Live the high life under the European summer sun

Amalfi town on coast line of Mediterranean Sea, Italy.

Amalfi town on coast line of Mediterranean Sea, Italy. Photo: Supplied

From the coastal beauty of Sicily as seen in The Godfather to the Monte Carlo backdrops that make Bond movies shine, Europe’s most glamorous destinations are beckoning.

The Mediterranean comes alive in summer, just as Australia settles in for winter. The beaches of Italy sparkle, the wine is flowing in France and the Swiss alps are postcard pretty.

Wherever you go in Europe, a feast for the senses awaits. But there’s something more that attracts tourists to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean and it’s the undeniable feel of sophistication and glamour.

Famous film locations can be found throughout the continent, from cobblestoned streets to marinas filled with luxury boats. Old world charm is in the medieval castles and ancient churches, while high-end luxury is in the swanky restaurants and extravagant hotels.

Kotor Bay, Montenegro.

See some of Europe’s most scenic landscapes, Kotor Bay, Montenegro. Photo: Supplied

Travel company Viking offers a range of cruises throughout the waterways of Europe that give travellers a wide variety of cultural experiences.

In the Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores, a 29-day cruise incorporating eight countries, travellers can spend a day driving through the rustic villages of Sicily. The winding roads lined with villas and flowering gardens will take them straight to the Sicilian scenes of The Godfather trilogy.

At the famous Bar Vitelli there’s a treasure trove of movie memorabilia and the 13th-century Church of San Nicolò is where the wedding of Michael and Apollonia was held. There’s also the medieval hilltop village of Forza D’Agrò, where Vito takes refuge in the Sant’Agostino church.


In Monte Carlo travellers can enjoy an exclusive tour of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. From the curated gardens to the private gallery, the palace’s architecture and décor is sure to fascinate.

Near the French town of Marseille, there’s fine dining to savour at the Michelin starred restaurant L’Épuisette. The five-course menu is designed by acclaimed chef Guillaume Sourrieu and includes freshly sourced seafood.

More culinary delights await in Tuscany, Italy with a private tour and cooking lesson inside a restored castle. Castello del Trebbio, once built by powerful Florentine nobles, is owned by the Bai Macario family of winemakers. The experience includes a tour of the castle’s wine cellars and a chef guided lesson on how to make pasta dough.

Trebbio castle, Tuscany, Italy.

Making dough at a pasta lesson at Castello del Trebbio castle, Tuscany, Italy. Photo: Supplied

Take in more of Italy’s most scenic landscapes with a drive to Sorrento, beloved for its azure waters and sea cliffs. Then travel to the quaint village of Amalfi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Travellers can live it up when they board a private yacht on a Croatian island cruise and swim in the waters of the Adriatic Sea. They will explore the sandy beaches and coves on the island of Zlarin before heading down the Krka River estuary and into the town of Skradin for lunch at a restaurant accessible only by boat.

In Montenegro, fans of classic Hollywood can enjoy a coastal drive and view the resort island of Sveti Stefan. The island was a popular holiday spot for the rich and famous during the 1960s with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren staying there.

The glamour of Europe’s beautiful cities and beaches make for the perfect winter getaway.

Find out more about Viking’s epic European cruise – Mediterranean’s Iconic Shores.

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