10 of the Most Stunning Spots to Visit in Europe Before 2019 Ends
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10 of the Most Stunning Spots to Visit in Europe Before 2019 Ends

Well, what do you know; in the blink of an eye, we are already entering the last quarter of the year! And along with the panic, comes the excitement of planning our last few holidays before we start 2020. 

Forget big cities for the moment, and let’s take a peek at some of the most beautiful landscapes Earth, Mother Nature and Europe (in specific) have to offer. From waterfalls to fjords, reindeers to cows, there are just so many things to see and many things to experience, so take your pick and start planning away!

By the way, if you happen to be a Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) cardholder, this would be the perfect time to arrange for a trip because you might just get a discount and complimentary hotel accommodations, among others!

For now, let’s take a look at what’s waiting for you in Europe.

1. Lapland, Finland

One look at these types of pristine, snowy sceneries and it might just remind you of a very popular Disney movie that stole the hearts of people many years back. That’s right; Frozen. While that may be a fictional story, we have this theory that it was designed and conceptualised after a real-life enchanted spot, which is Lapland. Here, the reindeer population outnumbers humans, and Northern Lights are a common sighting. 

Why: Reindeers, Northern Lights, wonderful white landscapes and glimpses of the midnight sun in the summer.

Special SCB Deal: 12D9N Northern Light Europe Ultimate Lapland Adventure (Extra RM3000 off per couple) by Qatar Airways/Emirates.

2. Carpathian Mountains, Romania

Ah, to visit real-life castles, ancient churches and indulge in the Gothic ambiance that Romania has to offer is one thing, but to come across awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping scenes that seem unbelievable to the eye is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. The thick, dense forests that form a semi-circle around Transylvania (one of Romania’s nine historical provinces) are home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe, 400 unique species of mammals (which include the Carpathian chamois), and European brown bears. 

Why: Painting-like sceneries, as well as cultural and natural experiences.

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy up to 12% off seasonal hotel deals via Hotels.com only on hotels.com/scb

3. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

You may argue that you prefer facts over fables, but the Giant’s Causeway legend lends itself to the magical sight. As the legend goes, these hexagonal basalt columns rising from the sea were actual causeways built by giants a long, long time ago, and what you now see in the present are remains of the majesty that it once was. According to science, however, it was formed by volcanic eruptions 50 to 60 million years ago. Whatever side you choose to believe in, you best believe that one thing you cannot argue about is the sheer magnificence of this otherworldly sight.

Why: The sight (of which was caused by either giants, or volcanic eruptions), amazing photo ops, stunning sunrise scenes and…giant sightings, perhaps?

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy up to 8% off hotel bookings in the UK via agoda.com/scbmy

4. Swiss Alps, Switzerland

We know what you’re thinking; there is no way that the Swiss Alps would not be listed in any ‘most beautiful’ or ‘most breathtaking’ lists out there. Let’s face it, it’s got drama, it’s got scenery, it’s got history and is easily one of the most recognised and memorable spots in the world.

There’s much more to be seen here aside from high peaks — you get to see the cows, Swiss wrestling (bear-hug style), melted cheese fondue (which originated here), the Matterhorn (known as the ‘mountain of mountains’, it is one of the Swiss’ Alps most famous peaks and is the most photographed one too); Europe’s largest glacier, the Great Aletsch Glacier and Graubünden, Switzerland’s largest canyon. 

Why: Skiing, hiking and the Alpine village life.

Special SCB Deals:  30% Discount for 2nd person for Swiss Winter Packages, or RM300 off per couple for all Switzerland ground 12FLY-trips, and 7D6N Spotlight of Zurich Interlaken Lucerne Burglen Milan Pisa Rome from RM3,969 per person.

5. Kirkjufell, Iceland

Speaking of most photographed mountains, here’s also another contender. Dubbed the ‘Church Mountain’, its perfect location near the coast and its dramatic peak, Kirkjufell takes its name from its resemblance to a church — sharpened at the top with long curved sides. Others have said that the mountain also resembles a witch’s hat or a freshly scooped ice cream!

