Here is some Country Information that might help understand the second smallest continent that has a proportionally large population and significant impact on global history. Europe is surrounded by the Arctic in the north, the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Aegean, Black Seas to the south and Russia, the Baltics and Ukraine to the east. The continent itself is divided into northern and southern sections, by a vast mountain chain, which includes the Pyrenees Mountains, the Rhone Valley, The French-Swiss-Austrian Alps and the Carpathian Mountains. Made up of 32 countries, Europe is rich in history and culture for all travelers to discover. From museums, to tours and excursions to skiing holidays, there is something for everyone in Europe.
Western Europe – Atlantic Countries
1) Great Britain: England, Scotland & Wales
England is mostly rolling hills and forest. The highlands of Scotland are mountain ridges and deep valley. The Celts invaded Britain from Europe and pushed the first inhabitants, the Picts into Scotland. The Romans were the next peoples to invade Britain, and after them the Anglo-Saxons arrived from Germany. The Scandinavians arrived on two separate occasions. The first was the Vikings from Denmark and the second were the Normans who were living in France. The British have a strong preservation ethic and have some of the most outstanding architecture, museums, castles, history and monuments to experience. Transport and tourist services are very well organized and the country is a joy to visit.
France is the number one tourist destination in the world. You can enjoy an amazing cultural heritage and has an amazing history. The French are proud of their contributions to the world including their red wine, Champagne, sophisticated cuisine, perfume and artistic excellence in the modern arts. The most favorite tourism destinations outside of Paris are the the Loire Valley castles and the famous renowned resort towns along the Cote D’Azur, Nice, Cannes with the neighboring principality of Monaco as well as Avignon with the Palace of the Popes.
With over 50 million tourists, Spain is the second most visited country in the world. Spain covers most of the Iberian Peninsula and has a population of 36 million. Spain enjoys the Atlantic Ocean on its north and southwest coasts, and the the Mediterranean on its eastern coastline. The southern Andalusia region is best known for its “sun and fun” resorts. To travel to Spain is to experience the sun, its culture, outstanding food, temperamental music and the perfect fusion of the Spanish and Moorish culture culminating in the famous Alhambra, one of the world’s most beautiful palaces. Spain boasts many atmospheric cities and towns full of local traditions and beautiful buildings,
The southwestern corner of Continental Europe occupies a section of the Iberian Peninsula, and is bordered by Spain to the north and east, while being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. Among the most popular tourist attractions are the capital Lisbon, a blooming resort region and the numerous fishing villages along the coastline and Algarve, the year-round beach destination. The advantages of its natural environment with its diverse geographic location, makes Portugal a holiday attraction for tourists. Historically, Portugal is a vacation in itself.
Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle due to its rolling green hills. You will also see rugged, rocky landscapes and peat bogs. The southwest has cliffs that plunge hundreds of feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The Celts landed from Europe around 2700 years ago and were followed by the Vikings 1000 years later. In 1170, Norman Vikings who had taken control of England invaded Ireland and made it an English territory. Britain changed to the Protestant religion, in the 1600’s while most Irish remained Catholic. Ireland became an independent country, in 1948, while the six mainly Protestant counties in the northeast remained in Britain and is now know as Northern Ireland. Ireland is a nation of storytellers, writers, musicians and dancer. They are most welcoming hosts.
Southern Europe – Mediterranean Countries
Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance Italy is unique in the world due to its unparalleled wealth of art treasures. Italy is the most central European nation of the Mediterranean. France, Switzerland, Austria and Croatia border it in the north. The population consists of 56.7 million people, and its cities are among the world’s most historic. Romantic Venice, Artistic Florence, bustling Naples and legendary Sicily are full of history, art and culture, waiting to be explored. Italy also boasts many small towns going back to pre-Roman times to the Etruscans and other ancient former inhabitants of the peninsula as well as some of the world’s most scenic and romantic places like the famous Amalfi Coast.
The beautiful beaches and islands along the Adriatic are dotted with Roman sites and small fishing villages. It was once a kingdom under Tomislav in the 10th century and a serious naval power in the 16th -17th centuries. Croatia has had to endure a thousand years of foreign meddling and wars before being recognized in 1992 as a distinct entity. To the north and east is the upper arm of the Croatian crescent, is the Pannonian plains. The capital Zagreb, in the Julian Alps a region covered with vines and orchards. To the west and south are the karst plateaus which are barren at the highest elevations and forested lower down. The Istrian Peninsula and the Dalmatian coast extends south for 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of pristine coastline and sandy beaches fringed by more than 1,100 islands and islets.
Full of Greek history and culture tourism is one of the most profitable industries Greece has. The population is 9 million and the capital is Athens. Athens stands out at one of the most historical cities in Greece with its ancient monumental architecture on the Acropolis Hill. Most of ancient Athens is hidden underneath the new bustling city undiscovered. The climate is moderate, which as in most coastal Mediterranean spots allows the tourism season to run longer than average. Other major tourism destinations are the Greek islands especially Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, and the archaic city of Mycenae, Delphi, Corinth and Epidaurus as well as heartrending Mistra on the mainland.
