The Alps, the Danube Valley, and the steppes of the Pannonian plain give Austria an immensely diverse and breath-taking landscape. The nine distinct provinces of Austria are proud of their diversity that stretches from the elegance of Vienna in the north, to the Italian influenced warmth of the Carinthian mountains in the south. Historical treasures from many centuries stand facing modern art and architecture in cities and picturesque towns, making the country the cultural heart of Europe. The welcoming warmth and gracious hospitality of the Austrians and the country’s intriguing cuisine make it a much sought-after holiday destination.
Situated between France and The Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium is often called the Essence of Europe. Stunning architecture decorates quaint cobblestone squares. Incredible cuisine is found in a wide range of restaurants. Brussels is one of the world’s great cosmopolitan capitals, home to both the European Union and NATO. A flatland crisscrossed by canals in the north, Flanders is proud of its medieval art cities of Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the south in Wallonia, find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, countless castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai. Energetic and carefree, Belgium is undeniable as a country of welcoming connoisseurs.
Experience the Mediterranean as it once was. Strung along the stunning coast of Croatia, 1,244 islands dot the Adriatic Sea. This new star of the European Union boasts 20 UNESCO Heritage Sites and eight national parks. A middle-sized European country with a big heart, Croatia is a land of open frontiers and upfront customs formalities. From the café culture of its historic cities to the rugged landscapes of continental Croatia, with a packed calendar of festivals, events and a host of home grown gastronomic delights, Croatia is a promising holiday destination.
Since ancient times, the crossroads of European cultures lies in the Czech countryside. Charming towns, castles and the most chateaux per square mile of any country in the world dot the landscape. Ancient villages and luxury spas wait to inspire and relax you. Despite its small size, the Czech Republic’s wealth of natural beauty and monuments of UNESCO cultural heritage add to its global stature as a major cultural destination.
In Northern Europe between the North Sea and the Baltic, Denmark is lined by more than 4,400 miles (7,200 km) of shoreline. Scattered along the coast, more than 400 islands offer extraordinary boating, fishing and of course windsurfing. The southernmost Scandinavian country, Denmark is an easy starting point to explore the region’s deep Viking heritage. Denmark’s rolling countryside begs visitors to pedal the more than 6,200 miles (10,000 km) of cycle paths. Walk in the footsteps of Denmark native Hans Christian Andersen while discovering the inspiration for his literary accomplishments. Explore unique Danish design and creativity. Come and take part in the diverse and liveable city of Copenhagen, and connect with the welcoming culture of Denmark.
France sits atop many travellers’ wish lists. From the lights of Paris to the relaxing countryside, France is one of the most alluring countries in the world. Tempting cuisine such as sauces, cheeses, breads, and pastries wait inside charming cafés. French beaches are often known to be naturalist friendly, but plenty of family-oriented beaches abound. Many French villages have Internet access, ATMs and cell phone service, but they retain their historic architecture, gorgeous views and quiet pace of life. Indulge in celebrated wine and champagne, and then stay the night in a traditional chateau. Discover masterful art and architecture, the French Alps, and beautiful landscapes. Create your own legendary experience in France.
Germany has a diverse landscape of rich culture and history. In the heart of Europe, fairytale castles rest high on craggy mountaintops, and tiny romantic villages enchant with chocolate box charm and the typical German Gemütlichkeit. The Alpine Foreland, home to the Zugspitze Mountain, welcomes hikers in summer and skiers and snowboarders in winter. Explore spotless miles of golden beach on the various islands and along the coastline, like in the National Park of Wattenmeer in the North. In the forests, the fragrant flora and fauna shade the legends of fairies and goblins. Of course the Magic Cities of Germany buzz with beer gardens, remarkable architecture and rich history. Rediscover the experiences of today’s Germany.
Greece is a country of beautiful contradictions, a journey in time, through a glorious past. It is a place where culture and history meet the warm sunshine of the southernmost part of Europe. Walk through the country’s groves and archaeological sites. Explore the beaches, rivers, lakes and mountains noted in ancient myth. Visit popular islands and the sparsely inhabited ones. Take in the breathtaking scenery. Treat yourself to local culinary delights and taste award-winning wines and spirits. Relax and follow the laid-back lifestyle, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife until the sun comes up.
