Come and enjoy the magnificence of Europe. There’s absolutely everything to explore in this resplendent region. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and La Sagrada Família in Barcelona; to the natural wonders of northern Europe’s Aurora Borealis. With thriving modern metropolises and mouth-watering menus, Europe is overflowing with a bounty of treasures to discover.
Mozart, Strauss and Freud have all lived here; the beautiful blue Danube runs through it; and you can sink into some sumptuous cakes in its famous Viennese coffee houses. Welcome to The Sound of Music country that is Austria.
The baroque architecture in Austria is fascinating and beautiful, and around every corner you’ll have a picture postcard view. Away from the urban environment you can marvel at the crystal blue alpine lakes, and the craggy faces of snow covered mountains, providing a breathtaking backdrop to your Austrian adventures.
Our Picks for Austria
Austrian Lakes Walk Self-Guided - 9 days from $1935
Cross-Country Skiing in Seefeld - 8 days from $1915
Trins the Austrian Tyrol - 8 days from $1645
Cycle the Danube: Vienna to Budapest - 8 days from $1385
Belgians are renowned champions of chocolate and brewers of beer. Part French, part Flemish, perhaps the finest way to enjoy Belgium is through your mouth! With more chocolate factories in Brussels than any other city on earth, prepare to be seduced by the dark delights of cocoa beans at one of the many delightful chocolatiers and emporiums. Wash it down with waffles, dusted in snowy icing sugar.
If savoury treats are more pleasing to your palate sink into a cosy café and select from one (or a few) of 700 Belgian beers accompanied by a steaming plate of Moules (mussels). Work it all off with a few days walking and kayaking in the glorious Ardennes.
In Brussels, wonder at Belgium’s most famous modern artist’s works at Musee Margritte. Tintin fans will adore the Musee Herge. Whilst in Bruges, don’t miss Michelangelo’s Madonna With Child – easily the jewel in Bruge’s artistic crown. This amazing marble sculpture was the only work ever to leave Italy in Michelangelo’s lifetime. It’s also lovely to wander the cobblestone streets and admire medieval architecture, taking in the jewel coloured house fronts, lovingly painted in pinks, greens and burgundy.
Our Picks for Belgium
Belgium Beer Tour - 8 days from $1869
With seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in a country of just 56,000 square kilometres, there’s plenty to enjoy in stunning Croatia. Fall in love with the medieval charms of the Old City of Dubrovnik. Once a thriving maritime trading centre, you’re assured of mind blowingly beautiful views and historic wonders.
Take a kayak tour along the Adriatic coast and discover hidden caves. Finish off with a dip in one of the beautiful beaches such as Lapad or Banje. Try a delicious Rozata dessert, this fine local delicacy graces most menus in Dubrovnik. And take a trip to the Plivice Lakes National Park to enjoy its famous bright turquoise falls.
Our Picks for Croatia
Cycling the Dalmation Coast - 8 days from $1645
Mountain Biking in Croatia - 8 days from $1935
Sailing Croatia - Split to Dubrovnik - 8 days $1219
Discover the Balkans - 12 days from $3299
France is known for being a romantic country, and when you stroll along the majestic avenues of Paris it’s easy to see why. Whether it’s the magic of Notre Dame, the elegance of Sacré-Cœur or the splendour of the Eiffel Tower; there is definitely a sense of romance and excitement surrounding the French capital. France is not just about Paris though. You can sample amazing wines on a visit to one of the country’s famous vineyards, or bask in the Mediterranean sunshine on one of the incredible beaches in the south of France.
Not far from Avignon in the Luberon, visit the stunning hill top village of Gordes. With quintessential ‘calades’ (little streets), charming shops and wonderful restaurants, you can make this a great base to explore from. Don’t miss The Village des Bories - dating back to Ligurians, who lived here a couple of hundred years before the birth of Christ. Ancient dry stone houses were constructed around the principle of the “corbel arch”, forming beautiful beehive-shaped dwellings.
Our Picks for France
Walk the French Riviera - 8 days from $1865
Trekking Mont Blanc - 10 days from $1614
Loire Valley Cycling - 8 days from $1199
Cote D'Azur Sailing Adventure - 8 days from $1340
Burgundy River Cruise Experience - 8 days from $1679
Step inside the storybook landscape of Germany. There’s so much for you to see - from the moody Black Forest to the awe-inspiring magnificence of the Alps. Known for its unique cuisine, beers, and proud people, Germany is a great country for touring or just head to one of its vibrant and impressive cities including Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.
