The 5 Best Ways to See Europe Not Shown in the Guidebooks
Europe is an exciting and diverse tourist destination that never disappoints. With so many countries offering vastly different cultural experiences, hopping from country to country is an effective way to make the most of your precious vacation time. Many tourists choose tour buses or discount airlines to get around. However, there’s a better way. Here are the most scenic and adventurous ways to travel around Europe that you won’t find in your trusty guidebook.
Kayak the Coasts
Despite the seemingly endless coastlines of European countries, tourists rarely think to explore the continent by water. While this is a more adventurous option, kayaking the coastal regions of Europe offers views that you just can’t get on land. Exploring Europe by water is an immersive experience and offers access to smaller towns that many tourists miss.
Paddle along the olive groves of the Adriatic Coast in Croatia, where gliding from island to island is easy for even inexperienced kayakers. Rent a kayak on the west coast of Scotland and explore a kayaker’s “whisky trail,” which includes numerous local distilleries. Escape to warmer weather and calm seas along the islands of Sardinia and Greece.(Image by markdanielowen)
Cruise the Mediterranean
Do you want a more glamorous way to explore Europe by water? Book one of the many ocean cruises that sail along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean – or opt for a scenic river cruise for an intimate, comfortable alternative. Perhaps the most relaxing way to explore Europe, cruising requires very little planning and includes a lot of pampering. The cruise line plans your travel for you, and the luxurious ships offer upscale dining, pools, and spas.
The best cruise lines offer plenty of port days with planned and guided excursions, ensuring that you don’t miss the most impressive sights and attractions. European voyages include stops in Bergen, London, France, Portugal, and Spain, allowing you to explore both popular destination cities and hidden gems.
Walk The Long-Distance Trails
Walking is the ultimate budget-friendly mode of transportation. No need for planes, trains, or automobiles when you have two feet, a map, and a tent. Twelve European long-distance trails, called E-Paths, weave their way throughout the continent. Clearly numbered and marked, these interconnecting E-Paths often travel through national parks, forests, and beaches.
The E4 path runs from Tarifa, Spain to Cyprus, while the impressive E1 path winds through the less-visited areas of Sweden and continues all the way to the Abruzzo Mountains in Italy. Budget a generous amount of time for your European pilgrimage; this on-foot journey could last a month or more.
Bike EuroVelo Routes
If you’re intrigued by exploring the less-popular regions of Europe, but want to breeze through the countryside quicker than walking pace, try cycling. Europe is a bike-friendly continent, and many trains will let you bring a bike on board so you can get from country to country more efficiently. These well-funded and well-designed trail systems offer access to Europe’s best beaches, archaeological sites, and small fishing villages. (Image by EuroVelo)
Fourteen EuroVelo routes interconnect the most popular European countries and cities. Follow Route 8 along the Mediterranean from Athens to Cadiz, or travel north to south along the Sun Route that connects Valletta, Rome, Prague, Berlin, and Copenhagen.
Board a Multi-Country Train
Traveling around Europe by train is probably the best-known method on this list. However, if you want a backpacking experience and are short on time, you can’t beat the convenience and comfort of European trains. Trains serve every country and major city, giving you the flexibility to design your dream itinerary. This mode of transportation is popular with locals, and the prices are reasonably affordable.
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If you prefer to mingle with the locals, create memorable experiences, and discover destinations unspoiled by popular tourism, don’t settle for the same old transportation that everyone else is using. Blaze your own trail using one (or multiple) of the unconventional travel plans listed here, and have the trip of a lifetime.
Featured Courtesy by pusapoze (away)