Cycle in the Loire or catch the Northern Lights? Five places to visit in Europe this year

Heading to Europe for your next vacation? Don’t miss these unusual hot spots that should be on your itinerary…

Visiting Europe has always a popular choice among tourists for thousands of reasons. Firstly, the continent caters to a plethora of tastes and is on the bucket list of many travellers across the globe. Secondly, the history, culture and lifestyle norms of Europe have always been awe-inspiring for most people around the world.

But besides the mainstream travel choices, there are some experiences that are truly unique and different from others. Why not check them out this year? Here are the five must-try experiences in Europe that you need to bookmark for your next holiday abroad…

Dine in the Osteria Francescana, Modena – Italy

The Italian restaurant, Osteria Francescana, set up by Chef Massimo Bottura, is an award winner for being the World’s Best Restaurant over and over. Osteria Francescana has only 12 tables and boasts a stunning collection of contemporary art.

Modena, Italy

Chef Bottura weaves a range of narratives through his dishes, playing with ingredients from the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region.

Courses include the now-famous (and equally delicious) five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, which takes the diner through the region’s esteemed cheese in different temperatures, textures and tastes, as well as Adriatic Chowder. 

From being a part of numerous TV shows to being acclaimed for its great hospitality, calm surroundings and innovative recipes – Osteria Francescana is a place that one must visit for an amazing gastronomical experience.

Cycle in the Loire Valley, France

All along the Loire Valley, the majestic châteaux are a reminder of the local history as it used to be the favourite region of the French Kings and their courts for centuries.

Cycle in the Loire Valley

The Pays de la Loire covers the area to the south of Brittany and Normandy, along the lower stretches of the river Loire, the longest river in France. As you cycle along this valley, you are flanked by the Loire, France’s last great wild river, with its sandy banks and islands, its vine-covered slopes, its quaint towns and villages, its fine food and its unique atmosphere.

Chase the Northern lights in Lofoten Islands, Norway

Located just beneath the auroral Oval, the Lofoten Islands in Norway are known for its unique portrayal of the Northern Lights! It is a charming sight that emerges in the winter and offers one of the most fascinating views in the world.

The Northern Lights of the Lofoten Islands

Bringing together thousands of colours in majestic hues and tones, the contrasting appearance of the Northern lights against the dark nights of Norway is breathtaking.

The Lofoten Islands have a rugged mountain range, forming a part of Archipelago in Norway that is also stunning in winter. The fishermen join in for some winter fishing too. If you want to capture a rare sight on your camera and etch it in your memory, don’t miss the Lofoten Islands.

Hike the iconic Tour du Mont Blanc in the Alps

Europe’s highest mountain range the Alps is home to a popular trekking experience – the Tour du Mont Blanc. Converging the towering mountains of France, Switzerland, and Italy, this tour is a hiking circuit around Mount Blanc.

Tour du Mont Blanc

This trail begins anticlockwise from France and Italy to Switzerland. In between are Alpine villages, ancient glaciers, mountain passes, rivers and valleys that treat you to exceptional views and experiences. This journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Walk around in the medieval town of Tallinn, Estonia

The medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia, Europe is a complete delight when it comes to history. A walk around the town of Tallinn takes you to the 15th Century site where the two feudal medieval towns of Tallinn evolved as a distinct trading center with Town Hall Gardens, Fat Margaret Tower, half-hidden courtyards, colourful gabled houses, and majestic churches. The two towns of Tallinn are divided by a great wall. The upper town was the seat of government ruling Estonia and the lower town was a part of Hanseatic Trading Center with Swedish, Danish and German merchants hiring labour and running the place.

Tallinn, Estonia

A walk through this town is an enchanting trip through the past, proclaiming the lives in the 13th and 16th centuries enlightening one with medieval history.

When it comes to travelling in Europe, there is no denying that with every new place there is a new story to enjoy. Instead of juggling with the regular itineraries of the usual tourist destinations, define your own holiday with some different places to visit and reward yourself with wonderful new experiences.

Picture credit: All pictures are from Shutterstock


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