no signs of going out of style. From top-of-the-line automobiles to hand-crafted jewelry and every knick-knack in between, discover Europe’s finest products firsthand.
Christianity has changed over the centuries. Europe has been at the crux of that change. Rome is the heart of the Catholic Church. Germany is the birthplace of the Reformation. Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania monasteries have been greatly influenced by Orthodox Christianity. From the underground religious practices during the Roman Empire to the modern acceptance of all types of faith, Christianity has evolved in Europe, and is worth exploring today more than ever.
Get your camera ready. Once you’ve laid eyes on Europe’s most charming mountain villages, you may not want to put it down. You also may not ever want to leave. These are the places that fairy tales are made of, only they happen to be real. From medieval villages in Spain to traditional timber chalets in Switzerland, to the towering mountain-side fortresses of San Marino, these small but fully functioning towns are waiting to warmly welcome visitors who appreciate their quaint style of living.
Searching for the perfect beach can be a difficult task, especially in an area you are not familiar with. However, in Europe, you’ll know you’ve found the ideal surf and sand thanks to an iconic marker – a blue flag. Europe’s Blue Flag Beaches meet strict standards for water quality, safety and eco-friendliness, making them the ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and playing. Luckily for travelers, there are over 4,000 beaches that have achieved Blue Flag status in the world – and Europe has a large majority of them.
Post-retirement is an excellent time to go see the world, as you’re less likely to have pressing engagements and can spend more time at your destination. Europe is a great option for seniors as many of the top destinations are not too far from each other cutting down on travel time, while still providing an exciting and enriching travel experience. It’s also relatively easy to find a tour group that goes to the specific destinations you want to see in Europe, and travel in comfort at the same time.
Europeans were first lured to explore the oceans of the world centuries ago. Many countries and cultures have grown prosperous economies since then in ports built on the efforts of these first inspired sailors. Today, curious travelers are tempted to explore the history, industry and scale of Europe’s fascinating port cities.
With a past as storied as Europe’s, it’s impossible not to take in some history while on your trip, especially when every other pub or church seems to be older than some countries. Get your fix of some of the oldest and most spectacular archaeological sites in Europe.
Rich with diversity and beaming with culture, Europe is home to everything from pride parades to museums that celebrate the LGBT community. You can find an entire district of high-end shopping in one city – then go skiing down whitewashed mountains in the next. So inspire your upcoming European stay with some of the area’s most enticing settings.
The terrain of the Nordic countries is harsh and unforgiving, but also breathtakingly beautiful. These qualities make it ideal for adventure travelers, those looking for active, high-energy vacations.
There’s nothing like enjoying a night at the opera in the very place where it was born. From Teatro alla Scala in Milan to London’s Covent Garden, Europe is home to many of the world’s finest opera houses. Don’t miss the chance to take your European vacation to new heights of action, drama and romance – all within the span of a few hours – with a trip to one of Europe’s famed opera houses.
Wine has influenced the culture of Europe for centuries. Dating back to 1600 BC, the Romans spread wine grapes throughout Europe and quickly became skilled at classifying grape varieties and colors, observing characteristics, and building fertilization techniques. By the first century AD, wine was being exported from Italy to Spain, Germany, England and France. The world’s oldest operating winery, the Château de Goulaine in France, is still open to visitors today and was a reason the country and its surrounding area quickly dominated the world wine market.
Hungry for a fulfilling cultural experience? Europe offers no shortage of delicious choices when it comes to food-centric festivals and gastronomy trails. From a bizarre city-sponsored tomato-throwing event in Buñol, Spain, to a celebration of oysters in Galway, Ireland, there is a food festival that is sure to please any palate.
Traveling internationally with your children can be difficult for a lot of reasons, but one of the hardest aspects of planning the trip can be accounting for everyone’s tastes and interests. While spending time in museums or going to wine tastings might be your ideal vacation, those activities might not appeal to the kiddos. That doesn’t mean your trip has to revolve around your kids, but you should try to plan at least one kid-centric activity a day.
If you love cooking as much as you love traveling, why not combine your passions and embark on the ultimate tasting tour? With gastronomic tourism on the rise, travellers from all over the world are able to get a unique perspective on a country’s native cuisine and how it’s prepared while sampling the local culture, sights and attractions. Try a cooking class in Europe and learn culinary secrets from world-renowned chefs in some of Europe’s most spectacular settings. Learn to make paella in Valencia, how they make cheese in the South of France, or about nose-to-tail butchering in the English countryside.
