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One Country or Several? How to Decide Where to Go on Your Trip to Europe

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Manarola, Italy

Manarola, Italy

Trying to decide the best way to visit Europe? There are good reasons to consider both a single-country focused trip or a multi-country travel experience.

Europe offers epic history, fairytale castles, Mediterranean sunsets, and mouthwatering cuisine. Each European country has something vastly different than its neighbor in terms of heritage and culture. With 44 countries on the continent, the number of days you have in each country will directly affect the type of experience you have in Europe.

Explore the pros and cons of both trip styles, and learn more about which might be the best for you.

Three Reasons to Visit Just One Country

Hiking in the Swiss Alps

Hiking in the Swiss Alps

Traveling in a single country in Europe has its own adventure and rewards. No matter where you visit, you can find a sense of enriching history and heritage that represents a distinctive past and yet demonstrates how interconnected the country is with its bordering nations. From Italy to Hungary, Turkey to Scotland, touring a single country in Europe allows you a more in-depth experience for new insights and discoveries you may have realized were at your fingertips.

See more of the scenery and culture of a single country

By visiting a single country, you have much more time to immerse yourself in the culture, uncover hidden corners, or discover beauty often overlooked by those who prefer a whirlwind experience visiting the most popular monuments. From the Leaning Tower and Tuscan Hills in Italy to Parliament and the Lakes District in England, you can enjoy a more leisurely pace of exploration with more time in a single country.

Discover different layers of a country’s cuisine

Most countries not only have their own distinctive national cuisine but also have specific regional dishes that can inform the larger conversation around typical ingredients and preparation. When visiting a single country, you can dig deeper into the diversity of the cuisine to find the true layers of culinary mastery, from the beginnings of Paella in Spain to a specific type of wine found in a particular region of Croatia.

Enjoy the diversity of country-specific activities

Much like monuments and cuisine, each country in Europe has specific activities that may reflect the natural beauty, the local culture, and essential history. From canyoning in Austria to cycling across the Netherlands, kayaking on Elba or hiking through the Swiss Alps, each experience can reveal a brand new region and perspective of your destination as you actively explore.

Three Recommended Single-Country Destinations

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Each country in Europe has its own personality reflected in the different regions that can create a microcosm of the greater continent. With a single-country tour, you can experience diversity, luxury, heritage, and culture on a local level. The following are our recommendations of the three most popular destinations you can visit when visiting a single country in Europe.

Italy

Italy is an icon unto itself. Home to some of the Western World’s most famous artwork, elegant architecture, and renowned gastronomy, Italy is a destination that can inspire you into taking pleasure in life’s little details like no other place in the world. With famous destinations like Venice, Florence, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast, as well as surprising delights in Sicily, Cinque Terre, the Salento Peninsula, and Lake Garda, it is impossible to experience the span of Italy’s grandeur in a single visit.

Learn more: Italy Tours & Vacations | Italy Travel Guide

Greece

Greece represents the beginnings of Western Civilization and displays a preserved perception of the ancient world. From mainland wonder to island luxuries, dramatic hanging monasteries to elegant whitewashed architecture, Greece represents the point at which fascinating heritage and natural wonder meet. With famous destinations like Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and Delphi, you can uncover the captivating myths of the Old World or lounge in the opulence of the contemporary world, with each spanning the mainland, peninsula, and expansive collection of islands.

Learn more: Greece Tours & Vacations | Greece Travel Guide

Spain

Spain is full of passion and rustic sophistication. Whether exploring the labyrinth of lanes in Granada or finding the pristine sands of San Sebastian, the bustling boulevards of Madrid or the dancing horses of Jerez de la Frontera, a Spain trip uncovers layers of remarkable history and culture ingrained in each region. With flamenco, paella, tapas or pintxos, Moorish palaces or grand museum galleries, it is hard to capture Spain in a single visit.

