The Europe a la Carte Dream European Travel Itinerary

Our Europe a la Carte dream European travel itinerary, put together from readers’ suggestions in celebration of the Blog’s fourth birthday, transports you to all corners of the continent. I bet that you’ll be planning a trip to Europe by the time you’ve read about these wonderful destinations and activities.

Faroe Islands

Anne-Sophie Redisch from Sophie’s World said that her latest favourite is the Faroe Islands: “verdant, steep, mystical, shrouded in mist, full of exciting Viking history. Absolutely magical to see the islands slowly rise up from the chilly North Atlantic as we approached by ship.”

The beautiful Faroe Islands by arne.list

Norway

Nancy D. Brown from Writing Horseback suggested we add riding a Fjord horse in Bergen, Norway at Øvre-Eide Farm to our dream itinerary for European travel: it was a dream come true for Nancy. If you’re looking for more activities on a Bergen trip, Neha wrote about Bergen museums last year.

Nancy D Brown riding Lynge-Tora, a fjord horse from Øvre-Eide Farm in Bergen, Norway.

United Kingdom

Kerry Dexter of Music Road had a suggestion: take in a traditional music event at Saint Andrew’s in the Square, in Glasgow.

St Andrew’s in the Square by gj_theWhite

We can’t leave Cardiff off a European travel itinerary, according to  John Williams from Eurapart. Karen recently gathered a bunch of tips for Cardiff visitors.

The Millennium Centre in Cardiff by rog.davies

It’s all about the sheep, according to Zoe Dawes from The Quirky Traveller, who told us that the Lake District of England is the “loveliest and most inspiring part of England, the UK, Europe & the World”. The reasons she gives is that it has everything: “small yet perfectly formed mountains, limpid lakes, fast-flowing rivers, sparkling streams, picturesque villages, world-class literary heritage and so much more, including our quirky Herdwicks -the cutest sheep ever!”

Herdwick sheep in the Lake District by cloudsoup

Karen didn’t mention the sheep but she did enjoy visiting the Lake District’s only coastal village of Ravenglass.

Netherlands

From OrangeSplaash, Arwa Lokhandwala recommends a visit to the Zaanse Schans. Arwa says it’s a must visit “for its well preserved historic windmills, oil mills, Dutch houses, traditional art and craft shops like making wooden shoes (clogs) and cheese, river cruises, country side – in short, a peek into the Dutch culture!”

Zaanse Schans windmills by ComunicaTI

Estonia

Here comes my own tip – I had a lot of trouble picking just one place to add to the dream itinerary but I decided to say the island of Saaremaa in Estonia because I felt so relaxed there. This corner of Estonia is popular with local holidaymakers and has some interesting sightseeing to be done as well, but above all it’s friendly, easygoing and simply a pleasant place to visit. While I was there I visited the tiny island of Abruka, one of my all-time favourite travel experiences.

Kuressaare castle on Saaremaa by camera on autopilot

Spain

By far the most popular country for our dream European travel itinerary, Spain featured in numerous suggestions. One of these came from Anne Greaves who thinks the place to go is Ibiza town, to “soak up the atmosphere on summer nights”.

Ibiza town in the evening by aldask

Karen put together a useful guide to Ibiza.

Abigail King from Inside the Travel Lab recommends Zafra in Extremadura, Spain, for three reasons: “Beautiful, loads of history, tasty jamon!”

Soportales de la plaza chica by chemasanco

Both Charlotte and Homeaway UK couldn’t go past Andalucia with great weather, vibrant culture, beautiful palaces and buildings to visit and delicious food, and perhaps even discovering Andalucia by horse-back.

Cortijo de las Piletas, Ronda, in Andalucia by toprural

The petrified lava rivers of Tenerife’s Teide National Park is the dream itinerary contribution from  Joe Cawley.

Paisajes del Teider on Tenerife by ReservasdeCoches

The Rias Baixas in Galicia, northern Spain, “for the albarino wine, fabulous seafood and spectacular beaches” is Annie Bennett’s suggestion from Mooching Around Spain.

Rias Baixas by alexvc26

France

Ben McCullough from  Tour Dust suggests the ÃŽle de Ré in France: “we were there this summer, it is easy to get to, great beaches and wonderful little port towns with a real Mediterranean vibe (despite the Atlantic location).”

Bridge in Île de Ré by mrskyce

Claude from Hotel I Tour says one of France’s great assets is wine tourism and suggests the Loire Valley, Chamonix and Bordeaux. We have a great post from Thomas about the vineyards of the Loire Valley if you’re after more details.

Vineyards of Bordeaux by paularps

Iceland

The Lifecruiser couple suggested  “Iceland because of the lava fields, volcanoes & Blue Lagoon, and because it’s so very different from everything else.”

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland by doctorwho

Check out more ideas for Iceland in our post from Britt-Arnhild on Looking through windows in Reykjavik.

Latvia

On Twitter, BexIndigo suggested a stay at the Amber Spa Boutique Hotel in Jurmala on the Baltic Sea.

The beach at Jurmala by Dainis Matisons

Heather recommended a trip to Jurmala as a day excursion from Riga.

Ireland

Also on Twitter, WanderingEds suggested that instead of visiting the Ring of Kerry, we should try the Skellig Ring instead – apparently it’s “even more beautiful, if possible.”

Skellig Islands by technohippybiker

Portugal

Mary Goudie gave us a travel tip to add to our dream itinerary: “if flying to the Scottish west coast Prestwick airport, take the fabulous train from Lisbon to Faro and hop on a Ryanair flight.”

The highspeed train from Lisbon to Faro by bridgepix

Germany

Jill Love wrote that “the whole art and green scene and the excitement generated from Berlin is making me curious. In Germany-I’ve only been to Munich and Bavaria (loved it) and now it’s time for Berlin.” Check our Best of Berlin travel tips for plenty of ideas for activities in the German capital, as well as Marcus’s post on Street art in Berlin.

Berlin street art by Chris Buckridge

Slovenia

Terme Čatež, the largest natural spa and the second largest tourist centre in Slovenia, is the tip from Maya Maja Obrenovic.

Čatež, Slovenia by breki74

Switzerland

Emma Jamieson says that Gstaad in Switzerland is great in both summer and winter: “it’s always buzzing with activity!  Beyond the glitz and the glamour, Gstaad’s residents value their strong Swiss alpine culture and heritage. This love affair with all things authentic is reflected in a super busy calendar of events and festivities which mark the passing seasons and help preserve a traditional way-of-life. They also have some seriously happy cows and farm animals to see! ”

The Alps near Gstaad by timo_w2s

Italy

Nancy Aiello suggests that in Rome we should go off the beaten track, including taking a look at the Trastevere area and its underground sites or the Aventine hill for a nice picnic!

Aventine hill in Rome by xiquinhosilva

Kimberley has some more suggestions for visits to Rome, such as visiting the Protestant Cemetery or eating bread at Panella.

All over

And finally, Jools Stone suggested an entire dream itinerary: London to Istanbul on the Orient Express, with stops at Paris, Venice, Prague and maybe a detour to Berlin, “since I’m being wistful!” Andy gave us some detailed info on the Orient Express when he was considering a trip on it, too.

The Orient Express in Prague by infodad

A big thank you to all the contributors to this amazing dream European travel itinerary.  If you would like to recommend some other great places to visit in Europe, please leave a comment.