Our top 16 must visit European destinations!
The one question we’ve been asked over, and over again (and over..) is – What is your favourite destination? Well, as you can imagine that is probably one of the hardest questions anyone could ask.
Everywhere is so different, how is it possible to compare two completely different holidays and pick a favourite!
So, to make things easier we put together a list of our top
10 16 European destinations (we couldn’t limit it to 10!)! These are in no particular order…
Stavanger – Norway
This particular destination is up there in the top 3 for sure. It was incredible, we went twice in the space of 3 months! Most of you at this point are probably thinking, where on earth is Stavanger… I’ve never heard of it. Well, neither had we until one evening when we quickly checked Google Flights for an affordable weekend getaway, it was £50 return with British Airways for great flight times and exactly what we were looking for, not having been to Norway before we knew it was a winner and decided to do some research and typed Stavanger into Google images to see what popped up. Ahuh!! That’s where that giant cliff face that has been popping up ever so often on my Instagram feed! I might add here that it is a sheer 602m drop to the Norwegian fjord and this bucket list worthy place is called Pulpit Rock (or Preikestolen to the locals).
My only challenge was to convince Jenna (who is afraid of heights) to hike this gorgeous part of Norway with me. I digress, so rather than telling my story here, if you’re interested you should definitely read our Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) Sunrise Hike post which covers the hike and includes a short video. But in short – this is absolutely one of the best experiences of our lives and is something that I truly hope everyone can experience!
Zakynthos – Greece
When people think of Greece, Santorini springs to mind. Santorini was amazing, but Zakynthos for us was incredible! The coastal cliff drive, or the winding mountain drive – either way, this island has it all. The water is postcard perfect. The main attraction for people when visiting Zakynthos is, of course, Navagio Beach, or Shipwreck beach. For a very long time, this was the image used on the TripAdvisor home page! I don’t know about you, but every time we would hop onto TripAdvisor this image just tempted me so much! Ticking it off our bucket list was simply a must. Getting the amazing photo was difficult – it involved stepping over the safety barrier, standing on a small patch of dirt with a rocky base… who knows how thick it was underneath our feet! But, we got the shot and realised very quickly what a drop of 274m looks like when you have a tiny patch of dirt to stand on… Now, this spot was just to the left of the main platform the majority of the tourists (tour groups) go to, but if you have a rental car and a bit of time then you should definitely make your way around to the right and wander along where you actually get a great angle of Navagio. If you have even more time (which we did) then at the edge of the car park you can walk left down a dirt road, we were lucky enough to see a few people off the dirt road further down and decided to head down and see what the view was like – stunning – absolutely stunning. Even better, the people we ran into were actually setting up their gear and getting ready to cliff jump, so with their safety harnesses strapped in, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind holding our GoPro out over the edge – this photo below was the result!
You can read more about our Zakynthos holiday here!
Sardinia – Italy
Sardegna… People say we go on about Sardinia a lot. We do. That is simply because it is incredible! To be honest, I didn’t think we were going to get to Sardegna and almost took it off the list, flights from London were more hassle than one would like and the timing just never seemed to work out for us. Well, until we decided to head to Lago di Como and found great flights from Milan to Sardegna!
Some of the most incredible beaches I have seen are in Sardegna, and the food – amazing especially if you are a seafood lover! Again, I won’t bore you with the details here, so jump on over to our Sardinia post for more information.
Val Thorens – French Alps
When looking for a ski resort that is suitable for beginners, but had enough going on to not get bored, we decided to look at Val Thorens in the French Alps. We were absolutely not disappointed! The variety of piste and Après-ski was incredible. We were lucky and went over new years so the vibe was amazing, there was so much to see and do, including a massive new years eve party with fire works! I feel it is worth mentioning the waffles that you can get here – they are so delicious, and these quickly became our daily lunch stop! It is particularly fun if you go in a group 🙂
Click here to help plan your trip to Val Thorens with our recommendations!
Sicily – Italy
Sicily – another incredible Italian island holiday. Just like Sardinia, this is an island to hire a car and drive around. The food was amazing, typical Italian pasta, the water was lovely and the drive was lovely and scenic. The best thing about Sicily is that around 90% of the tourists are Italian, so the language spoken nearly everywhere is Italian and Italian only. So, if you want to order some food, best you know some Italian, enough to be able to read a menu and know what you do and don’t like! But, that’s what we enjoyed so much about it.
To check out our 5-day itinerary around the incredible island, click here.
To see some more amazing photos of Sicily, click here.
Mykonos – Greece
Greece makes another appearance! Mykonos… for us was higher on the list than Santorini! Simply because I got the true Greek feeling when walking through this gorgeous town, surrounded by white and blue houses with cobblestone pathways, amazing water, and a beach so you can cool off. Another awesome part about Mykonos is that you can buy beer (really cheap) from the vendors on the street and enjoy them (legally) while wandering through the picturesque streets. It’s perfect on a super hot day!
