Some destinations seem like they were specially designed to be a port of call. Exuberant scenery from the sea, ports conveniently located near the city center and a range of tourist attractions easily reachable in just one day are some the factors that make a destination an excellent port of call. Dreamlines has selected the 6 top destinations in Europe that should be visited while on a cruise.
1 – Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
The short distance between the port and the old town makes Barcelona one of those perfect destinations to be explored during a cruise stopover. Within a short walking distance from the cruise port, you will be at the beginning of Las Ramblas, the most famous shopping street in the city. If you head to another direction, in less than 10 minutes you can reach Barceloneta Beach, the most popular strip of sand in the Mediterranean. The tour can continue along the Modernisme Route, an itinerary that takes you through the main architectural masterpieces of Gaudí and Muntaner, and culminates with the impressive Sagrada Familia Church.
2 – Reykjavik, Iceland
Ultimate destination for adventurers, the capital of Iceland is the starting point for the route known as Golden Circle, a 300 km circuit that gather the most beautiful natural landscapes of the land of glaciers and volcanoes. The tour, which lasts approximately nine hours, visits the Gullfoss Waterfall, the Haukadalur Geysers and the Thingvellir National Park, where you can see the Silfra Fissure between the tectonic plates of Eurasia and North America. The scuba divers can also dive between the plates and touch two continents at the same time – an experience that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
3 – Cinque Terre, Italy
The five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre are among the most remarkable postcards of Italy. This colorful region offer a scenic landscape from sea perspective. Undoubtedly, the deck of a cruise is the best place to enjoy this gem of the Italian Riviera. Passengers willing to explore the villages on foot will have the chance to do so when the ship arrives in the port of La Spezia, starting point of a trail that lasts about 5 hours and takes visitors along the charming alleys of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Verbazza and Monterrosso.
4 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, the most beautiful city among the Baltic capitals, has 3 cruise ports connected with the city center via an excellent public transport network. Start the day with a guided tour around Freetown Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood within the Danish capital where the hippie dream of an alternative society remains alive. Afterwards, head to the other side of the city and visit the cheerful Tivoli Gardens, the colorful port of Nyhavn and the famous statue of the Little Mermaid, a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.
5 – Santorini, Greece
There is a reason why Santorini is the most cliché destination on any list that involves the best places in the world. And the reason is pretty simple: you cannot run away from the fact that this Greek island is truly one of the most picturesque destinations on the planet. The first stop for cruisers arriving in Santorini is the charming village of Fira, which features a maze of narrow alleys and stone sidewalks full of shops and restaurants with views to the Caldera. At Fira’s bus station, hop on a bus heading towards the north of the island, where the island’s true jewel is hidden. The village of Oia is unbeatable when it comes to breathtaking views of the white houses and blue domes typical of the Cycladic architecture. Get ready to see the most incredible sunset of your life with this magical backdrop before returning to the ship.
6 – Budapest, Hungary
A river cruise along the Danube River offers the possibility of touring several European cities that inspire romance and culture. The capital of Hungary is a feast for the eyes, concentrating museums, galleries, charming cafes and impressive architecture. Start your tour visiting the Neo-Gothic Parliament building, cross the Chain Bridge and head to the splendid Castle of Buda, the Church of St. Matias and the Fishermen’s Bastion. To relax after the intense hike, the majestic Széchenyi thermal complex offers the unique opportunity to swim in the middle of a baroque palace.