In spite of a turbulent history, the remarkable legacy of the Jewish faith is readily found all over Europe. Whether you practice Judaism or not, there is much to discover and enjoy in Europe’s many Jewish heritage sites.
Europe’s rivers are famous throughout the world. The Seine. The Rhine. The Danube. The Douro. The Thames. These iconic names alone inspire people from around the globe to travel along Europe’s winding rivers and visit the port cities that stand proudly among them. River cruises are an easy and scenic way to travel through Europe without renting a car or navigating various public transit systems. No matter what your travel purposes are, river cruises have a way to fulfill them.
Sometimes exploring Europe means seeing sites like the Eiffel Tower or Stonehenge. Other times it means finding the biggest mountain you can and climbing right up to the top. Luckily, you won’t have to go far to find mountains, lakes and hilltops ripe for hiking. Lace up those boots, roll up your sleeping bag and prep yourself for a trip to the great European outdoors.
Thanks to centuries of history, popular movies and legendary literature, the allure of Europe’s landscapes and cultures has been romanticized for ages. Many people dream of turning the European vacation in their hearts into reality. Here’s why now is better than ever to visit Europe.
Europe has always maintained a thriving music scene, from classical times to today. Discover the origins of the British Invasion, Swedish disco sensations and Irish folk music inspirations. Don’t miss the amazing European music festivals in the summer, either.
Europe is full of big adventures. Adventures so big, in fact, that they can’t be contained within four walls. Welcome to the wild side of Europe, where trees shade your discoveries and rivers refresh your explorations. In short, there are a lot to enjoy about the wonders of nature in Europe. From the European Alps to all of the national parks in Europe, adventure awaits. So put on your walking shoes and let’s get moving.
From the virtuosos of the Renaissance to the modern masters, Europe has hundreds of museums and galleries to house them. Experience the movements that started in Europe, such as Surrealism with Salvador Dalí and Cubism with Picasso. Europe was the center of a revolution in art, the Renaissance. But don’t miss all the modern highlights of the 20th century in your search for fine art. Across the land, modern art museums tell the story of the continent’s contemporary history as well as display the playful European disposition.
Learning about a country through its culinary arts is one of travel’s principle pleasures. Food is a tangible reflection of geography, history, and culture; there are few more pleasurable ways to become well acquainted with a country than through its gastronomy, and each region has something unique to add to the menu. From breakfast to dessert, exploring the many flavors of Europe will be one of the most fulfilling parts of your trip.
Winter in Europe is not just a season – it is magical. Snow-capped peaks stretch across the skyline. Christmas markets light up happy faces. And the end of the year brings new adventures at every turn. To enjoy it all, you will need to know your way around Europe’s best winter sports. What is the best place to ski in Austria? How are the pubs in Zurich? Where should you ice-skate in Prague? Find out by reading below to prepare for your winter holiday in Europe.
Fewer tourists, cooler weather, and cheaper airfares and hotels lure many travelers to Europe during the off-season. But when exactly is the European off-season and where are good places to visit?
From bridges that connected communities and soaring spires that inspired worship to medieval castles that defended cities, Europe has been forged by a unique history that in turn shaped the creation of its capital cities.
When you think of Europe, famous places come to mind. Places like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa have all established themselves as the most iconic landmarks in not only Europe but also throughout the world. They have attracted worldly visitors for generations, and for good reason. But while these must-see landmarks in Europe have remained the same throughout the years, new amenities are added to make your visit even more enjoyable than ever before.
The most majestic of all landscapes is the fjord, a glacial formation that carves out deep, narrow valleys filled with sparkling waters. High walls preside over the water, providing spectacular views and excellent hiking. Although there are many glacial features that resemble fjords throughout the world, the truest and most beautiful fjords can be found in Europe.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a particular culture is to attend a heritage festival. Learn how the locals celebrate their colorful customs by sharing what makes their homeland special, namely through music, art, food, and a multitude of engaging activities and events. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover the rich history and varied traditions of a culture as presented and celebrated by its own people.
All Natural. All Delicious.
Looking for the coolest destinations in Europe? Visit during November to February, the European winter season. Northern skies are glowing, ski slopes are glistening and Christmas markets are magical.
An art form throughout Europe, brewing’s tradition can be traced back to the trappist monks and continues to live in today’s breweries. Visit the oldest breweries in Europe for a stout experience, rich in history.
The Kaunertal Valley in Austria is a land of continuous contrasts that mirror the changing seasons. The panoramic Kaunertal Glacier Road weaves through snow-covered forests and ends at eternal ice. Lush greenery, babbling brooks, and sweet-smelling pastures are all made accessible to guests with reduced mobility. That’s why The Kaunertal Valley was chosen as Austria’s most recent EDEN winner. The theme was accessible tourism.
