Europe Travel News

Stops in France tours, Italy tours make Lonely Planet's 'Best of Europe' list

Whether you're embarking on a tour of Spain or a making your way through Greece, Europe is home to some of the most appealing destinations in the world. Anywhere you visit is sure to provide a fulfilling experience, but there are a few places that stand above the rest. LonelyPlanet recently released its picks for top European destinations for 2013, and it included several spots that some may find surprising.

Marseille, France
A tour of France brings you to some of Europe's historically and culturally significant cities, but Marseille stands above the rest this year. In fact, the coastal city was named as Europe's Capital of Culture for 2013, so it's an especially good time to check out this Mediterranean hotspot. There are plenty of highlights of the city - which dates back to around 600 B.C. - but you should make a point to visit Vieux Port, arguably the city's most historic area. 

Cinque Terre, Italy
Few countries in Europe offer quite the variety of Italy tours. Whether you want to sample delicious cuisine, tour the ruins of Rome or visit the iconic city of Venice, there's something for everyone. There are even opportunities for adventure travelers, and that is certainly the case at Cinque Terre - a collection of five cliffside villages along the country's west coast. It's also a great place to sample uniquely Italian fare.

"They have a sense of fishery stewardship, allowing line-caught fish only," Andy Murdock, Lonely Planet's U.S. digital editor, told CNN Travel. "There is really lovely seafood coming out of the waters in Cinque Terre."

Northern Ireland
A tour of the United Kingdom brings you to some of the best scenery in Europe, and that is especially true when it comes to Northern Ireland. There are a number of places that are the perfect example of the natural beauty offered by Northern Ireland, but if you're having trouble deciding, the Giant's Causeway is arguably the best option. Located on the northeast coast, this unusual feature is comprised of tens of thousands of basalt columns that are the result of ancient volcanic activity. A large tourist draw, the columns are truly a one-of-a-kind experience you can't find anywhere else in the continent. 

Recommended Tours

Baltics Highlights

7 days from $2,191 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
More Info

Budapest, Vienna, Prague Signature

7 days from $2,023 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
More Info

Highlights of Eastern Europe

10 days from $2,770 pp*
Custom Private Tour
The rhythmic trot of your horse and the soft crunch of your carriage wheels upon cobblestones is a seductive soundtrack to accompany the stunning ancient architecture of Vienna’s charming Ringstrasse.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients have to say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award Recognized 2011 National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2014 Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime