“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree…” -Emily Bronte
Crisp sunny days, cool autumnal nights, and shorter lines await you in Europe this fall. Circumvent the droves of summer tourist, and book your trip in October, November, or December for a historic and sophisticated vacation among the rolling hills and rich histories of this bountiful continent. Consider these top European destinations when choosing your next adventure abroad.
Gastronomy, vineyards, and Renaissance architecture are just a few reasons to travel to this boot-shaped country. Known for its 47 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Italy is the most historically relevant location in the world. From the first-class museums to the intriguing ruins to the stunning olive groves and sun-kissed Mediterranean coastline, Italy is an easy choice. Visit the energetic cities like Rome and Milan for a taste of cosmopolitan life, or retreat into the countryside for Tuscan wines, hilltop monasteries, and hearty autumn stews. Swing by Venice to be romanced by the city of canals. Catch the art exhibition, the Venice Biennale, on view from now until November 26, 2017. It’s sure to be the vacation of a lifetime.
France is the kind of place that has vacationers returning year after year. The robust diversity sends visitors reeling from medieval cities to alpine villages to the lavender-scented beaches of the Mediterranean. But for an elevated experience, tour iconic Paris and visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Champs-Élysées. Dine at charming sidewalk cafés with the fashionable locals, or take a country expedition to Palace of Versailles for an up-close view of Louis XIV’s life. It’s hard not to be bewitched by this romantic country and all it has to offer.
Matadors, Flamenco dancers, and savory paellas are part of the great allure of Spanish culture. However, it’s the lively energy and the stunning geographical differences between the 17 autonomous regions that continue to enchant travelers. Being the fourth largest wine producer in the world doesn’t hurt either. So, grab a glass of jewel-toned Rioja and get ready to dance, laugh, and celebrate your way through Spain.
Technically both in Europe and Asia, Turkey is an exotic country with influences from the Greek, Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. The result is a fascinating combination of religious-inspired architecture and history. Tourist are drawn to the stunning beaches marked by Roman ruins on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul—a stunning Byzantine structure, originally a Greek Orthodox cathedral, later an imperial mosque, and now a museum open for visitors. Indulge in upscale eateries and nightclubs for a taste of modern Turkey culture like you’ve never seen before.
If the idea of walled cities, baroque buildings, and old forts towering over the salty shores of the Adriatic Sea sound appealing, then Croatia should be your next stop. Dubrovnik is a top tourist destination because of its fresh nautical cuisine and glossy white cobblestone streets, hidden within the cities protective walls. Walk along the edge for sweeping views reminiscent of the HBO show Game of Thrones, which was filmed onsite. From the vineyards to the beaches to the century-old structures, there is something different and unique about this lively medieval region.
Celtic history, natural beauty, and warm friendly culture makes the Emerald Isle an intriguing country of mystery and clandestine folklore. Nothing beats drinking a frothy pint of Guinness in a local Dublin pub while listening to irreverent stories and traditional Irish music. Let the fiddles, tin whistles, and flutes set the scene for your traveling dream. From Norman castles to Georgian country houses, there is plenty to see and do. But it’s the vibrant culture that steals the hearts of travelers with its green pastures and rocky cliffs.
There is really no bad time to travel to Europe, however, the fall months promise picture-perfect landscapes of red, russet, and gold. We can’t think of a better time to pack a light jacket and begin your journey. Wherever you may land, the mountains are the limit and the seas are just the beginning.