If you live in Europe like me, you may sometimes take for granted just how beautiful our continent really is. While we can look longingly at the peaks of New Zealand and the tropical islands of Philippines or South East Asia, it’s important to remember that we also have a long list of stunning destinations right in our own corner of the globe. From mountains to beaches to wild terrain, you can be anywhere you like within a couple of hours. Below, I take a look at some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Time to grab the passport and pack those bags!
In the UK
European’s view of their own land might be a bit skewed, but us Brits are always trying to escape the country. We get so bogged down with the weather and our cities; we forget that the UK is less than 10% urban; meaning there’s actually a lot of land to explore.
I recently took a weekend road trip to explore the beauty of Norwich and Great Yarmouth and was pleasantly surprised! The main highlight for me was taking a boat out on The Broads which was both peaceful and breathtaking.
So whether it’s in the Lake District, exploring the expanse of the Southeast, or getting lost in the incomparable majesty of the Scottish Highlands, there’s a lot here to make any traveller’s heart sing.
OK, to be fair, there’s not a single sane person on the planet who doesn’t recognise the magnificence of Scandinavia. All of its countries are noteworthy for their beauty, but special attention must be paid to Sweden and Norway, which can be considered two of the most beautiful lands on earth.
I still haven’t had the opportunity to tick these off my bucket list, but did have the pleasure of visiting Iceland earlier this year. Iceland is definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations, with it’s stunning Blue Lagoon and countless waterfalls. It’s a must if you’re travelling to Europe.
Sweden, you have tree after tree after tree, lakes galore, and – who could forget – a welcoming, awesome population. Norway has all that and more, especially up above the Arctic Circle. Check out the Lofoten Mountains and prepare to have your breath temporarily stolen.
A Greek Dream
People always think of Santorini or Athens when they hear Greece. But there are many beautiful Greek islands and places to visit. This year I visited my first Greek island, Crete. It was lovely! You can book your accommodation with Villa Hunters Greece, and I’m sure you’ll soon find yourself spending your days surrounded by inspiring views and impossibly beautiful beaches.
Because Greece has so many islands, it’s possible to get whatever you’re hoping for from your travels. Be that lazy beach days, mountains, or just a quaint, picturesque town that provides the best that life has to offer.
An Undiscovered Gem
There are also the places that people always visit, and then there are the underrated gems, the ones that are still under the radar. Croatia is definitely one of these gems. While it has proven itself to be one of the best tourist destinations in Europe in recent years – and has the increased visitor numbers to prove it – there’s still something “untouched” about the country. Head to the Adriatic Coast to experience the best the country has to offer. If Croatia is too well established for you, consider its neighbour, Slovenia. This really is an underrated gem, with natural beauty found throughout – and it’s inexpensive and isn’t overrun by tourists, either.
Switzerland, is usually the first country that pops to mind when I think about mountains. This country seems to have scenes of natural beauty around every corner, even in their biggest cities. The crown jewel of the country – indeed, maybe of Europe – is Matterhorn, the tallest mountain in the Alps. Alas, there is a high cost attached to visiting Switzerland. For a more affordable, but no less impressive option, look towards Austria. There you’ll find many mountains, lakes, and all the rest, but you’ll find that it’s slightly easier on the wallet.
History and Culture
Of course, it would be a sin if I didn’t talk about the destination heavyweights of Europe that are abundant in history and culture. Take a trip to Spain, Italy, or France, and you’ll find real beauty. Although not in the same way that you’d experience in other destinations. What always strikes me most about these countries, is that the beauty is often intertwined with local life in a relaxed, natural way. Which is why the best way to discover the culture of a country is to live like a local!
So where will you be jetting off to next? Let me know in the comments below…