The Hungarian people have lived in the centre of Europe more than 1,100 years. Despite frequent upheavals throughout history, Hungary boasts a heritage and language resembling no other. Absorb and experience the unparalleled panorama and cultural influence of Budapest. Hungary’s capital is known as “the Pearl of the Danube,” and features several UNESCO World Heritage sites. Second only to Iceland in reserves of surface thermal water, rejuvenate the mind and body in hundreds of natural hot springs. The UNESCO-listed Tokaj Vineyards, one of 22 wine regions in Hungary, produces the Tokaj dessert wine, widely known as “the King of wines and the wine of Kings”. Explore the Carpathian Basin and discover a country brimming with culture and natural beauty.
This mid-Atlantic island is the halfway point between the United States and the European continent. The chilliest thing about Iceland is its name. Even in January the temperature is warmer than New York. Witness extraordinary views of surging geysers, thundering waterfalls and moonlike volcanic craters. Experience the magnificence of Europe’s largest glacier. Cozy, charming, and with a village feel, visitors are safe to walk the streets of the city of Reykjavik. With modern conveniences, a high quality of life and world-class services, Iceland’s capital is still only a 15-minute cab ride from harsh and wild natural scenery. A European outpost with an exciting, lively, and vibrant ancient culture, Iceland is constantly being rediscovered.
Old castles and modern hotels, magnificent villas and beautiful holiday resorts – Italy offers a wide variety of prestigious localities and venues, all fully equipped, for a perfect combination of work and pleasure. For active travellers, Italy features an enticing selection of adventures and activities. The great artistic legacy of Italy is unequalled anywhere else in the world. Of course the main cities have their famous museums, but a vast wealth of art and culture is just waiting to be discovered in the smaller towns as well. Plus, it wouldn’t be a proper Italian holiday without partaking of its incomparable cuisine. Come hungry so you can devour the best of Italy.
The Maltese Islands have been described as one big open-air museum. What makes them captivating is that so much of their past is still visible today. Delve into the Islands’ mysterious prehistory, retrace the footsteps of St. Paul, or see where the Knights of St. John defended Christendom. The capital city of Valletta, “The Fortress City,” is European Art City and a World Heritage City and will be European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2018. As a cultural haven, Valletta’s grid of narrow streets houses some of Europe’s finest art works, churches and palaces. In addition to its numerous recreational areas, every day offers opportunities to see plays, concerts, and plenty of exhibitions and street events. Interactive walkthrough and multimedia attractions give an overview of Malta’s history in under an hour, and they are a fun and informative way to get to know these beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.
The enchanting Principality of Monaco lies between France and the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to its mild, temperate climate with nearly 300 days of sunshine per year, Monaco is an attractive destination for tourists young and old. Even with its small size, Monaco provides a wealth of entertainment and delight. It is home not only to some of the region’s most spectacular scenery but also many opportunities for recreation and, of course, its famed gambling facilities. In addition to these enticing pursuits, Monaco is rife with cultural and historical sites that are sure to impress even the most seasoned traveler. Pack your camera and your sunglasses and leave the rest to Monaco.
Explore unique diversity and rich cultural experiences in the Netherlands. Water is everywhere, making it ideal for sailing, yachting, canoeing, and ice-skating. Glide through Amsterdam by way of canals to experience the “Venice of the North.” Bike the dunes and sandy beaches of the west coast. Taste Dutch snacks like bitterballen and kroketten, or savor Dutch pancakes with a variety of toppings. A rich colonial past also offers diverse cuisine such as Indonesian, Surinam, and more. Sample world-renowned Dutch beer, or try Dutch gin distilled from malt wine and juniper berries. Feel the inspiration of native artists Rembrandt and Van Gogh in art museums in Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. Or step back in time in smaller historic towns while walking along Gothic and Renaissance houses lining tree-shaded canals.
Take the “the northward route” and get more than you ever imagined possible with a trip to Norway. From the fjords to the forests, from the coast to the cosmopolitan capital of Oslo, Norway offers something truly special to Europe and to the world. Norway is home to incredible natural attractions that have to be seen to be believed. Its rich cultural heritage is found around every corner in museums and galleries, as well as in the architectural style of its distinctive buildings and monuments. Active travellers will revel in the many opportunities for sport and recreation, and families will love bonding on sightseeing excursions and visits to amusement parks. Head north to discover the many treasures of Norway.
Forested rolling hills and thousands of lakes. One thousand years of rich traditions and abundant cultural and culinary heritage. The legacy of bygone centuries includes monuments of architecture, historical mementos and masterpieces of art. These attributes perfectly combine to create a wealth of enlightenment and entertainment that can only be found in Poland. Museums, modern art galleries and concert halls on par with spectacular national parks, natural protected areas and sport facilities satisfy even the most demanding guests. Truly impressive game dishes and the specialties of regional cuisine should not to be missed. Explore diverse entertainment and shopping, as well as cultural events. Discover how visitors can feel truly welcome, and why they return to experience the remarkable attractions and hospitality of Poland.
