Calling all fellow wine enthusiasts, we’ve rounded up the best European destinations to sit back and relax with a glass in hand. From vineyards to valleys, there are plenty of places to quench your thirst. Warning: this blog may leave you feeling like you’re on ‘cloud wine.’
This guide is intended for inspiration. You should check the latest government advice for visits to individual destinations before attempting to travel and be aware of any local guidelines or restrictions when booking a holiday.
It should come as no surprise that Portugal's Douro Valley is at the top of our bucket list. One of the world's oldest wine regions, it's a must-see destination. The birthplace of Port, Douro Valley, has attracted wine lovers since the 18th century. You'll find breathtaking terraced vineyards on either side of the Douro River, just waiting to be explored. Drink in the scenery with your 'partner in wine' on a romantic boat cruise. Looking for an adventure? Canoe or kayak past the stunning vineyards. The Douro Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site, boasts unforgettable landscapes - don't forget your camera! We recommend starting your trip in the historic city of Porto; check out our deals here.
It's impossible to visit Bordeaux without sampling the legendary wine. Home to over 6,000 wineries producing 9,000 different wines, you're spoilt for choice. Start with a trip to La Cite De Vin. This striking cultural centre explores wine through the ages. Uncover the art of wine tasting, delve into wine production or take a seat for a virtual flight over the best vineyards in the world. Make sure to stop at Place de la Bourse, the city's most iconic square. Head to Saint-Émilion for world-famous wineries, beautiful architecture and must-see monuments. Stroll the ancient cobblestone streets before indulging in a gourmet picnic or fine wine tasting. Prestigious vineyards surround this picturesque village, many of which date back to Roman times. Climb the iconic 13th-century tower for the best views.
Madeira's rich wine tradition dates back to the 15th century when passing sailors would stop off to restock their barrels. The Portuguese island produces an array of sweet, dry and fortified wines. So, you can rest assured there's a local wine to complement every meal. Madeira's dramatic volcanic coastline and spectacular vineyard valleys are guaranteed to impress. Did you know the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence was toasted with a glass of Madeira wine? For a glass of Madeira's nautical past, head to the capital city, Funchal. Ride the cable car to Monte for an easy view of the rooftops. If you're feeling energetic, take a walk along a mountain levada (irrigation system) and take in the magnificent views.
When it comes to wine cellars, you can't beat the selection on offer in Eger. This charming city is just a short train ride from Budapest. There's plenty to see and do, from Baroque buildings to thermal pools and a medieval hilltop castle. Eger's winemaking tradition is quite literally built into the city's foundations – with over 20 cellars carved into rock at Valley of the Beautiful Women. Make sure to try the famous "Bull's Blood," a red wine made from three types of grape.
Renowned for its red wine and pintxos, La Rioja is Spain's biggest wine destination. There are over 80 wineries with guided tours. Head to the capital, Logroño, for a narrated walk through the riverside old town. You'll discover local legends about wine, plus there's a great selection of tapas bars. Drinking wine is one of many sports on offer in La Rioja; the rolling hills and majestic mountain ranges are great for hikers. Those seeking a touch of luxury can hire a hot air balloon and float over the vineyards.
Published on 2nd September 2016
Published on 30th August 2016
Published on 22nd September 2016