Paris Cityscape, Paris, France


  1. Introduction
  2. The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
  3. Other Great Luxury Destinations in Europe
  4. Recap
  5. Conclusion


Whether it is a summer holiday on a 5-star beach resort, a luxurious island getaway, a posh winter vacation in the alpine or an opulent city break in Paris, Europe is a foremost luxury destination in the world and you will discover in this post the Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe. Read on!

From exclusive islands with colourful towns, rivieras with breathtaking beaches, sparkling cities, spectacular landscapes, rich history and local cultures, infinite attractions, and natural biodiversity, Europe is one of the few destinations in the world that you should visit and regularly revisit.

For any Luxury Destination in Europe, you visit, a matchless experience of bliss, decadence and recreation awaits – a requisite for a perfect and memorable European Luxury Holiday of a Lifetime!

Therefore, without further ado, what are the Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe?

Dubrovnik Town, Croatia (Adriatic Coast) - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Dubrovnik Town, Croatia

Task: There is one region of Europe with the largest concentration of luxury destinations. This region has been known for its strategic inter-continental significance even long before Classical Antiquity. Eight (8) of the 10 Luxury Destinations in Europe discussed in this post are situated in this region. Find out what this region is in the post and let me know your finding in the comment section.

1. The French Riviera (Map)

The French Riviera (also known as Cote d’Azur) is a coastal luxury haven in southeastern France. The region is known for its high-end hotels, marinas, beaches and beautiful coastal towns. The French Riviera is one of the Best Luxury Destinations in Europe.

The Cote d’Azur is home to one of the most expensive destinations on the planet, Monaco, as well as the world-famous Cannes, the host to the annual Cannes International Film Festival where celebrities in the movie industry converge annually. Several cruise ships and luxury mega-yachts docks on the French Riviera throughout the year.

With its warm Mediterranean weather characterized by generous sunshine all year round, great foods, posh hotels, unlimited relaxation and amazing locals, the French Riviera is a Luxury Destination in Europe you shouldn’t miss.

The Riviera is generally believed to start at St. Tropez in the west and end at Menton close to the Italian border in the east. Some of the best towns and destinations for a luxury holiday or itinerary on the French Riviera are:

  1. Cannes
  2. Antibes
  3. Monaco
  4. Nice
  5. Cap Ferrat
  6. Saint Tropez
  7. Grasse
  8. Mougins
  9. Saint Paul de Venice, and
  10. Villefranche-sur-Mer

And, luxury hotels on the Riviera such as: Grand-Hotel Du Cap Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel; Cap Esteel; La Reserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa and Villas; Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc, An Oekter Collection Hotel; and The Maybourne Riviera provides some of the best accommodation and hospitality services on the Riviera.

You can also light up your Cote d’Azur holiday a bit by exploring the region on a yacht or luxury sailboat, going on a high-end shopping tour, travelling by private helicopter, booking a VIP wine tour, or just simply relaxing on its luxury private beaches.

Monte Carlo, Monaco, the French Riviera - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Monte Carlo, Monaco, the French Riviera

2. The Italian Riviera (Map)

Synonymous to Italy’s Liguria region, the Italian Riviera is a Luxury Destination in Europe occupying a crescent-shaped strip of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea stretching between the South of France and Tuscany in Italy.

Featuring rugged cliffs, turquoise coves, colourful seaside towns, panoramic views and fabulous beaches, the Italian Riviera is a truly amazing luxury holiday destination and a playground for the wealthy and discerning luxury travellers.

With numerous fun activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, shopping, eating local delicacies and experiencing some of the best wines in the region, you can easily soak in the natural goodness of this region and completely let go of the worries of everyday life.

Below are some of the most spectacular cities and towns you should check out on the Italian Riviera:

  1. Portofino – a beautiful Italian luxury resort town
  2. Riomaggiore (a Cinque Terre village)
  3. Manarola (a Cinque Terre village)
  4. Corniglia (the only Cinque Terre village without a harbour)
  5. Vernazza (the most beautiful Cinque Terre village)
  6. Monterosso al Mare (the biggest of all Cinque Terre villages)
  7. Portovenere
  8. Santa Margherita Ligure
  9. Genoa – a splendid historical town, and
  10. San Remo – a coastal casino city

Portofino is the most popular and most ritzy, being a high-end resort town, among all the destinations on the Italian Riviera.

The Cinque Terre, comprising five (5) spectacular villages, is also a must-visit during any Italian Riviera holiday or vacation. Ventimiglia and Camogli are two of the lesser-known but equally beautiful villages on the Italian Riviera.

