A journey to Europe is always a good idea, no matter the time of year. Ker & Downey’s list of where to go in Europe brings together the places we think you should put on your travel radar for 2019.
Santorini and Mykonos have always deserved their place in the spotlight, but with increasing crowds hindering our ability to really soak into the islands’ vibes, we have our eyes set on new horizons. The tiny volcanic island of Milos has entered the scene as a hidden Aegean paradise. Its location—just north of the Sea of Crete within the Western Cyclades Island chain—means there is no shortage of unbelievably beautiful beaches. Go off the beaten path with an easy flight and ferry access from its more popular neighbors. Milos’ applause-worthy sunsets are reason enough to find yourself a castaway. Dip into hidden caves and coves. Learn about the ancient history of Greek mythological characters like Venus de Milo. We are tempted to keep this under-the-radar gem a secret, but then some of the best things in life are meant to be shared.
Once over-shadowed by its popular European neighbors, Belgium is now emerging as a capital of cool. Sure, it’s the homebase of the bureaucratic European Union, but this country is booming with forward-thinking design, elegant luxury, and sophisticated edge, all sans ego. Enter the decadent facade of an Art Nouveau building and inside you will find the largest collection of comic books. World-renowned breweries are sandwiched between castles, and open-air museums are covered in large scale murals. The fashion and art scene in Antwerp is avant-garde, the creativity of Ghent is Brooklyn-esque. Bruges is a fairytale and the hinterlands of Flanders overflow with history. Belgium is great on its own or together with France, the Netherlands, and Germany.
See a different side of Europe in the Balkans. Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, is gaining traction for travelers seeking a unique European experience in a country with a cultural identity that has not yet been altered by tourism. Bulgaria boasts a surprising array of offerings including mountains for skiing and hiking, Black Sea beaches, ancient historical treasures, and more than 700 mineral and thermal springs across the country. The best news is that you won’t have to share it with many tourists, at least for now. Get there in 2019 before other globetrotters.
The Balkans are marked by their rugged mountains, medieval villages, fascinating history, and pristine beaches. Montenegro has all of these things packed into a tiny space. This Adriatic Coast country has always been a coveted destination for jet-setting travelers, but with the arrival of the luxury hotel Aman Sveti Stefan and the Porto Montenegro marina in Tivat, the rest of the world has begun to catch on to its allure. We recommend starting a journey with a private yacht charter along the Adriatic and ending in the Bay of Kotor; its shores are dotted with historic churches like Our Lady of the Rocks. Go further inland to Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO-listed wonderland of deep gorges, dense pine forests, and clear lakes.
Ready to take a journey to these under-the-radar parts of Europe in 2019? Contact your Ker & Downey Luxury Travel Consultant to plan a trip.