Sponsored content

Cosmos LogoAs Brits, we’re lucky to have continental Europe right on our doorstep. Home to some of the most breathtaking and fascinating countries in the world, Europe is absolutely jam-packed with beauty, culture, and history. Whether you’re dreaming about a cultural city break or an action-packed rural adventure, there’s a country for just about every type of holiday you could dream of.

There’s so much to see and do here, in fact, that it can be overwhelming trying to narrow it down to one country. That’s why Europe is one of the best places to take an escorted tour. Usually, you get to see far more, often visiting several different countries on one trip. And, because everything is organised and planned for you, you’re free to relax and focus on enjoying the experience.

To shine a light on the joy of touring, we’ve partnered with Cosmos, one of the UK’s leading providers of escorted tours. On a Cosmos holiday, everything is taken care of for you, from transport to sightseeing to accommodation. Even some meals are arranged! With local guides to show you the sights, flexible schedules, and plenty of free time to explore in your own way, this is an engaging, stress-free way to see more of the world.

So, to get you inspired, let’s have a look at six enchanting European adventures for 2024.

1. Best of Greece

Best of Greece

As the birthplace of Western civilisation, Greece is as known for its ancient history as its dreamy beaches and whitewashed villages. Cosmos’s 10-day Best of Greece tour takes you to many of the country’s most fascinating sites – from monasteries perched on mountains to sunbleached temples and amphitheatres. You’ll spend two nights in capital Athens, where you’ll visit the awe-inspiring Acropolis, and have plenty of time to explore at your leisure.

In Epidaurus, you can marvel at the acoustics of the 2,300-year-old open-air theatre, before exploring the ancient civilisation at Mycenae. Stroll around the Byzantine citadel of Mystra, then be astounded by the Meteora monasteries that rest on rock-topped mountains. With overnights in pretty Nafplio, Sparta, Olympia, Delphi, and Kalambaka, and lots of free time, you’ll visit some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country.

2. Irish Discovery

Irish Discovery

Luckily for us Brits, some of the most enchanting landscapes in Europe are a little closer afield. Home to charming villages, rugged coastlines, craggy mountains, and a famously green countryside, the Emerald Isle is as visually stunning as it is welcoming. Cosmos’s nine-day Irish Discovery tour shows the very best of both Ireland and Northern Ireland, delving deep into the rich culture and history of these two captivating countries.

In Dublin, you can learn all about Ireland’s national drink at the Guinness Storehouse, and experience the inimitable culture in the many traditional pubs. Away from the capital, the wild beauty of Ireland’s west coast will take your breath away – as will the landscape of the famous Ring of Kerry. In Northern Ireland, you’ll visit the mysterious Giant’s Causeway, tour historic Derry, and spend a night in the vibrant capital Belfast, where you’ll enjoy free time.

3. Paris, Normandy, And The Loire

Paris, Normandy, And The Loire

Paris is known to be one of the most beautiful, romantic, and sophisticated cities in the world. If you’d like to visit – and discover more of Northern France’s most interesting attractions – then this eight-day Paris, Normandy, And The Loire tour may be for you. You’ll spend three nights in the City of Light, and will have a full day to explore at your leisure – with a local guide on hand for a sightseeing tour, should you be so inclined!

Once you’ve seen the sights, it’s time to move north to the Normandy beaches, stopping along the way at historic, charming towns like Rouen. You’ll visit the spectacular tidal island of Mont St. Michel, the fortified seaside resort of St. Malo, and Rennes, with its traditional, timber-framed houses. The last stop is Châteaux Country, where you can visit the most celebrated castles of the Loire Valley, and explore the stunningly picturesque town of Blois.

4. The Magic of the Italian Lakes

The Magic of the Italian Lakes

Italy is packed with spectacular scenery, but its lakes might be the most dramatically beautiful. Northern Italy is scattered with shimmering, cerulean blue lakes, and this eight-day Magic of the Italian Lakes tour will take you to the most impressive. Kicking off in fashion-forward Milan, you’ll head to the largest lake, Garda, with a visit to the historic spa town of Simione. After, you’ll spend a night in Verona, and enjoy a full day of exploring.

Glamorous Lake Como is up next; the tour includes two nights here, with scenic boat trips and visits to lovely lakeside towns like Bellagio and Varenna. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to explore in your own way, and sample its gastronomic delights, from wine to gelato. You’ll even pop across the border to explore Switzerland’s Lake Lugano! The final two nights are spent at magnificent Lake Maggiore, where you can swim, hike, or simply kick back and relax.

5. Focus On Scandinavia

Focus On Scandinavia

If it’s Northern Europe that’s calling, why not consider an escorted tour to Scandinavia? Cosmos’ 12-day Focus On Scandinavia tour takes you to three different countries – Sweden, Denmark, and Norway – and shows you the highlights of this magical part of the continent. You’ll kick off in charismatic Copenhagen, Denmark’s historic capital, before visiting Odense (Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown), and the fairytale island of Funen.

Then it’s on to Norway, where you’ll spend the night in Oslo and enjoy an action-packed sightseeing tour. Passing gleaming lakes, winding valleys, and rugged gorges, the tour stops over in the colourful coastal city of Bergen before embarking on an unforgettable cruise along one of Norway’s most breathtaking fjords. After several days in the Swedish wilderness, the tour will conclude in the capital Stockholm, where you can take in the highlights on a sightseeing tour.

6. Highlights of Germany

Highlights of Germany

Home to fairytale towns, storybook scenery, medieval castles, captivating culture, hearty food, and world-class beer, Germany has something for everyone. And, on Cosmos’ 12-day Highlights Of Germany tour, you’ll get a unique and immersive insight into this beautiful country. From touring cosmopolitan cities to travelling through dense forests and rugged mountains, this tour is diverse, adventurous, and action-packed.

You’ll cruise along the Rhine, marvelling at the sensational views of grand castles and terraced vineyards, before enjoying free time in ancient Cologne. If you like exploring new cities, you’ll be spoiled for choice; Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Nuremberg are all on the agenda, as are pretty, old towns like Hamelin and Coburg. You’ll see the best of Germany’s natural beauty too, from the famous Black Forest to the soaring Bavarian Alps.

Final thoughts…

Whatever part of Europe is calling you, an escorted tour with Cosmos is one way to make sure you get the best out of it. Not only will you get to see far more than you would travelling independently, but you can relax in the knowledge that everything is organised for you. You won’t have to lift a finger!

With expert local guides to show you the very best of each destination, Cosmos tours are immersive and exciting. And, because you get plenty of free time to explore at your own pace, each holiday can be personalised to your own travel style and preferences.

If you’re interested in an escorted Cosmos tour, there’s more good news. Between the 5th April and 27th June 2024, Cosmos are offering promotional discounts: Discover Europe with £200 off per couple, and Discover USA & Canada with £300 off per couple.

To find out more about Cosmos, and browse their extensive range of escorted holidays all around the world, head over to their website.

Have you been on an escorted tour before? Are you tempted to book one – and if so, do any of these destinations excite you? We’d love to hear about your travel experiences, so please leave us a comment below.