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Best Europe travel

For century's famous travellers left Europe to explore new lands, trade with far away peoples, and return with wonderful stories. In the 21st Century, though, the opposite is true. Europe is now the most visited continent, with millions every year taking a trip to one of the forty plus countries who pride themselves on being part of this eclectic union.

To describe Europe in one word, it would be diverse. Nowhere else does the landscape change so rapidly, or so often. Cultures, religions, languages, and traditions, can all be different in towns just a few miles from each other. The style of buildings, roads, even clothes, can tell the seasoned European traveller quite accurately which area he might be in, even if his map has long since vanished. That diversity is the reason so many head to Europe.

Colourful festivals, thousands of miles of beaches, centuries of history, breathtaking lakes and mountains, vibrant and cultural cities, and mouth-watering cuisine, all draw travellers from far and wide.

But continue southwest to the rugged Atlantic and Channel coasts, and to Land's End. Tiny fishing villages nestled in rocky inlets are the place to sample England 's best know cuisine - Fish and Chips.

The Spanish coast is taken over by tourism, although here it's almost continuous hotels along the various Costa's. It's difficult to find a quiet, unspoilt beach in the entire length from the French border to Gibraltar. That's not to say it's all unpleasant. It's not. The coastal towns have a certain charm, much aided by the generally good weather. But they unmistakably exist for the tourists, and you won't find much in the way of traditional Spain here. Travel a few miles inland, however, and you begin to see what a diverse and interesting land it really is. One of pony trekking holidays, wine festivals, and little hilltop villages that have changed little since the 19th Century.

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Cities such as Barcelona, Grenada, Cordoba, and Seville, all have much to offer, and certainly more than the capital, Madrid. Spain has a multitude of festivals, carnivals, and fiesta's. The Running of the Bulls at Pamplona is best watched from a vantage point high enough to avoid the bulls' horns, as the novices tend to make the best targets for the beasts. The April Fiera in Seville is another to savour, when the whole city is given over to a week of flamenco music and dancing, with bullfights in the stadium, and general revelry around the streets. For the arts inclined head north to the Atlantic port of Bilbao, and its wonderful modern art galleries and liberated atmosphere.

The countries of what was communist Europe are slowly beginning to develop their facilities to welcome tourists. For many, now is a good time to go there, before the inevitable commercialism takes over too much, and while the original feel of the countries remains undiluted. Polish hospitality, for example, at the moment is still probably the best in Europe. Stay in any one place for more then a couple of days and you will certainly leave having made new friends, and probably you'll have been to their house, if not a cousin's wedding. Sacrifice a visit to the modern capital Warsaw in favour of the old capital Krakow , which is where you'll find the elegant buildings, and historic roots from the days of the monarchy. If you have transport, a drive along the Vistula River boasts scenery and castles to rival the Rhine, and the beauty and tranquillity of the Tatras mountains attracts hikers and writers to its alpine air.

Not only is Europe diverse, so is every country within it. It's friendly, welcoming, wonderfully scenic, with exciting cities, and amazing history. It will give you great memories, wonderful stories, and without doubt, it will leave you wanting more.

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