So it’s the beginning of 2020, the rain or snow is coming down and we are thinking of our holidays and with the way things are nowadays, it’s usually case of booking early to to get your spot on the plane, boat or train to wherever you are planning to go. But where to go in 2020? Well, we sat the Europa United team down and asked for their recommendations on the best places to visit in Europe in 2020.
Dramatic coastlines, idyllic Mediterranean beaches, majestic mountains -Corsica has it all and it even has a desert. For foodies, you go from amazing fresh seafood to wild boar and some of the best cheese and delightful wine you’ll find anywhere. Lovely medieval villages perched on rugged littorals or clinging to soaring mountains. For history buffs, Corsica has produced some big names, including Napoleon Buonaparte and Christopher Columbus. And then there is the history of the island itself, as the dozens of Genoese defence towers dotted around the island remind you.
More dramatic scenery, with dramatic estuaries almost worthy of the Norwegian fjords. Montenegro has unspoiled nature together with a rich history and culture. It’s a different view of Europe from what you might be used to and don’t forget to taste their unique Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. Beware the slivovitz though…
Try traveling from the capital Bucharest through the Carpathians by train, one of the most scenic European rail routes you will ever find. A must is to visit the old towns of Sibiu and Brasov. Medieval castles, like the famous Dracula castle, Gothic and baroque architecture, are incredible. You can eat in 4-5 star restaurants for around 20-30 euros including your drink and desert with even cheaper meals if you move away from city centers. Romanians are a very friendly people. and a European gem is Romania, still unspoiled and less touristy for the time being!
It is near the sea but just enough inland to be sheltered from the worst maritime weather and is in Trondheimsfjorden, which is the third longest in Norway. The city is small, very clean and tidy but when you look at it closely it is a real gem. The ancient cathedral has the original name of the city, Nidaros. It has an excellent music scene there, from classical through to fantastic contemporary music, nice jazz too. Food is great with everything you could want. The trips out on to the fjord and out to sea are brilliant because the scenery is stunning. Two things to be aware of though. Winter is not excessively cold, but it gets dark early and daytime is short, then the other is Norway is expensive. For all of that it is a fantastic place.
It is an industrial city with green mountains around it but on an estuary that looks more like a river, that it meanders along to the sea. It is the de facto capital of the Basque region with a very modern highrise city centre that includes the fantastic Guggenheim Museum. With wonderful culture centre in every respect, traditional Basque, Spanish music, through every form of classical, via jazz, blues and into a wide range of contemporary sounds. As for art lovers, it is a dream too. The food is very much influenced by the proximity to the sea, as far as meat dishes go the hams and dry sausages are superb, the Basque cheeses, especially the hard sheep cheese are wonderful. Always remember it is Basque and not quite ‘Spanish’ though and that will enhance the pleasure of a visit.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
France’s “Pink City”. Beautiful architecture, shopping areas, and food. Cheaper than Paris and the Côte d’Azur. However it has something for all tastes as it is a university city, with hipster places for young people and more elegant and fine dining for the richer and older folk. The old town is wonderful, full of brick buildings and Gothic churches. And if you get bored you can always get a ride up the Pyrenees and visit the French countryside or pop into Andorra for some tax free shopping therapy or skiing!
Western Macedonia, Epirus and the cities of Kastoria and Ioannina
These are the lesser known mountain and lake regions of Northern Greece. Visit the lake Pamvotida in Ioannina and eat amazing fish dishes, including the only place in Greece that eat frog’s legs as delicacies. On the island of the lake, you can visit Ali Pasha’s house and the place where he was killed. In Kastoria you may walk along the lake Orestias, stay in old converted stone houses and buy fur, traditionally traded there for centuries as part of the Ottoman era. Much cheaper and touristy than the islands or Athens, you may also access Greece’s ski resorts of Metsovo, Vitsi and Seli a bit further away. A Greek winter wonderland with some of the best preserved old houses, buildings and churches in the country!
The music, buildings, history. Hanging out in coffee houses, and of course, the Sachertorte 🥞♥️. But there is so much more. Like the imperial castles that dot the city as well as the outskirts and of course, there is the The Imperial Crypt, also called the Capuchin Crypt, which is a burial chamber beneath the Capuchin Church and monastery and is the principal place of entombment for the members of the House of Habsburg, the family that rules Austria and it’s empire for centuries. Nightlife is superb with opera (with an incredible opera house), jazz, blues and rock all there. A must visit and highly underrated.
The Vienna State Opera
Orkney is an archipelago situated off the north coast of the island of Great Britain. Orkney has about 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited and is possible one of the best kept secrets in terms of unspoiled beauty and European pre-history. Not only does Orkney have amazing bird watching, hiking trails, beautiful beaches and fantastic food and drink, it is also home to amazing pre-historic sites such as the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae which is a village that dates back to 3100 BC! It’s easy to get there with daily sailings and flights from Aberdeen and Glasgow and it’s surprisingly cheap to stay in as there are plenty of hotels, hostels and B&B’s.
Ring of Brodgar
We hope our suggestions will give you plenty of food for thought. Maybe you have some ideas as well so put them in the comments below as we’d love to get some new ideas ourselves.
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