Learn more: Spain Tours & Vacations | Spain Travel Guide

Three Reasons to Visit Several Countries

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Visiting multiple countries in Europe promises a sense of wonder and discovery scattered across the diverse nations. A multi-country tour can provide you a sense of wonder and discovery as you explore a series of iconic sites or the distinctive heritage found in specific destinations. From traversing the UK to visiting the Baltics, finding a link between Spain and Portugal to uncovering the shared history of Scandinavia, the connection between the countries in Europe is tangible and captivating.

Enjoy a broader perspective of Europe as a whole

By visiting multiple countries in Europe, gain a better understanding of the way the borders have broken down and built up over centuries. The boundaries of each country may look concrete in modern times but were once more fluid with culture and heritage often crossing over the invisible lines. It is not only easy to connect the histories of each nation but also trace the connections that have shaped local, regional, and national culture.

Experience the convenience of proximity and geography of European countries

A greater European adventure gives you a better understanding of the nation’s geography, which can also reshape your understanding of the shared cultures and historical contexts of the different countries. Countries are often smaller and closer together, making it much easier to travel between certain regions that may share borders or topographical similarities. In essence, it is much easier to discover the treasures of a collection of countries instead of focusing on one.

Taste the difference between diverse European cuisines

Europe does not have a continental cuisine and instead reflects the diverse countries, specific regions, and micro-localities specializing in certain ingredients or traditional dishes. When visiting multiple countries, you have access to the typical flavors of each country and possibly even the specialties of celebrated regional cuisines. This gives you a chance to enjoy the differences in the recipes and ingredients and uncover any similarities.

Three Multi-Country Destinations

Neist point lighthouse on the Isle of Sky in Scotland

Neist point lighthouse on the Isle of Sky in Scotland

A multiple-country trip through Europe can unravel the points at which cultures converge and separate while highlighting the distinctive characteristics of the different countries. With a multi-country tour, you can discover distinct heritages and cultures in new and exciting ways. The following are our recommendations for three of the most popular destinations you can visit when on a multi-country trip in Europe.

England, Ireland and Scotland

England, Ireland and Scotland are tremendous on their own but the trio are often difficult to separate during a visit to Europe. The distinctive and yet intertwined histories create a thrilling, vibrant, and also cozy ambiance to experience. Whether basking in the historic lanes and endless life of London, exploring the Gothic ambiance of Edinburgh, finding the rolling greenery across Irish hills, or indulging in the natural drama of the Scottish Highlands, combining England, Ireland, and Scotland on a multi-country Europe trip gives you an exceptional sample of a unique national relationship.

Learn more: Tours of England, Ireland, & Scotland 

Spain and Portugal

Spain and Portugal, when combined, share an exceptional perspective of the Iberian Peninsula. With golden coastlines, Moorish palaces, and fairytale castles, and mouthwatering cuisine, the distinctive charisma of each country can unfold before your very eyes. As both reveal Roman ruins, elegant vineyards, and winding cobblestone lanes, you can indulge in a shared passion for the landscape and unique traditions that separate each nation beyond their border.

Learn more: Spain & Portugal Tours

England, France and Italy

London, Paris, and Rome encapsulate the iconic wonders of Europe in a single multi-country trip. While London and Paris share a tangible history of entangled and rejected traditions, Rome can connect the cultures with a line directly leading back to the Imperial capital. From the Colosseum to the River Thames, the Louvre to the Parliament Building, London, Paris, Rome captures the inherent wonders of Europe.

Learn more: London, Paris, & Rome Tours

How to Book a Vacation to Europe

Eiffel tower in Paris, France

Paris, France

First-time visitors often wish to see the icons of Europe, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, and the Colosseum in Rome. Whether discovering the historical point at which East met West in Berlin, exploring the Ottoman palaces of Istanbul, or viewing the medieval storybook villages of  Switzerland, Europe offers an immersive look at the evolution of Western Civilization with visions of intricate art, pristine landscapes, and the progress of culinary mastery.

With each country known for its unique blend of history, mythology, culture, and cuisine, it is often the intimate ambiance and surprise experiences that will become your favorite moments. You can find more inspiration for your vacation with our European Tours and Vacations, and you can speak with a Europe travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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