Europe is a treasure chest of historic, exciting and storied destinations. Here are 10 of our favourite places and experiences!
Starstruck in Monaco
Monaco is a glittering haven for fine cuisine, fabulous artworks and a fascinating history. Watch the passing parade of expensive Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches arriving with well-heeled guests at the beautiful Place de Casino, the front entrance of the Casino de Monte Carlo. Or if superyachts are more likely to turn your head, visit the picturesque Port Hercule marina, within easy walking distance of many main attractions, including The Prince’s Palace – the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert II.
While Monaco is the most densely populated sovereign state in the world with an area of just over 2kms, it more than makes up for it in history, culture, entertainment and that charming Monegasque character. As Monaco boasts the most Michelin-starred restaurants per square metre in the world, your culinary experience will be grand, and when you need to walk off some of those kilojoules, go for a stroll on the new Rainier III Sculpture Trail, relax in one of many green spaces, such as Fontvieille Park, or find one of the many hidden gems tucked around every corner. Monaco might have bucketloads of swagger and sophistication, but it also has little local haunts and gorgeous beaches and is deserving of a multi-day stay on any European sojourn, or pre-or post-cruise.
How long since you have been to London? It is time to revisit this vibrant capital with one foot in the past and one firmly stretched into the future. The list of places to see is long … Westminster Cathedral, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Borough Market, Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, and Greenwich. Then there are museums and galleries to lose yourself in, including Tate Britain, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert, and shows to be seen at the Old Vic, the Royal Opera House, and Shakespeare’s Globe. One of the hottest tickets in town is ABBA Voyage, on at ABBA Arena, and in December, Stranger Things: The First Shadow takes to the stage at the Phoenix.
Winter wonders with Club Med
We all know Club Med does all-inclusive vacations very well, on tropical islands where fun exists in every minute of every day, but they also excel on snow. There are 25 Club Med snow resorts around the world – each with a different personality, and if you feel like indulging in some French magnificence, then Club Med has you covered. Club Med Tignes Resort boasts drop-dead glamour and the option of Exclusive Collection Space Suites with personalised concierge service, Club Med Alpe d’Huez feels like a cozy ski lodge complete with climbing walls, and stylish Club Med La Rosière’s setting is incomparable. But for next level intimate luxury, unwind in your private hot tub at the Chalet Apartments at Club Med Grand Massif Chalets (also stocked with boardgames and kid-size bathrobes) and at Club Med Valmorel Chalets, feast on an in-chalet Savoyard fondue after an appetite-building snowshoe adventure. At Club Med, everything is seamless and thoughtful, with impeccable service. The alpine Club Med properties are enclaves of mountain chic, always in the best ski-in ski-out locations, with the most sought-after instructors and world-famous kids programs (ranging from Petit Club from 2 years, Mini Club from 4 - 10 years and teen-tastic Junior Club up to 17 years). There are so many options, that each choose-your-own adventure decision ultimately leads to a trip that’s distinctly one of a kind.
Heels down in Sorrento
Start your Sorrento sojourn in the charming historic centre, where you can visit the 14th-century Chiesa di San Francesco, and savour local cuisine at family-run trattorias. Don't miss a visit to the dramatic cliffs of Sorrento's coastline, with stunning views of the Gulf of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Explore the picturesque fishing village of Marina Grande, known for its colourful boats and fresh seafood restaurants. On the Amalfi Coast, discover Positano's iconic pastel-hued buildings and the historic town of Amalfi itself, home to the stunning Amalfi Cathedral. Not to be missed is a day trip to the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
Swiss bliss in Lucerne
This idyllic Swiss city is blessed with nature’s gifts, sitting on spectacular Lake Lucerne, and flanked by the majestic, snow-capped peaks of Mt Pilatus on one side, and Rigi on the other. In the heart of the city, the much-loved Chapel Bridge is a photographer’s dream, its covered timber walkway adorned with gable art, and flowerpots spilling a blaze of red above the water. The Old Town is a step back in time with well-preserved medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and iconic landmarks. The Lion Monument is a must, and we love one of Lucerne’s hidden gems, the Glacier Garden with its fascinating Rock World. For a great day trip, take one of the historic steamships to visit many of the pretty-as-a-picture villages that dot Lake Lucerne.
