What is the best way to travel Europe, and see all it has to offer, in one week?
There is a whole host of things you must do on a European tour to truly appreciate all it has to offer. Read on to discover all the things to do in Europe that are essential to any trip and scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how you can see them all in one go…
See The Best Cities
If you are planning to travel through Europe, you must stop by a least a few of the continent’s world-class cities. Europe possesses an inimitable mix of history and innovation, where streets are painted from a palette of baroque, renaissance, neoclassical and gothic influences. However, these cities do not live in the past. Alongside art galleries housing works dating back hundreds of years, you are just as likely to stumble upon vibrant street art, trendy bars and the latest cutting-edge restaurants.
Budapest is one of Europe’s most iconic cities and has a great food scene. Possibly the quintessential European experience, the historic architecture here is stunning – the breathtaking UNESCO-listed Buda Castle has watched over the city since 1265. There is also a trove of museums and a number of ‘ruin pubs’ – mostly located in the trendy Jewish Quarter, these quirky drinking spots have taken over abandoned buildings to give them a new lease of life.
Find Unique Experiences
With so much to see and do, you don’t want your European tour to get lost in the crowd. One of the best ways to travel Europe is to seek out some unique experiences on your way. If you are in the cultural capital of Vienna, be sure to experience the heritage of classical music at the opulent Palais Liechtenstein, where the likes of Strauss and Mozart once filled the air with their melodies.
If you are in Bordeaux, the home of some of France’s finest wines, a private tasting at one of the prestigious Chateau estates is a perfect way to make the most of this renowned region. Food lovers, meanwhile, should also try their hand at French gastronomy and learn the secrets to becoming a master of the world’s finest cuisine.
Taste The Fine Wines And Cuisine
Don’t travel Europe without stopping to savour the array of flavours and wines produced across the spectrum of regions. Strasbourg, in France, is said to be home to some of the oldest wines on the planet, where labels date back as far as 1472! The regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy produce some of the world’s most prestigious red wines, while Douro Valley is heralded for its port. The Wachau Valley in Austria, meanwhile, is a breathtakingly picturesque stretch of the Danube River which boasts over 120 vineyards, attracting a good share of connoisseurs.
If beer is more your bag, one of the best places to travel in Europe is Germany. As a huge part of the culture, until 1987 its production had to abide to the Reihnheitsgebot’, a regulation dating back to 1487 that demanded only water, barley, hops and yeast could be used during production.
There is also a host of foods to discover on any European tour, from steaming strudel and bratwurst to French cheeses and fine delicacies. Europe is also home to the place considered the ‘food capital of the world’ – Lyon. Here, there is one of the highest concentrations of restaurants in France and a delectable array of rustic specialities and Michelin stars created out of the fine ingredients and produce that grow in the area.
Admire The Stunning Scenery
While the cities and man-made wonders are enticing, you mustn’t travel through Europe without appreciating its scenic beauty. Beyond the urban gems, the continent has some seriously eye-wateringly beautiful landscapes to explore.
The Black Forest in Germany sounds like it has been lifted out of a fairy tale, and indeed, it has been the setting of countless tales by the Grimm Brothers. Home of the humble cuckoo clock, the scenery could hardly be described as shy, with stunning expanses of hills, valleys and rivers for you to explore. The Rhine Gorge is another of Germany’s wonders. This stretch of the Rhine River passes through picturesque villages, hilltop castles and lush vineyards, offering a world of enchantments.
The Iron Gates, between Serbia and Romania, is another site of stunning scenery. This gorge on the Danube River forms part of the boundary between the two countries and is the biggest gorge in Europe. Along with admiring the feat of engineering that makes up the dam, you will also see a huge stone carving of the face a Romanian tribal chief watching all who pass, seemingly straight out of a scene of Lord of the Rings.
Be Immersed In The History And Culture
When you travel Europe, you will never be short of history and culture to immerse yourself in. Empires have been and gone, artistic movements have flourished and dwindled, and momentous events have all occurred in these lands.
Normandy has long been a mention in history books. This region of northern France was involved in the Norman invasion of England in 1066 and was the site of the brutal D-Day landings in 1944. In Germany, the city of Nuremburg was once the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and, much later, became a powerhouse of industrial revolution and the stage of the Nuremburg rallies in Nazi Germany – in 1945, it was bombed by allied forces and around 6,000 people lost their lives.
Art also runs through the veins of Europe. Giverny, in France, is where you will find the home and gardens of Monet, where you can step into one of his paintings as you wander the scenes that inspired his Water Lilies series. Van Gogh also spent much of his life in France, staying in Arles in Provence before refuging in an asylum in St Remy in the years before his death – his work ‘The Starry Night’ depicted the view from his window.
How To Travel Europe In A Week…
So, how can you combine all of Europe has to offer into a week’s holiday?
The answer, is with a Scenic River Cruise. As one of the most luxurious river cruise lines, you can travel Europe in unrivalled style and ease, and experience all of the above in one go with even just a a week-long itinerary. Europe’s rivers boast some of the continents most thriving cities, thanks to their position along what was once the most important transportation routes between the countries. They also flow through some of the finest wine regions and most picturesque scenes you will come across.
Scenic river cruises boast a fantastic all inclusive offering, giving all guests complimentary food and beverages throughout their stay. If you are taking a journey through France, you will also be able to take cooking classes onboard with the brilliant Scenic Cullinaire, where you will be able to learn from a professional how to create your own European delicacies.
Scenic cruises also stand out due to their ‘Freechoice’ and ‘Enrich’ excursions. All included in the price of your cruise, there is a selection of things to see and do, meaning you can tailor your trip based on your interests. There is also a number of exclusive experienced organised for every journey, ensuring you have a unique experience to make your European tour memorable.
And don’t think you sacrifice on luxury with a river cruise. The accurately named ‘Space-ships’ are the most spacious river cruise cabins in Europe, and all boast a private balcony alongside elegant interiors. The food on board also doesn’t lack in flavour. Echoing the culinary highlights of Europe, the award-winning chefs conceive every dish out of locally sourced ingredients, so you can get a true taste of the region. All guests will also have the chance to dine at Portobellos; catering to just thirty guests at a time, it boasts the best views and serves fine specialities with wines expertly paired by the sommelier.
European River Cruise Highlights
Countries travelled through: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France
Highlights: Wines of Strasbourg, Architecture of Cologne, The Rhine Gorge, The Black Forest
Countries travelled through: Germany
Highlights: Beer of Freudenberg, culture at Bamberg, the architecture of Würzburg
Countries travelled through: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine
Highlights: Classical music of Vienna and Salzburg, the city of Budapest, wine and nature of Wachau Valley and history at Nuremburg
Countries travelled through: Spain, Portugal
Highlights: The city of Lisbon, renowned wines and museums of Regua
Countries travelled through: Switzerland, France
Highlights: Wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, food at Lyon and the historic Tournon Castle
Countries travelled through: France
Highlights: History of Somme and Normandy, Monet’s house at Giverny and the sights of Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux and Vernon
To plan your European River Cruise, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 578 or visit elegantresorts.co.uk