Europe…there’s no other place like it in the world! Its fabulous monuments reveal one layer of history after another and its breathtaking natural scenery couldn’t be more diverse. From wild to elegant, its countries bring together a kaleidoscope of cultures and its landscapes are as intriguing as its past.
They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so, naturally, many of you will disagree with my picks, in which case I invite you all to leave your thoughts in the comment section.
In the meantime, let’s have a look at Europe’s top 5 most beautiful countries:
There are areas of outstanding natural beauty all over Britain, but it is in Scotland’s remote Highlands where the most breathtaking scenes and true wildernesses are found. There you can visit the famous Loch Ness - which is a stunning spot even if you don’t encounter its mythical monster. Other attractions include the Gothic splendor of its capital city, Edinburgh, where the Victorian buildings of its Old Town sit below its imposing castle, and its beautiful Cairngorms mountains. Scotland also has more than 790 islands - many of which provide stunning views and rolling beaches. Meanwhile, sportier travelers may want to take on one of Scotland’s famous links golf courses. They are picture-perfect places to spend a few hours working on your game.
France has something for all types of traveler, from the romance and history of Paris, to the sun-drenched Côte d’Azur, the pretty villages of Provence, and the imposing mountains filled with top ski resorts in the French Alps. France may be famous for its cuisine, but it’s also a country of remarkable architectural and natural beauty, with Roman ruins, Gothic cathedrals, Romanesque churches, Renaissance chateaux, and the Neoclassical beauty of its 19th-century architecture. There’s also nothing better than to spend your free time out in the French countryside – the Rhone, Loire, and Dordogne are picturesque rivers that run through France and possess spectacular natural scenery, as well as lovely villages.
As the home of classical civilization, Greece is full of grand ancient sites, from the imposing Acropolis sitting above Athens, to the Oracle at Delphi. The variety of islands means there’s plenty of different experiences for all types of travelers - but the spectacular whitewashed houses of Santorini are a must-see. Or why not venture to the clifftop monasteries of Meteora and myriad beaches to soak up the sun? Olympus National Park is a place to be at one with nature too, and also allows you to climb Greece’s highest mountain, Mount Olympus, where the ancient Gods were said to have lived.
Italy’s beautiful cities - like Venice, Rome, and Florence certainly attract the tourists - but you can also find splendor in the Tuscan countryside, the haunting Amalfi Coast, the striking Dolemites mountain range or amidst the rugged, volcanic beauty of Sicily. That’s not to say the tourist traps aren’t well worth the visit - who could resist standing like a gladiator in the Colosseum, browsing Florence’s Renaissance art, or spending a romantic evening on Venice’s canals, but there is so much to enjoy about this spectacular country beyond the obvious hotspots.
Sitting at Europe’s heart, Germany is known as the continent’s industrial powerhouse - but still has some sites of incredible natural and architectural beauty. Visitors to the Black Forest in the south of the country can see spectacular mountains, while those in search of romantic scenery can visit the fairy tale-like castles built by Ludwig II of Bavaria. The great cities of Munich and Berlin are also perfect places to take in German architecture and culture, either by enjoying a drink in a beer hall or visiting the museums and monuments that document the prouder moments of German history.
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