If you’ve been dreaming of a European getaway, then there is no better time than right now. Kerry Moss, from Quadrant Travel and Journeys, tells us why Europe should be on your bucket list.
Europe is a melting pot of cultures and history. Everywhere you turn are modern and ancient historic buildings and experiences. Whether you would like to trace your family history in the backroads of the UK, follow the path of the Gladiators into the Colosseum in Rome, or travel back in time and experience the Vikings’ way of life, then Europe has something for everyone. The true beauty can only be experienced in person, when standing in the shadows of those who travelled before us.
It feels like multiculturalism was perfected in Europe, with many countries, religions, and cultures all co-existing in a relatively small land mass. The cities and streets are alive with music and language, and whilst English is widely spoken, navigating the local language is part of the attraction. C’est la vie!
Some of the best music, art and culture in the world exists in Europe. With so many countries in close proximity, you can be sipping champagne on the Seine River overlooking the Eiffel Tower one day, and enjoying Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in Venice the very next day – without any jetlag or time difference. Some say the best food, coffee and wine are found throughout Europe. If you ever want an excuse to lock yourself away in a French Villa, immerse yourself in the life of locals and take a wine making course, then France has something for you. Or, try pasta making in Italy, or chocolate sampling in Switzerland. You will never come home from a European holiday lighter than you left!
Europe is a continent where you can travel by train, plane, boat, bike or even donkey, and a combination of these usually means you can get the best out of a destination. Cycling and walking tours have grown in popularity and allow you to combine a little exercise, whilst enjoying the sights. Following the footsteps of Salvador Dali in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Spain whilst exploring charming country towns and coastal fishing villages gives you an entirely unique perspective on Europe, whilst nobody needs to know if you accepted a little boost with an electric bicycle exploring the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
On the whole, public transport in Europe is reliable and affordable and an excellent way to talk to and meet the locals whilst getting between A and B, comfortably and quickly. European summer, whilst pleasant, can be crowded and expensive; travelling outside of these peak times can help you to avoid the crowds and save some money. Making sure you pre-book entrances to the major attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona will help you avoid some of the queues, or in some cases, prevent you missing out altogether. There are hundreds of airline combinations, countless travel routes and even a world cruise to help you get there. Developing a good relationship with your experienced local travel agent will ensure you get the best advice and great value. Your travel agent will often have access to deals that are not available to the public. This, together with their personal experiences, will help you navigate the sometimes-tricky path of working out what, how, and where to go.
There is simply no way to experience Europe and not be captivated by its beauty, history and diversity. Like champagne, Europe is always a good idea.