Everybody adores the idea of flocking to Europe in summer, sitting on a terrace under the midnight sun in Scandinavia, falling in love with Paris, and cruising the canals of Venice. However, it’s not all about Europe’s crowded coastlines and popular sites.
Here are the top 5 best luxury experiences you can relish on the continent that will have you writing your friends and family with ravishing remarks and making all of them want to explore the mesmerizing beauty of Europe a little differently for themselves.
1. Stay in a castle
Castles may have been reserved by elite and noble centuries ago, but now plenty of the striking structures have transmuted into luxury hotels for unforgettable family or romantic rendezvous getaway. Castle hotels are usually viewed as the perfect romantic break – a place where you can spend your time like a King/Queen without having to sacrifice your luxury.
The fortified buildings with stone arches, buttresses, and ornate decoration offer travelers an undeniably charming and historic place to stay. In Europe, for the ultimate fairy tale getaway, nothing can beat spending a night in an old castle. From Ireland to Tuscany, you will see many ideal castle hotels in Europe like Ireland’s Ashford Castle’s, France’s Chateau de Bagnols and Germany’s Castle Hotel Schoenburg. Let’s have a brief overview of the top 3 castles for a luxury experience in Europe.
Ashford Castle, Ireland
This castle personifies an Irish castle hotel’s fantasy, boasting a vast historic stone façade made of turrets and towers, manicured gorgeous grounds, a fantastic setting on a vast lake, and common areas with huge chandeliers, rich wood paneling, and antiques. This castle features 82 luxurious, individually decorated rooms merged with modern tech amenities and old-fashioned grandeur. It is one of the top hotels globally, and for travelers, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Castle Monastero, Italy
This luxury hotel is located in an old former medieval village in Tuscany, Italy. It was built as a monastery in the 11th century which later turned into a castle for the residence of Chigi family. The hotel has sophisticated décor with all the modern amenities, chic settings and a relaxed atmosphere. You can have a wonderful time at the two outdoor pool, full-services spa, fitness center and Gordon Ramsay restaurant.
Fonab Castle Hotel, Scotland
This luxury property consists of 26-rooms and is situated on the scenic shores of Loch Faskally. It was made in 1892 and it’s a beautiful blend of modernity and traditions – the contemporary insides include two restaurants with a cozy lounge, a relaxed brasserie with dazing sights over the water and a fine-dining area dishing out multi-course gourmet meals. The hotel provides its guests all the modern amenities including the modern and sleek spa with the facility of pool, steam room, sauna and fitness centre. The rooms are spacious and chic.
2. Small ship ocean cruise
Every cruise line offers its guests different parts of the world to sail. But sailing aboard a one of the best small ship ocean cruises in Europe will take your travels to a whole new level. With around 700-800 guests per voyage, and even closer to 300 or less in some cases, these cruises offer you the experience of traveling on your true luxury trip with maximum space without sacrificing amenities. View the beauty, taste the local cuisine, smell nature, hear the waves and sail on a beautiful ship to explore a secret beach and lose yourself in the wondrous culture.
Share your intimate moments and immerse yourself in exotic local cultures by joining the small ship ocean cruises in Europe, where delight and surprise will accompany you throughout the voyage. The top luxury cruise lines are: Ponant, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, SeaDream, Yacht Club, Azamara, Seabourn, Scenic, and Windstar.
Here are details of three of the top luxury small ship ocean cruise lines:
The only cruise company sailing under the French flag, Ponant promotes the French art of living and is a world leader in luxury expeditions. In the heart of a 5-star environment, your travel experience will be both authentic and redefined. With Ponant cruises, you can sail up and down, retract the Vikings’ strides and admire panoramic landscapes of Scotland and Ireland, Norwegian fjords, experience the charm of the Shetland Islands and the Hebrides while watching the whales. Their modern fleet comprise of small-sized ships specifically designed for yachting or expedition cruises. They made sure the respect of the areas and safety or their guests through their environmental protection and sustainable ship designs.
Regent Seven Seas
Create memories that last a lifetime on one of Regent Seven Sea’s luxury ocean voyages. The spacious and well-appointed ships include all-suite accommodations, impeccable personalized service, and exquisite cuisine. Every luxury in included with Regent – from FREE Business Class Air to FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions and more. Discerning travelers will find incredible value in the all-inclusive pricing aboard one of the best luxury cruise lines in the Mediterranean and Europe.
SeaDream Yacht Club
This is a once-of-a-kind cruise ship experience for you. As the yacht sails over the historic Mediterranean seas, you’ll have fun with the robust collection of onboard facilities and a luxurious, pampered environment that you won’t get anywhere else. If you are after a delicate yachting experience, they are the best providers of the service.