Europe is the home of some of classical music’s most famous maestros. Today, travelers can experience the sweeping, exhilarating and emotional sounds of the world’s well-known classical music pieces in museums, concert halls and at classical music festivals. Listen and enjoy the suites, cantatas and concertos from the masters of sound and learn about the life and times of Europe’s amazing composers.
Europe has many famous museums that are must-see attractions, but there are lots of smaller, unexpectedly entertaining museums just waiting to be explored. Stop following the crowds and head off the beaten path to discover these lesser-known gems. They just might surprise you and become highlights on your trip to Europe.
One of the best parts of international travel is getting to try the local cuisine, and some of the best dishes in Europe come from the countries on the Mediterranean Sea. Starting in Spain, we’ll highlight some great entrees from all around the coast and on into Turkey.
Europe’s cities are filled with every style of architecture imaginable. Oftentimes, these styles coexist side by side and somehow make each city even greater than the sum of its parts. Government buildings, hundreds of years old, stand in regal fashion next to sleek, modern museums and libraries, making for an enjoyable juxtaposition that just begs to be captured by your camera. From old castles in San Marino to grandiose Lithuanian cathedrals, you’ll be inspired by the markedly different buildings designed by the famous architects of Europe. Scandinavia offers some prime examples of Contemporary architecture. Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen,
Europe’s thermal spas invite you to relax in the lap of luxury. Filled with natural waters and accompanied by lavish treatments, Europe’s pools and modern resorts provide you with the perfect opportunity to unplug, relax and unwind.
Europe has always been irresistible to shoppers, but beyond the big brands and famous streets of some of the world’s most famous cities are lesser-known districts that are inspiring a new generation of European creativity.
Even if you’ve never climbed a mountain in your life, there are peaks all over Europe that are quite accessible to avid climbers and flat-landers alike. Simply pack your love of the outdoors, a sense of adventure and your hiking boots, and you’ll be ready to make your way to the top of the continent.
For centuries some of the greatest sporting events have occurred throughout Europe’s historic stadiums, coliseums and arenas. Today, spectators come from around the globe to witness the world’s best athletes compete on these hallowed grounds. Consider this your brief guide to Europe’s best spots to watch football, tennis, cycling, rugby, racing and more.
A visit to Europe is unforgettable in itself, but people often find themselves dreaming about all the delicious foods they tried, long after they’ve returned. From sweet to salty and every flavor in between, fondly remember your trip when you bring home a taste of Europe.
Newly-weds always hope their marriage will play out like a fairy-tale. So what better way to start than with a honeymoon in romantic Europe?
There are a number of ways to travel through Europe. But only some of these ways bring you closer to Europe’s core, making how you travel part of the adventure. It’s traveling by vigor instead of motorized vehicle. And sprawling paths called greenways stretching throughout Europe make it possible.
The mystery of the Celtic people continues to entice people to visit the ancient sites and ponder the meaning of what’s been left behind. You can explore well-known passage graves and monastic settlements of Ireland and Scotland to catch a glimpse into the sacred and storied Celts, but you can also find their mark on a number of other places throughout Europe that are just as fascinating.
From fresh Atlantic cod to giant king crab, Europe has an amazing selection of seafood. Explore the regional cuisine of traditional plates from around the coasts of Europe. Find the freshest seafood at a fishing village market or in a five-star restaurant. Head onto the waters with a guide and catch your own fish and learn how to prepare it. Whether it’s caught in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean or the North Sea, European seafood is a treat.
Even if the only music lesson you ever had was more than four presidential administrations ago, it’s never too late to learn and appreciate different kinds of music. Families, college students and lifelong learners flock to Europe to take advantage of its plentiful opportunities for cultural enrichment through music.
Europe has a well-connected railway system. Not only does this make travel super convenient, but it also shows off some of the best views in Europe. From coastlines to alpine peaks, you can see the most scenic vistas of Europe.
Every traveller has their place (or places) they want to visit in Europe. But whether you prefer snowkiting in Norway or relaxing in the natural hot springs of Hungary, discovering fortresses in San Marino or photographing Dutch windmills in The Netherlands, find the activities and destinations you’ve dreamed of by knowing what style of vacation appeals to you.
When people think of a classically romantic honeymoon, most people think of Paris. And with good reason, Paris, France is the city of love, after all. Beyond Paris though, there are many other options for wonderfully romantic getaway in Europe.