Travelling through Europe is a must for anyone looking for a fabulous vacation. It is full of historical sites, lush landscapes, and offers up many exciting kinds of accommodations for explorers.
Here are 5 gems that you must visit this year.
Italy is one of the brightest jewels of Europe and it is a stunning mixture of history blended with cutting edge modernity. The food is fantastic, varies from region to region, and the locally made wine flows freely. Italy is also home to some of the world’s best villas where you can put your feet up after a hearty meal!
Visit Rome and see the spectacular Colosseum that has stood for thousands of years. Be sure to visit the Vatican City as well and view the opulence, and Michelangelo’s triumph: The Sistine Chapel.
In Florence you can view some of the greatest masters of the Renaissance and also take in the cutting edge fashion that is produced in this artistic city. Stop in Venice for a gondola ride through the winding canals and the stunning houses and buildings that line them.
Ireland is full of emerald coloured rolling hills, historic castles, and it is a fantastic place to escape to. Stop in Dublin for a tour of the Guinness Factory and be sure to have a pint with your fabulous pub fare.
If you are a golf enthusiast there are several fantastic courses to practice your swing on.
Croatia is a real treat for history buffs and nature lovers. The spectacular walled city of Dubrovnik, on the bright turquoise coast of the Adriatic Sea, is a stunning place to visit.
There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout the country (Plitviče Lakes National Park being one of the most beautiful) and there is architecture from the Baroque, Renaissance, and the Roman eras. For nature buffs there are over 1000 islands to explore including Spiaza Beach on the island of Susak that has been voted one of the top ten beaches in Europe.
You can charter a sailboat or take public ferries to the larger islands. A trip to Croatia will prove unforgettable.
Iceland is a diamond in the rough and it has the lowest population density in Europe. The capital city of Reykjavík boasts a fabulous night scene and the city is surrounded by stunning scenery. Escape from the city and explore 1500km of The Ring Road which travels along the coast.
Be sure to stop periodically to take in the many spectacular natural sights like geysers, active volcanoes, glistening glaciers, sapphire coloured glacier fed lake, towering waterfalls, and the stunning black beach of Vik.
You can view Viking ruins or go on cruise around the country. There are plenty of opportunities for spotting exotic bird and wildlife.
Related: Tips For an Epic Icelandic Road Trip
Holland is known as the land of tulips and windmills and it is a great place to travel around by foot or bicycle as the landscape is quite flat. Be sure to stop in Amsterdam for a peek at the Red Light District and wander through the Van Gogh Museum and see this magnificent painter’s legacy.
Be sure to visit The Hague known as the city of Peace and Justice that houses the countries parliament as well as the UN’s International Court of Justice that is housed in Peace Palace.
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Photo credits: Colosseum at night by Moyan Brenn. Pantheon at night by Luftphilia. Croatia images by Les Haines & Clark & Kim Kays. Dubrovnik & the Adriatic Sea by Ivan Ivankovic. Ice climbing in Iceland by the Legendary Adventures of Anna.