3. River Cruise
If you dream of reaching the heart of Europe through its huge waterway, boarding a river cruise can be the ideal way to have boundless insights into the historic treasures and continent’s cultures. Steep yourself in the festive cultural centers, storybook villages, and picturesque landscape of Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Austria, and Hungary and open up a whole new world of exploring with river cruises of Europe. This can be an incredible experience with your family or friends and a stress-free way to take a multi-destination trip to Europe.
The best luxury river cruise lines in Europe include Crystal, Uniworld, and AmaWaterways. For a full comparison of the top 6 river cruise lines in Europe, download your cheatsheet here.
Crystal River Cruises
Aboard the most luxurious river cruise ships, you will be welcomed by your own personal butler on every sailing, in every cabin. Crystal all-inclusive river cruise itineraries ranging from 7-16 nights, and you can avail yourself this sumptuous opportunity to view the Oberammergau decennial performance, Crystal Ravel or Debussy sailings with a broad range of festive cruises. They present their guests with the most immersive experiences, letting them authentically and offering them more choices than ever.
Sail the historic waterways with the glorious countryside, historic landmarks, and cherished culture that elevate travelers’ hearts, mind, and feelings. Experiencing all of this with AmaWaterways will let you enjoy the genuine care, outstanding staff and crew, and top-notch cuisine. This river cruise line combines the activity, engagement, and variety of land-based traveling with the amenities and comfort of an ocean cruise. Amawaterways is the best European river cruise for families because of these factors.
Uniworld River Cruises
Uniworld’s luxury floating boutique hotels sail worldwide, offering voyages to Asia, Egypt, and Europe. They offer their guests anticipatory services that are sublime. The synergy of the company offers unparalleled stages of gracious hospitality and incomparable luxury. All Uniworld cruises are designed with quirky furnishing, beautiful décor, modern-convenience, stylish elegance, and inspiring art with the most inviting atmosphere.
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4. Scenic Luxury Trains
Think of traversing all over Europe in luxurious scenic trains, with indoor glass decoration, decked bars, 5-star meals, and more just as you see in romantic movies. While a tour to Europe is a feast in its own right, the fun in watching the meadows, hill, artsy cities rolling by, and the castles as you sit in amazingly comfortable cabins are once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you plan for a blend of luxury, comfort, and a lot of sightseeing, scenic luxury trains can be an ideal choice. Bernina Express, Belmond Royal Scotsman, Switzerland, and Venice Simplon Orient Express are the best luxury trains we recommend to our most discerning travelers.
Belmond Royal Scotsman
These luxury trains offer the travelers 2-7 night trips to the Scottish highlands. Each train carries only 36 passengers with staff, so it does feel very luxurious. They provide an unbeatable combo of country-house all-inclusive amenities with great food, incredible scenery on Britain’s most beautiful train routes, wine & music, plus some other extraordinary off-train excursions.
Venice Simplon Orient Express
This train is a combination of luxury and historical art. This train line launched the first luxury train in 1982. As a luxurious rail experience, it’s the most favored journey between Venice & London but you can also visit Berlin and Istanbul. World’s best chefs serve you meals, and the well-stocked bar with a restaurant car and a big lounge make it a luxurious dream train.
Bernina Express takes you from Switzerland to Italy. It is adored for its suites and scenic cars that allow travelers to enjoy the nearby region’s incredible natural wonders uninterrupted sight. For nature-lovers, traveling on this train would be more like a dream come true. Besides the mindboggling ride, you will feel lost in loop tunnels, hanging bridges, stunning glaciers, and deep gorges.
5. Private Cooking experience
What can be better than a private cooking experience to learn a country’s culture (other than eating those yummy dishes)? There are various types of cooking vacations offered in Europe every year with courses for an hour, a day or a year according to your preferences. Every culture’s soul can be approached through its culinary customs, better than reading a history book. And the smells deliver the key to know, or maybe the bright freshness of the meal ignites some sort of optic epiphany. You can join the Tuscan cooking class. Their chefs are famous for kneading pasta dough and for making bread. You can have a lifetime experience from these private cooking classes that you will be proud of for years to come, and maybe you will adopt something new from them.
So, when are you planning your next luxury vacation to Europe? For more ideas, download your copy of the 6 Luxurious Vacations in Europe for 2021 & 2022.
If you are looking for personalized services planning your vacation and want your trip to be extra special, reach out to me for a vacation like no other!