Planning your big trip to Europe? This fantastic continent has so many amazing places that its hard to know where to start. To help you out we have listed some of our favourite places in Europe to visit.
1. Athens, Greece
Athens is the capital and largest city in Greece with a population of over 3 million people and is considered to be the historic capital of Europe, with its history dating back to 3000 BC. Athens has plenty to offer from exploring the ancient ruins and visiting the vast museums to relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches or shopping in some of the traditional Greek markets, there is something here for everyone!
Because of its amazing location Athens experiences warm weather throughout the year, enjoying more than 250 days of sunshine. The best time to travel however is spring and autumn when the temperature is milder and the crowds have thinned out. We have five fantastic tours that cover Athens; each includes a tour of the city where you can explore some of the ruins of ancient Greece. You will also visit the temple of Athena, Nike and the Parthenon.
2. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre, which means Five Lands in English, comprises of five small coastal villages; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza & Monterosso. The five villages, the coastline and surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Cars and motorbikes were banned over 10 years ago so the area is very well preserved. Cinque Terre has some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see in your life, and while you are here why not try some of the local produce, such as the fresh locally caught seafood!
Summer is the most popular time to visit Cinque Terre, so expect there to be quite a few people around. If you are planning on walking some of the trails then avoid doing so in the middle of the day as temperatures will rise. Instead plan to do this in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler, you may even catch one of the stunning sunrises or sunsets! Using La Spezia as our base, we explore the famous Cinque Terre region during our 12 day Italian Delights tour. It is also available as an optional excursion on our 8-day Taste of Italy tour
3. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland with three quarters of a million visitors a year. The Giants Causeway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a national nature reserve in 1987.
The sunset in spring and autumn make for beautiful photos, but the Giants Causeway is a great place to visit anytime of the year. Make sure to take a warm jacket as the weather is very unpredictable and will change frequently throughout the day. Expat Explore have two tours that visit Northern Ireland and both have a stop at the Giants Causeway; the Irish Explorer tour and our Best of UK and Ireland tour that also visits England, Wales and Scotland.
4. Berlin, Germany
The capital of Germany, Berlin is home to more than 3.5 million people. Berlin is located in north-eastern Germany on the banks of River Spree. Around one third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. With over 175 museums history buffs will be kept entertained for weeks! If museums aren’t your thing then Berlin still has you covered, there are over 50 theatres and 300 cinemas, the nightlife is amazing and Berlin is home to the largest department store in continental Europe so you can shop till you drop!
Berlin has a moderately cool and humid climate and is generally comfortable to visit any time of year, winter does get very chilly as the winds pick up so make sure you bring a warm coat. We have three great tours that visit Berlin; our longest tour the Ultimate Europe, our brand new tour the Northern Explorer and the one-way Eastern Adventure that starts in London and visits Berlin on the way to the finish point in Rome.
5. Barcelona, Spain
With a population of over 1.6 million people and Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona is also the capital of the Catalan region and has it’s own unique culture that is not to be missed! Sun, beaches, football, siestas…the list goes on! Visit Barca because it is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic and cultural centres, not to mention for it’s amazing architecture! There is no greater joy than enjoying tapas in a café on Las Ramblas and watching the world go by!
With its Mediterranean climate Barcelona enjoys mild winters and warm dry summers. May and June are the ideal times to visit, the spring weather is nice and warm and you will avoid the summertime tourist rush. Expat Explore has five tours that visit Barcelona. Each includes a free day, so you will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful city and its incredible beaches!
Still can’t decide which of these stunning places to see in Europe? Why not see them all, head over to our website to choose the tour that is perfect for you!