Europe is big and can seem overwhelming when you consider all the places you can visit for your next multi-day tour experience of a lifetime. But, skipping out on Europe is to miss out on a huge, beautiful part of the world. It’s full of art, history, culture, charming vistas, mouthwatering food and drink and of course, an enviable way of life.
So the next time you catch yourself staring longingly outside your office window, consider that you may have contracted the very infectious, yet highly curable disease known as Europe Deprevationitis. Not sure you’ve got it? Well, here are 10 signs you need to Europe for your next vacation or touring adventure. Take us there now, please?
Too excited about your tour through Europe to keep reading? Take a look at the most popular tours to Europe here.
1. You have a desire to live out all the glamorous travel cliches
We’ve all seen the movies and we know the usual images that conjure up when we think of Europe. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in these little fantasies, from riding a gondola in Venice, exploring Rome to riding a bike down the streets of Paris towards the Eiffel Tower. There’s a reason why a “cliche” is a cliche…it’s been done so many times because it’s amazing. Treat yourself and feel like a movie star in Europe.
2. You can taste the delicious cuisine despite being 5000+ miles away
Europe and great food go hand in hand so no matter where you call home it’s understandable that you’re always dreaming of a better meal. Wherever you are in Europe, you’ll find food worth salivating over that is unique and special to that country or region. As well as simply having pizza in its birthplace of Naples, tapas in Spain, or sampling every cheese you can in France, you should also try local delicacies like knedlíčky (flour dumplings smothered in a red or white sauce) in Czech Republic and tartiflette (potatoes, lardons and onion with melted reblochon cheese on top) in the Alps.
3. You’re bored of the sports at home that used to give you an adrenaline rush
Maybe you’re a Colorado ski bunny or a Californian surfer, either way the same old trails and oceans can often leave even the most excitable among us hungry for variety. Well good news because Europe is an adrenaline junkie’s dream, especially when it comes to skiing. The Alps – spanning across eight countries, including France, Italy and Switzerland – is home to some of the best skiing in the world, surrounded by the breathtaking views of imposing mountains in a swirl of clouds and mist.
If skiing isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for a summer activity, Europe doesn’t skimp on those, either. Explore caves, snorkel and cliff-dive in Greece and Croatia, hike in Scotland and Austria and surf in Portugal, Spain and France.
4. You love a good beach
Amazing beaches aren’t limited to the Pacific or on the shores of the Caribbean. European beaches are stunning, and more often than not, they’re framed by beautiful scenes, from rugged cliffs to colourful towns. Head to Navagio beach on Zakynthos Island in Greece (a small cove dwarfed by sheer cliffs, meeting the vivid blue Ionian sea and a shipwreck nestled halfway into the sand), Calanque d’en Vau in France, Zlatni Rat in Croatia, Peniche in Portugal and Vik in Iceland. I could go on.
5. You’re looking to add a splash of colour to your life
Colour is everywhere in Europe. Whether it’s due to the shades of blue and green of the ocean, verdant landscapes or vibrant buildings, the range of colour on this continent could put a smile on the grumpiest person’s face. One of the most striking and famous colourful views in Europe is Cinque Terre, a collection of five villages along the Italian Riviera that perch like nonchalant rainbows on cliffsides.
While you’re in Italy, check out Burano or Caligari, known for the brightly painted houses that line the canals. There’s also white-washed, blue-roofed Santorini, London’s Notting Hill (especially in spring when wisteria droops over bright doors), Keukenhof’s tulips in The Netherlands and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.
6. You think festival season is only from July to August
Name a festival and Europe probably has it and they don’t only happen during “the summer”. There are the classical music festivals, like Glastonbury in the UK, Exit in Serbia, Primavera in Barcelona, Ultra in Croatia and Sziget in Budapest.
But it doesn’t stop there – Europe has festivals of all kinds coming out of its ears, with Cannes Film Festival, Scotland’s Hogmanay over New Year’s, and who could forget, Munich’s Oktoberfest.
7. You’re desperately bored of your local Starbucks
Approximately 90% of photos of Europe show sidewalk cafes. Okay, that’s not exactly a confirmed statistic, but there are tons of charming cafes which spill out onto sidewalks, often even onto the stereotypical but beautiful cobblestone streets. It’s not only aesthetics, though, cafe culture is a way of European life.
Settling into a cluster of chairs haphazardly organised on the tiny sidewalk area with a friend and an espresso is an essential element to any Eurotrip.
8. You’re tired of seeing the same old people, day after day
There are so many different cultures living side by side in Europe, making it an open-minded part of the world. As you travel through, you’ll notice the quirks of each nationality – being mindful of stereotypes, you’ll still find that Italians are enthusiastic and extravagant in gestures while in Paris, your head will turn at the sophisticated fashion of the French.
Walking around Europe, your ears are in heaven as you listen to the entrancing foreign languages and the cadences they’re spoken in. You’ll admire the art and history of a varied continent and with all of that, learn to appreciate the uniqueness of Europe’s diverse population. During your travels you’ll find everyone has a story they’re willing to tell and it’s usually one you would have never had the chance to hear back home.
9. You’re wondering if there’s more to Europe than Big Ben and the like
Travelling through Europe isn’t all about hitting the famous landmarks and we can attest to there being much more to the continent than that. But where there’s a hyped-up, Instagram-famous landmark, there’s always an alternative which most people haven’t caught onto quite yet and will highlight another beautiful part of Europe.
Take Plitvice and Krka National Parks in Croatia – obviously they’re gorgeous, but how about exploring the waterfalls of Kravica in Bosnia instead? Head to the lesser known parts of a country, like San Sebastian in Spain, Porto in Portugal, the Lofoten Islands in Norway or Meteora in Greece.
10. You feel like you need to escape your hometown, and you don’t want to wait for “peak season”
Vacation is hard. If you live in North America, you’re lucky if you get 2 short weeks off from work a year. The school system will have conditioned you to only vacation in the summer but when it comes to your desire to get out of Dodge and see something new, Europe has your back regardless of the season.
Let’s take this month by month: in spring, Europe absolutely blossoms. Spring is the perfect time to visit Europe when good weather starts but the crowds haven’t caught on yet. Summer is obviously fantastic throughout Europe, with sunbathing opportunities abound and midnight sun in Scandinavia.
Autumn is best for viewing central Europe’s forests and castles. Winter has the best Christmas markets, from the classics like Prague, Dresden and Vienna to the lesser known in Zagreb, Funchal and Manchester. No matter when you realize you need to get away, Europe has you covered.
No matter when you realize you need to get away, Europe is, has been, and always will be the answer to your wanderlust.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at the most popular tours to Europe here.