Saint Petersburg – Russia
A city filled with history and gorgeous buildings! We spent two days here as part of our Baltic cruise. We had a jammed packed two-day itinerary to make the most of our time and make sure we saw as much as possible. The highlights for us would, of course, be seeing the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood which is the typical Russian church – it is breathtaking! Catherine Palace and the gardens of Peterhof Palace were also beautiful.
Cinque Terre – Italy
Italy.. again… I know. But honestly, how could you ever get sick of this coastline! Cinque Terre was such an incredible experience. The villages set up into the rugged mountains is an experience. It is simply beautiful and breathtaking.
To read more about this amazing part of the world, take a look at our Cinque Terre blog.
Berlin – Germany
Europe is not complete without a trip to Berlin. Wow. The city, the history, the people and did I mention the history? I haven’t enjoyed a city break as much as Berlin. There is so much to do, so much to see and so much to learn. You get to see first-hand part of the incredible history that dates back to the World War. You get such a rush of mixed emotions here… One moment you’re having an amazing, happy time and next minute you’re standing in the Holocaust memorial and that’s when the reality of history sets in… To take a look at our Berlin in pictures post!
Santorini – Greece
Ok, so Santorini really does need to be on the list. It is one of those places that you do need to visit. The village of Oia is so beautiful and the views and sunset are incredible. It is really quite amazing that this city was built on the result of a volcanic eruption that happened in the 16th Century B.C.E. Click here to look at some more amazing photos from Santorini.
Amalfi Coast – Italy
The best parts of Italy are never simple to get to, but that’s what makes them so incredible! The Amalfi Coast is the perfect example. Having to fly into Naples, then either driving a couple of hours or taking several modes of transport to get there, it is certainly not something to do without planning involved. However, when you get there it just makes you speechless. The windy narrow roads that hug the rugged mountain ranges are something you only imagine until you see them for yourself. You can’t drive fast, nor would you want to!
The gorgeous pastel houses, access to the Isle of Capri and delicious Italian food are only a few of the reasons to visit. You don’t really want to visit for the swimming as the water isn’t the main attraction here! Check out of our Amalfi Coast in pictures post for more inspiration or our top 10 things to see on the Amalfi Coast post.
Lisbon – Portugal
This was one of the first city breaks we did while living in London. It was such an eye opening trip! Lisbon is beautiful, the tiled buildings and street art is what gives Lisbon such a unique character (even though the city is quite run down). There are some amazing vantage points in the city to watch the sunset and relax and enjoy yourself. We were lucky enough to jump on a day trip to visit Sintra Castle, the western most point in Europe, known as Cabo da Roca and the coastal town of Cascais. Definitely, a city to visit for a long weekend!
Stockholm – Sweden
Ah, turns out not only are the people beautiful but so is their capital city, Stockholm!
It seems like such a laid back city with plenty to see and do. The old town is gorgeous with the little laneways, churches, a palace with the extravagant changing of the guards. There is also the Vasa museum. This museum is so special, it displays the only almost fully intact 17th-century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. Another part of history that is incredible to see first hand.
One of the best ways to visit Stockholm is by cruise ship. This means you can see the Archipelago as you cruise into port. For those who don’t know what the archipelago is, it is thousands of tiny islands. Stockholm has the largest in Sweden and the second largest in the Baltic Sea.
The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
The best way to see Croatia – sail from Split down to Dubrovnik on a yacht! An unforgettable experience.
You arrive in Split, explore and enjoy the town before sailing down the incredible Dalmatian coast exploring island after island before finishing off in Dubrovnik. We chose a company called Med Sailors and it was one of the best experiences we had. It was one perfect day after another and the best way to get down the coast. It is truly something you need to do while you’re based in the UK.
Click here to read more about sailing Croatia and to see a short video.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
This is an interesting one. The town itself is gorgeous, but what makes this particular trip memorable was getting to and from Mostar! We took a day trip while in Dubrovnik, Croatia and drove out to Mostar with some friends. The thing to remember with Bosnia, not a lot of the locals speak English so if you’re needing to ask for any help outside of the main tourist area, then think again! The scenery to and from Mostar was beautiful and the village itself with Stari Most was worth the drive. To read more about this gorgeous town or to watch our videos, click here.
Last but by no means least, Paris! No visit to Europe is complete without visiting Paris a couple of times. I say a couple of times because it takes around 2 or 3 times before you can really enjoy Paris for what it is. It is more than just the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, it is about getting around the local area and walking around and exploring. It is really such a pretty city and well worth spending some time there. To read more about Paris, click here.
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If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
Obviously, there is diversity, but Europe is a union of diversity – Jean-Pierre Raffarin