Europe is the smallest continent and yet encompasses some amazing wonders of architecture. Europe offers a variety of travel experiences for both long and short visits. Whether a planned itinerary includes several stops or is focused on a single location, a trip to Europe can provide experiences and memories to last a lifetime. Given the variety of architecture, landscapes, climates and historical reference points within Europe, it is no exaggeration to state that nearly anyone could find something to enjoy.
However Europe is a long, long way away. It takes the best part of a day to fly to, playing havoc with your body clock. Getting there – and staying there – isn’t cheap, either. The exchange rate between the Euro and the Australian dollar is worse than with the greenback and you can have an all-inclusive package holiday to Bali for the cost of a return airfare to the continent. So why do we bother with Europe at all? Well, let us count the ways.
Indulge your inner gladiator at the Roman Colosseum, get lost amid the labyrinthine, cobblestoned Old Town of Prague. Stretching from Lisbon to Istanbul, Europe is crammed with sights and streets that have been shaped by more than 3000 years of human. Everybody can be overheard saying, “Wow, you can almost feel the history”.
London. Paris. Barcelona. Berlin. Europe is home to some of the world’s greatest cities. Inner-city zones that, not so long ago, were derelict industrial wastelands or down-and-out ‘hoods are now increasingly appealing to tourists. London’s evolving East End, and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (where you’ll find the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall) are two examples of hip and happening districts brimming with creativity.
Historic harbors rim Europe’s coastlines, with the likes of Cadiz, Marseille and Genoa absorbing ports of call for ocean-going cruise liners. Others are springboards for memorable island-hopping adventures. Take Piraeus, the port near Athens – from which you can board ferries to dozens of exotic Greek islands, including Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes. Once you’ve tired of the wonderful walled old town of Dubrovnik, you can sail around Croatia’s majestic 700-island archipelago. Other seductive island-hopping gateways include Palma de Mallorca (for the Balearics), Valletta (for Malta) and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (for the Canary Islands).
Europe is a traveller’s muse and is a continent with diverse cultures and history.