ADVENTURERS, BEACH GETAWAY, CITY BREAKS, FAMILY FRIENDLY TRAVEL, HONEYMOON, NATURE, PARTY ANIMALS, ROMANTIC, UNCATEGORIZED
As fantastic as winter can be in Europe spring and summer is when the continent really comes to life; the lush summer pastures of the Alps and Pyrenees are just an hour or two from sun-drenched beach towns and the plazas, parks and al fresco culture of larger towns. Whatever type of trip you’re looking for – just a romantic city break or a longer family-friendly holiday – Europe’s versatility has you covered.
Nature and Adventure
Alpine landscapes, rugged coastlines, luxurious sandy beaches, or dense, verdant forest – in terms of nature and adventure there’s something in Europe for everyone. The Mediterranean is unrivalled for explorable beaches, coves, and turquoise waters perfect for swimming and diving. The south of France and Spain and much of Italy and Greece are ideal destinations for coastal adventuring. Spain’s northern Costa Verde and Portugal offer multiple surfable breaks and hiking trails fronted by green forests and meadows. Although less reliable in terms of weather the north of Europe – the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia in particular – boasts spectacular scenery and outdoor sports opportunities, most notably hiking, cycling, river sports and in some cases surfing. Germany and Switzerland are fantastic for spring and summer alpine greenery. Lake Geneva in Switzerland is a shimmering marvel in the summer months, as is Lake Zurich which borders the quintessential Swiss towns of Zurich and Rapperswil. The Alps and Pyrenees both offer outstanding mountain biking opportunities.
Quaint provincial towns with cobbled squares and plazas; rustic villages with boutique restaurants, cafes and wineries; sunsets over sandy beaches or stunning cliff faces. It’s little surprise that on a continent that’s home to Rome, Paris and Venice that Europe offers so much for couples seeking a romantic travel experience. With their appreciation for both fine-dining and wine Italy and France are perhaps deservedly best known as romantic destinations. However, an al fresco dinner under the decorative lights of a Baroque church is not the limits of romance. Greece, Croatia, and Turkey are just three countries that offer stunning beaches, fine cuisine, and a romantic atmosphere. The mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany also offer plenty of seclusion, breath-taking views, and ambience in the warmer months.
Although cities in the warmer parts of Spain, Italy and other southern European countries can become stiflingly hot in the summer they remain comfortable in the Spring. Spanish capital Madrid in particular is an excellent choice as a city break destination, combining architectural beauty, an easy-going café and bar culture, art, history, and a nightlife with no regards to closing times or time limits. Barcelona is similar, with an additional Catalan flavour and a beach town vibe. In Germany, Berlin is both a comfortable temperature and a fascinating mix of modern history, innovation, and culture. In the south, Munich has wide boulevards, acres of green space, their famous beer gardens and the enchanting Bavarian hills are tantalisingly close by. Rome and Venice are musts for lovers of fine art and ancient history, as is Greece’s capital Athens. The UK’s comfortable summer temperature makes London and Edinburgh gratifying destinations in this season and the Baltic cities of Riga in Latvia, Tallin in Estonia and Vilnius in Lithuania are well worth visiting.
To northerners and those from other cultures, southern Europe appeals and indeed is remarkably family orientated – it’s almost unheard of to have child-free bars, restaurants or hotels and children are welcome and encouraged to mix with adults. This, combined with a climate that encourages outdoor activities and miles of sandy beaches make places like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece excellent destinations for family getaways. Disneyland Paris, Asterix Park and the abundance of waterparks around the country make France a good option for children. Europa Park in Southwestern Germany is the second most popular on the continent and close to the Swiss border, thus a day at Europa Park is easily combined with a holiday exploring the lush alpine playground in nearby Switzerland.
Europa Park, Rust
One of the principal reasons Europe is such an attractive summer prospect is the sheer abundance of coastline and beaches. The Spanish Mediterranean coast is perhaps the most popular destination for beach holidays on the continent; the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are heavily geared to beach tourism with a huge quantity of resorts, hotels and holiday infrastructure. For a quieter, less touristy experience and with cooler summer temperatures Spain’s north coast – the Costa Verde – has some of the prettiest beaches in the country, with spectacular emerald-green backdrops. The southwest of England, principally the counties of Cornwall and Devon, has gorgeous stretches of beaches, many famous as beginner friendly surf breaks. The Biarritz region of France has long stretches of sandy beaches and plenty of accommodation and activity options. For a warmer, more Mediterranean feel the French Riviera is home to glittering Nice, St Tropez and Cannes. Portugal offers literally thousands of kms of beaches with a range of climates, from the likes of Matosinhos and Espinos in the North and the famous Algarve in the warmer southern end of the country. Given its shape and location it’s no surprise that Italy is home to some incredible beachside locations. The Amalfi Coast is an UNESCO listed landscape known not just for its sheer natural beauty but also the stunning old villages that overlook them. Similarly, Greece and its many beautiful islands has hundreds of beaches, coves and coastline to explore. The Turkish Riviera, meanwhile, boasts over 1000 kilometres of Mediterranean and Aegean shoreline dotted with fascinating historical landmarks and picturesque towns.
The sheer variety of cultures, landscapes and environments in Europe means there are infinite choices when it comes to choosing travel destinations, but it’s the warmer months when visitors of all tastes can really make the most of all the continent has to offer. Why not select a combination of locations and link them up in one European multi-destination adventure?
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