Hire a tandem bike and cycle the Romantic Road, traversing rivers and villages that look like they belong on chocolate box lids. Whilst in Bavaria, just 2 hours from Munich, head to the glorious Alpine foothills and you can’t miss the fairy tale palace of Neuschwanstein Castle. Incredibly, its design was largely inspired by Wagner’s operas. If you find yourself in Frankfurt, head to the Medieval Town and sample a tipple of its local ebbelwoi (applewine). For a truly relaxing time, you can’t beat a cruise along the Rhine, taking in the glorious castles, mountains and postcard pretty villages.
Our Picks for Germany
Bavaria Winter Discovery - 7 days from $2375
Christmas Markets of Central Europe - 8 days from $2015
Cycle the Danube: Passau to Vienna - 8 days from $1315
Greece is a country where ancient cultures collide with the twenty-first century to create an exciting environment that truly plays with the senses. You can experience the history of this ancient land at famous sites including the Acropolis; Delphi; and the precariously perched Hozoviotissa Monastery in Amorgos - literally built into a cliff face on the edge of the sparkling Aegean Sea. Party heads will love the nightclubs of Mykonos, and relaxing after a big night on one of its many beaches. One of the major delights of a visit to Greece is its delicious fresh food. Tuck into some taramasalata with a glass of ouzo as the Mediterranean laps at your feet.
With its formidable caldera, and white washed houses with electric blue domed rooftops, Santorini is one of the most sublime places to stay. If you’re an early bird, watch the magic colours of a Santorini sunrise. Or visit Corfu Old Town, with its elegant Venetian architecture, excellent museums, and curiously, a cricket pitch! Visit Patmos – one of the most gorgeous of all the Greek islands, don’t miss the monastery of St John The Divine. Head to Skopelos to see why Hollywood chose this gorgeous location for Pierce and Meryl to serenade each other in Mama Mia.
Our Picks for Greece
Cycling in Greece - 8 days from $1975
Mountains & Villages of Evia - 8 days from $1425
The dramatic volcanic island nation of Iceland is a world of natural wonders, and its capital Reykjavik runs on the ubiquitous geothermal energy of the region. Here you can admire the geysers, mud pots and glaciers that give Iceland an otherworldly feel. The population of this land is small, adding to the feeling of a mysterious wilderness.
See the multicoloured rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar. The Hekla volcano and lava fields have created an eerie landscape that photographers will love. Kirkjufell Mountain is an amazing pyramid shaped mountain that erupts out of a very flat landscape. Skirted with cascading waterfalls and with a night backdrop of the dazzling northern lights, this is a much-loved local landmark. For truly intrepid types, visit the Skaftafell Ice Cave. So exquisitely beautiful, it’s hard to believe it’s real. This massive dome of pale blue icy features will delight all adventurers. After all this icy action, warm up with a relaxing dip at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, not far from Reykjavik.
Our Picks for Iceland
Southern Iceland Winter Explorer - 9 days from $1935
Iceland Northern Lights - 5 days from $2485
Cycle Southern Iceland - 8 days from $4175
Order yourself a perfect pint and prepare for a sweet ride through the delights of the Emerald Isle. Head to Doolin, County Clare and feel the spirit of the Celts through their music, punctuated with the deep rhythms of the bodhran (Irish drum). You might be lucky enough to see a couple of players have a bodhran-off (kind of like duelling banjos on the drums). It’s all good craic. Jump on a boat to the tiny windswept Aran Islands for a taste of how harsh Irish life was like pre-industrialisation. With no cars, plenty of stone fences and buildings, it’s a desolate yet beautiful place.
At Bru Na Boinne, see how Stone Age people constructed a passage tomb, complete with a chamber that magically fills with light on the winter solstice. Don’t miss the hexagonal columns of basalt that form the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and right down south, jump on a bike and treddle round the Dingle Peninsula. Dotted with quaint fishing villages and postcard pretty vistas, there’s a short distance between pubs and towns making for perfect cycle touring. In Dublin, wander through Trinity College and find the masterpiece of Celtic art – the Book of Kells - lauded as ‘the most beautiful book ever made’.
Our Picks for Ireland
Self-Drive Homestay B&B Holiday - 6 days from $350
Irish Spirit Independent - 8 days from $859
Irish Classic - 12 days from $2745
Irish Legends - 9 days from $1919
Irish Pubs & Folklore - 9 days from $1889
Italy is a country much like its people, full of mysterious beauty and passion. The capital, Rome, abounds with both, and is home to such magical wonders as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum. As if that wasn’t enough, the magic continues throughout Italy, in cities such as Florence, Milan and Venice.
