Today, I am joining Shelley of Calypso in the Country’s “Take Me Away!” Link Party. On the first Friday of every month, Shelley coordinates this virtual get together where bloggers (and their readers) can share in each others’ wanderlust – stop on by and join in the fun!
In the spirit of the party, I thought I would make this post somewhat interactive and have all of you choose your dream European trip…the possibilities are too vast to include them all, so I picked a few options which I thought would be popular.
SO…if money was no object, and time and life circumstances allowed you to pick up and go wherever you please, which of these five European destinations would you choose?
Italian Coast and Country
Begin your travels on the Italian Riviera in Portofino, staying at the stunning Belmond Splendido. Charter a boat for the day to visit the Cinque Terre by sea. Head inland to Tuscany staying at Castiglion del Bosco – while there spend time tasting the local wines, taking a cooking class or two, relaxing in the spa or perhaps taking a hot air balloon ride. End your trip in Florence at the the luxe boutique hotel, JK Place Firenze. Your private guide will give you a behind the scenes tour of some of Florence’s unique artisans, as well as an up close look at the treasures of the renaissance at the Uffizi.
Norway in a “Nutshell”
Starting in the town of Bergen known for it’s colorful cottages lining the water, set out to see the fjords by boat. Stop for a night in beautiful Balestrand at the historic Kviknes Hotel surrounded by glaciers rising up from the fjords. Don’t miss the chance to kayak on the fjord and perhaps take a high speed rib boat adventure. Continue on to the small town of Flam, where you catch the famous Flam railway – often called the most scenic railway in the world – bound for Oslo. End your trip in Oslo at the five star Hotel Continental. Your private guide will share tales of life in Norway while exploring the Viking Ship Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norway Folk Museum.
Magical France: Paris and the Loire Valley
Who doesn’t want to experience the newly re-opened Ritz Paris first hand (opening this month!)!! With the Ritz as your home base,enjoy a private chocolate and patisserie tasting tour one day and go shopping with a personal shopper the next. Experience Paris up close and personal with private walking tours of the Latin Quarter, the Marais and Montmartre. Board the TGV train to Vendome, where you will be met by your chauffeur to escort you the Chateau de la Barre for the remainder of your trip. With the Count and Countess de Vanssay as your hosts, the Chateau is the perfect place from which to visit the Chateaux of the Loire Valley, including Chambord, Chenonceau or Amboise. They will arrange exclusive access to gardens and chateaux, not normally open to the public. Take a cooking class from a gourmet chef and afterwards enjoy your meal with a vintage wine selected from the personal cellar of the Count de Vanssay.
Britain…Gardens and Royalty
There is no better place to experience “Royal” London than at The Stafford, just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. With the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in full swing, enjoy exclusive access to the Trooping the Colour festivities. Enjoy the Fashionista’s Tea at The Berkeley Hotel and then celebrate another milestone – the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – with tickets to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Globe Theater. Your driver will meet you early the next morning to head to the Cotswolds where you will stay at the elegant Ellenborough Park, from which you can visit the famous gardens nearby (some not generally open to the public) and enjoy an exclusive invitation to the private gardens at Highgrove, the home of Prince Charles.
Begin in Athens where you can see the storied Acropolis, including the Parthenon, from the terrace of your hotel, the Grande Bretagne. Of course, you will want to visit this historic site, including the Parthenon, with your private guide. The following day, skirt the scenic coast en route to Cape Sounion and visit the ancient ruined Temple of Poseidon – perched high on the cliffs the temple has been marked — over the centuries — with travellers’ carved signatures, including that of Lord Byron. Fly to Mykonos for a few days of soaking up the sunshine by day and the nightlife in the evening at the beachfront Santa Marina . Your private boat will pick you up on Mykonos to take you to the stunning island of Santorini, where you will relax at the beautiful Canaves Oia, including enjoying day sails on the hotel’s catamaran and watching the sunset over the caldera.
There you have it…five dream trips to Europe. Which would you choose?
Have a dreamy weekend, my friends…wherever you may be wandering…