Exploring (Underrated) Coasts & Lakes in Europe

While looking back on a few of my Europe travel guides, I noticed that I tend to heavily focus on sightseeing and exploring busy city centers but not on beaches or more relaxing activities. I’m definitely going to plan to have a better mix of both from now on, because it can get pretty tiring trying to get to every sightseeing location without a break!

Because I don’t usually go into detail on them, I decided to make a post of all of the coasts or beaches that I’ve been to in Europe to give you some recommendations for your travels!

*Right before we start, I was gonna mention that I just made an Instagram! Make sure to follow me at @giraffeviewblog! : )

Cinque Terre, Italy

These seaside villages on the coast of Florence are extremely gorgeous, and you’ll want to jump on a flight to Italy the second you see the photos!

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Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

We traveled to the Village of Vernazza with a train ride from the center of Florence. This was only a day-trip for us, but I wish we had spent at least two days here to take in the relaxing environment and explore more of the village. This showed a whole new side to Italy to us, especially since we had only seen the extremely popular and busy cities so far (Venice, Rome…)

We spent most of the day hiking (well, “hiking“) up the trail to the top of the mountain, which is where I took the first picture! The view was breathtaking, and you’ll genuinely want to look out at it for as long as possible. If you’re anything like my family and me, you’ll spend about two hours just taking photos of the view.. To be fair, it was a lot of effort to get up there 😂

Sadly we didn’t spend much time at the beach at all – we had to catch a train back to Florence right after we finished the hike. I did manage to walk along some of the rocks and snap a picture, but I would have loved to just lie down on the sand and relax for a few hours.

Malaga, Spain

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Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

I fell in love with this city the second we got there, and I would give anything to be back in Spain! We did actually spend a few hours on the beach this time. It was so nice to just unwind and look out at the sea! You can probably already tell that the view was kind of amazing. If you’re planning a trip to Spain, I advise you to spend maybe 2-3 days in Malaga to visit the beach and a few other sightseeing locations and shopping centers. We stayed here for 3/4 days (I can’t remember!) and it was a 6 hour train ride from Barcelona. It’s definitely a long distance, but I really enjoyed this city so I would say it was worth it.

Zürich, Switzerland

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I don’t necessarily know if you can consider this river a coast, but since we spent a majority of our time in Zürich near the water I thought I would include it. This river was so extremely gorgeous and photogenic that I took an insane amount of pictures and I had such a hard time narrowing it down to these two! We walked across and along this river countless times, and one night we even sat on the edge and watched the swans swim around us! I feel like people usually ignore this part of the city and see the river as more of an inconvenience to walk back and forth across, but I loved how it beautifully tied together the two parts of Zürich.

Lake Como & Bellagio, Italy

Whenever people ask me for advice on finding a “hidden gem” to visit in Europe, I always say Como and Bellagio! Lake Como is breathtaking (and huge), and all the mountains surround it make the scenery even more gorgeous. We took a 1-2 hour boat ride from Como to Bellagio and the view was practically the same the entire time – but I’m not complaining! It was beyond gorgeous and I took dozens of photos and videos. I even freaked out a little when I saw a wedding reception right on the side of the lake – doesn’t a wedding in Italy sound like a dream?

And those are four lakes and coasts I’ve explored in Europe! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful or entertaining. Thank you for reading and make sure to like, comment, or follow my blog for posts like this every Monday and Friday!

< 3 Pauline

4 Replies to “Exploring (Underrated) Coasts & Lakes in Europe”

  1. If you ever get the opportunity, you should visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It is so beautiful and you can get some incredible photographs. I have only ever driven through Switzerland but I would love to visit there and explore more. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amalfi is at the top of my bucket list! I can imagine all the amazing views you can get just by driving through Switzerland, hope you get the chance to travel around the country! 😄💗

      Liked by 1 person

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