Enjoy a few days exploring lovely Lucca. The walls of the old town have been preserved and now make for a wonderful tree lined pedestrian promenade. Throw the kids on a bike and take a spin round the historic walls, stopping in for some gelato on the way. Call in at the crumbling Guinigi Tower and see if you can make it to the top where curiously, a lone tree grows.
A long lunch chased by an afternoon of shopping is the perfect way to relax before heading out to see an opera. Puccini was born and lived here, and most nights you can catch rousing live performances at the Church of San Giovanni. Afterwards, dine on perfumed risotto allo Toscana, rabbit and boar, figs, melons and a host of hearty Tuscan staples. The kids will love the pasta, and Italians love kids. From Lucca it’s a quick step across to Pisa and Florence and an ambling drive down to the coast where you can stay at Lerici – a quieter base from which to explore the Cinque Terra.
Our Picks for Italy
Walking the Amalfi Coast - 8 days from $1755
Cycling Tuscany - 7 days from $1679
Walking in Tuscany - 8 days from $1715
Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice Ride - 8 days from $2195
Iconic Italy - 14 days from $4099
With a strong maritime history, and a large proportion of its land reclaimed from the sea, the Netherlands, which literally translates as ‘Low Country’, is a fascinating destination.
Stunning windmills and tulip-lined landscapes captured by the Old Masters can still be admired. Explore the beautiful streets and flower lined canals of Amsterdam, taking in the atmosphere of the city. While you’re out and about, visit Anne Frank House, giving a sombre glimpse into the horrors of World War II that Anne and her family endured. At the Van Gogh Museum, 200 paintings and letters give us insights into the troubled life and brilliance of the Dutch Master.
Our Picks for the Netherlands
Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Barge - 8 days from $1130
Discover Benelux Rail Package - 8 days from $1826
Discover the dramatic beauty of Norway for yourself. It’s a large narrow country, where the soaring steepness of the fjords meets the icy splendour of glaciers. It’s a place you can immerse yourself in surroundings which are truly awe inspiring. The other face of Norway is its cosmopolitan cities, such as its capital Oslo, full of vibrancy and culture, attractive historic and modern architecture and a friendly population who are only too happy to stop and chat.
It’s a place where you can be bathed in golden light as you paddle the northern waters at midnight (In the Land of the Midnight Sun). Miles of lakes and rivers make for brilliant fishing, a popular Norwegian hobby. Head to snowy Lillehammer to see where the 1994 Winter Olympics were held, and if you’re feeling particularly sporty head to the frighteningly high Holmenkollen Ski Jump – Norway’s most popular attraction! The annual jump competition here is so important, it’s declared a national holiday and even the Norwegian Royals turn up.
Our Picks for Norway
Lillehammer Bobsled Weekend - 4 days from $1755
Spitsbergen Explorer - 10 days from $7590
Aurora Safari by Rail & Cruise - 8 days from $3290
Norway Explorer Self Drive - 14 days from $2860
Express Fjord Route Self Drive - 6 days from $1799
Icehotel and Norwegian Fjords - 11 days from $4296
Visiting Russia is like no other experience. The largest country on earth is so vast that travelling through each area is like travelling through a separate country in itself. The diverse cultures that abound throughout Russia also help to create this feeling.
A visit to Russia would not be complete without seeing the world famous sights of the capital Moscow, including Red Square and The Kremlin. Also in the heart of Moscow are the exquisite domed rooftops of Saint Basil’s. Built in 1554, the distinctive architecture was designed to resemble the shape of a bonfire in full flame.
Equally vital is a trip to St Petersburg, and The Hermitage, one of the largest and most impressive museums in the world. If you have some time up your sleeve, jump on the Trans Siberian railway, and enjoy an epic 5000km journey from St Petersburg to Beijing.