With its mild climate, 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and more than 500 miles (850 kilometres) of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s appeal as a holiday destination shines year round.
Home to the oldest borders in Europe, explore an exceptional range of landscapes separated by the shortest of distances. Experience unique leisure activities and a rich cultural heritage where tradition and modernity blend into perfect harmony.
Savor superb cuisine, legendary wines and the hospitality of a truly welcoming people. A tourist paradise of the highest quality, discover that a trip to Portugal is a trip home.
Take some time to get to know Slovakia and be rewarded by ascending the alpine peaks of the Tatras Mountains. Enjoy a night stay at a mountain cottage and try to spot chamois and marmots. A large part of Slovak landscape is protected within nine national parks. Explore Slovakia’s most famous natural wonder, the karst regions of limestone canyons and caves. Taste sweet tokay in an authentic wine cellar, or savor a meal of halušky with bryndza cheese. Kneel beneath the tallest Gothic wooden altar in the world, or tour the Kremnica Mint. Creating coins since 1328, it’s the oldest continuously running manufacturer in the world. Historic mining towns, deep caverns, authentic folklore, and cultural life in Bratislava and Košice add to the distinct experiences in Slovakia.
The Republic of Slovenia lies where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains. Navigate natural wonders like mountains, hills, plains, forests and caves. Soak in the Old World charm of Slovenian lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Ski the snow-capped Slovenian Alps, or explore the picturesque Mediterranean and Adriatic Coasts. Start your evening in the warmth and rejuvenation of natural thermal springs, and then explore a richly stocked wine cellar. Surround yourself in distinct landscapes boasting all the diversity and allure of the Old World.
The diverse heritage of Spain resonates from prehistoric caves to modern monuments. See architecture from Moorish and Roman monuments such as the Segovia Aqueduct and the Alhambra in Granada, or the modern marvels such as La Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Stand before famous art at the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Taste tapas, paella and other traditional Spanish cuisine. From streets carpeted in flowers to the running of the bulls, get caught up in the local traditions and culture of Spain.
Sweden welcomes visitors with events and experiences intrinsic to the Scandinavian region. Explore past the edges of the peaceful countryside lakes and forests. Cruise the long coast’s shores and archipelagos. Explore the exotic tundra of Lapland above the Arctic Circle. Stockholm’s 700-year history astonishes with grand public buildings, palaces, and museums. Gothenburg delights as a heaven for seafood lovers. Watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky, or stay up late and experience the Midnight Sun. You’re on top of the world in Sweden.
The iconic natural beauty of Switzerland’s mountains and mirror-clear lakes is legendary. Hike and gaze upon the Matterhorn and the Swiss Alps. Feel the inspiration of Europe’s highest and largest waterfalls. Ride cable cars or cog railways to Switzerland’s peaks. Choose from skis or snowshoes to play in the winter wonderland. Share the day’s pleasures over fondue made of cheese from iconic Swiss cows. Although not a sizeable country by area, Switzerland is huge in terms of diversity. Cultural influences in regards to landscapes, languages, customs, and cuisines abound in the Italian, French, German and Roman parts of Switzerland. From rustic countryside to cosmopolitan cities, sample Europe’s cultural variety in Switzerland without an extended trip across the continent.
A richly historical land with some of the best cuisine you will ever taste, scenery from beaches to mountains and the great city of İstanbul. Turkey offers activities to suit every temperament, from outdoors adventure to cultural enrichment. Watery fun includes diving, windsurfing, rafting and canyoning in mountain gorges, kayaking over Kekova's sunken ruins and traditional gület cruises on the Mediterranean and Aegean. Or take to the air with Ölüdeniz' thrilling paragliding flights or a hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia. For a fresh angle on stunning Turkish scenery, trek to highland pastures or walk part of the Lycian Way trail. In town, take a culinary course, soak in the hamam or sign up for a culinary or cultural walking tour.
From the wealth of natural and historical heritage to vibrant towns and cities, the United Kingdom is a diverse nation full of contrasts. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each hold their own customs, cultures and traditions to explore. A fascinating history dates back to around 6500 BC. Walk beside the monuments that mark a rich and storied past, from Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace. Find traditional pubs in England serving British ale and wine. Start the day in Northern Ireland with an Ulster Fry and then tour St. George’s Market. The whisky, golf, and legendary clans in Scotland are as real as many imagine. With 400 castles and only one official motorway, Wales takes a gentle pace. Whatever direction you travel, find a wide variety of landscapes and proud cultures to explore.
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