Summer is approaching and many people have already planned where they will spend their holidays. For example, I will make my first trip outside of Europe to South Africa and Swaziland. But for many years, I’ve been visiting beautiful places in Europe spread over twenty different countries. So if you still need to decide where to go to this summer, than this blogpost might be useful for you.
Côte d’Azur, France
Located in the southeast of France, near the border with Italy, you have the beautiful French Riviera or the Côte d’Azur in French. Many pretty villages and beautiful cities are located there, as well as beautiful routes to drive or nice beaches to relax and enjoy the sun. As I said there are many beautiful places like (Port) Grimaud, Nice, Saint Paul de Vence, Cannes, Saint Tropez and Saint Raphaël. The Côte d’Azur also contains many great nature. There are many snorkeling spots to enjoy the beautiful sealife, the route de L’Esterel shows you the rocky cliffs.
The southern most region of Italy is in the shadows of the popular destinations in Italy like Tuscany, Rome and Venice, but Sicily has a lot to offer. The Island contains beautiful villages, my favorite being Castellamare del Golfo. You can make a trip to the Etna Vulcano and even climb it, but even the route through the mountains is worth a visit. Or visit the capital of Sicily, Palermo, with it’s beautiful city center. The beaches of Sicily are a great place to relax and enjoy the good weather.
Athens & Peloponnese, Greece
A perfect combination of a city- and a road trip. Starting in Athens, the beautiful Greek capital with the famous sites like the Pantheon/Acropolis, the Greek Parliament and the Plaka neighborhood. After enjoying the city you can rent a car and discover the Peloponnese. The peninsula located southwest of Athens. The peninsula has a lot to offer such as historical sites as Olympia (where the Olympic Games were inspired of), Sparta and my favorite; the Mystras Castle town, the town which is abandoned and it consist of beautiful old monasteries and a castle. A great city to settle yourself is Kalamata, from where you can reach the top sights of the Peloponnese very easy. Koroni is a village located near Kalamata and a must visit. Others places worth visiting are Nafplio and the diakopto railway.
Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, but it has a lot to offer. You can wander around the entire country and enjoying the harbor with the big yachts and cruiseships or you can visit the old part of Monaco next to the Principal Palace of Prince Albert II and his family. Other sights of the country are the Saint Martin Gardens and the Cathedral de Monaco. If you want to visit Monaco I would advise you to stay across the border in France, because the accommodations in Monaco are very expensive.
Roadtrip through Northwest Spain
Spain is so much more than Barcelona, Madrid or Seville. The northwest of Spain is such a beautiful area. In 2016 I travelled through Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Castile & Léon and the Basque Country. These regions all have their own culture and landscape. Galicia is rough, green and hilly, while Castile & Léon is sandy and flat and feels like being in the desert. I started my trip in Porto, Portugal because of the airport and really enjoyed the city for an afternoon waiting for my bus to Vigo in Spain, where we would rent a car. This is much cheaper than driving directly from Porto to Spain by rental car, because crossing a border with a rental car makes is much more expensive. So during my road trip we visited various places such as: Santiago de Compestela, Lugo, Gijón, Picos de Europa, Burgos, Bilbao and San Sebastián.
This tiny nation between France and Spain is not known to very much people and a hidden gem in Europe. Andorra is located in the Pyrenees mountains which creates a nice climate, which is not to warm and not to cold. Cool sights worth visiting in Andorra are the capital Andorra la Vella, where you can shop taxfree! You can just wander around and enjoy this tiny city. Outside of the capital you can visit one of the lakes like Lake d’Engolasters like I did. Andorra is also famous for it’s many walking and mountainbiking tracks. During such trips you can stay in various logcabins.