In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the “Grand Tour” across Europe was a traditional rite of passage for people of means. Even though soaring costs are dampening the enthusiasm of some would-be vacationers, many others are pressing through with plans for extended trips to Europe even though demand has been building for over two years.
As a result of advances in transportation and the proliferation of beautiful and relatively undiscovered destinations, today’s intrepid traveller can easily undertake an adventure on par with the greatest cross-continental journeys of the past. Plus, the dollar is strong against the euro, meaning better value for American tourists in more than two-thirds of the destinations we’ve selected here. You will have an easier time touring the distinctive spot with the assistance of the chauffeur service. The full day chauffeur hire service is available. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Europe:
Picos de Europa, Spain
The Picos de Europa are one of the most underappreciated mountain ranges in Western Europe, and they are the site of Spain’s first national park. Well-marked hiking trails wind over the jagged limestone peaks and tumbling gorges, while underground caverns entice the most daring visitors. Views and hiking trails of breathtaking quality can be seen at the top of the vertiginous Fuente Dé cable car.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
The Lofoten Islands off the coast of Norway are a paradise for individuals who enjoy the great outdoors and prefer off-the-beaten-path travel. If you visit between May and July, you won’t see the sun go down! See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) dance across the sky during a winter visit.
The islands are home to a vast variety of seabirds and marine life thanks to their jagged mountains and crystal clear inlets, and its beaches are often considered among the best in the northern hemisphere for surfing.
Apuseni Mountains, Romania
The Apuseni, located in Transylvania and making up a portion of the western Carpathian Mountains, provide a welcome respite from the summer heat with their lower elevation, thick forests, and towering cliffs of crystalline limestone.
Although they may be spotted with patience and a sharp eye, brown bears and wolves roam these slopes. There are several protected via Ferrata routes that climbers can try south of the settlement of Vadu Crisului, where the riverbank rises from the valley floor.
Located in Selçuk in modern-day Turkey, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus is the most fully excavated and restored classical metropolis in Europe.
There’s a lot of interesting stuff to see, and you should bring a guide. The Curetes Way, the city’s main street, and the massive Great Theater all date back to the old metropolis’ heyday, but none are as well-known as the Library of Celsus, built in the second century. St. Paul is said to have preached to a crowd as large as 25,000 individuals later.
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
If you’re looking for an energetic and adventurous vacation, look no further than the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland.
There is a challenging journey up Mount Brandon that is rewarded with breathtaking panoramas of the Atlantic and the entire peninsula. Inch Beach is an excellent spot for surfers of all skill levels since the beach features waves ideal for both novices and seasoned veterans.
Dingle, a small port in Ireland, is known for its vibrant streets lined with pubs, perfect for sinking into a stool and nursing a pint to ease sore muscles.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city, and Matera, Italy, shared the 2019 European Capital of Culture title. With good reason, considering it is one of Europe’s earliest cities.
The Old Town, with its colourful homes and mazelike lanes, is perfect for strolling on the cobblestones. The well-preserved Roman theatre from the 2nd century is one of the finest archaeological sites in eastern Europe. An extensive collection of artefacts from the past can be found in the museum.
There is rarely a calm moment to visit Pompeii, as it attracts over 2.5 million tourists annually. However, this does not negate the importance of making time for it whenever you are in southern Italy.
After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, the city was buried under a thick layer of ash, resulting in unparalleled preservation in Europe. Almost two thousand years have passed, and nothing has changed in the baths, forums, or villas. Everything from the graffiti on the walls to the cooking utensils used by the city’s residents before the calamity is still visible.
Salzburg is undoubtedly the most scenic city in central Europe, with the Alps towering over the 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress and various stunning palaces and churches.
Under UNESCO’s watchful eye, the present day has a pleasantly foreign air. Mozart, the city’s most renowned native son, competes in filming “The Sound of Music,” which was placed in this very location for the attention of tourists.
The Stieglbrauerei, which has been in business for almost 600 years and produces the legendary Stiegl beer, is an excellent choice. Both are featured in fascinating city tours. Remember to take it easy and sample some of the regional brews there.
It doesn’t take much time in Bruges to develop feelings for the city. Its ancient streets and winding canals add to the city’s unique appeal, and the Markt, the city’s central square, is the ideal spot to relax with a local Belgian beer and people-watch.
Visit the top of the Belfort, or belfry, which stands at an impressive 83 metres (272 feet) tall, and look out over the rooftops to see the port of Zeebrugge in the distance. Because of its diminutive size and propensity for crowding, January and February are ideal times to visit Bruges because of the relative peace.
Ultra-modern Despite not being the most obvious German city for a Grand Tour stop, Düsseldorf has become a must-see for Europe’s coolest tourists because of its thriving art scene and the internationally renowned Art Düsseldorf art festival.
One of the most popular stops is the K21 gallery, which displays post-1980s modern art in a former parliament building from the 19th century. You can’t avoid Frank Gehry’s New Zollhof buildings when you visit the Medienhafen neighbourhood.
The list above, we believe, is helpful in that it contains the best of the top destinations in Europe. Spend the money on a local chauffeur service to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable ride for your vacation.