Rich in history and architecture. Enjoy azure blue waters, snow-capped mountain chains, twisted rock formations, underground cave cities, great shopping and delicious healthy cuisine. Istanbul mixes culture and religion from the east and west. Turkey abounds with significant archeological sites. We offer a rich selection of group escorted tours or independently guided visits. There are several departures per week that operate year round.
Eastern Europe – Central to Eastern Countries
Germany is a landscape of forests, rivers, mountain ranges and North Sea beaches. It has over 2 thousand years of history from the tribes that conquered Rome through to the post world war democratic and economic powerhouse. Germany is rich in natural beauty. Between the North Sea and Baltic coasts in the north and the peaks of the Alps in the south lie extremely diverse landscapes, with everything from wide expanses of river and lakeland scenery, hilly uplands and densely wooded regions to agricultural plains and industrial conurbations. Germany’s longest river is the Rhine, which flows through the country for a total of 865 kilometres.
Poland has firm ethnic and historic roots in central Europe dating from the ninth century. The country, which has been attracting many tourists for years with its uniqueness, has something for everyone, ranging from tours to excursions. Famous for its historic cities and unique landscapes, Poland has something for everyone. The population is 38 million and is bordered East Germany on the west, the Soviet Union on the east and the Baltic Sea on the north. The Capital is Warsaw
Surrounded by Poland, Austria, Hungary, Russia and Germany, the centuries of wars that took place decided the boundaries and shape of Czechoslovakia. There is a population of 15 million and the capital is Prague. Prague is remarkably well preserved and its center is a jewel of medieval architecture. The Czech Republic is famous for its castles, Budweiser beer, spring water spas and UNESCO World heritage sites.
Often referred to as the crest of Europe. This small alpine country of several independent regions is bordered by Italy on the South, France on the West, Germany on the north and Austria on the East, Switzerland has fused and formed a vigorous national culture. The population is 6.4 million and the capital is Bern. Also known for is mountains, skiing is a big tourist attraction which draws thousands of travelers every year.
Right in the heart of Europe, Austria is historically, geographically and culturally in a central position. Well known for its ski resorts in the Alps and outstanding scenery, neat and colorful small towns and romantic villages. Vienna, the elegant city of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire is still world-famous for its sophistication and elegant balls in former imperial palaces as well as the many concert halls and musical venues that offer entertainment in every season. The country is just over 8 million in population. The second most important tourist city is Salzburg, the birthplace Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Every year thousands of tourists flock to Hungary’s innumerable thermal spas, which are world famous for their natural healing spring water. Also for nature and culture lover’s, Hungary has numerous nature conservations waiting to be explored. The Capital is Budapest and is also known as one of Europe’s most historic and romantic cities beautifully situated on both shores of the Danube. The population is about 10.5 million. Hungary is also famous for its fiery wines and heavy food. Major touristic cities are Eger, Pecs, Kecskemet and Debrecen.
Known for its legend of Dracula from Transylvania, Romanian history goes far back to the time of the Romans. The population consists of 21.5 million people and the capital is Bucharest, which is a major tourist destination for foreign visitors as well as the local residents. Other tourist attractions include the Transylvanian Alps, the Carpathians and the Black Sea resort city of Constanza.
Russia is the world’s largest nation and is famous for writers, classical music, choirs, ballet, theater, icons and architecture. The Byzantine, Rococo, Neoclassical and Orthodox christianity have influenced Russian architecture over the millenia. Covering 13% of the earth’s inhabited land area. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. Russia’s famous writers include Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn and Dostoyevsky. The great ballet dances emanate from Moscow’s Bolshoi and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky ballet companies.
Northern Europe – Scandinavia and The Baltic States
Continental Europe’s most northwest country. Norway boasts one of the most beautiful and picturesque coastlines in Europe. Their natural environment is one of the most beautiful and enchanting in the world. Oslo is the capital and there about 4 million people who live in the country, of which who are the most friendly and down to earth people you will ever meet.
Every winter more and more foreign tourists travel to the Swedish mountains. With excellent skiing conditions and beautiful surroundings, this vacation stop makes this a must for all ski lovers. From the north to the south, Sweden has a variety of climates and scenery, which will amaze you and fulfill your every need.
The world’s best-known storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen, was Danish. Denmark offers an abundance of history and culture for everyone to explore. Copenhagen is a major tourist attraction is ,
Finland has an exciting cultural life, and an array of events throughout the months for everyone. Denmark culture provides a great variety of tours and excursions for everyone to enjoy. Finland is a beautiful and stunning country with an untouched natural environment.
5) The Baltics:
The Baltics are the independent states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Located on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. They are in north eastern europe bounded by the Baltic Sea to the west, Russia to the East and Poland is south. The climate is cool and damp, Temperatures are moderate in comparison with Russia. Among the animals that inhabit the region are elk, boar, roe deer, wolves, hares, and badgers.
1) Escorted Tours:
Escorted tours, where you travel with a group of people and a tour guide, are a great option for travelers looking for an organized, social travel option with lots included. Accommodations, transfers, transportation and tours are all included (meals where applicable). An English speaking representative is on all our tours. Some have additional local guides expert in their particular area.
For people who wish to explore Europe on their own or with friends. Discover Europe at your own pace, with all accommodations, transportation and tours, booked and secured well in advance.
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