There’s nothing quite like being able to get out and start exploring all the cultural hot spots, beautiful scenery and top dining destinations of a foreign country once again now that rules are steadily relaxing around the world following the pandemic.
If you have a great group of friends that you love exploring the world with then you’ll no doubt be looking around for inspiration on where your next big trip together should take place. The good news is that some of the best locations are right on our doorstep, or at least a short flight away, as Europe is positively brimming with beautiful places to see and exciting things to do.
From food tours to boat trips and country-specific adventures to city-hopping, read on for five luxury holidays to take with friends around Europe.
A French boat tour
When conjuring up ideas of vineyard-hopping, chateaux-stopping and fine-dining-devouring French adventures, most people often picture themselves loading up the car and heading out on the roads, but why not mix it up a bit and utilise the five thousand miles of French waterways instead?
Choose from hundreds of boats – it’s ideal for beginners too – and head off on your very own self-drive boating holiday with your best buddies. Wind your way down rivers and canals, stopping off at your own leisure to sip fine wines, consume top-notch cuisine, explore on-land hot spots and discover unexpected delights as you go. Alsace to Strasbourg, Brittany to Anjou, Burgundy to Loire – where will your French boating adventure take you?
The greats of Greece
Anyone who has visited Greece will know that they’ve likely barely scratched the surface of this amazing country. Made up of a hunk of mainland and many surrounding islands, the southeast European country is brimming with historic sights, paradisical beaches, secluded waters and nightlife galore, among so much more.
One of the best ways to take in as much of the sights as possible when visiting Greece is let someone else do the planning for you, so consider utilising the services of a tour company who can arrange everything from a seven to 14-day trip for you and your friends to tour numerous cities, sights, islands, restaurants and more, depending on your preferences.
A food tour of northern Spain
Any gourmand worth their salt will know that northern Spain is the place to head to for some of the most highly rated food in the world, and the scenery happens to be just as magical in the region. Food loving friends will want to head to Basque country to get a taste of some traditional delights that come highly rated in the Michelin Guide.
The array of restaurants that appear in the guide are certainly worth heading to, so plan ahead and get yourself booked into a few to make your friends’ food tour one of the most memorable possible. Three-Michelin-starred Arzak, two-starred Amelia by Paulo Airaudo and Mugaritz, and one-starred Mina, Zarate and Mirador de Ulia are just a few places to start looking when planning your restaurant bookings.
An Italian dream
Make your Italian dreams come true with a tour of the northern regions, destined to make you fall in love and never want to leave. From the rolling Tuscan hills to the luscious lakes to inviting towns and villages, northern Italy is sure to capture your heart.
Hire out a luxurious villa for all of your friends to stay at – with pool and all lavish amenities included – and use it as your base to explore the stunning surrounding area. Verona, Venice, Milan, Turin, Como, Bergamo and more, where will you travel to?
What is interesting about Europe is how quickly a landscape, language and culture can change within such a short distance, hence making it the perfect place to hop between a selection of countries and their cities and towns.
What’s great is that many roads link up quite easily, so if you want to visit Croatia’s Zagreb, Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana then Venice, you’ll find that it’s not too much of a trek. Budapest, Vienna and Prague could be another direction you take, or perhaps a river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam to take in numerous destinations en route. Whichever route you take, you are sure to discover a wealth of unexpected adventures and popular delights along the way.