Thousands of years of cultural heritage make Europe somewhere you have to visit… and visit, and visit, and visit. Whether you’re a fan of immersive local experiences or wild outdoor exploration, the wealth of activities it has on offer will keep you coming back for more.
1. Be awed by the Northern Lights
Photos don’t do the Northern Lights justice – to understand how incredible the natural phenomena really is, you’ve got to see it up close. By making Iceland your vantage point, you’ll be able to view the spectacular lightshow by night then travel to waterfalls, geothermal lagoons and black-sand beaches by day.
Hot tip: An eight-day tour of Iceland’s natural wonders with Peregrine Adventures will give you plenty of opportunity to see the Northern Lights in all their glory. You’ll also visit Skaftafell National Park – home to Vatnajökull, one of Europe’s biggest glaciers, set against a scene-stealing landscape
2. Explore Greece’s history on foot
Greece’s mountainous terrain makes it an ideal place to lace up the hiking boots. Here, you can conquer volcanic craters such as Nea Kameni or climb the “mountain of the gods” – the mighty Mount Olympus.
For a more leisurely hike, set your sights on the Greek Islands, where you can wander cobbled footpaths dating back to the Byzantine era and traverse old monks’ trails of yesteryear. These walks immerse you in stunning scenery as well as Greece’s incredible history.
Hot tip: With Peregrine Adventures, you can hike between the monasteries of the Lousios Valley and seek out preserved medieval villages. Afterwards you’ll get to pull up stumps in Dimitsana, a 7th-century township usually missed by tourists, as the tour’s special feature stay.
3. Discover Turkey’s incredible culture
Gözleme, pide, lamb skewers, mussels stuffed with spiced rice... they say there’s no better way to get to know a country than through its cuisine and Turkey’s reveals a rich abundance of exotic flavours and spices.
Every corner of the country has its own speciality dishes to seek out, such as succulent Adana kebabs in the eastern Mediterranean or custard and hazelnut-stuffed pastries like laz böreği on the Black Sea coast. Syrian influence creeps into the cuisine of the country’s Southeast, while fresh meze platters dominate in the seaside towns and islands of The Aegean.
Wherever you are, don’t forget to wake up with a cup of kahve, Turkey’s potent signature coffee.
Hot tip: A tour with Peregrine Adventures will allow you to sample gruyère at a cheese museum in Kars, try saffron-flavoured Turkish delight in Safranbolu and sit down for a home-cooked meal with a local family in Amasya. Yum.
4. See the side of Croatia most visitors miss
Eastern Europe favourite Croatia tops bucket lists for its beautiful beaches, medieval city walls and rich history but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll uncover how locals really live. Visit family wineries, explore sleepy seaside towns like Trogir and roam nature parks on the remote island of Lastovo that are yet to be touched by mainstream tourism.
Hot tip: A tour of the Dalmatian Coast with Peregrine Adventures will show you another side of Croatia. The itinerary includes a visit to remote Lastovo, where traditional Adriatic island life is preserved. You’ll even get to hit the water for a day with a local fisherman – importantly, the tour supports the island’s small local population with sustainable tourism.
5. Walk the picture-perfect shores of the Amalfi Coast
There’s a lot to love about Italy but nothing dazzles quite like the Amalfi Coast. Its natural beauty – think turquoise seas, lush woodlands and pastel-coloured terraces tumbling down the sides of cliffs – make this southern stretch of coastline perfect for exploring on foot.
Be sure to walk the six-kilometre Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods), which passes a grotto, a monastery and charming hilltop towns. You can also dip your feet in the waters off Capri, stroll the boutiques and cafes of Positano and wind your way through the quiet back streets of the town of Amalfi, stopping for gelato whenever the desire strikes – gelateria Pasticceria Savoia is a local favourite.
Hot tip: On a walking tour with Peregrine Adventures, you’ll be guided along the Amalfi Coast’s best trails, as well as exploring Naples and the ancient city of Pompeii.
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