During our time in quarantine, though our holidays have been temporarily put on hold that hasn’t stopped us finding new destinations we can’t wait to visit as soon as it’s safe to travel again. When it comes to Europe, it’s hard to find somewhere that doesn’t get us excited as it’s bursting with culture, incredible architecture, noteworthy wine regions and some of the world's best beaches. We’ve put our time in isolation to good use by creating a list of our top 10 European destinations to add to your bucket list; now all you need to decide is where to go first!
1. Amalfi Coast, Italy
I have been dreaming of the Amalfi Coast for years, and I’m still crossing my fingers in the hope to visit for the first time this summer for our mini moon! It’s a destination world famous for its picture postcard coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. Donning the front cover of a thousand glossy magazine covers and travel guides, the iconic cliffs are scattered with pastel coloured buildings against a backdrop of inviting turquoise sea. Grand villas, chic boutiques and fine dining restaurants make for a decadent getaway, while the scattering of picturesque beaches and pretty piazzas add further beauty to this romantic realm of Italy.
2. Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Croatia has been trending as a holiday hotspot for a number of years now, and is still seen as a cool alternative to some more typical island getaways in Greece or The Balearics. With over 1,000 islands, the best way to explore is out on the water - they even have Uber for boats, meaning island hopping couldn’t be easier! One popular island hot-spot is upmarket Hvar, with fine restaurants, lively bars and designer shops, plus elegant accommodation close to its beautiful harbour. But if you have the luxury, rather than just one Croatian Island visit, you’ll start your getaway in Split, finishing up in Dubrovnik with as many island pit stops as possible along the way.
3. Ibiza, The Balearics
Globally recognised as a hedonistic party destination, there is much more to Ibiza than meets the eye. Yes, there are super clubs and lively beach parties where world-famous DJs spin records from dusk until dawn, but Ibiza has a softer side too. Pretty villages honour laidback island living and the crystal clear waters make for joyful swimming and snorkelling. When it comes to beaches, this island has some of the most beautiful in Europe. All this with added boutique shopping and fine dining create a unique offering you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.
For 5 star luxury wrapped in the most glamourous ribbon, look no further than the magical island of Mykonos. This iconic isle of windmills is known for its sizzling summer party persona. Similar to Ibiza, it has the appeal for party-goers looking to dance the night away in the most exclusive locations, while other draws include its distinguished architecture of whitewashed buildings, tiny churches and quietly charming alter-ego. This isle is not short of secluded coves and cerulean seas, and the foodie scene is one of the finest in all of Greece.
5. Douro Valley, Portugal
Those in search of fine wine and fabulous views will be smitten with the Douro Valley. Miles of terraced vineyards frame the region's famous river, creating a truly stunning backdrop to a relaxing Portugal getaway. With hundreds of different wineries to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice for tours and tastings, and make sure to sample its world-famous Port as one of your holiday tipples.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
The home of Hygge, Copenhagen is known to be the happiest city in the world! Characterized by its canals, cycling culture, ancient amusement park and innovative architecture, a holiday in this distinctive city allows no room for boredom. Its foodie scene ranges from the delights of the traditional smorgasbord, to a holistic tasting restaurant where guests can indulge on a menu of 50 individual courses!
Cascading fields of lavender form the backdrop to this beautiful region in France. Known for its sun-filled skies and colourful diverse landscapes - Van Gogh painted 350 works here. Experience the Provençal way of life exploring roman ruins, quaint villages and local markets; finish your day with crisp glass of rose as you soak up the air of romance.
8. Reykjavik, Iceland
From the legendary hot-dog stand, to its world-class museum with panoramic views over the city, Reykjavik is a unique and exciting capital. The Blue Lagoon just outside of the city is a magical geothermal spa in which to relax with a refreshing drink and a mud mask, as you submerge yourself in the natural hot springs. Elsewhere, the golden circle summons visitors from across the globe to enjoy impressive waterfalls and showstopping geysers, easily done in a day trip from the city centre. Not forgetting the the added possibility of seeing the spectacular aurora borealis.
Tuscany may not be the most original bucket list entry, but there are simply far too many reasons to warrant its spot, and so we stand by it. Shall we start with the wine? Home to some of the most notable wine regions in the world, never mind Italy and the appeal of a vineyard visit and tasting tour on a Tuscan retreat is just divine. The vineyards entwined with the rolling hills creates those breathtaking countryside views that we shall never tire of seeing.
10. London, England
If you live in the city, you may well take it for granted but unsurprisingly London is one of the world’s most visited cities. Although being in lockdown during the pandemic has limited our travel overseas, it’s also made us truly appreciate what is on our doorstep. London is full to the brim with a vibrant culture so unique you won’t find a city with a personality like this anywhere else in the world. Shall we talk about the foodie scene? Japanese gyoza, Ethiopian tibs, Korean bibimbap, you name it, London has it. The architecture is a wonderfully unique mix of historic landmarks such as Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral, combined with ultra-modern and most dazzling buildings like The Shard. London we love you, and we promise never to take you for granted again.