Dubrovnik Croatia Sarah Latham

Visiting Europe and wanting to tick off the most beautiful places here? With an area of 10.18 million kilometres squared, there’s an awful lot of aesthetically pleasing places to fit into your European itinerary. Instead of scouring every country for the most scenic views, I’ve made it easier for you by compiling my list of the top 10 most beautiful places in Europe.

1. Santorini

Santorini Greece Europe
Santorini Greece Europe
Santorini Greece Europe Sarah Latham running across blue domed churches in Oia Santorini at Sunrise

Sorry, not sorry that Santorini is first on the list for beautiful places in Europe but can you even blame me? Situated in the Aegean Sea in Greece, Santorini overlooks an ocean filled volanic caldera (scientific talk for ‘scenic af’ …okay, not really but it is scenic!) and is famous for sunsets, white buildings and incredible views.

My top tip for getting the best views on this island is to NOT go to Oia at sunset (the most popular location for sunset) as the overcrowding is ridiculous but to instead enjoy sunset wandering through Thira. Save your time in Oia for sunrise where you will enjoy the incredibly scenic views without the crowds!

2. Iceland

Sarah Latham Seljalandsfoss Iceland
Sarah Latham Blue Lagoon Iceland SARAH LATHAM COPYRIGHT

Iceland had been high on my bucket list for so long due to its amazing, feels-like-you’re-on-another-planet scenery. The land of fire and ice, there are so many jaw dropping places in Iceland that you must visit (and some can even be seen if you only have a short stopover) and hence why it is scoring high on my list of beautiful places you must see in Europe!

3. Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland Sarah Latham
Lauterbrunnen Switzerland Sarah Latham

Walking through a valley, home to 72 waterfalls, in between the Swiss Alps… as if Lauterbrunnen couldn’t make the top 10 most beautiful places in Europe list. Literally you don’t have to do anything in Lauterbrunnen but just walk down the streets and admire everything you see.

4. Montenegro

Looking at mountains, lake and old town of Kotor from the Kotor Fortress at Sunset
Sarah Latham looking out with hand raised over Kotor Old Town in Montenegro

Ah magnificent Montenegro so they say (or so I say – here read my blog called Magnificent Montenegro for more information about what I explore here). This place is stunning. Surrounded by towering mountains over looking the Bay of Kotor (which is actually the sea not a lake like I first thought, oops), Kotor is one of the highlights of exploring the Balkans in Europe and I highly recommend hitting it up.

5. Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia Sarah Latham

The ultimate European summer destination, Croatia is a stunning country situated along the Mediterranean and a bucket list destination. Over a million tourists visit Dubrovnik every year which was partly made famous due to being a Game of Thrones filming location (sorry, haven’t seen this series!). I recommend getting on the Dubrovnik Cable Car for views across Dubrovnik old town at sunset. My top tip is to catch the cable car quite a bit before sunset to manage to get up here in time to enjoy it as it is a popular evening activity.

6. Portugal

Lagos Portugal Sarah Latham
Lagos Portugal

The Algarve in Portugal is actually amazing. With a jaw dropping coastline and incredible beaches, I spent three days in Lagos just taking in the scenery and was glad to tick off this bucket list destination.

7. Scotland

Look, we’ll just pretend that Brexit didn’t happen for this list. Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in Europe (and the United Kingdom). Although it can be very difficult to predict with the rainy weather, if you’re wanting to discover one of the most beautiful places in Europe that isn’t based on #EuroSummer than I definitely recommend Scotland.

If you are interested in Scotland you may also want to read: Harry Potter Locations in Scotland You Need to Visit.

8. Ireland

Cliffs of Moher Ireland Europe Sarah Latham

After a week exploring Ireland, we finished with a visit to Cliffs of Moher. The coastline here was phenomenal. Like Scotland, Ireland can be hard to predict with the weather; however, we watched the radar closely and timed our visit for the hour or so it wasn’t raining. Seriously, when we arrived we had to huddle in the gift shop but only 10-15 minutes later the scene was like the one above!

9. Zakynthos

Girl sitting on cliffside at Navagio Beach in Zakinthos Europe

My mind’s dreaming place. Literally. Navagio Beach on Zakynthos (also called Shipwreck Beach on Zante) is actually phenomenal, pictures do not do it justice. It feels like it had to be drawn or computer generated, it’s that stunning. You can see more of my pictures from Navagio Beach or you can read my ultimate guide: The Ultimate Guide to Navagio Beach: Everything You Need to Know.

10. South of France

Verdon Gorge France Europe Sarah Latham

And we finish off with the South of France. Known for it’s quaint villages and stunning coastline, the South of France also boasts another gem: Verdon Gorge. Famous for it’s turquoise colour, I had Verdon Gorge on my list from when I first visited Europe as an adult and was very happy to have finally ticked it off in 2019.

The most beautiful places in Europe

Now you’ve read my 10 Most Beautiful Places in Europe (so far, I’m still travelling and I haven’t been to Norway, a lot of Italy or Greenland yet so I’m sure this list is going to get even more competitive) you might also be interested in reading: 20 Bucket List Destinations You Must Visit in Your Lifetime and How to do Europe on a Budget: The Ultimate Tips and Tricks.