Happy New Year!
As we celebrate the beginning of 2021, our goals this year might look a bit different than it has in the past. And although it is still important to remain safe and reserved when it comes to travel, there is no harm in dreaming of a vacation! For those of us who live in colder climates, the thought of warm sunny days spent exploring new destinations is a happy distraction.
As a photographer, I find myself drawn to visiting travel destinations that have sweeping landscapes, impressive architecture, and opportunities to discover locations off the beaten path. With the hope that we will be able to travel freely again soon, here are the top 5 places that I have visited in Europe that have made a lasting impression. If you're a photographer, let me know if you have visited these places!
1. Rome, Italy
For the adventurous traveler who is looking to wander through an ancient city, Rome is an iconic destination. Also known as “The Eternal City” there are seemingly endless opportunities to absorb yourself in Italian history, astounding architecture, and legendary artworks. However, my recommended first stop is the Colosseum. The Roman Colosseum is considered one of the “Seven Wonders of The World.” The massive awe-inspiring structure has stood the test of time and is still the largest standing amphitheater on the planet. Take a tour to learn the extensive historical significance and its various uses throughout medieval Italy. Click here for more recommendations about visiting the Colosseum. Afterward I suggest grabbing a gelato and going next door to the Colosseum to the Arch of Constantine, one of Rome’s largest ancient triumphal arches.
2. Sperlonga, Italy
South of from Rome is the beautiful city of Sperlonga, located in the lower Lazio region of the Italian coast. Situated on a rocky peninsula, Sperlonga which is a Latin translation of ‘cave’ or ‘grotto,’ is known for its complex cave systems. It is also famous for being the home of Tiberius, the second Emperor of Rome. This location would be ideal for those leaving the hustle and bustle of larger cities and looking to relax on golden sand beaches with breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean. There is also plenty of sights to see as well. The Torre Truglia is a symbol of Sperlonga, which is situated below the town center. From 1870-1969 the structure was once used as a station for the Guardia di Finanza or the Finance Police, who dealt with smuggling and protecting Italy’s territorial waters. For more information about visiting Sperlonga, click here.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
Although many travelers reach Switzerland and head straight to the mountains, Geneva is a gorgeous city that coexists seamlessly with nature. Museums, outdoor markets, and their world-renowned chocolate are all set against the backdrop of the immense Swiss Alps. You can find other landmarks and attractions around Geneva here. One of my favorite experiences was after I returned to the hotel, at the end of a long day of exploring by bike, I witnessed the sun setting across the peaceful lake. The transition from day to night, as the lights of the city reflected across the water, was magical.
4. Mykonos, Greece
Each of the Greek Islands has its own distinct personality, but Mykonos has diverse offerings that any traveller would enjoy. All along the coast, the distinct white-washed buildings line the cerulean and turquoise shore. There is no shortage of hiking and biking trails to appreciate the pristine view of the Aegean Sea. The infamous party scene of Mykonos is legendary, but I also highly recommend taking a boat tour around the island to get a full view of the island’s beauty, which will hopefully end by pausing to appreciate the extensive sunset. For more activities around Mykonos, click here.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Ending with my personal favorite: Dubrovnik, Croatia. When I first visited this architectural wonder, I was taken by the scenic views and historical significance. While walking through Old Town, there are plenty of shops and delicious restaurants to choose from. For a list of activities and information for finding the best spots to fall in love with Dubrovnik, click here. Some of the streets throughout the city will seem familiar, likely because they were the filming location of many movies and television shows including Star Wars and Game of Thrones. Roaming through these cobblestone streets is like being transported to another world. A feeling that I hope one day soon we will all be able to experience again.
Are you dreaming of a European vacation? Please comment below with your favorite vacation destination. I am always eager to learn of new places to visit!
Thanks for reading,