Europe…there’s no other place like it in the world! Its fabulous monuments reveal one layer of history after another, and its breathtaking natural scenery couldn’t be more diverse. From wild to elegant, its countries bring together a kaleidoscope of cultures, and its landscapes are as intriguing as its past.
Austria, the land of Mozart and waltz, is a medley of sparkling alpine lakes, majestic mountains, and elegant cities, with a rich cultural heritage and one of the highest living standards in the world. And while the capital steals the show with its imperial grandeur, world-class art, and alluring café culture, there’s much more to this small landlocked country than Vienna.
Scotland’s dramatic scenery spans lush woodlands, stunning lochs, rugged coastlines, and green rolling hills topped with crumbling castles.
Home to the famous Eilean Donan Castle and one of Europe’s greatest wilderness areas, the Scottish Highlands are probably the country’s most evocative region, one characterized by an amazing history and even more amazing landscapes. The fabled Loch Ness and Scotland’s largest national park are also here, and so are epic battlefields, breathtaking beaches, and misty, magical mountains
Brimming with art, culture, and history, Istanbul is one of the planet’s greatest cities, and the Turquoise Coast – with its fine sand beaches and stunning blue lagoons – is a paradise for sailors, swimmers, and sun worshippers. Locals are friendly, the food is to die for, and whatever type of vacation you’re looking for, possibilities are endless in Turkey.
Iceland’s blue bubbling geysers, rugged lava fields, and spectacular glaciers create a visual spectacle that seems out of this world. Natural splendor aside, the Land of Fire and Ice is also home to one of the world’s quirkiest nations, with warm, creative, and forward-thinking residents with a strong sense of national pride.
Athens is teeming with remarkable ancient monuments; the country’s mountainous interior is dotted with charming, unspoilt villages and archaeological treasures that span four millennia; and the islands speckled in the surrounding seas vary from the culture-rich Dodecanese to the postcard-perfect Cyclades, with their cubic whitewashed villages and dramatic Aegean views.
Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia’s main cities, are overflowing with cultural treasures and architectural splendor, while the chic Adriatic town of Hvar on the Dalmatian island with the same name attracts well-heeled fashionistas and celebrities from around the world with its mix of marble streets, Gothic palaces, sleek restaurants, and cool party vibe.
Seductive, melodious France has something for everyone, from the glitzy resorts along the sun-drenched Côte d’Azur to charming bistros and priceless art in Paris, pretty hilltop villages in Provence, and fabulous skiing in the Alps. And then there’s the wine and cheese, the art de vivre, and the rich history that surrounds you here.
Deep, striking fjords, rugged coastal mountains, and glaciers that take your breath away – all contribute to the epic natural beauty of Norway. Spectacular national parks protect the nation’s unique scenery and wildlife, and its handful of cities are teeming with Scandinavian sophistication.
The northern part of Norway lies within the Arctic Circle, so the Midnight Sun adds to the drama of this remote and magnificent country. Here and there, a quaint wooden village brings a touch of life to the wild scenery, while reindeers and polar bears roam the staggering icefields of the Svalbard archipelago.
Rome celebrates its magnificent past with stunning museums and ruins of the world’s greatest empire; Venice enchants visitors with its meandering canals and fabulous marble palazzos; Florence is brimming with inestimable Renaissance art; and the Italian lakes ooze timeless sophistication with their postcard-perfect landscapes, pastel-colored waterfront towns, and sumptuous villas surrounded by immaculately groomed gardens.
Some countries are full of character and man-made architectural wonders, others have nature on their side. Spain excels in each and every one of them, offering travelers a wealth of natural beauty, along with fascinating history, fabulous food, and a cultural scene that’s both deep and authentic as well as creative and innovative.