Visit Europe - Travel more and spend less
Looking to discover the most unique places to visit in Europe? Want to hear more about some of the most beautiful and prestigious coastal destinations in Europe? Ready to create your own legendary experience? Good news - you've come to the right place. In this article, we're going to take a look at some of the very best countries across Europe. Below we'll cover where to go for a city break, a romantic getaway, a family or beach holiday, a cultural or gastronomic trip.
France is the perfect destination for lovers, history buffs, foodies, music, and culture lovers. Across the country, numerous cultural events, unique experiences, and more occur day after day. So where's best to visit?
The French Riviera is the destination to put at the top of your bucket list. This pristine stretch of coastline on France's southern coast is home to yacht-filled harbors, sun-drenched beaches, and designer shops galore. Monaco, Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez all sit high on our to-visit list. It's not all about fast cars and new money here. The Cote d'Azur is also renowned for its excellent outdoor activities. Hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are three of the most popular recreational activities in the region.
When you've finished visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, it's time to head inland! The capital of Paris is an obvious choice. The city's museums, art galleries, and towering attractions are all good reasons to visit. Unique things to do in the "City of Love" include watching the sunrise over the Sacre-Coeur or taking a helicopter tour over the city.
If you're drawn to the mountains and enjoy a spot of winter sport, add the French Alps to your bucket list. Here you'll find snow-capped mountains, verdant valleys, and glistening alpine lakes.
Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastian, and Ronda are all high on our list of favorite European cities. From the Basque Country in the north to the Canary Islands in the south, Spain has a heck of a lot to offer, and we're here for it all.
Art critics and culture vultures should make a bee-line for Bilbao on the north coast. This industrial port-city is one of Spain's leading art destinations and is home to the brand new Guggenheim museum. A trip to Market La Ribera, the oldest market in the region, should be on the cards too. While in the north, you'll be dining on pintxos, the northern equivalent of tapas.
Let's jump to the southern islands and visit Ronda, a mountaintop city and 15th-century town. The town is split across either side of a deep canyon, joined together by an ancient stone bridge that offers spectacular valley views. As far as stunning scenery goes, Ronda wins our vote.
If you opt for a beach break on the coast or southern islands, consider exploring them by boat.
Italy is, without a doubt, one of the most popular countries to visit in Europe. From the shores of Lake Como and Sicily's beaches to the Colosseum in Rome. The variety of landscape is outstanding.
Northern Italy is home to delights such as Verona, Florence, and Lake Garda. Southern Italy is home to a rocky Mediterranean coastline, colorful hilltop towns, and the stunning Amalfi Coast.
Foodies should head to the hills of Tuscany to sample the local grapes. Here you'll dine on home-made cuisine at traditional farmhouses. Similarly, Bologna in the north is a great destination to learn the history of bolognese! With so much ground to cover, we recommend picking a region, renting a car, and hitting the road.
Picturesque islands, stunning white-walled towns, and gastronomy that dates back to the 5th-century, Greece packs a punch. Greece is also one of the more affordable European countries. Your money will undoubtedly stretch further here than it might in Italy.
For your ancient history fix, we recommend a trip to Delphi, the center of the ancient world. Visit the Temple of Apollo and the Athena Treasury to soak up the ancient ruins. Similarly, Athens is one of the world's oldest cities and makes for a great history trip! A visit to the 5th-century Acropolis is a must when in the capital.
Beach-bums should head to the Cyclades, a stunning island group in the Aegean Sea. Santorini and Mykonos are the two most visited islands in the archipelago, and both are home to charming town centers, traditional Grecian houses, and instagramable sunsets.
Malta might only be a small archipelago, but there's a lot to see and do here. The country is a delightful blend of several cultures. When visiting this Southern European island, you'll be exposed to European, Middle Eastern, and Sicilian influences. Whatsmore, Malta is affordable, and visitors can enjoy a multi-day trip without breaking the bank.
We'd like to start in Valletta, Malta's capital city and a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital boasts baroque architecture, 16th-century buildings, and a harbor once owned by the Ottoman Turks. Once you've soaked up the capital's history, it's time to tackle the islands! Gozo is one of the most visited islands and can be accessed by boat or seaplane from the mainland. Here you'll find a small fishing community, traditional villages, and sweeping vistas of the Mediterranean Sea.
