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For 20 years Lonely Planet has been the Europe expert. Whether you're soaking up history in Britain or sun in Spain, crossing the Arctic Circle or cruising the Bosphorus, this 6th edition helps you uncover the continent.
Cant choose between the northern lights in Lapland, fairytale castles in Transylvania, picturesque beaches on the Mediterranean coast or the bright lights of Paris and London? Then why not try them all!
Written for backpackers by backpackers, this guide lets you go further, stay longer and pay less for a trip of a lifetime.
Aaahhh Europe, the place that frequently dazzles even Europeans. The following itinerary samples from our latest Europe on a Shoestring guide will give you some direction on this multifaceted continent:
Meandering Through Mediterranean Europe
Slip into the slow, easy pace of Europe's mellowed empires that now boast wine cheaper than water, ancient ruins and continuous blonde beaches. Weeks will slip away in this idyllic region. Allow at least a week each to bake on a Greek Isle, probe ancient Turkey or savour the atmosphere in Italy.
Window-shop in Milan, then be seduced by watery Venice. Leap across the Adriatic to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Or stick to the boot and ride the rails to charming Florence; day-trip to Pisa and Siena. Worship monumental Rome, then get swept away by energetic Naples and peer into ill-fated Pompeii.
Fate leads you to Greece via the dumpy ferry port of Brindisi. Docking in Patra, hop on a bus to the Byzantine pin-up city of Mystras and ancient heavyweight Mycenae. Take the train to the ruins of Apollo's temple in Corinth, and bus to venerable Athens. By bus, consult the ruins of the oracle at Delphi before dipping south to Piraeus for an island-hopping expedition to buff Mykonos, classic beauty Naxos, or beach-bum Ios. With more time, island-hop to marble-covered Paros. Take a ferry to Mykonos and, from here, depart for volcanic Santorini, encircled by dramatic cliffs, or visit Iraklio and charming Hania on Crete.
Set sail for Turkey via Lesvos to Ayvalik. Bus north along the Aegean coast to Çanakkale and to the ruins of Troy or the Roman ruins of Ephesus in Selçuk. Continue by bus east along the Mediterranean coast to the Roman and Byzantine ruins in Olympos. From Antalya, set sail to Cyprus, the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite. Return to the mainland and spin up to Konya, home of the whirling dervishes. Then bus into the wind-carved landscape of Göreme before landing in legendary Istanbul, which is linked by train to Athens and Bucharest. Note Eurail is not valid in Turkey.
Storming Western Europe & Morocco
Castles, dance clubs, vineyards and medinas - don't allow a corner to go uncovered or a local beverage go unsampled. Omit the British Isles if you're short on funds or time. Linger in the Spanish or French countryside, if you fancy yourself as an artist. And save a week for a Lost Generation escape to Morocco.
Crash the club scene in London, then proceed to romantic Edinburgh, or the Loch Ness monster's 'hood near Inverness. Set sail for Belfast before bussing to laid-back Galway and ferrying to the windswept Aran Islands. Rejoin the modern world in Dublin. Hop on a ferry to castle-strewn Wales and then catch a train to Stonehenge before reaching France by tunnel. Paris is a poetic start to a continental tour. To the east, Strasbourg is a regional rail hub. Southeast is the ski-bum town of Chamonix with its Aiguille du Midi. Rail south to salty Marseille and permanently holidaying Nice.
Barcelona is Spain's exclamation point south of France. Zip up to Basque beauty San Sebastián, then to the Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao. Hug the coast to bustling Santander. Dive into the heart of the spirited nightlife in Madrid. Charge south to the Moorish empire of Toledo and Córdoba. Catch a bullfight in Seville, sample fried fish in dishevelled Cádiz or bake on the beaches of Costa de la Luz. Escape to Morocco on a slow boat. Or board a bus to the Islamic fortress, the Alhambra, in Granada and depart by overnight train to vibrant Valencia.
From the southern tip of Spain ferry to hectic Tangier and bus to the Rif Mountains. Continue by bus to imperial Fès, blood-red Marrakesh and metropolitan Casablanca. Return to Spain via the great limestone lump of Gibraltar. Tasty custard tarts and safe streets reward a bus trip from Seville to Lisbon, Portugal's breezy capital. Sidestep to gorgeous Sintra, Óbidos and Nazaré. Rent a car and drive north to Porto.
Other suggested itineraries in Europe on a Shoestring include: Cataloguing Central Europe; Exploring Eastern Europe & Russia; and Simplifying Scandinavia.
Covers: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
Publication Date: October 2011
Next Edition Due: October 2013