When we decided to plan our trip, we only knew two things about Malta: it was supposed to be beautiful, and it’s easy to reach from Sicily. That didn’t even scratch the surface.
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For most North American travelers, the first real international travel experience is usually to Europe. There’s something about the continent that draws Americans. The majority of Americans can trace their roots back to European immigrants. For those without European ancestry, the people from across the Atlantic Ocean have shaped their lives. It certainly helps that most Europeans speak English easily and fluently, and the food closely resembles what we’re accustomed to in North America. For the majority of Americans, it can be reached in less than 8 hours of flying, which makes it an extremely accessible travel destination.
There’s so much to see, do and love in Europe. For history buffs, there are battlegrounds, monuments and museums. For cultural explorers, there are castles, markets, and immersive experiences. For foodies, there are Michelin-starred restaurants, cooking classes, and food markets. For outdoor and nature enthusiasts there are mountains and fjords to explore. Europe has it all. And we love it all. From the food markets of Provence to the wineries of Tuscany, Europe is delicious. From Ireland’s green rolling hills to the pristine beaches of Albania, it is beautiful. From the couture capital of Paris to the hot springs scene of Budapest, Europe is a cultural playground. Here are the best European experiences!
The mountains of Crete stretch on for miles. Except for a few rocky bits and areas punctuated by brilliant fuchsia wildflowers, everything is green. Of course there are olive trees—this is Greece, after all. But there are also miles and miles of perfectly manicured grapevines swooping down the slopes.
In Copenhagen, you can visit the Meatpacking District, take a spin through animated Tivoli Gardens and even visit the beach on your way to the picturesque old harbor, all in a walk that barely breaks two miles. But that’s just a fraction of the things to do in this colorful old city.
Brasserie Cantillon is not your typical brewery. There is no walled-off, sterile brewing area, no stainless steel showpiece tasting room with fancy tap handles spouting pumpkin ale.
One of the interesting things about Italy is that each region has its own cuisine. While there are some commonalities, there are significant differences in what’s traditional and readily available on menus in different areas.
Most advice about Athens says that you can everything in this enormously historic city in one day. While that may get you the highest of the highlights, there’s more to Athens than that.
It’s not every day you step through the door of an upscale hotel and find a foosball table and bright red cartoons on the wall.
There are raging waterfalls, colorful fishing cabins, and millennia-old gorges known as fjords carved when the Earth was a much younger place. This route lets you see them all relatively quickly and easily.
When we visit a new place, we’re just as excited (sometimes moreso) to try new food as we are to see the sites. And when that food includes cheeses, pastries, desserts, and other local specialties, we know it’s going to be a great trip.
Brussels is a complex city. Both historic and modern, ornate and sleek, busy and quiet, the city has different personalities in only the span of a few blocks. But despite these contrasts (or maybe because of them), there’s something new and different at every turn. And I loved every bit of it.