Other destinations of interest include the medieval "Silent City" of Mdina, the resort town of St. Julians (famed for its bustling nightlife), and Dwerja, a small commune on the west coast home to spectacular rock formations.
Europe is bursting with delicious gastronomic delights, electrifying nightlife, creative vibes, and booming art scenes. Europe is also an affordable continent, and traveling more for less is an attainable goal here. When it comes to booking your next European adventure, let FranceRent take care of your transfers, rentals, and activities on the ground.
Events and festivals on French Riviera
The Cote d’Azur is abuzz with glitz and glamour all year round but it’s the summer months that really get the party started on France’s sought-after south coast. Events and festivals are held every month and range from theatre performances and music festivals to cinematography celebrations and yacht races. A-listers, millionaires, and outright party people flock to the shores of the Mediterranean for a summer to remember as seaside towns and secluded beaches become the stomping ground for a summer of fun. Below we take a look at some of the best events and festivals on the Côte d’Azur and provide a handy event guide to help you plan your dream trip.
South of France by car
With 71 miles of winding corniche roads, numerous quaint Provincial villages to visit, and endless soft sand beaches to stop at and enjoy some sun-soaking, France’s Cote d’Azur is one of Europe’s dreamiest road trip destinations. Rent a car on the French Riviera and the Mediterranean Sea and the charm of southern France is at your fingertips! On your Riviera road trip, you’ll wind your way around a variety of landscapes, soak up a diverse range of cultures, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastline. After all, there’s no better way to navigate the coast than to do so with the comfort and freedom of your own vehicle.
Top activities on Cote d'Azur
The scenic stretch of coastline known as the Cote d’Azur winds its way along France’s south coast from Saint Tropez to Menton, encompassing the chic towns of Cannes, Nice, and Monaco along the way. The area is known as a playground for the rich and famous, and a glamorous holiday destination for those looking to soak up the very best of the French Riviera. When it comes to Cote d’Azur attractions, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit along the coast to keep all character types entertained. Whether you’re exploring Nice’s charming Old Town on a free walking tour, people-watching at Monte Carlo Harbor, or admiring 19th-century art in Cannes, the Cote d’Azur doesn’t disappoint.
Shopping on Cote d’Azur
It’s no secret that the South of France is an area well known for its acquired taste in luxury living, and when it comes to shopping this affluent region has a real flair for fashion and a lot to offer for shopaholics. Dare to drag yourself away from the alluring arrondissements of Paris’s fashion district and you’ll be rewarded with a sunsoaked shopping haven on Cote d’Azur and when it comes to shopping, the French Riviera does not disappoint. From upmarket department stores like Galeries Lafayette (whose flagship store you’ll find in Paris) to independent art galleries including the Sheun Gallery in Nice, the array of shopping available on Cote d’Azur covers a variety of tastes and, believe it or not, can be tailored to suit all budgets.
Best restaurants on Cote d'Azur - France
Famous for its designer fashion brands, rolling vineyards, and historic monuments, France is a country with a lot to offer but it’s the nation’s gourmet cuisine that draws millions of visitors year after year. French dishes, which are usually full of flavor, made using simple ingredients, and boasting great finesse, have been replicated around the globe by passionate chefs aiming to try their hand at traditional dishes and haute cuisine. Below we’ve looked at some of the best restaurants in the south of France. Whether you’re looking for fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant (France is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world) or hearty French cuisine at an authentic bistro, we’ve covered all dining options to suit every taste in this restaurant guide.
Boat activities on Cote d'Azur - France
The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, is found on France's south-east coast and overlooks the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Known for its dazzling sand beaches, upmarket resort towns, and glamorous casinos, the Cote d'Azur has been a popular holiday destination with some of the world's wealthiest travelers since the 18th century. While boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants are certainly points of interest on the coast, one of the biggest draws is the array of water-based activities available. From yacht rentals, private boat tours, parasailing excursions, water sport rentals, and jet ski hire, the list of aqua-excursions is endless! Our simple guide to boat rental on the French Riviera takes a look at the different watersports available along the coast and the range of yacht and boat rentals available. After all, no visit to the Cote d'Azur can pass by without a day at sea.