Europe has a wealth of incredible tourist destinations, each as diverse as the next. Visitors can try snow sports, go hiking through alpine forests, and relax on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean.
This is what makes the region such a popular choice for holidaymakers the world over. In fact, three of the global destinations ranked highest for international tourist arrivals numbers are found on the European mainland: France, Spain, and Italy.
When you look at the figures for Europe alone, Turkey is not far behind. Discover why these four destinations are the most visited countries in Europe, captivating travellers for centuries.
France is the most popular tourist destination in the world, and has been for three decades. This is because France offers something for everyone, on a more manageable scale than the likes of the United States.
The capital Paris is the tourist hotspot, with visitors flocking to wander its incredible art galleries, ascend the Eiffel Tower, and dine and shop on the wide boulevards beside the River Seine.
France’s countryside is also coveted by visitors, whether it’s the idyllic wine region of Bordeaux or the enchanting lavender fields and sandy shores of Provence.
Head just over the border from Provence and you will find yourself in Italy, the fourth most-visited country in Europe. The destination’s diversity means that no two Italy tours are the same.
Best loved are Italy’s cities. From the ancient capital Rome to the network of islands and waterways that is Venice, these cities abound with historical sites, awe-inspiring architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine.
Away from the urban, countryside and coastline vie for visitor attention. Explore the lush rolling hills and terraced vineyards of Tuscany in central Italy, or sojourn in the south and wander the Amalfi Coast, so beautiful it has been recognised by UNESCO.
Spain, second on the list of most visited countries in Europe, sprawls out well beyond the mainland.
Its territories include the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands which sit just off the coast of north-west Africa, both of which are sought-after destinations for a beach holiday.
The mainland itself sees most visitors in the cities. From artistic Barcelona, playground of Antoni Gaudi, to majestic Madrid the country’s capital, there is something for everyone. In the evenings, the city streets come alive with late-night dining, dancing, and traditional live music.
Coming in third is Turkey. This country has a rich cultural heritage that is endlessly colourful, from the mosaics and textiles that adorn the buildings to the cuisine that has many influences.
Journey from thriving Istanbul to the eerie mountains of Cappadocia, to mountain-backed Antalya and down to the Aegean Coast. Whether you want to stroll city streets, bathe in a thermal pool, or soak in some sunshine on the beach, Turkey definitely fits the bill.
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