However people choose to see it, Kirkjufell is indubitably one of the most fantastic sights in the world that changes according to seasons: green in the summer, and brown and white during the winter. 

Why: The perfect spot for the avid Game of Thrones fan, as Kirkjufell was a shooting location in GoT’s Season 7. 

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy up to 12% off seasonal hotel deals via Hotels.com only on hotels.com/scb

6. The Dolomites, Italy

While we’re still on a ‘high’ note, here’s another peak that, while it isn’t as renowned as the Alps, has a beauty of its own. The Dolomites (otherwise known as the Pale Mountains) stretch across the northeastern part of Italy, and visitors have the option of either hiking on the Alpine trail, or taking a break in nature in the town of Bolzano, where rolling green hills with fragrant air are complemented by the jagged edges of the Dolomites. 

Why: The Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2009.

Special SCB Deal: 1x Complimentary Dining at a Michelin Starred Restaurant (worth up to RM1,500 per couple) with purchase of 8D7N Undiscovered Italy or 11D10N sensational Italy packages.

7. Moravian Fields, Czech Republic

Is it a painting, or is it real life? You might just second-guess yourself when you’re here because the pastel-coloured hills could very well be painted on canvas by some genius painter. The Moravian Fields are also known as Little Tuscany by visitors who have been to Italy, but we think it’s in a league of its own, don’t you? If you’re a photographer or a hobbyist, you’d have a field day just snapping moments of its changing landscapes!

Why: Absolutely picturesque!

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy 11% off for Worldwide 138 Countries Wi-Fi Rental via www.roamingman.my, because you’d want to capture this on Instagram (live, if possible!)

8. Soča River, Slovenia

Some might call this the most beautiful river in the world, and we agree. You might, what could be so special about an ordinary river? Well, it isn’t ordinary! Located near Bovec village in Julian Alps, the river has an out-of-this-world turquoise and blue hue, and is also clearer than any crystal.

You can opt for water sports here but it doesn’t offer just that, it holds a whole chapter of history from World War I, where it was the site of Isonzo Front (as was detailed by Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms). Hard to imagine this with its aquamarine rapids, gentle tumbles of waterfalls, steep cliffs and dense emerald forests, right? 

Why: Wildwater kayaking, rafting, canyoning and glimpses of the Soča trout — a type of fish so coveted by fishermen around the world.

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy RM200 off Flight + Hotel Packages or 10% off hotels if you book your accommodation through Expedia.com

9. Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

While we’re on the subject of waterfalls, here’s one that shouldn’t be missed. While other waterfall hotspots may be inundated by tourists worldwide, there’s a high chance that you might get one gorgeous waterfall all to yourself in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Plus, this could also pass as another one of those Disney fantasy worlds, what with thick forests surrounding it!

Why: A waterfall all to yourself!

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy up to 7% off hotel bookings worldwide via agoda.com/scbmy

10. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Those who have been here will say that getting to Lofoten Islands requires so much effort, but it’ll all pay off in the end. As the saying ‘fair heart never won fair lady’, we think this applies to Lofoten Islands, which is just off of Norway’s northwestern coast. Why? Just look at the clear blue waters, frozen beaches and majestic fjords. It’s got such a strong tie with the Viking Age, if history fascinates you as much as nature.

Why: Icy beaches, fjords and an ecosystem that was awarded one of the ‘best sustainable destinations’ titles.

Special SCB Deal: Enjoy up to 12% off seasonal hotel deals via Hotels.com only on hotels.com/scb

Start Planning Your European Excursion Now!

As part of Standard Chartered Bank’s Travel Programme this October, your dreams of travelling to Europe might just come true! All you need is an SCB credit or debit card, and you would be on your way to enjoying exclusive travel deals and benefits such as discounted Business Class tickets and tour packages, complimentary dining packages and awesome seasonal hotel deals!  

For the full list of promotions, click here. Have fun!

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