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EUROPE

Europe's Must-Visit Places for Book Lovers

Write a new chapter by leafing through Europe’s literary landmarks on these small-group trips for bibliophiles.
Nick Dauk
25 Mar 2022
A lifetime of reading has transported your mind to places around the world – now it’s time your body followed. Explore the homelands of Italian Renaissance icons, fall in love with Portugal just as its poets have, and see a new side to the United Kingdom through the pages of great literature – it’s all possible when you hop on these TRIPS by Culture Trip to Europe’s must-visit places for book lovers.
1 . Walk the same streets as Dante and Machiavelli in the cities of Northern Italy
Discover where the inspiration for classic Italian literature was found during this 10-day trip in northern Italy. After a short history lesson cycling the streets of Rome, take to Florence on foot. The city where poet Dante Alighieri was born and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli lived will grant you a day of shopping and gluttony as guilt-inducing as Inferno. You’ll finish in Milan, a Unesco City of Literature, no doubt with an additional suitcase full of page-turners.
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2 . Experience the inspiration behind the classics as you island-hop around Greece
With a copy of Homer’s Odyssey in hand, you can spend eight days hopping the Greek islands on this small-group trip without fear of misadventure, leaving you time to read a new piece of classic literature at every port. Flip through the plays and screenplays of local writer Iakovos Kambanellis as you familiarise yourself with the beaches of Naxos. Next, let your heart sing to The Music of My Islands, as you sail around Milos with Sachtouris’ poem on the page in front of you.
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3 . Hike, kayak and swim around the land of Agatha Christie in Devon
These six days in Devon are straight out of a storybook. You’ll hike, kayak, stand-up paddleboard and swim through the wilds of the West Country, taking in a landscape that inspired local author Agatha Christie. As you trot through Dartmoor National Park, you might even spot snapshots that steered Devon-based author Michael Morpurgo to write War Horse (1982) – and became the backdrop for the 2011 film adaptation. Finally, you’ll hark back to the pages of Tarka the Otter (1927) as you cycle the north Devon trail that pays homage to the famous novel by Henry Williamson.
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4 . Cast a new light on a volcanic land of Nordic noir in Iceland's frozen wilderness

You don’t need to be a Ragnar Jónasson fan to get wrapped up in mystery during this five-day Iceland trip. Simply hiking out onto the black-sand beaches and glacial tongues will make you wonder why you didn’t have the Land of Fire and Ice at the top of your travel bucket list sooner. Soaks in hot springs, private rides to the Golden Circle’s lava fields and geysers, and hiking behind waterfalls are only some of the wonders you’re destined to enjoy.

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5 . Taste grapes without wrath as you journey through northern Portugal
As Portugal whisks your heart away in a passionate affair, you’ll wonder if love was first grown in the Douro Valley vineyards. Grab this nine-day trip by the hand and find out, as you and your heart join a small group journeying between Lisbon and Porto. Calmly explore Arrábida Natural Park and Coimbra, and you’ll firmly grasp the “elusory reality” that Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago has written about.
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