Enjoy a Singapore Stayover en route to Europe!
The flight between Australia and Europe is a long one, but with its seamless blend of convenience, culture, and cuisine, Singapore serves as a sublime stayover to break up the journey. Singapore's rich cultural diversity serves as both a captivating prelude or a delightful epilogue to your European adventure, with neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Gelam offering one of a kind cultural experiences. Koon Seng Road in Katong-Joo Chiat stands as an iconic symbol of Singapore’s rich Peranakan culture, a blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian influences. Once you’ve soaked up the city’s rich heritage, find your way to some of the most popular attractions including Gardens by the Bay, featuring towering Supertrees, and the lotus-like ArtScience Museum, both located near the iconic Marina Bay Sands – home to award-winning dining, shopping, and entertainment options as well as the gravity-defying Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. Singapore’s gastronomic scene is world class. Indulge in Michelin-starred delights crafted by international chefs, explore the world-famous street food scene including some of the world's most affordable Michelin-recommended meals, and do not miss the quintessential Singapore experience, an afternoon tea at Raffles Singapore.
With its soaring spires and ethereal interiors, we love Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, this breathtaking cathedral is one of a kind, and will be complete in 2026 – 144 years after the cornerstone was laid and 100 years after Gaudi died. Gaudi’s whimsical genius can be seen elsewhere around the city, at Park Güell, where the Gaudi Museum is located, Casa Batlló, Casa Mila and various other locations. Stroll down La Rambla, a bustling promenade filled with street performers and shops, before delving into the historic Gothic Quarter. Don't miss the Picasso Museum, housing an extensive collection of the artist's works, or the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc's nightly light and music show. Take a day trip to Montserrat for stunning mountain views.
Greek delights on Naxos
Greece is blessed with islands that even Zeus would adore, and if you want to go beyond the most popular islands such as Mykonos and Santorini, consider Naxos. The largest of the Cyclades islands has everything you love about Greece – Tiffany-blue waters lapping beautiful sandy beaches, the narrow shopping streets of Chora that are ablaze in vibrant colours with flowers popping against the white-washed buildings, and its fortified palaces and historic sites. Visit the ancient gate of Portara at the remains of the Temple of Apollo and at the Gyroula archaeological site near Sagri, pay homage at the recently restored Temple of Demeter – the Goddess of the Harvest. Sun yourself of beaches like Agios Prokopios and Plaka, hike Mount Zas, and spend time in traditional Greek tavernas enjoying wonderful Greek dishes and joie de vivre.
The balance of Baku
Baku, the vibrant capital of Azerbaijan, is a shining example of how a city can be both historic, and blazingly modern. It has mind-blowing architecture, including the iconic Flame Towers, a trio of skyscrapers dominating the skyline, as well as Heydar Aliyev Center, an architectural masterpiece designed by Zaha Hadid. On the historic side of the scale, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old City – Icharishahar – is quite incredible. Stroll through its cobblestone streets, see and touch the stones of the ancient walls, zigzag through narrow corridors and admire the intricate art on the doors. Climb up Maiden Tower, which is part of the 12th century fortifications. Visit Bibi Heybat Mosque and Shirvan Shakir’s palace, browse the carpet shops and trendy art galleries and stroll along Baku Boulevard, along the Caspian Sea.
Kotor – a medieval wonder
The walled city Kotor, nestled along the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, is a picturesque gem that captivates travellers with its rich history and stunning natural beauty. Its medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts a labyrinth of narrow streets, ancient stone buildings, and charming squares. Don't miss the walk to the imposing Kotor Fortress, that has breathtaking views of the town and iconic bay – the Bay of Kotor. This absolutely spectacular bay is stunning, as are some of the locations on its shores, including the village of Perast and the wondrous Our Lady of the Rocks, a church on an islet in the Bay. Take a boat tour while in Kotor, to take in the sights of this place and marvel at the old walled city.