The beauty of travel to Europe is there is there are so many diverse cultures, cuisines and landscapes within a stone’s throw of each other. The mind genuinely implodes when considering all the enticing options.
Perhaps you’d like to head to Austria and capitalise on some of the greatest ski resorts in the world, or drink in the musical history of Vienna?
From Renaissance art to world war history and cutting-edge fashion, there’s a lot to like about Belgium. You can visit the medieval walled city of Bruges and marvel at The Grand Palace in Brussels.
For beautiful swimming spots and quaint fishing ports, a stop in Croatia is a must. Drink in the sun on the Dalmatian Coast, wander the old town in Dubrovnik, and be sure to take your camera to Plitvice Lakes National Park – dubbed “the prettiest place on earth”.
In Denmark you can hit über cool Copenhagen, and immerse yourself in the incredible design culture and fabulous restaurants. This is a great city to explore on a bike.
Chic Parisians and crisp champagne, the Eiffel Tower and beautiful blonde beaches of the French Riviera – the innate glamour of France makes it a must-visit for every traveller at least once in their lives.
With its rich history, beautiful islands and fresh Mediterranean cuisine, Greece has a lot to offer. In modern day Athens the ghosts of Greece’s venerable ancient history rub shoulders with restless youths, contemporary architecture and lots of graffiti to create a heaving city of compelling contrasts.
Germany contrasts gritty, industrial cities such as Munich and Dusseldorf with fabulous forested landscapes and fairytale castles. Echoes of its storied past are everywhere from the Nazi camps that still scar the landscape to the colourful remains of the Berlin Wall, now a gallery for Europe’s coolest street artists.
Bewitchingly beautiful, yet volatile and unpredictable, Iceland is one of planet Earth’s most captivating destinations. The Land of Fire and Ice lures tourists with its endearing capital Reykjavík, astonishing volcanic scenery, exhilarating adventures and otherworldly natural phenomena.
With sweeping, rich green landscapes, dotted with white sheep, and beautiful vistas, Ireland is one of the friendliest, cheeriest places in the world. With picturesque villages, stunning waterways, and an abundance of bars and restaurants, Ireland is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Italy’s combination of world-class food, culture and natural wonders makes it irresistible to travellers. Neapolitan pizzas and big, bold red wines from Chianti, the sparkling water of Lake Como and romantic fishing villages of the Cinque Terre are just a few of the things to lure you there.
The Netherlands has to be one of the coolest places to stop in Europe. Amsterdam, “The Venice of the North”, is lined with canals that wind their way through streets of quaint old merchants’ houses, while its galleries are world-renowned, featuring the finest works from Dutch masters Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
Portugal’s glorious coastline, fabulous flavours and photogenic cities make it one of Europe’s hottest destinations. The golden sand of the Algarve’s many beaches, gooey custard tarts, sweet, spicy madeira and colourful houses are all serious drawcards.
Few countries in the world are as mysterious as Russia. Cultural capital St Petersburg is consistently named as one of the globe’s “must visit cities”, with its artworks, history and winding canals.
Full of wonder and the kind of laid-back charm we all crave, Spain is as abundant in incredible countryside as it is stunning bars and beaches. From the big cities of Barcelona and Madrid to islands like Majorca and the countryside around Seville, there’s so much variation in this beguiling country.
With more than 65,000 kilometres of marked hiking trails, 54 designated regional bike routes, 336 recognised ski resorts, 900 museums and a 29,000-kilometre public transport network linking every town and village in the nation, working out what to leave out on a holiday to Switzerland will be one of the hardest decisions you have to make.
If it’s an exotic escape you’re craving, Turkey should be on your itinerary. Shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, soaking in natural hot springs, and paying your respects at the battlefields are all experiences you won’t soon forget.
Last but not least, there’s the UK. Roast dinners with fluffy Yorkshire puddings, cozy pubs whose stories are as tall as the tales its regulars tell over their pints, princes, princesses and some of the most iconic monuments in the world… everyone should visit the tiny island with the big history at least once in their lives.
While it may be hard to see beyond the many attractions of cities such as London, Edinburgh and Cambridge, go further afield and the British countryside will charm you with its thatched cottages and surprisingly wild scenery. Think misty moors, breathtaking highlands and beautiful beaches.