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Jan 8 2012

Top Places to See in Europe Before You Die

Take a gondola ride in Venice, one of the top places to see in Europe before you die

What destinations are on your bucket list of places to see before you die? Traveling is a dream for those who want to discover the world’s history in person, and for many people Europe holds the key to checking items off their bucket list. To help you visit the top places to see in Europe during your next vacation, we at Avoya Travel / American Express have selected specific guided vacation itineraries that will not only take you to the most incredible sights in Europe, but will also include an expert guide who will lead you through each step of your bucket list adventure! Read on to learn about the top places to see in Europe before you die, as well as the great guided vacations to take you there in 2012.

Climb the Eiffel Tower and Wander through the Louvre

The Eiffel Tower has become the most-visited paid monument in the world since its construction was completed in 1889. As an iconic symbol of France, this tower is the tallest building in the city of Paris and is on many travelers’ bucket lists as a landmark to see in person during a trip to Europe. Paris is one of the most traveled to cities in the world for its romantic and enchanting qualities that draw in travelers of all ages and backgrounds and this city alone has many other reputations for its culinary, artistic, architectural, historical, and fashion accomplishments. While in Paris you can experience five-star French cuisine, shop for the latest fashion trends, stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, and check off another popular bucket list goal – spending a day wandering through the world-famous Louvre Art Museum. As the former residence of the past Kings of France, the Louvre is one of the most renowned art collections in the world and includes pieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and ancient Egyptian sculptures. With Trafalgar’s 11-day European Traveler itinerary, you can check off your bucket list as you visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louver, and other popular sites in Paris, London, and Rome. Call an Avoya Travel Trafalgar Specialist to learn about other guided vacations offered by Trafalgar that can help you fulfill your travel dreams.

Stand in St. Mark’s Square and Take a Gondola Ride

St. Mark’s Square is a part of the ‘Piazza’ – also known as the city center of Venice, Italy. While standing in St. Mark’s Square you will be surrounded by Doges Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Library of St. Mark, and the lagoon that Venice famously lies within. Whether you want to climb to the top of the Clock Tower for an unforgettable panoramic view of the city, enjoy a creamy gelato while watching people pass through the Piazza, tour the Basilica to see the original Four Horses statue, or take a photo of you feeding the birds, a visit to St. Mark’s Square is a must-do for any travelers’ Europe bucket list. And who hasn’t dreamed of taking a gondola ride in Venice? On guided vacations that stop in Venice, you’ll have the chance to finally experience a romantic gondola ride down the Grand Canal that runs through the heart of the city. While floating along during this common bucket list dream, you’ll take in the unique personality of a city filed with boats and humans as opposed to automobiles. You’ll also sail through the incredible maze of bridges that makes up Venice – including the Bridge of Sighs where the famous lover Casanova escaped. A wonderful guided vacation for discovering Venice and all of Italy is Insight Vacations’ 11-day Best of Italy itinerary, where you will travel with your local guide to Venice, Florence, Rome, and beyond to visit many of the top places in Europe to see before you die such as St. Mark’s Square, the Colosseum, and more! Want to experience other top places to see in Italy? Call an Avoya Travel Insight Vacations Specialist to learn about other itineraries to Italy that will help you fulfill your bucket list goals!

See the Cliff of Moher and Dine in an Irish Pub

During the Napoleonic war a fort named ‘Mothar’ residing along the Irish coast was destroyed leaving only a single tower overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This fort inspired the name for these cliffs, The Cliffs of Moher, which are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions and one of the top places to see in Europe before you die. Measuring at over 700 feet at their highest point, the Cliffs of Moher tower over the Atlantic Ocean and dominate the Irish coastline. Let the fresh ocean air blow past you as you stand along these majestic cliffs and take in sights such as O’Brien’s Tower, the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and the beautiful green hills and valleys that make up the surrounding landscape. After your visit to the Cliffs of Moher, spend your evening cozying up in a local Irish pub for some authentic bangers and mash, a pint of Guinness, and Irish folk music. During the 6-day Irish Jaunt itinerary from Brendan Vacations, you will have the opportunity fulfill all of these lifetime experiences and visit other Irish sights such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Guinness Factory, Trinity College, and all of the city of Dublin. A trip to Ireland will have you enchanted by its natural beauty, rich history, cheerful culture, and will make you glad you visited this destination. Find your own Irish luck by calling an Avoya Travel Brendan Vacations Specialist today to learn more about guided vacations to Ireland!

Visit La Sagrada Familia and Savor Spanish Tapas

You do not have to be an art or architecture enthusiast to appreciate the awe-inspiring design of La Sagrada Familia. A project began by Antonio Gaudi in 1882, La Sagrada Familia is still not expected to be completed for another 30 – 50 years! This basilica is an absolute bucket list must-see during any trip to Spain, and is one of the most unique pieces of architecture in Europe. Gaudi passed away in 1926 and there is controversy over the current construction, though many agree that the contrasts between the old and modern parts of the building only add to the personality of this incredible structure. Visit La Sagrada Familia to admire and critique it for yourself, and visit the top of the basilica to see a breathtaking view of Barcelona with the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Collserola Mountains on the other. While in Barcelona, also be sure to wander down the famous street Las Ramblas and stop by a local restaurant to savor some authentic Spanish Tapas such as Aceitunas (olives), chorizo (Spanish cured ham), patatas bravas (potatoes served with a spicy sauce), and the many seafood tapas which are specialties of this region of Spain such as bacalao (cod) and calamares (fried squid). Complete your multi-dish tapas meal with some Spanish sangria or wine – something this region is also famous for. You can experience firsthand why Barcelona and other must-see cities of Spain such as Madrid are top places to see in Europe on Contiki’s 15-day Spanish Spree itinerary, or call an Avoya Travel Contiki Specialist to learn more about this itinerary and others that will have you exploring Spain and checking off your bucket list during your next guided vacation.

Traveling Europe is a magical experience that should be enjoyed during a lifetime. If you are ready to check off your bucket list while exploring France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and beyond, then check out these incredible itineraries to Europe and call an Avoya Travel Guided Vacation Specialist to book your trip to the top places to see in Europe.