There is no tired like teacher tired. Those of you who happen to be captain of the classroom, I’ve got your back with these 27 European travel destinations for teachers!
While Facebook is exploding with US teachers waving the schoolyear goodbye, in the Netherlands we still have 5 more weeks of hard work to go. Every teacher knows how that feels. You don’t feel like a teacher anymore, yet camp counselor or zookeeper seem to fit your job description perfectly. That’s why you need a vacation, one you can afford on your teachers’ salary, of course.
In this post I’ve tried to collect a large amount of travel ideas suited for the various kinds of teachers and their needs. Whether you want to lay to tired teacher body down on a beach somewhere or you’d like to put your nerves to the test, I really hope I’ve managed to give you some useful travel ideas below.
European Travel Destinations For Teachers
For the teacher with nerves of steel
You probably just want to wander off into nowhere, keeping your mind occupied with short term goals only. You probably are the teacher who doesn’t like to sit down, at work or during those needed holidays. Some adrenaline and a good work out (work off those teachers’ lounge treats!) are very much welcome!
1. Explore the mountains of Spain on foot or from a horses’ back. Hiking trails can be found all over Spain, these trails sure look like fun to me!
2. Romania’s most famous region, Transylvania, is known for its untamed character. Enjoy a fresh whiff of air in the Carpathian mountains or risk facing a bear in the woods of Transylvania. And when you’re really brave, try spotting Dracula, too!
3. Hitchhike your way to the remote village of Brod in Kosovo. The cozy village is located in a valley and only accessible on foot or by car. Taking a taxi there will cost you, but almost anyone you meet will take you there when you ask. The warmth and hospitality of the Gorani people, who live in Brod, will make up for the hard time getting there.
4. When you’re an experienced hiker, the Ring of Kerry in Ireland’s a must for your travel list! Walking the Ring of Kerry will take you up to 5 days and it’s quite easy to get lost, however you won’t be thinking about school when you’re there, I promise!
5. When you say mountains in Europe, you say Norway! Would you dare to do a handstand on Norway’s spectacular Trolltunga?
6. Georgia (not the state!) might technically be on the border of Europe and Asia, it doesn’t really matter when you’re knee deep in serious adventure. From very dangerous roads with breathtaking views in the north to mountain climbing in the west of the county, adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of this – yet undiscovered – destination. Oh, and have I mentioned your wallet won’t be empty when you return? Well, I have now.
7. Scenic mountain roads and a rental car, what better way to explore a foreign country? On my road trip through Romania I fell in love with the various landscapes, my favorite being the Transfagarasan ‘best road in the world’ Highway, keeping you super focused on the road all the way from flat and industrial Wallachia to mountainous Transylvania.
The Transfagarasan Highway
For the tired teacher
After all the hard work you did during the schoolyear you probably want to sit on your ass in the sun somewhere, and who can blame you? Let me guess: sunny islands, fruity cocktails and sunbeds are your friends? Better bring a good book and order up that cocktail, your tired teacher butt is going nowhere!
8. Food, a comfy hut, on board entertainment (or the lack of it when you decide to curl up in your hut and read), a sunny destination and some more food. A cruise is all you need when lying around is on your top priority list. Sounds expensive doesn’t it? The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! Cruise operators like Holland America offers cruises going from €500 in the Caribbean and from €650 in Europe. All you need now is a ticket to get to your boarding destination and off you go!
9. Croatia is an excellent country for bumming around in and the island of Hvar might be its king. The sunny island in the Dalmatian region offers ultimate relaxation to those who desperately need it, while still being affordable for most travelers. Admitted, Croatia isn’t the budget country it used to be, but compared to other seafront destinations in Europe, it still deserves a mention.
View on the Pakleni islands, from Hvar island.
10. When you think of lying on the beach in Europe, Poland rarely enters your mind, does it? Think again, as the north offers some excellent beaches and cozy cities to explore. Low budget airlines will bring you to Gdansk, a gorgeous Hanze-city on the Polish seaside for practically nothing when you’re fast enough to score a ticket at Wizz air.
11. The Spanish islands are known for tranquility and beautiful views. While Ibiza is mostly on the expensive side (but with plenty budget options), with attractions that attract either hippies or party people, Lanzarote is a little quieter, as it is most visited by couples and families. Rent a scooter to explore the island or lie on the beach until you’re as golden as the sand.
Gdansk – Source
For those who can’t stop learning
Students either love or hate your endless stories about a good for nothing king who lived in I don’t care, during the I don’t remember period, but you don’t mind, it’s your passion! In summer you will get the fulfilment only history and culture can give you, by visiting Europe’s top places for those who can’t stop learning.
12. Prague might the number one city to visit for history and architecture lovers and when you do things right, your all time low bank account will survive this little trip, too! Marvel at blocks of pastel colored 19th century buildings, step into Kafka’s world or learn about astronomy in Prague’s beautiful Klemetinum. Don’t forget to stop and ‘investigate’ the city’s beer culture as well.
13. I don’t have to tell you that Berlin is the ultimate place for WWII fanatics. The city’s tragic history, combined with a modern way of thinking makes Berlin the ultimate place for lovers of post-war societies. Art lovers will be very happy too as street art is a big part of Berliner culture.
14. Speaking of war history, another great place to visit is Krakow in Poland. The colorful main square doesn’t show the influence WWII had on Poland, however traces can be found everywhere around the city and country. From Krakow there are recent excursions to Auschwitz, one of the nazi’s most effective death camps during the war.
One of the spectacular destinations the legend of Dracula leads you to, Poenari fortress.
15. Get lost in Dracula’s trail by following him all over Romania and beyond. Although you probably don’t believe in vampires anymore, Vlad Dracula was a real – and very interesting – man and following in his footsteps will lead you to spectacular locations.
16. Armenia (technically not Europe, I know that) isn’t just the country the Kardashians come from and after being familiar with this peculiar family, I would advise you to travel to Armenia and get some sense and dignity kicked into you. It isn’t just the oldest Christian county in the world, lovers of monasteries built on dramatic heights, nature and age-old culture will definitely take you every from your everyday life. My favorite is definitely the Tatev monastery, located in the very south of Armenia.
17. Sarajevo might be fresh on your memory when you’re the 30+ teacher. When you’re interested in post-war society, like me, this is the place to go! From the very old town with its eastern influences to the modern center (with a very cool looking, twisted tower!), Sarajevo brings your mind far, far away while being relatively close to everything. The little bonus? Bosnia’s capital city is still very affordable!
For those who desperately need vitamins (wine comes from grapes, right?)
One of the best ways to nourish that tired teacher body is to eat, eat, eat (and drink!). Let me tell you that you’ve come to the right place! Europe is full of all your favorite kitchens, created by locals who were raised with the meals you sometimes so desperately crave at home. You won’t be returning until your belly is filled with everything Europe is famous for!
18. I can’t start about food in Europe without giving Italy the recognition it deserves. The country is good for a food bucket list that will keep you going and going. Try Pizza Napolitana in Naples, cheese in Tuscany and pesto genovenese in the North of Italy. And, O yeah, pasta will be everywhere!
19. Seafood is a big thing in the Mediterranean and it was a little restaurant in Korcula (Croatia) that makes my mind wander back in time, searching for a that perfect barbecue-flavored fish. Marco Polo family restaurant is located in the charming center of Korcula town and serves the freshest seafood imaginable. Don’t forget to ask for a local wine!
20. Food doesn’t always have to be delicate. The savory foods of Central Europe can make your mouth water just as much as any other food. I’m talking delicious schnitzels, coleslaw and loads of potatoes, which you will find among countries as Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic. My favorite place for an uncomplicated schnitzel with baked potatoes is U Houmra, located just outside of Prague’s city center. Warning: it looks like a Homer Simpson café, the staff doesn’t speak (much) English and you won’t fit in your trousers afterwards! (Don’t forget to ask for their delicious garlic sauce!)
21. Another great savory, European food is goulash, a somewhat spicy and comforting dish from countries like Hungary and Romania. Go on a scavenger hunt in Budapest for the best goulash (soup) and report back to me asap! (p.s. I LOVED the goulash soup at Chess restaurant).
22. I knew you were waiting for it and I can’t believe you thought I would leave France out of this post! If you want to know where Dijon mustard comes from, go to France! If you like cheese, wine, croissants and wonderful, warm baguettes, ask yourself if you’re not just generalizing a tiny bit, after that, go to France! I don’t have to explain this any further, do I?
Tip: Don’t just go to Paris, try living in the countryside for a bit. It’s cheaper, too!
23. Drink your teacher sorrows away in Porto, the best place in Portugal to learn to appreciate port. Tastings usually include tasting a few kinds of port, accompanied by crackers, ham and cheese. Make sure you eat enough of the delicious Portuguese food to go with your booze, but above all enjoy the friendly locals and long dinners on those breezy summer evenings.
For the teacher with a family
Spending time with other peoples’ kids can be rewarding, yet it’s best to enjoy sun, sand and other holiday fun with the people you love the most, those who look, talk and behave like you. Traveling with a family can be stressful, however the following destinations will take that school and family stress away immediately.
24. The Ardennes (Belgium) is paradise for those who’d like to do activities such as canoeing, horseback riding and rock climbing. In Belgium (and with France in the vicinity) there are numerous castles and historic places to visit, so you and the kids won’t get bored. Try a nice hotel, chalet or camp on one of the many camp sites the region has to offer.
25. Normandy is a beautiful and interesting region to visit in France, with or without kids. If you decide to take your kids, however, you get the chance of educating them on the happenings of D-day during WWI (a teacher’s work never stops, right?). When they get bored, simply take them to a nearby beach to blow of some steam.
26. When you happen to have kids in the ages between 7 and 14, surprise them with a trip to the Harry Potter experience in London. Fans from all over the world visit the attraction in England’s capital and if you really want to complete your trip, add a scenic train journey to Scotland to your vacation. The Glenfinnan viaduct starred in four Harry Potter films and will make you think you’re on your way to Hogwarts for the next semester.
27. Visiting Western-Europe isn’t great for your budget, especially with kids. Luckily there are still things you can do on a tight budget, even in the somewhat more expensive countries like my own. The Netherlands offers a various amount of theme parks and getting a ticket in the high season will definitely cost you! Try walking through the old and abandoned theme park ‘Het Land Van Ooit’, located in the south of the county. The park closed down years ago after huge financial struggles and was recently reopened as a recreational park. Some of the old buildings, like the pink castle, are still there to spark your kids’ imagination.
And that finally concludes a list of, which I hope, has given you a little inspiration to treat yourself during the summer months. As always leave your tips and destinations below to help out your fellow teachers!