Our Picks for Russia
Moscow to St Petersburg - 8 days from $2085
Trans-Siberian Railway - 19 days from $6815
Spain is a country of contrasts, from busy modern cities with historic architecture, such as Madrid and Barcelona, to traditional villages, and family friendly beach holiday spots on the East coast. Bask in the wildly creative spirit of Antoni Gaudi, surrounded by his architectural designs in Barcelona. Seville is hard to beat for a taste of exuberant Spanish life. Although it’s full of tourist-pleasing attractions, such as The Royal Alacazar (a 10th century Moorish fort) and The Cathedral of Seville; there’s nothing better than dining late with the Andalucians. Stand in rowdy tapas bars for some jamon iberico, salmorejo, and bolsitas before the clubs kick off after midnight. Stave off a hangover afterwards with glorious fresh churros dipped in oozing warm chocolate.
Flamenco evolved in Seville’s working class districts, where singing about the struggles of life became popular in the 18th century. It’s a perfect place to be lured inside one of the small private clubs (penas) to hear the heady guitar and rhythmic palmas of Flamenco.
Our Picks for Spain
Walk the Camino de Santiago - 8 days from $1699
Best of Spain & Portugal - 15 days from $2464
Northern Spain by Bike - 8 days from $1699
Revel in Switzerland’s natural highlights such as the Matterhorn and the natural rock arena of Creux du Van. Check out Switzerland’s most famous fortress at the Chateau de Chillon on the banks of Lake Geneva, once home to the Counts of Savoy. Chocolate heaven can be found on the Swiss Chocolate Train, a Belle Époque car that winds through quintessential Swiss countryside to take in chocolate factories and cheese dairies. If that’s not enough, bathe in chocolate at the Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz or in one of Geneva’s day spas!
Our Picks for Switzerland
Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn - 15 days from $3515
Swiss Independent Rail Package - 5 days from $1270
Ultimate Swiss Rail Adventure - 8 days from $1920
Come and feast on the smorgasbord of travel treats that Sweden has to offer. For an exhilarating way to see snowy Sweden, try snowmobiling in Lapland. If you’re lucky you’ll witness the glorious natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights.
In a tiny town called Jukkasjarvi, 200km north of the Arctic Circle, check out the quirky Ice Hotel. Created by ice sculptors, artists and builders, you can sleep under reindeer skins and admire frozen sculptures in your room. From here you can also try ice fishing, ice sculpting, and sleighing with huskies.
If all this sounds a bit frosty, visit between May and July and experience the Land of the Midnight Sun. In Stockholm, enjoy some fresh caught herring washed down with a shot of Akvavit and join a guide dressed as a Viking for a walking tour through Gamla Stan (Old Town) and the Royal Palace.
Our Picks for Sweden
Swedish Heritage Self Drive - 11 days from $2340
Aurora Extravaganza - 4 days from $2245
Lapland by Dog Sled - 3 days from $1285
Turkey is a country that is split between two continents, Europe and Asia. In fact Istanbul is the only city on the planet to have this distinction. This unique existence leads to Turkey having an exotic mix of east and west. Spend a morning shopping in the colourful and noisy bazaars, or party the night away at completely westernised nightclubs. Away from the cities, Turkey has much to offer beach loving visitors, at resorts such as Marmaris and Bodrum, or visit the other-worldy landscapes of Cappadocia.
Our Picks for Turkey
Taurus Mountains Trek - 8 days from $1145
Explore Turkey - 15 days from $2599
The Best of Turkey - 8 days from $1299
Istanbul & Gallipoli - 6 days from $1072
The United Kingdom is a veritable feast for lovers of history, culture and sport. See the way the Queen really lives when she opens up her lavish State Rooms and gardens from July to September. Still on the royal list, see Edinburgh Castle, perched upon an old volcano at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once Scotland’s chief royal castle during the Middle Ages, it’s now home to the Scottish Crown jewels; the Stone of Destiny; and the National War Museum of Scotland. Speaking of Crown Jewels, the Tower of London has served as a royal palace, prison and a zoo. Now you can marvel at the Crown Jewels and morbidly, visit the place where Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were executed.
There’s so much more to explore. Megalithic Stone Henge (try a visit at dawn) and Hadrian’s Wall are bound to please wannabe archaeologists. Bath was once home to novelist Jane Austen, and of course, the famous Roman Baths. See Durdle Door along the Jurassic Coast National Park in Dorset. Check out one of the festivals – from Creamfields to Glastonbury, you’re assured to find your sounds of choice. Sport lovers will definitely want a trip to Wembley Stadium, Twickenham and of course, the home of cucumber sandwiches and tennis whites – Wimbledon.
Our Picks for the UK
Scenic Britain - 11 days from $2899
Edinburgh Military Tattoo - 3 days from $899
London to Loch Ness - 3 days from $996
Best of Britain - 10 days from $2885