by Tessa Marson
Endless expanses of wilderness, rugged evergreen forests, steep-sided fjords and glorious glaciers…it’s no wonder that Norway is often hailed as the world’s most desirable place to live. National parks cover the region, offering some of Europe’s best hiking, as well as anything from kayaking to dog sledding. Beyond stunning landscapes, the region offers sophisticated culture, outstanding architecture, excellent museums and world-class dining. Here, old-fashioned charm has embraced the most forward-looking design and social developments. Cities are compact and user-friendly, infrastructure is clean and modern, and travel is a breeze.
Romantic, whimsical, historical, and elegant: the Czech Republic is sure to enchant and delight its visitors. The fairy-tale architecture, medieval churches and ancient squares are due to a bewitching blend of the country’s Western European and Eastern Slavic origins.
From the sun-baked plains of Andalucia to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Spain’s breathtaking landscape offers something for everyone. Evident in its sophisticated cities, Moorish palaces and gothic cathedrals, the country is a mix modern and traditional. Spanish passion for fine foods, wild landscapes and vibrant colours make for a unique and exquisite European experience. Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings at the Prado Museum in Madrid and stroll through the striking city of Granada
Situated at the crossroads of the continent, Hungary is Europe at its most exotic. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in splendour. Every turn reveals a charming architectural gem, from Roman ruins and baroque churches to medieval buildings and Art Nouveau bathhouses.
Nature reigns supreme in this starkly beautiful land forged by fire and ice. Iceland is an untamed expanse of dramatic contrasts, evident in its surreal blue hot springs, sweeping green valleys, dazzling white glaciers and barren black lava fields. The Nordic island nation is a proud one, and rightly so; it boasts one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Denmark was built in the age of the Vikings, when fleets of ships attacked and plundered towns, churches and monasteries throughout Western Europe and sailed as far away as Constantinople (or Istanbul as it's known today). Today though, Denmark is very different from its historical past. Although only small in size, it’s handsomely endowed with wonderful rural landscapes and elegant cities. The Danes themselves also punch well above their weight when it comes to artistic culture, a commitment to conservation, and an open-minded and laid-back attitude to life. All this makes Denmark the perfect place to visit.
This mountainous Central European country is an outdoor playground for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Rolling hills, clear lakes and lush forests define Switzerland as much as its sophisticated cities like Zurich or Geneva do. Famous for its cheese and chocolate, indulge in raclette and truffles after a day spent perusing posh boutiques along cobblestone streets.
The land of the ancients – cliff-top castles, standing stones and Rob Roy. Travel from Scotland’s literary capital, Edinburgh, to feisty Glasgow, the heart and home of golf, St. Andrews, and the battlefields of Culloden and Glencoe, as your quest takes you past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands and Glengoyne Whisky Distillery for a well-deserved ‘wee dram’.
Need help planning the best trip ever? Trust your local expert. We’ve explored Europe first hand, so we know the best things to see and do. Give your CAA travel agent a call at 1-800-267-8713, visit your nearest CAA Travel Store to talk to us in person!