With its rich history, literature and culture, Europe has fascinated travellers worldwide. From snow-covered volcanoes of Iceland and sun-kissed coasts of the Mediterranean, to the endearing old town of Prague and architectural masterpieces in Barcelona, surprises await at every corner in Europe.
Step into the shoes of an Ancient Greek as you scale the steps and slopes of the majestic Acropolis. This “high city” has stood atop a limestone hill, looming above the city of Athens since prehistoric times. Head west to Rome and imagine the roar of the 80,000-strong audience as they watch Roman gladiators clashing swords and battling fierce lions in the large amphitheatre of the Colosseum. Turn your attention to Moscow’s Red Square, the focal point in the social and political history of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Explore this historic site along with the adjoining Kremlin, a fortified complex nestled in the heart of the city.
Aside from being the world’s smallest country, Vatican City is also reputed as one of the most beautiful with its spectacular artworks and artefacts. Marvel at the beautiful handwoven tapestries draped across the long walkways and the incredible wall paintings adorning every wall. As you follow the corridors, step into the Sistine Chapel and discover its famous painted interior spaces. Let your eyes wander across Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling frescos and admire his centrepiece, The Creation of Adam. In France, the city of Paris houses the largest museum in the world — make your way through The Louvre to catch a glimpse of Leonardo Da Vinci’s legendary Mona Lisa and her mysterious smile. Musicians and music lovers alike flock to Salzburg, Austria, where the composer Mozart was born as well as where the much-loved musical The Sound of Music was filmed!
From Norway’s magical Northern Lights in Tromso to the beautiful waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, Europe is full of extraordinary nature. See the incredible Norwegian fjords, inlets formed by glaciers. Its jaw-dropping natural sceneries featuring these vast cobalt water bodies surrounded by impressive mountains are best viewed from above. Embrace the serenity of Slovenia’s Lake Bled as you paddle across its calm surface in a rowboat. Alternatively, take a pletna to visit Bled Island in the middle of the gorgeous lake and its 15th-century pilgrimage church. Legend has it that ringing the wishing bell in the church will make your wishes come true!
Bon appetit! Europe is the prime destination for the foodies, where you can indulge in the ultimate dining experience. Head over to the world’s gourmet capital, Lyon, in France, and try their signature: the quenelles de brochet, pike dumplings in crayfish, lobster or mushroom sauce. At Bologna’s FICO Eataly World, the world’s first foodie theme park, you can grab a gelato cone, slurp up a bowl of pasta or even create your own Neapolitan pizza. Don’t forget to savour the sweet red wine of Portugal’s finest Port Wine, freshly distilled from the grapes of the beautiful Douro Valley. This famous wine has also been historically reported to have medicinal properties as well, having been used as a treatment for gout.
For a memorable winter holiday, stay in the spectacularly-sculptured Icehotel in Sweden, made completely of ice sourced from the nearby Torne River. Sculptors are hired to rebuild the ice suites every year as the snow melts into the river the following spring. Neighbouring Finland also offers one-of-a-kind winter experiences in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. Be sure to embrace the Finnish sauna culture by allowing the hot temperature to cleanse your body and soul. Gaze at the spectacular Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun within the comforts of a cosy glass igloo at the Kakslauttanen. Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by strolling through the charming Christmas markets in Berlin and Budapest. Indulge on seasonal cookies and cakes while sipping a cup of hot mulled wine as you admire the twinkling lights and snow-capped cathedrals.
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