3 of the most tranquil European rivers
Europe features some of the most beautiful natural landscapes known to man. The many lush green meadows and huge, rugged mountains that decorate the continent are often bisected by tranquil waterways, some of which pass through several countries before emptying out into the ocean. These rivers would be the perfect setting for a relaxing, laid-back getaway with a friend or loved one.
Here are three of the most scenic, visually stunning rivers in Europe, with recommendations of places and attractions you can visit nearby, to ensure a chilled, yet wholesome, holiday.
Stretching 1,780 miles, the Danube river is the second-longest river in Europe, passing through ten countries before eventually flowing into the Black Sea. This river is so unique because it passes through four capital cities. For this reason, the best way to explore it is by travelling on a river cruise. This Danube river cruise from The River Cruise Line allows you to experience the many shifts in culture as you pass through countries, juxtaposed with the consistently serene river.
The highlight of the Danube is no doubt Vienna; the stunning Austrian capital sits proudly either side of the waterway. The city’s renowned Stadtpark is well worth a visit — famous Austrian composer Johann Strauss, who penned ‘The Blue Danube’ in tribute to the iconic river, is honoured in the park with a gilded bronze statue. Austria’s calm, accommodating culture is a reflection of the peaceful river Danube, which remains placid throughout the seasons.
Another natural marvel that must be experienced is the Rhine river. It passes through six countries and measures 766 miles. The Rhine starts its flow in the Swiss Alps as just a delicate stream, before growing as it passes along the French-German border and through Swizerland. Much like the Danube, this river allows you to see a number of famous cities on its banks, with Basel, Strasbourg, Worms, Cologne and Leverkusen making up just a few of these destinations.
On the course of the Rhine, you will witness some of the most charming medieval architecture on the continent, with the quaint riverside houses of Nuremberg, or the castles and cathedrals of Passau or Regensburg. Cologne is definitely worth a visit, if not solely for Cologne Zoological Gardens, which has over 500 different species of animal including elephants, jungle cats, and even penguins.
The Rhone river is a beautifully unique waterway in that its source is the Rhone Glacier in the Swiss Alps. This amazing natural water funnelling system creates a river that stretches 500 miles from Switzerland, through Lake Geneva, and into France. Here, the banks are decorated by the striking castles of Avignon, the distinctively narrow architecture of Lyon, and of course the Cotes du Rhone wine region, which is particularly worth visiting if you have an interest in wine, or sampling some free alcohol.
The Parc de la Tete D’or in Lyon is one of the most well-kept and attraction-filled parks in Europe, with a boating lake, a grand carousel, and a beautiful botanical garden to enjoy before finding a quiet area to have a picnic. This would be the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon in the sun, especially as it is situated right on the Rhone.
With plenty of surrounding activities to partake in if you start to feel idle, be sure to go with the flow; enjoy a relaxing getaway in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, where merely taking in the view is an activity in itself.