While it’s all-too easy to simply dip into Europe, sometimes you want to explore. From the world-famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to the secret vineyards and medieval heritage of Umbria, these are our finest Europe summer journeys. Just be careful, peak availability is going fast.
But, much of southern Europe enjoys great weather – and fewer crowds – well into September and early October. Perhaps take in Andalucia’s Moorish wonders and Madeira’s vineyard-dotted beauty, or head off the beaten track with the biblical towns of beach-fronted Puglia.
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Experience a taste of Umbria with this 8-day self drive, beginning in Rome and ending in Orvieto, and enjoying highlights of the region including wine tasting, picturesque villages and local cuisine.
Swap the crowds of Italy's headlines for Puglia's off-the-beaten-track charms. Quietly scenic coastal drives will bring you between palace stays in medieval towns and beach-side getaways in remote settings. Along the way, there's plenty of opportunity for hikes, bike rides and vineyard tastings.
Calm blue lakes, snow-crested mountains, grandiose villas and some of Italy's finest Belle Époque hotels provide the backdrop to this tailor-made driving holiday through beautiful northern Italy. Its bookended by stays among Milan's ultra-fashionable repose and Verona's fabled past.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – the very name conjures up images of 19th-century splendour, of silent film stars and Agatha Christie. All of the glamour and mystique still lingers, the white-gloved service as faultless as one could hope for from the world's most famous train ride.
Offering superb value, this weeklong road trip will see you uncovering the Moorish wonders of southern Spain, brought to life with guided tours and stays in superb hotels. Highlights include visits to the palace-fortresses of Seville and Granada along with the Córdoba's cathedral-mosque.