Grand Hotel Savoia, Excelsior Palace Hotel, Grand Hotel Miramare, Royal Hotel Sanremo, Hotel Piccolo Portofino, and Melia Genoa are six (6) of the most luxurious hotels to experience on the Italian Riviera.

Read Next: A Review and Ranking of the Best Countries and Cities to Visit and Live in Central Europe

Portofino, Liguria, Italy - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Portofino, Liguria, Italy

3. The Balearic Islands, Spain (Map)

Probably world-famous for its resort Island of Ibiza, the Balearic Islands, is one of the most frequented luxury destinations in Europe among holidaymakers across the world.

The Balearic Islands is an archipelago off the eastern coast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe.

The Archipelago is grouped into four major islands:

  1. The Mallorca (Majorca)
  2. Menorca (Minorca)
  3. Ibiza and
  4. Formentera.

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic island groups and it is known for its beaches, spectacular coastlines, the Serra de Tramontana mountains and its capital city, Palma which is popular for its Gothic architecture.

Ibiza is known for its lively beaches, luxury villas, elegant hotels and vibrant party scenes.

Menorca and Formentera have a calmer laidback vibe and are best as a timeout from the crowds and upbeat activities going on around Ibiza and Mallorca.

Palma de Mallorca, Mahon, Calvia, Alcudia, and Ibiza Town are four of the most popular cities and towns on the Balearic Islands. This is where you will find several posh hotels and residences in the region.

Some of the Best Luxury Holiday Experiences you can have on the Balearic Islands include:

  1. Yacht and Catamaran cruises
  2. Boat Parties
  3. Diving and Snorkelling in the Mediterranean Sea
  4. Hiking in the Mountains
  5. Visit some of the local villages on the Islands
  6. Exploring the Caves
  7. Exclusive wine tours
  8. Enjoy some local delicacies
  9. Book a tour of the major cities in a supercar or on a scooter, and
  10. Kayaking or Paddle boating

Spending quality time on a beach with your partner, family or alone is at the core of every Balearic Island holiday.

[External Link: The Balearic Islands – Spain’s Official Tourism Website]

Sant Antoni Port, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Sant Antoni Port, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain

4. The Adriatic Coast (Map)

The Adriatic Coast is a region of Europe bordering the Adriatic Sea. This region is fast gaining recognition as one of the Best Luxury Destinations in Europe.

The most popular lavish destinations on the coast saddled three (3) countries – Croatia, Montenegro and Italy. Hospitality and recreational centres here are not overcrowded, and they are mostly set in spectacular natural environments with lush unspoilt ambience.

In Croatia, the poshest destinations (cities, towns and villages) you can visit for your luxury holiday include:

  1. Dubrovnik
  2. Split
  3. Hvar Island
  4. Mali Losinj, Losinj Island
  5. Veli Losinj, Losinj Island
  6. Zman Village, Dugi Otok Island
  7. Cavtat
  8. Korcula Town, Korcula Island
  9. Maslinica, Solta Island, and
  10. Zadar

Pula, Volosko (Opatija) and Rovinj (Istria) are also among the very extraordinary luxury destinations in Croatia for a holiday with lifetime experiences.

Montenegro is home to some of the most exotic luxury destinations in Europe. If you want a calm, revitalizing and crowd-free holiday in Europe, Montenegro would be a great choice. The best and most popular luxury destinations in Montenegro are:

  1. Herceg Novi
  2. Budva
  3. Sveti Stefan
  4. Tivat, and
  5. Kotor

Venice and Puglia (Apulia) are the two (2) most luxurious destinations on Italy’s Adriatic coast. These regions are host to cities and towns such as:

  1. Monopoli, Puglia (Apulia)
  2. Fasano, Puglia (Apulia) and
  3. Giudecca (Island), Venice

If you want to be in Italy and still experience an authentic Italian luxury holiday experience void of the crowd in major Italian cities and the Ligurian Riviera, this is where to be!

These remarkable Adriatic Luxury Destinations are incredibly beautiful and pristine with several of them having 5-star Hotels and Resorts as well as boat/yacht harbours.

See Also: The 10 Best Travel Destinations in the Caribbean

Budva, Montenegro - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Budva, Montenegro

5. Paris, France (Map)

You probably have not started talking about Luxury in Europe until you mentioned Paris – the city of romance and lights! Paris is that popular and central to luxury vacations and holidays in Europe.

Paris is a leading global city that has contributed immensely to the world’s luxury tourism and fashion culture. Tourism in terms of landmarks, hospitality, cuisines and wineries, and fashion in terms of style and products.

If you are not visiting Paris for shopping (fashion), then the culture, foods, sights and wines must have captivated you. Paris is one of the Best Luxury Destinations in Europe for a perfect city break.

