Explore European cities: Crete, Lisbon and Valletta

Explore European cities: Crete, Lisbon and Valletta

by: Genevieve Northup | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: July 07, 2018

Europe is rich in culture, history and fun, so take time to travel. Get out of your comfort zone and venture beyond your community. Head to one of Europe’s incredible cities!

Crete, Greece

Though Crete is a part of Greece, the island maintains a unique culture, offering generous hospitality and diverse activities. The archaeological site of Knossos provides a glimpse into the island’s ancient civilization, where the largest Minoan palace is being unearthed. And become a sand lizard on the hundreds of miles of beach. The northern coast is enveloped in tourism, and southern beaches offer tranquil escapes. Shaded by palm trees, Vai offers clear blue water ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The lagoon of Balos is arguably the best beach for lounging.

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal’s capital offers sizzling nightlife, exciting history, intriguing architecture and the added bonus of beautiful beaches just minutes away. An earthquake that destroyed most of the city in 1755 spared the medieval quarter of Alfama. For a great photo op, walk to the ruins of Castelo de São Jorge, a fortress dating from the 11th century. Visit during the summer to enjoy the many outdoor festivals. And whatever time of year you go, savor wonderful seafood dishes, and sip smooth Portuguese wines and sumptuous ports.

Valletta, Malta

South of Sicily lies the island country of Malta. Known as the Fortress City, the island’s bustling capital has preserved some of Europe’s most historic buildings. Visit the extravagant 18th century Manoel Theater. Book a champagne tour at the beautiful privately owned Casa Rocca Piccola, and lounge at a café in one of Valletta’s many piazzas. Travel to Marsaxlokk Bay to photograph the vibrantly painted Maltese fishing boats. Then take a ferry to Gozo or Comino for excellent scuba diving at the Azure Window and Blue Lagoon.

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