Europe is the world’s second smallest continent, with around 11% of the planet’s population but, while it may not be able to match Asia or Africa in terms of size and scope, Europe’s 50 countries are teeming with history and culture. Whether it’s the lush beauty of Tuscany in the south or the breathtaking scope of the Norwegian Fjords in the north, Europe is a continent that is just begging to be explored. The following are 10 of the most breathtaking places the continent has to offer.
The Mont Saint Michel – France
The tiny island of Mont St Michel is located 1km off the coast of Normandy in northwestern France. The stunning commune is home to an 11th century monastery, which sits right at the top of the mount, with great halls, stores and houses situated just below it. Mont Saint Michel is listed as a World Heritage Site and attracts around 3 million visitors each year.
Tuscany – Italy
Italy may be home to a number of the world’s most stunning locations but few are able to match the sheer beauty of Tuscany’s landscape. The area is renowned for its lush green rolling hills, snow-capped mountains and breathtaking cities, making it one of the most stunning places, not just in Europe, but on the whole planet.
Hallstatt – Austria
In terms of ‘picture-postcard’ locations, few places in the world can match Hallstatt for beauty. The small Austrian village is located right on the edge of Hallstatter See (a lake) and has lush green mountains all around it. The incredibly lucky population, of just over 900 people, get to wake up to one of the most stunning views in the world every single day!
Fjords – Norway
If being surrounded by fresh air and stunning views sounds like your idea of paradise then a trip to the fjords of Norway is an absolute must. The breathtaking landscape can be explored by either boat or train and provides some of the best views and scenery in Europe.
The Dolomites – Italy
The Dolomites mountain range in northern Italy is one of the most stunning in the world and attracts hikers, climbers and cyclists from all over the planet. The astonishing landscape is famous for the dark craggy limestone rock of the mountains, contrasted with the lush green meadows of the valleys.
The Northern Lights – Sweden
The Northern Lights can be seen from a number of locations in the Northern Hemisphere but one of the most spectacular places to watch the breathtaking natural light show is Abisko in the far north of Sweden. The small village provides the perfect location to witness the Northern Lights in all their glory.
Melissani Cave – Kefalonia
Kefalonia is famous for being the filming location for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the stunning Greek island is home to a number of breathtaking beaches. The real attraction of Kefalonia is the Melissani Cave though. The underwater cavern is famous for having astonishingly crystal clear water and the underground lake has been used as a place of worship for hundreds of years.
Eisriesenwelt – Austria
Eisriesenwelt has made this list for one very obvious reason: It is the largest ice cave in the world! The huge cavern is located in Werfen, Austria and stretches an incredible 42km underground! The breathtaking ice formations found in the cave make it one of Austria’s most popular tourist destinations.
Bled – Slovenia
Lake Bled is home to the only natural island in the whole of Slovenia, but what an island! The picturesque islet is surrounded by lush green forests, snow-capped mountains and clear turquoise waters and houses a beautiful church right at its centre, making it one of Europe’s most breathtaking places.
Plitvice Lakes – Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes are Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction and it’s easy to see why. The stunning location is made up of 16 separate lakes, all connected by a string of beautiful waterfalls. Tourists are able to explore the area and take in the views by a series of wooden walkways.