Wondering what makes Paris really thick or if you just need to be refreshed, the most significant tourist attractions in the City of Love include the:

  1. Eiffel Tower
  2. Louvre Museum
  3. Versailles Palace
  4. Seine River – Beaches and Cruises
  5. Latin Quarter
  6. Montmartre and Sacre Coeur
  7. Musee d’Orsay
  8. Arc de Triomphe
  9. Pompidou Centre, and
  10. Luxembourg Garden

[External Link: Top 10 Paris Attractions – Popular Places to Visit – Paris Discovery Guide]

Among the several luxury activities to indulge in, experience and enjoy in Paris, you can book a private boat ride on the Seine River with lunch or dinner; go for private shopping with your private stylist; take a gourmet (Michelin Star) food and wine tour of the city; and go on a day trip to the Loire Valley Castles.

In Paris, you can also explore the Palace of Versailles in class with musical fountains, a private gourmet picnic and bike ride through the gardens; tour the city in a vintage car, especially the Citroen 2CV; experience a hot air balloon ride, and book the Louvre Museum after hours with a private art historian.

Paris, France - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Paris, France

6. The Greek Islands (Map)

Whether they are cosmopolitan or secluded, with beautiful beaches, lush mountains, spectacular views and heartwarming locals, the Greek Islands are an amazing Luxury Destination in Europe for a perfect holiday.

There are 227 inhabited islands of the 6000 islands that compose the archipelago.

The Greek Isle is grouped into six (6) major island clusters. This grouping excludes the Island of Crete in the southern Aegean Sea. Crete is the largest of all the Greek Islands.

Ageas Nikolaos City, Crete Island, Greece - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Ageas Nikolaos City, Crete Island, Greece

Crete is where you can appreciate the remnants of ancient civilizations, revel in stunning beaches, and amaze at impressive mountainscapes and fertile valleys. The delectable gastronomic culture of Crete is a highlight you cannot afford to miss on this exuberant Greek Island.

Poros, Hydra, Salamina, Agistri and Spetses islands in the Argo-Saronic cluster offer their visitors lifetime experiences that include spectacular views of the land and seascapes, remarkable archaeological sites, museums, charming villages, stately homes and wonderful beaches.

The Cyclades, the most famous group in the Aegean Sea comprises dreamy islands with gorgeous sandy beaches, architecture in white and blue, traditional lifestyle, barren landscapes and warm, hospitable people. Mykonos and Santorini are two world-known islands in the Cyclades. Milos, Naxos, and Paros are the other popular Cyclades islands.

Comprising 12 major islands, the Dodecanese islands occupy the sunniest corner of Greece in the south-eastern Aegean. With crystal clear waters, sandy or pebbly beaches, Byzantine and medieval monuments and quintessential traditional settlements, this is where you will find exciting holiday destinations such as the Rhodes and Kos islands.

In the western coastline of Central Greece are the Ionian islands, an island group of distinctive indigenous arts, meals, and architecture. Corfu and Kefalonia are the most prominent of the seven major Ionian Islands.

The North Aegean Islands are found in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea. This is where you can vacate in style on islands such as Ikaria, Samothrace, Samos, Limnos, Agios and Efstratios each characterized by clear waters, nice beaches, rich history and enchanting traditional villages.

For some of the best luxury yachting holidays in the Greek Isles, head to the Sporades. With clear emerald waters and little to no restrictions, you can swim with the dolphins, explore unspoilt beaches, practice some fishing and experience tranquillity in the calm harbour.

Read Also: The 6 Most Popular Cruise Destinations in the World

Mykonos, The Cyclades, Greece - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Mykonos, The Cyclades, Greece

7. Marbella, Spain (Map)

Marbella in the Andalusia region of Spain is one of the top-rated Luxury Destinations in Europe.

This city and opulent resort area in southern Spain’s Costa del Sol is set at the backdrop of the Sierra Blanca Mountains and stretches along 27 km of sandy Mediterranean beaches, luxury villas, high-end hotels, golf courses and innumerable leisure activities.

Marbella is part of the Spanish province of Malaga and the city is famous for its year-round sunshine, luxury boutiques and shopping centres, lively nightlife, and delicious traditional foods such as tapas.

In Marbella, there is no downtime, here are some of the exhilarating activities and places to experience in Marbella:

  1. The Beaches – Nikki Beach, La Cabane, Playa del Cable, Playa de Cabopino and Amare Beaches are some of the popular beaches in Marbella
  2. The Old Town – characterized by cobbled streets dotted with colourful flowers
  3. Golfing – asides from the beaches, one other thing Marbella is known for is Golf
  4. Take a tour of Puerto Banus, and
  5. Experience the Tapa – the signature local delicacy of Marbella.

