Many people may feel a comparison between Scotland and Europe is futile. Mainly because Europe is often doused in delicious sunshine while Scotland frequently enjoys high winds, slanted rain and perpetually cloudy skies. But there are more similarities than you think. White, sandy beaches, dramatic cliff faces and delightfully quaint seaside villages, to name a few.
Thinking of going on a European adventure but not sure how to narrow down all those locations? If you enjoyed travelling to the following places in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll love the sunny destinations in France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy we’ve picked out for you.
One of the most spectacular things about quaint Glencoe village is that it’s flanked by impressive peaks. It’s also the ideal base for many of the scenic walks around the Glencoe valley.
Lauterbrunnen enjoys a similarly beautiful geographical spot within the Swiss Alps. The village itself is stunning and is dotted with postcard-perfect alpine chalets. It’s surrounded by mountain crags and rushing waterfalls, all easily accessible for a short stroll or longer hike.
If you find yourself constantly craving the peaceful surroundings and breathtaking scenery you discovered at Glencoe, Lauterbrunnen will not disappoint.
You can visit Lauterbrunnen on Rabbie’s Italian Lakes and Swiss Alps Explorer 6-day tour.
Scotland is famous for its imposing castles by the sea. The embodiment of this image is surely Dunnottar Castle on the east coast. Gazing out of the ruins to the ocean crashing violently against the rocks below on a thundery day is truly a sight to behold.
If this kind of scenery captures your imagination, you should certainly take a trip along Spain’s Coast of Death.
The plunging cliffs and rocky headlands proved fatal for many ships throughout history, and ancient civilisations were convinced this coastline was the end of the earth. But it’s not just the ominous name that draws people here. Landmarks such as the Virxe da Barca Sanctuary and Cape Finisterre Lighthouse are perfect for atmospheric holiday photographs.
This can be a difficult task to achieve when visiting the often-crowded beaches of Europe. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: there are beaches in Southern France where you won’t have to elbow your way through dozens of tourists for a dip in the waves. And you can actually enjoy the cool water rather than jumping around in the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean on Luskentyre.
The beaches in the Camargue region of France can be boundless and untamed, especially those located in the national park. If you stroll past the throng of holidaymakers congregated on the coastline closest to the region’s capital, Saintes Maries de la Mer, you’re bound to find an undisturbed spot.
Likewise, the hidden rocky inlets dotted throughout the French Riviera are a delight to discover. While many are coveted by locals, you still experience that jolt of excitement when you stumble across them. Calanque d’En-vau is a firm favourite.
Vibrant and quaint seaside villages are an integral element of Scottish tourism. The charming coastal capitals of Mull and Skye are particularly pleasing on the eye. Anyone who has wandered their picture-perfect streets and browsed the curated local boutiques will know the simple pleasure of immersing oneself in village life.
While Cinque Terre has certainly increased in popularity over the years, its magic prevails. And if you’re a fan of cute pastel houses, the five villages that make up this little wonderland will deliver the goods. A rainbow of homes are perched on rugged cliffs running down to sheltered coves. You can wind your way through the twisting streets and even trek from village to village, stopping to dine al fresco on terraces overlooking the coast. Exploring this area of Italy is a pleasure and basking in the beauty of the scenery is one of the top reasons travellers choose to visit.
You can visit Cinque Terre on Rabbie’s Cinque Terre, Florence and the Flavours of Tuscany 6-day tour.
Many of Scotland’s ancient sites are shrouded in mystery. Yet others shed light on fascinating aspects of bygone cultures. History buffs flock to Skara Brae, the Clava Cairns, and various mystifying stone circles dotted around the Highlands. Whether you hope to uncover knowledge which once was lost or simply experience what it’s like to stand where people lived hundreds of years ago, these encounters can be humbling.
Pompeii is a haunting place frozen in time and visiting it can be both fascinating and unsettling. In 79AD, the giant volcano, Mount Vesuvius, erupted and covered the entire city, including many of its inhabitants, in volcanic ash. Find out how this ash managed to preserve the buried city for centuries and wander the deserted streets to gain an insight into the ways these ancient people lived.
Afterwards, you may wish to climb the long-dormant volcano yourself. Gaze down into the gaping crater which caused so much destruction before taking in the awe-inspiring panoramic views of the landscape below.
You can visit Pompeii on Rabbie’s Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast and Irresistible Italy 6-day tour.
We hope this guide has helped you to narrow down options for your next European adventure. Whether you’re heading to the sparkling Mediterranean coast or inland to discover natural and historical wonders, you may find a few more comparisons to bonnie Scotland than first anticipated.