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9 Awesome Experiences in Europe

Europe may be the smallest continent, but it’s full of an incredible array of bustling cities, quaint small towns, unique historical sights, natural beauty, and so much more. Whether it’s your first trip or your tenth trip to the continent, there’s always something new and awesome to see and do. Here are a few of my favorite experiences to check out on your next visit to Europe.

Cave hotel plunge pool in Santorini

Stay in a cave in Santorini

Greece has no shortage of beautiful islands for you to explore - or kick back and do nothing but enjoy the views. Santorini is definitely Greece’s most popular island, but with its beautiful white washed buildings, volcanic caldera landscape, and picture perfect beaches, it’s easy to see why. Many hotels slope along the island’s hilly terrain, and some rooms are even built as caves into the mountainside. For the full Santorini experience, get a cave room with your own private plunge pool overlooking the caldera.

Northern lights in Iceland

See the Northern Lights in Iceland

For nature lovers, Iceland is truly one of Europe’s best destinations. Iceland is known for its awesome volcanic landscapes, thermal hot springs, glacier lagoons, waterfalls, and black sand beaches. Come here in the fall or winter to have the chance to experience the Northern Lights. This natural phenomenon is spectacular, and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to experience it.

Tuscany Italy

Go wine tasting in Tuscany, Italy

Although there are several great wine regions in Europe, Tuscany is one of the very best. Florence is the largest city here and full of architectural charm and artistic beauty. If you’re a city dweller, then base yourself in Florence and take day trips to the vineyards nearby. Or, to immerse yourself in the countryside, rent a car and explore yourself with stops in Siena, Lucca, and Montepulciano (to name a few).

European river cruise

Take a river cruise through Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is full of so much unique charm just waiting to be explored. Prague and Budapest should top your list for cities to see, but to really experience the countryside, small towns, and hidden gems, hop aboard a river cruise! You’ll enjoy the luxury of waking up at a beautiful new place each day and have the chance to explore castles and fortresses, peruse authentic villages, and wine and dine like a local.

European Christmas market

Shop the Christmas markets

There’s something truly magical about visiting Europe during the holiday season. It’s hard to imagine a more festive way to celebrate the holidays than by exploring quaint cities adorned with lights and holiday decor, shopping for handcrafted ornaments and gifts at local stalls, and sipping hot mulled wine or snacking on classic Christmas market treats. You’ll find markets all over the continent set up from around late November to early January, but my personal favorites are in central Europe. For first timers, I suggest getting a rail pass and enjoying an easy, picturesque trip through France and Germany with stops in Strasbourg, Colmar, Nuremberg, and Cologne.

Dubrovnik Croatia old town and Adriatic sea

Take a road trip down the Adriatic coast

The Adriatic coast is primarily made up of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. If your picture of an ideal vacation is year round sunshine and warm weather, crystal clear water and gorgeous beaches, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and incredible medieval architecture, then here’s your perfect match. The easiest way to explore this area is by rental car (there are even car ferries that will allow you to take your vehicle to the islands). You’ll definitely want to stop in Kotor in Montenegro and Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, and from there, I suggest picking at least one of Croatia’s islands to add in to your itinerary - Hvar for luxury and nightlife, Mljet for nature and tranquility, or Korcula for rich history and picturesque villages.

Igloo in Finland northern lights

Sleep in an igloo in Finland

Finland’s Lapland is part of the Arctic circle and home to Santa and his reindeer. Visitors here can enjoy skiing and husky sledding, have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis, and tour Santa’s village. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort allows you to sleep in a glass igloo under the stars and enjoy everything that Lapland has to offer.

Alhambra in Granada Spain Andalucia

Explore Spain’s Andalucia region

Spain is one of my very favorite countries in the world (I had the opportunity to spend three months here during college). And I think the Andalucia region in the south of the country encompasses some of the very best of Spanish culture - think cities with Moorish architecture, medieval castles, and flamenco dancing. This area can easily be explored by trains or a rental car, and some must see spots include the sights and sounds of Seville, Cordoba’s Mezquita, and the Alhambra in Granada.

Experience the canals and tulips of Holland

Amsterdam is really a city like no other in Europe. The city is home to an elaborate canal scheme, more bikes than people, narrow homes with gabled facades, and a strong art scene made famous by Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Visit in the spring to see the famous flower fields in Keukenhof bloomed with more than 7 million tulips.

Have you visited any of these places? Which European destination is at the top of your list?

To start planning your fully customized European itinerary, send me a message any time.



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