Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Asia, the Arctic and Africa, Europe consists of 39 countries spread out over 4 million miles. The birthplace of Western culture, Europe is home to a variety of customs, foods, architecture, religions, music and art, some of which dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Well-preserved cities, world-class attractions and a varied landscape draw more than 480 million people to the continent each year. So, it's not surprising that Europe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The northern part of Europe is home to beautiful fjords, quaint fishing villages and metropolitan cities famous for historic landmarks and splendid museums. Visit coastal villages to learn of an illustrious seafaring history, or explore major Scandinavian cities like Copenhagen, Oslo or Helsinki, which are well-known for their cultural contributions and urban landscapes. The allure of major cities like London and Amsterdam are sure to add a bit of excitement to your travels as you wander down bustling streets in search of famous landmarks, museums and restaurants. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are rather new tourist destinations that offer charming seaside towns and hip urban centers with plenty of museums, palaces, castles and cathedrals to explore.
Beauty abounds in the Mediterranean -- the food, the architecture and the stunning vistas are some of the best you'll find anywhere in the world. And, from a cultural perspective, it doesn't get much better than this. The area is overflowing with ancient ruins and antiquities, museums, monuments, artwork and churches that will leave you in awe. Greece's beautiful beaches and varied landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a laid-back holiday of sightseeing and fun in the sun. The French Riviera, inspiration for many of Picasso's paintings, is the ultimate in luxury and elegance, featuring upscale shopping, fine restaurants and magnificent art galleries. Of course, a trip to the Mediterranean would not be complete without a stop in Italy to see Vatican City, the Trevi fountain in Rome and the canals of Venice.