As summer rolls in and wanderlust begin to take over, you may want to satiate that craving for inspiration. Amid the countless inspirational post found on social media, nothing can contain the grandeur of staring history in its face.
You can find these views throughout Europe while standing in the middle of a medieval castle or along the coast of a wave-breaking cliff.
Here, we’ll take you through a tour of Europe that will reinvigorate you while building and collecting unforgettable memories.
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The 10 Inspiring Destinations Worth Visiting in Europe
Bruges in Belgium is dubbed the ‘Venice of the North,’ is a quaint historic merchant city with a peak tourist season during the summer that can last until the fall. Bruges is a medieval city with picturesque squares surrounded by a network of canals.
Inspiration can be found in this town in a variety of means. You can climb the Belfry amid the 47 bells of the tower and see a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. If you’re on a spiritual pilgrimage, you can watch a vial carrying the Blood of Christ in Bruges’ Basilica of the Holy Blood, thought to have been brought back from the crusades.
If your inspiration needs to be accompanied by the sun, then look no further than Cyprus. The summers here are idyllic for relaxing on one of the many beaches that surround the island. Cyprus plays host as a vacation spot for most of Europe, so if you want to have a quieter experience, then you may want to visit the Mediterranean island during the spring and enjoy sunny days with a cool breeze.
If you’re looking for history, Cyprus has it in spades. The country is divided into the southern Greek side, and the northern Turkish side and plays host to Nicosia, the last divided city in the world.
Ljubljana is one of those grand yet overlooked gems waiting to be explored. Slovenia’s capital city is a destination that has something for everyone. It offers a bounty of food and honey brandy to placate food tourist and a beautiful river to satiate outdoor enthusiast. A large portion of Ljubljana’s motif was designed by renowned architect Joze Plecknik, and this fairytale city is overlooked by a castle on top of a hill.
While you’re walking across Ljubljana’s famous triple bridge, take the time to appreciate all of the dragons that litter the cityscape.
Containing the largest medieval old town in central and eastern Europe, Lithuania is quickly becoming a tourist hot spot. Majestic churches dot the cities, and you may even make the trek to see the remarkable Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai. The Hill of Crosses is laden with thousands and thousands of crosses placed on top of each other over the years by visitors and newlyweds.
Lithuania is ripe for exploration. You can find castles in the middle of lakes to sand dunes on the Baltic sea.
Every world traveler should experience a city on a bike at least once, and if you make the effort, then Copenhagen is the best city to begin pedaling away. Over one-third of Copenhagen travels around on bikes, with whole sections of the street dedicated to them.
The exercise that you get from cycling around the city will help you understand the desire for Hygge (most closely translated as coziness), where you appreciate the scents of candles, the warmth of a blanket and the company of good friends.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, then you may want to make your way to Christiania. Christiania is a hippie commune, known for its drug culture and detest of pictures taken within their limits.
However, if you want to walk through the city-within-a-city, you’ll be treated to a visually striking display of graffiti.
Girona, located in Catalonia, Spain, just a short train ride from Barcelona. The city is marked with medieval walls and ramparts and is crisscrossed with narrow city walkways. The Onyar River runs through the center of the city, and you can experience it best from Pont Pedra, Eiffel Bridge.
One of the must-see sights of Girona is the Girona Cathedral. Seated on top of a large hill, you must ascend a large staircase in order to reach its entrance. If you are a fan of the hit TV series Game of Thrones, you may recognize the Girona Cathedral as the one Cersei descended for her contrition.
If you’re looking for a bigger city feel, you may want to stay in Barcelona which has its own charms. You can even find inexpensive lodgings there, by using Travelodge. Click here to get your Travelodge discount code.
Alternatively, if you want to explore with a guide, check out these Spain tours!
Related read: Castles in Spain
If your explorations for inspiration require gorgeous weather, delectable food, picturesque sites, and host a plethora of activities, then Algarve should be on your list. The south of Portugal is rife with history, caves, cliffs, and beaches.
Portuguese cuisine is becoming world-renowned, and while you’re in the Algarve, you need to try frango assado, their grilled fish, and their bacalhau (salted cod).
Situated in southeastern France, Annecy rests along the cleanest lake in Europe, Lake Annecy, and its beauty is enhanced with the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. This fairytale village is peppered with winding cobblestone streets, pastel-colored homes, and canals in their Vieille Ville (old town).
Unless you’ve already filled up on croissants and ice cream, you should save room for raclette, a block of cheese melted in front of an open fire. You can couple this with potatoes, various meats, and pickles. You can find raclette all over Annecy, and enjoy sitting in front of a fireplace overlooking a canal.
Read also: Castles in France
If your adventures need a more outdoorsy flair, then you may want to visit Andorra. You can tackle the Estanys de Tristaina hiking trail which will lead you to high-mountain lakes where you can enjoy a dip or try and tame one of the free-grazing horses (well, it may be better to let the horses be).
If you don’t feel like hiking up a mountain, then you may enjoy skiing down the slopes of the Pyrenees. When you’ve satisfied the adrenaline junky in you, then you may want to find your way to one of the idyllic villages.
If you are truly looking for an inspirational sight, then you need to visit Meteora in Greece. Meteora, which means “suspended in the sky,“ is located in northwest Greece, and is host to monasteries residing upon narrow rock pillars, nearly 2,000 feet in the sky.
Constructed as far back as the 11th century, these monasteries were designed to ensure total seclusion from the temptations and evils of the outside world.
The seclusion and grand views should be enough to spark inspiration from even the most jaded traveler.