Prior to the 20th-century convulsions that tore it apart, Europe was long the centre of world affairs. The legacy of this glorious past can be seen in its diverse architecture, splendid art galleries and rich culinary traditions. From the minute Vatican State with an official birth rate of zero to bustling cities of millions, Europe is a continent of contrasts.
Art in Europe
The galleries of Italy, France and Spain awe visitors with collections that have few rivals anywhere else on the planet. Museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the Prado in Madrid or the Uffizi in Florence are known to almost anyone who has ever held a paintbrush. However, in a continent that breathes art, some European cities seem to have been designed by artists who adorned them with lavish frescoes and intricate fountains.
Be it a coffee in Milan or a freshly baked croissant in Paris, Europe is a paradise for foodies. In fact, travellers could easily base an entire vacation just around local culinary traditions. Former French President, Charles de Gaulle, once lamented that it was impossible to govern a country with 246 different types of cheese. Recent events suggest that the ‘Old Continent’ may still be ungovernable. However, the upside is that it maintains an almost unequalled variety of food produce.
Highlights of Europe
Spain, Italy, France and Portugal provide a European travel experience with a Latin twist. Iberia (Spain and Portugal) opened up the New World, for better or for worse. Those links with the Americas live on in the cultures of cities such as Seville, Cadiz and Lisbon. With their proximity to North Africa, visitors will detect an influence not seen elsewhere on the continent.
France remains a cultural powerhouse. Whether it’s the museums of Paris or the vineyards of the South West, visitors will discover a unique place. If your journey is a quest to find Old Europe, look no further than Italy. The so-called boot is a place where history comes to life before your eyes. Relive the artistic glory of cities like Rome and Venice. You will also drink great coffee!
Make Sure to Visit
Paris – view the City of Light from the vantage points of Montmartre or the top of the iconic Eiffel Tour
Madrid– the vibrant capital of Spain is a city that rewards exploration (Click here for more information)
Lisbon– the underrated Portuguese capital is a place of fading grandeur and doubtless charm
Rome – the city whose streets seem to jump out of the pages of a history book (Click here for more information)
The Italian Lakes – so beautiful that you will feel as if you are living in a dream (Click here for more information)
Dordogne – the France of castles, vineyards and good food (Click here for more information)
Andalusia– more Muslim heritage and historic cities than you can pack into a month’s vacation (Click here for more information)
Lesser known but also enchanting…
An art museum in the middle of the Danish countryside or a world capital where you can visit the sewers- Europe has its fair share of travel secrets.
Get away from the queues for the headline museums and discover the lesser known places and people who give the continent a human face.