To elevate your Marbella beach experience, you can dine on the beach and treat yourself to delicious seafood as you enjoy the beach and sea views. You can also shop for local artisanal products or opt for renowned global luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, Chanel, etc. in Marbella Old Town or Puerto Barnus.

Hiking in the mountains is also popular among adventure-loving guests to Marbella. A visit to the Alameda Park is worth your time.

And after an adventure fun-filled day or stay in Marbella, you can give yourself a Spa treat at any of the city’s amazing Spa and Wellness Centres.

Beach in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Beach in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain

8. Madeira Islands, Portugal (Map)

Located in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa, Madeira Islands, an autonomous region of Portugal is a famous archipelagic Luxury Destination in Europe.

Madeira is an archipelago comprising four (4) main islands in a region known as Macaronesia. Funchal is the capital of Madeira and the archipelago has a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants.

A European Destination of bliss, nature and adventure, Madeira is mostly renowned for its unique culture, amazing food, spectacular sceneries, and its iconic trails and Levadas.

From the cobbled street Old Town in Funchal to Rua de Santa Maria, Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, Cabo Girao, Madeira Levadas (a series of canals that irrigate Madeira’s hillsides) and the traditional houses of Santana, Madeira is filled with enthralling activities to keep you refreshed throughout your visit.

In Madeira, you can:

  1. Go on a food and wine tasting tour – Madeira is well-known for its eponymous wines
  2. Experience Funchal, the capital city, and its Old Town
  3. Take a walk and hike along trails and Levadas
  4. Explore Madeira on a Jeep safari adventure
  5. Go for boat trips, sight dolphins and whales, and swim mid-sea
  6. Experience canyoning and climbing in Madeira’s waterfalls
  7. Play golf on one of the island’s golf courses
  8. Cruise on an open-top bus
  9. Go surfing, stand-up paddling or paragliding, and
  10. Experience Madeira’s vibrant concerts and musical scenes

Luxury cruises on a yacht or catamaran are also a pleasurable way to experience and explore the Madeira Islands in style and class.

Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira; The Cliff Bay Hotel; Quinta Jardins do Lago; and Savoy Palace Hotel are among the best Luxury Hotels in Madeira.

[External Link: Best of Madeira – Your Guide to Nature]

Ponta do Sol, Madeira Islands, Portugal - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Ponta do Sol, Madeira Islands, Portugal

9. The Amalfi Coast, Italy (Map)

The Amalfi Coast, named after the Italian town of Amalfi, has been a popular luxury destination for upper-class Europeans since the 18th century and today, the Amalfi Coast, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as one of the Best Luxury Destinations in Europe.

Amalfi Town, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Amalfi Town, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy

Stretching over 50km of coastline in southern Italy, south of the Sorrentine Peninsula on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Amalfi Coast is celebrated globally for its Mediterranean landscape, colourful towns, exclusivity and natural diversity.

This incredible region in Italy’s Campania is adorned with 150 metres tall cliffs, 100 beaches and 13 breathtaking seaside towns.

The most popular towns on the Amalfi Coast are:

  1. Positano
  2. Amalfi Town
  3. Ravello, and
  4. Sorrento

Praiano, Cetara, Vietri sul Mare, Maiori, Furore and Minori are some of the other very nice towns to visit in the region.

While the Amalfi Coast is a remarkable destination, the region is expensive hence it is not a place to scratch your pocket, you really have to disburse to make the most of the Amalfi Coast. And, this is why the Amalfi Coast is one of the most revered and coveted Luxury Destinations in Europe.

Exclusivity is one word to describe the Amalfi Coast!

On the Coast, there are several extravagant activities to indulge in. You can take in the warm Mediterranean sun on the famous Marina Grande Beach in Positano, hike the Path of the Gods, drive the winding cliff roads on the Amalfi Coasts, and tour the Emerald Grotto at Conca Del Marini.

You can also hike the Valle Dei Mulini, visit Villa Rufolo in Revello, relax on the Furore Beach (Fiordo Di Furore), visit the Ferriere Nature Reserve, tour the Amalfi Coast on a boat, and eat gelato or savour limoncello.

An Amalfi Coast trip or holiday is usually not complete without a visit (or Day Trip) to Pompei and the island of Capri!

[External Link: 16 Best Things To Do On The Amalfi Coast – The Planet D]

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy

Personal Note: In my compiled and reviewed list of the best luxury destinations in Europe, I am at a juncture stuck at choosing between Sardinia, Italy and Corsica, France for my last Best Luxury Destinations in Europe. After a brief comparison of the two astounding and neighbouring Islands, I choose Sardinia and include Corsica as first in my Other Great Luxury Destinations in Europe list. Let me know in the comment your preferred destination between the two – is it Sardinia or Corsica?

