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A big part of what makes Europe such a thrilling place to visit is the layers of culture and history that saturate every corner of the continent. No matter where you travel, it’s almost impossible not to revere the impact its distinct regions had on the lives of the storied figures and diverse people that inhabited it. Fostered by trade, conquest, and religion, Europe, from the shores of the Atlantic to the heart of the Mediterranean, is a place of wonder and discovery.

The continent is ultra-friendly to travelers looking to visit multiple countries in a single trip; those with a US passport can easily and affordably cross EU boundaries. If you’ve never been to Europe, now is a great time to introduce yourself to the region’s unparalleled connectivity with an itinerary that takes advantage of transportation via rail, air, road, and sea. And if you yearn to return, discover more ways to explore Europe comfortably and affordably with these multi-country trips.

Discover the Mediterranean Nations of Italy, Greece, and Turkey

Long before the modern boundaries separating the nations that border the Mediterranean Sea were established, the region was ruled by storied civilizations like the Romans, Phonecians, and Carthaginians. This gives the shores of Italy, Greece, and Turkey a unique shared history and culture that’s distinctly Mediterranean. This identity makes exploring all three nations a must for anyone seeking to fully immerse themselves here.

The Mediterranean is an easily traversable region encompassing 965,300 square miles. Explore ancient ruins, ski world-class slopes, and submerge yourself in coral reef-filled waters all year round in this mild climate. Thriving ports and beach cities line shores from Sicily to Crete and many are accessible by boat. You might sail between Athens and Istanbul to see the Acropolis and the Hagia Sophia all in a weekend!

Take an Adventure on the Iberian Peninsula

On the western edge of continental Europe, you’ll find Spain and Portugal, two nations that enjoy approximately 3,500 miles of ornate Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines between them. The lands that connect these shores comprise the Iberian Peninsula—a region of pristine natural geography and captivating cultural sites. From the cobblestone streets of Seville, Spain to the famed Amado Beach on the coast of Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula is a place of life and inspiration.

Travelers to this region can ski the snowcapped Spanish Pyrenees, adventure in the wildlife preserves in idyllic central Spain, and experience the melting pot of Portuguese cities teeming with Muslim, African, and European influences. Spain is home to one of the world’s most popular festivals, San Fermín. San Fermín is a weeklong celebration of Spanish culture in early July featuring thematic events like a running of the bulls, nightly fireworks displays, and traditional activities like flamenco dancing.

Explore the Swiss, German, and Italian Alps

If you’re seeking elevated vacation destinations with a varied climate and a slew of outdoor activities to match, you can’t do better than the arcadian regions surrounding the Alps. The Swiss, German, and Italian Alps have long been a favored destination of world leaders, celebrities, and anyone looking for a little (or a lot of) inspiration and rejuvenation.

Enjoy the Alps’ stunning landscapes and quaint escapes in three different nations, each with its own unique offerings. Experience trending destinations like Zurich, Milan, and Munich—accessible by plane, car, or train. Alps chalets and piste are perfect for a skiing itinerary encompassing lavish locations like Davos, Waidring, and Madonna di Campiglio. Head north to visit artisanal Bavarian markets by day and the world’s oldest beer hall or the mysterious Nymphenburg Palace by night. Foodies might try both German and Swiss Rösti and weigh in on which is better on social media!

Experience Medieval Europe in Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia

Larger, more populous nations may come to mind when thinking of “European vacation” but possibilities extend beyond these more well-known options. Eastern Europe also provides exceptional experiences with accommodations equal to, or in some cases surpassing their western counterparts in terms of both luxury and affordability.

These include the Balkan countries of Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia, which were once the heart of civilization during the Middle Ages and offer all of the magnificent Byzantine and medieval architecture that comes with it. The Balkans is a place of adventure, with gems like Lake Bled, a glacial lake with hot springs, scenic gorges, and sites like the Romanesque-style Bled Castle. The region is home to a thriving restaurant and wine industry, with luxury resorts popping up all along the region’s Adriatic shores. Must-see cities include Dubrovnik, Croatia; Perast, Montenegro; and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Plan Your Escape

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