Avery is a senior at Vanderbilt University and a Student Ambassador here at STA Travel. She is passionate about all things travel – and dessert – and her favorite destination to explore is Europe, so she shared her best European adventures to give us some serious travel envy (and inspo for our next vacay!).
Watch the sun set from a yacht in Santorini, Greece
Live the life of the rich and famous… for a day at least! When visiting Santorini, head to the port and jump aboard a yacht tour to see the idyllic towns and volcano from the water! Follow it up with an incredible Greek meal made onboard by the crew washed down with some wine, of course. Before the end of the night, you set up right at Oía for what is arguably, the most beautiful sunset in the world.
Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria
The hills ARE alive! Sing at the top of your lungs with perfect strangers as you tour around the Austrian mountains to see all the film locations from The Sound of Music. See the gazebo from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” the church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp get married, and so much more. Even if you aren’t a Julie Andrews fanatic, the tour is a sure hit with nature-lovers.
Walk the ancient walls in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Go all Game of Thrones in the ancient city of Dubrovnik. Get your step count in for the day and walk around the whole town from the top of the walls. You’ll be feeling all levels of Lannister as you look out across the city and Blackwater Bay, we mean… the Adriatic Sea.
Parasail in Barcelona, Spain
Like the wilder side of life? That’s the spirit! Get the best view of the city and see if you can spot the Sagrada Familia from way up high. This activity is one to add to the bucket list, and what better place to tick it off than beautiful Barcelona? PS, yep, that’s me waaaaaaay up there.
Snowshoe the Alps
You can’t beat the Alps if you want a bit of snow time. Ski-fanatic or not, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy the slopes. If you’ve never tried it before, you need to go snow shoeing. No, that’s not making shoes out of snow, it’s basically like hiking but on the mountains. And prepare to burn off the après ski calories as this bad-boy activity can burn up to 600 calories an hour! Woooo-eeeee!
Discover Paris’s secrets
Paris is beautiful, we all know it. But if you want to try something new and feel very French while you do it, why not try a bicycle tour? Beret and basket filled with baguettes optional… Work off the crepes as you pedal your way to less touristy (but equally beautiful) spots in the French capital. You’ll be falling in love with Paris all over again. Find the tour here.
Kayak through Roman Ruins in France
Get your adventure-ready friends and go kayaking down the gorgeous Gardon river in the south of France. Paddle right through the famous Roman ruin, The Pont Du Gard and don’t miss the perfect picture opportunity. We sure didn’t! Embrace the amazing history and views at every turn; exercise has never been so fun!
Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Ok ok, you’ve probably seen the Blue Lagoon all over your Instagram feed. But it’s way more than just a perfect insta pic of the pastel blue waters. The Blue Lagoon is a natural lagoon that is considered one of the 25 wonders of the world. It is like a giant blue hot tub with a bar in the water. Do I need to say more? Didn’t think so.
Pizza picnic at the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy
Do this one for the alliteration alone. This was one of my favorite moments from my long trip around Italy, and you won’t find it on the normal “must do” lists. Grab a heart shaped pizza from the famous Gusta Pizza (best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life – for reals). Then grab your crew (or just yourself) and squat on the steps of the famous Pitti Palace around the corner. Simply sit back and enjoy the scenes and atmosphere while eating a slice of heaven.
Hike Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland
Hike to the top of this extinct volcano to get breathtaking panoramic views of this beautiful city. The history of Arthur’s Seat goes all the way back to the stone; we’re talking the times of cavemen, people. It is a steep hike, but the end is worth it. You can spot the famous castle, Holyrood Palace as well as the ocean! For ultimate views, head up there at sunrise… that is, if you’re a morning person. You’ll catch the locals hiking at all times of the year no matter if it is snowing or pouring rain.
Ready to start your European adventure? Check out our destination page for Europe for even more inspiration on where you need to head next!