Europe…there’s no other place like it in the world. Its fabulous monuments reveal one layer of history after another, and its breathtaking natural scenery couldn’t be more diverse. From wild to elegant, its countries bring together a kaleidoscope of cultures, and the landscapes are as intriguing as its past.
They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so, naturally, many of you will disagree with my picks for Europe’s top 10 most beautiful countries, in which case I invite you all to leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Austria, the land of Mozart and waltz, is a medley of sparkling alpine lakes, majestic mountains, and elegant cities, with a rich cultural heritage and one of the highest living standards in the world. And while the capital steals the show with its imperial grandeur, world-class art, and alluring café culture, there’s much more to this small landlocked country than Vienna.
Fantastic skiing awaits in Innsbruck, Kitzbühel, and St Anton; dozens of fairy-tale castles dot the wonderful mountainous landscape, and twinkling blue lakes make for memorable outdoor pursuits. And then, of course, there’s the beautiful baroque city of Salzburg, set against a glorious backdrop and still under the magic of The Sound of Music.
Scotland’s dramatic scenery spans lush woodlands, stunning lochs, rugged coastlines, and green rolling hills topped with crumbling castles.
Home to the famous Eilean Donan Castle and one of Europe’s greatest wilderness areas, the Scottish Highlands are probably the country’s most evocative region, one characterized by an amazing history and even more amazing landscapes. The fabled Loch Ness and Scotland’s largest national park are also here, and so are epic battlefields, breathtaking beaches, and misty, magical mountains.
Equally spectacular, the Isle of Skye is famous for its astounding sea cliffs and dramatic Cuillin mountain range; Edinburgh celebrates its rich past with remarkable monuments, inspiring architecture, and a calendar chock-full of cultural festivals, and Glasgow pairs its vibrant music scene with award-winning museums and Victorian splendor like no other city in Britain.