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Lonely Planet's Best in Europe

Every year, the travel experts at Lonely Planet come up with a list of the hottest European destinations. You can visit most of these places with a Eurail Pass, so get inspired by their picks for 2018. We'll show you the Top 3 as a preview, and dare you to see them all on a single Eurail trip!

1. Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The colorful houses of port town Cesenatico
The colorful houses of port town Cesenatico

Italy always manages to score top points when it comes to beauty, food and lifestyle. The Emilia-Romagna region in the Northeast of the country is no exception with its cultural cities and gastronomic traditions. The region's capital Bologna is a thriving student city boasting the oldest university in the world.

 

Fascinating cities in Emilia-Romagna include Parma, Modena and Ravenna, plus some great coastal resorts. The rich region is also home to famous car brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.

2. Cantabria, Spain

Panoramic view of San Vicente de la Barquera
Panoramic view of San Vicente de la Barquera

The region of Cantabria, on the northern coast of Spain, is a breath of fresh air for those looking to avoid the crowds. With its magnificent coastline and green valleys, it's somewhat of a miracle how Cantabria remains relatively quiet throughout the summer. We promise you won't soon forget the bayside capital of Santander and its pincho bars!

 

Natural beauty is all around you in Cantabria, which is part of the España Verde (Green Spain) region. The majestic Picos de Europa mountains are perfect for walking and climbing.

3. Friesland, the Netherlands

A young seal on the beach of Ameland island
A young seal on the beach of Ameland island

The province of Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, is where you'll find real peace and quiet. Think farmlands, dykes and windmills, along with a group of islands listed as the Unesco World Heritage. When the tide goes out, you can go mudflat hiking across the Wadden Sea and watch birds and seals along the way.

 

Friesland's capital Leeuwarden is small but charming, and was named European Capital of Culture in 2018. Expect tons of entertainment throughout the summer, including a huge exposition on the city's most famous artist, M.C. Escher.