Europe is a fantastic destination for those planning a gap year. With so many different countries and cultures to take in, you can be sure of having an amazing trip. However, while the wide choice of places to go can make deciding where exactly to visit difficult, it may be a wise idea to incorporate the following countries into your travel plans.
Spain is certainly one wonderful place for gap year travel. Not only is the country renowned for its wonderful cuisine - which includes churros and chorizo - but it is also a cultural hotspot.
Head to the northern city of Bilbao and you can visit the world-class Guggenheim Museum.
While the artistic institution contains an array of works from Willem de Kooning and Anselm Kiefer - among others - you may find the exterior of the building to be equally amazing. The museum is shaped like a ship in an architectural nod to Bilbao's coastal location.
Head to the Spanish capital of Madrid and you'll find a stunning range of attractions to explore, from the Royal Palace to Retiro Park.
France is an equally astounding place for gap year adventures, whether you're planning to relax on the golden beaches of the Cote d'Azur or wish to sample wine in Bordeaux's numerous vineyards.
Unsurprisingly, Paris is also a popular draw for many gap year travellers and here you'll be able to see world-famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral in what is commonly regarded as being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The French capital also has more than its fair share of world-class museums, including the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre, with the latter containing works by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
France is also a great place to volunteer in Europe. During your time in the country you might want to spend a few weeks living with a French family to help them develop their English skills. While you aid them in getting to grips with your native tongue, you'll be able to get a deep insight into French culture.
Alternatively, why not incorporate a trip to Italy into your European gap year? From the ancient sites of Rome - including the Colosseum - to the enchanting canals and bridges of Venice, this is perhaps one of the most stunning countries in the entire continent.
If you need to have a rest from taking in the wonderful sites, you'll be able to tuck into fantastic authentic Italian cuisine such as gelato and pizza.
Moldova - an eastern country located between Romania and Ukraine - is ideal if you're hoping to explore somewhere off the beaten track. Not only can you experience the vibrant nightlife of Chisinau, the nation's bustling capital, but you'll also be able to combine your time out with doing worthwhile volunteer work at a children's centre.
With so many amazing destinations to take in, going on an operator-led tour across Europe may be a great way to get a flavour of the continent. In doing so you'll be guided across numerous countries and be able to take in the main sights in comfort.
Depending on how long you intend to travel through Europe for, it might be an idea to consider working abroad for a few weeks. This is a great way to earn an income with which to fund your travels, while it can also provide you with an insight into what life in a country is really like, as well as giving you the chance to develop new skills and meet people.
For a wonderful gap year, a trip across Europe is something you should be sure to consider!