The two-hour TV special will air on June 7 on public television stations nationwide.

By Jessica Poitevien
May 19, 2021

For travelers dreaming of returning to Europe, there has been a slew of good news recently. With country after country reopening their borders to vaccinated visitors — including Americans who have been shut out of many nations over the past year — there seems to be hope that exploring Europe will be possible in the near future.

Rick hitches a cart ride with a farmer in Maramureș, Romania
Credit: Courtesy of Rick Steves’ Europe

But until you can book that trip and pack your bags, Rick Steves — a popular television and radio host, best-selling guidebook author, and outspoken activist who encourages Americans to travel — is bringing Europe to your living room with a new TV special showcasing some of his favorite destinations across the continent. And the show's title — Europe Awaits — couldn't be more appropriate.

"When the time is right, Americans will rekindle their travel dreams, and Europe will greet us with a warm and enthusiastic welcome," Steves said in a press release. "Europe Awaits is my dream itinerary: places away from the hubbub, places made for embracing life, and places that are good for the soul. It's good to dream — and once we emerge from this pandemic, it will be even better to travel."

Europe Awaits, distributed by American Public Television (APT), will air on public television stations nationwide on June 7, 2021. Throughout the two-hour TV special, Steves will recount his recommended itineraries, exploring the rich history and cuisine of Sicily, the romance of Mykonos in Greece, the rustic and historic city of Porto in Portugal's northern region, the tranquility of the Cotswolds in the English countryside, the traditional folk life of remote areas of Romania, and la dolce vita of Tuscany.

"We are proud to be Rick Steves' public media partner for more than three decades, presenting his insightful and enriching programs as he explores our world," Cynthia Fenneman, president and CEO of APT, said. "Rick Steves Europe Awaits is a timely and relevant special that sparks our travel imagination from the safety and comfort of home."

Beyond inspiring people to start planning their dream trips across the pond, the TV special will also serve as a fundraising event. Throughout the two hours, there will be fundraising breaks for viewers to learn how they can support their local public television station with a tax-deductible charitable donation. All money raised during the special programming will go directly toward the donor's local station.

You can find more information on Europe Awaits here. Be sure to also check your local listings for the exact time when the special will air in your area.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.