Europe is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations, and its diversified culture, interesting and unique landmarks, and beautiful scenery make it the perfect place to enjoy nature, experience an exciting nightlife, tour famous cities, or enjoy a river cruise.
This colorful part of the world offers a virtually limitless number of options with regard to activities and attractions. These include touring the Palace of Versailles, shopping in Glascow, Scotland, viewing beautiful scenery in the Mediterranean, participating in one of Barcelona’s many festivals, or visiting Rome’s impressive Vatican and Europe’s various museums. Below are some additional ideas for those planning a European vacation.
Europe boasts a diverse landscape, which includes the rugged lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands, the lovely valleys of Loire, the outstanding fjords of Norway, the bustling cities of London and Paris and the step-like plains found in the center of Spain. Vacationers may also opt for less traveled roads, such as the rugged coastlines of the Majestic Black and Baltic Seas, or Switzerland’s unspoiled mountain ranges. Similar mountain ranges are also found in northern Italy and their natural splendor is breathtaking.
Those interested in European River cruises will find that the options are varied and plentiful. Ships and riverboats primarily traverse parts of Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, but itineraries are also available for Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Ukraine.
Those searching for things to do in the city of Paris should consider booking a romantic cruise on the spectacular Seine River. Although walking through Paris is a terrific activity all by itself, river cruises offer an ideal avenue through which to enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris.
From intriguing Venice to Amsterdam’s delightful canals, Europe’s smaller bodies of water are also worthy of an excursion or two. No matter which type of cruise a person chooses, no one ever regrets boarding a vessel for a river tour when on a European vacation.
Wildlife in Europe
Europe is home to many natural wonders and a vast array of wildlife as well. Visitors should not miss a trip to the glass-like waters that surround Montenegro and Croatia. At certain times, these waters are so clear that it is possible to see straight to the bottom.
The coastline is peppered with rugged, wave-pelted shores featuring turquoise coves and hidden caves. These interesting structures are surrounded by lush, green forests and national parks which were preserved by natives of the Mediterranean region. Those who are interested in viewing wildcats, boars, wolves and brown bears should visit the Durmitor National Park, the latter of which is regarded by many as a hidden jewel of the Mediterranean.
Marine Life in Portugal’s Douro River
Distinctly outlined by green hills and granite cliffs, the Douro River is found at the heart of Portugal’s wine country. The regions surrounding the river showcase harmony between natural and man-made environments, and the River itself offers nourishment for locals with agricultural pursuits. Travelers may also be interested to know that some of the Coa Valley’s olive trees are over 450 years old.
Scottish Highlands for Birdwatchers
Birdwatching enthusiasts should not miss a trip to St. Kilda in the Scottish Highlands. These mesmerizing volcanic cliffs are home to nearly one million birds, as well as Europe’s most important sea bird breeding sanctuary.
Bass Rock is one of the best places to spot birds in their natural habitats, and it is not uncommon for approximately 150 birds to be nesting in this area at the same time. Visitors are almost guaranteed to see gannet colonies in this area, and those who wish to hike one of the many trails on nearby Staffa Isle may also see hexagonal basalt formations, where nesting puffins are found. However, those who want to view otters, dolphins and seals should consider a boat excursion, as this venue offers the best views of Scotland’s marine life.
Bear Watching in Eastern Finland
True nature lovers should consider a trip to Eastern Finland, where bears can be viewed in lush green meadows or on the rocky winter terrain of the northeastern coast. Several preserves are also located in this area, where guided tours are available.
In addition to offering a terrific array of wildlife, Europe is also home to the most celebrated museums in the world. The Louvre, Uffizi Gallery, the Hermitage and the Prado Museum are some of the most popular; however, all European countries have museums worth visiting.
Those who enjoy a day on the water should not miss a trip to one of Italy’s famous lakes. Maggiore Lake, Lake Lugano and of course, the renowned Lake Como, await romantic travelers who can choose from a moonlit sail or daytime excursion.
Fjords of Norway
Norway’s impressive fjords are the country’s most famous landmark, and these glacier-formed wonders of nature are a sight that no one will ever forget. First-time visitors should consider the Sognefjord, Lysefjord, and the Geiranger fjord when visiting Norway.
Castles and Palaces
Europe is filled with architectural wonders, including the palaces of royalty and feudal castles. Germany, Ireland, France and Italy all have fairytale-like structures that visitors can tour. Travelers planning an excursion through a palace or castle will learn interesting facts about Europe’s history and the significance of each structure.
European getaways offer something for everyone, and the rich diversity of the continent makes it an appealing travel destination for individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. Regardless of which cities and countries one chooses to visit while vacationing in Europe, he or she is guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience.