The Doorstep Travel Bucket List

November 22, 2017

Most of us have a list of things we want to do and places we want to visit in our life time. The world is full of breath-taking sights and unforgettable locations, as well as ways to give yourself the ultimate adrenaline rush. But getting to these places can often be a bit of a trek.

However, fulfilling bucket list dreams and finding incredible experiences might be easier and closer than you think. There are lots of amazing destinations right on your doorstep in Europe, from adrenaline-fueled adventures to the most romantic and beautiful scenery. And travelling by ferry is the perfect way to get to these destinations. DFDS ferries are modern and spacious, with onboard shops, restaurants, play areas and bars, not to mention no baggage restrictions. What better way to start off your bucket list trip?

Find all our best picks – and some inspiration – in our Doorstep Travel Bucket List:


Bring a painting to life in Giverny

Giverny in northern France is where you’ll find the real-life gardens that inspired Monet to paint his famous waterlilies. You’ll feel as if you’ve wandered into a fantasy as you explore the lily ponds and green pathways, and see the iconic green bridge spanning the water, all just as if Monet himself had painted it right onto the landscape.




Bungee jump off Viaduc de la Souleuvre

Bungee jumping appears on many a bucket list, and here you can do it off a historic viaduct in the beautiful landscape of Normandy, just a stone’s throw across the Channel. Not only that, you can also have a go at many other stomach-churning experiences like the unique pendulum jump, or an eye watering tandem zip-line.


Drink Gluhwein at a Christmas market in Munich

Munich is the capital of Bavaria. This is Brothers Grimm territory, as well as the home of many of our Christmas traditions, including the all-important Christmas tree. What better place to experience the classic German festive market than this beautiful city, complete with magical window displays and a 5.3-tonne Christmas tree.




Ski across a national border in the Alps

There are many ways to travel between countries, but skiing isn’t usually found high up the list. If you want to try this fairly unique experience, you can ski from France to Switzerland – and back again if you slalom – on Les Portes du Soleil in the Alps. The French side is home to a couple of swanky resorts, while passing over the border lets you see traditional Swiss villages and cottages, and enjoy some local wine and cheese. You don’t even need your passport!


Watch a race at Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands

Experience the exhilaration of the race track at Circuit Zandvoort, one of Europe’s premier motorsport courses. With fast, sweeping corners and dramatic hairpins, this coastal circuit has earned a reputation as a hugely exciting spectacle for race-goers. You can even enjoy a break on the beach between races.


Paddleboard along a canal in Amsterdam

Boats are so last century. The only way to explore Amsterdam’s famous canals these days is by paddleboard – essentially a surfboard and paddle. As a mode of transport it’s a bit of a work out, testing your core strength and balance as your try your best not to fall in. Most importantly, it’s a uniquely fun way to see Amsterdam.



Visit a fairytale in Riquewihr and Ribeauville

These charming villages in the Alsace region of eastern France look like they’ve dropped straight off the page of a fairy story, or perhaps off the screen of a Disney film. These locations were the direct inspiration for the opening scenes of Disney’s 1991 classic, Beauty and the Beast, with their perfect half-timbered houses and medieval towers. You might also recognise it as The Kissing Town from the TV series The 10th Kingdom.


Beauty and the Beast


Float in a hot air balloon over the Loire Valley

This famously beautiful region of France is perfect for a breath-taking hot-air balloon ride. There’s nothing quite like the tranquil and gentle drifting of a hot-air balloon, allowing you to really take in the stunning views and savour the experience as you float over vineyards, romantic châteaus, and mysterious forests.



Cycle through the vineyards in Burgundy

Cycling is a fantastic way to see any landscape, and is particularly excellent for exploring this famous wine-making region of France. There are miles and miles of cycling tracks, particularly along the picturesque canals and rivers, and through some stunning vineyards. Stop off to sample some of the local wine – and try to keep your bike on the path afterwards.



A cruise down the canal in Amsterdam

Complete your mini break in Amsterdam with a canal cruise. Explore this vibrant city from another perspective and relax as you cruise through the beautiful canals past iconic sights, under historic bridges and past picturesque merchant houses. There is no better way to take in these sights than a relaxed, laid-back canal cruise.



Eat at a Michelin star restaurant at le Vert Mont

A quick hop across the Channel on a DFDS ferry to Calais (or Dunkirk) and you’ve got the best of French cuisine just a short drive away. Le Vert Mont offers Michelin starred dining amongst the rolling hills of northern France, as well as a boutique hotel for sleeping it off. You’re also right next to the Belgian border, so maybe chocolate for dessert?


Riz de veau braisé, topinambours et câpres de sureau a l'Auberge du Vert Mont a Boeschepe.


Stay in a traditional French Chateau in Recques-sur-Hem

Built in the 18th Century, staying in the beautiful Château de Cocove will truly make you feel like royalty. The Château is surrounded by greenery and set in 27 acres of magnificent grounds, deep in a forest clearing. It is truly a picturesque way to enjoy the rich culture France has to offer.

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