10. Sardinia, Italy (Map)

One of the most private, exclusive and ritzy destinations in Europe is the Italian island and autonomous region of Sardinia. The island was the centre of the Nuragic Civilization and is today, one of the Best Luxury Destinations in Europe where the ultra-wealthy go to play, dock their mega yachts and relax without incurring unnecessary attention or infringement on their privacies.

Sardinia is gracefully the second largest island in the Mediterranean, after another Italian island, Sicily. Cagliari is the capital and the island has a population of over 1.6 million people.

Only a few know about the decadence, exuberance and existence of Sardinia as a classic Luxury Destination of Leisure and Pleasure in Europe – the island is a well-kept secret among the wealthy!

With over 1,500 km of unspoilt coastline adorned with hidden coves, sand dunes, spectacular beaches and pure turquoise waters, and an interior naturally beautified with forests, mountains, caves, springs, olive groves, waterfalls and natural diversity (flora and fauna), Sardinia is like no other luxury destinations you have been to.

In Sardinia, you will be spoilt in nature and with leisure!

You should witness the Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo, Sardinia’s luxury hub and home to some of the finest exclusive yacht clubs in Italy and experience some of the best and rare luxury holidays of a lifetime.

Tasting the Cannonau, a native wine of Sardinia that is synonymous with the island itself is a must and you should complement this by sampling some of the best local dishes Sardinia have to offer.

[External Link: About Sardinia – Sardinian Luxury]

Bastione Santa Croce Port, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Bastione Santa Croce Port, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Other Great Luxury Destinations in Europe

Europe is not just a world-leading tourism destination, the continent fully walks its talks by effectively matching this title with the extent, quality and depth of attractions offered.

Best Luxury Destinations in Europe can definitely not be fully covered in one single post, therefore, I listed below five (5) more European Luxury Destinations you could consider for your next holiday.

  1. Corsica, France
  2. Capri, Italy
  3. Switzerland – Zurich, Gstaad and Montreux
  4. The Algarve, Portugal and
  5. London, United Kingdom
Corsica, France - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Corsica, France


This post takes you through the 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe, a carefully selected list of exhilarating, beautiful and lavish destinations for your next European holiday.

From the famous luxury city-state of Monaco to the spectacular Italian resort town of Portofino, Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea and the Italian island of Sardinia, the 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe covered in this post are:

  1. The French Riviera, France
  2. Italian Riviera, Italy
  3. Balearic Islands, Spain
  4. Adriatic Coast – Croatia, Montenegro and Italy
  5. Paris, France
  6. The Greek Islands
  7. Marbella, Spain
  8. Madeira Islands, Portugal
  9. The Amalfi Coast, Italy, and
  10. Sardinia, Italy

Must Read: The Top 10 Best Cities to Visit or Live in Central Europe

Budva Old Town, Budva, Montenegro - The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe
Budva Old Town, Budva, Montenegro


Is it Ibiza in Spain, Portofino in Italy, Paris in France, Mykonos in Greece, Monaco on the French Riviera, or Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Budva (Montenegro) on the Adriatic Coast? Luxury destinations in Europe are the epitome of class, style and decadence!

For several first-time leisure travellers around the world, one of their two foremost choices will be a European destination.

If I am asked to summarize the core characteristics of an ideal Luxury Destination in Europe for a perfect European holiday or vacation, I will say, you should look for:

  1. Exclusivity, class and elegance
  2. Buoyant and pristine nature
  3. Gourmet local foods and fantastic wines
  4. Authentic, unique and distinct traditional European culture
  5. Spectacular landscapes – forests, mountains, rivers, canyons, caves, gorges, etc.
  6. Beaches, water (ocean, sea, rivers), beaches….
  7. World-class hospitality and recreational facilities – e.g. high-end hotels, resorts, restaurants, golf courses and other related facilities, and
  8. Multiple explorative and tour facilities – e.g. yachts (for cruises), catamaran, boats, helicopter services, street walks, experiencing a town on a scooter, an open roof bus or a vintage car, Jeep Safari and hiking.

As a wrap-up to this post, with any Luxury Destination in Europe that you choose to visit or vacate in, a blissful and exciting experience that lasts for a lifetime awaits!

Let me know in the comments your answers to:

  1. The European region with the largest number of luxury destinations (as featured in this post), and
  2. Which is your preferred Luxury Island Destination between Corsica, France and Sardinia, Italy?

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