If you’re heading to Europe, you’re in for a treat. There are so many diverse countries, offering up sunny summer holidays, fun-packed weekends in the city, or enough adventure to thrill adrenaline junkies. But the choice can make it difficult to decide where to go first. To make it easier for you, we’ve gathered six of our favourite European countries and given you a taste of what to expect. Check them out:
With mild winters where temperatures rarely drop below 5ºC along the coast, hot summers refreshed by the Atlantic breeze and the highest number of hours of sunshine in Europe, Portugal arguably boasts Europe’s greatest climate.
You could test out your surfing skills (Nazaré, Peniche, Ericeira and all the coast of Alentejo are the hotspots), or choose to relax in the sun with some of the country’s great wine and seafood. Either way, you’ll enjoy yourself and have good company as locals are friendly and welcoming.
2. Sardinia, Italy
As the Secret Traveller explains, if you spend time around the famed Costa Smeralda, “you’ll see everyone from pasty Poms in holiday homes to Russian oligarchs in super-yachts.”
For a more interesting holiday, they recommended straying away from the country’s north-east corner. Head into the interior hills of Sardinia and it’s an untouched land of rugged mountains and small authentic villages. Alternatively, you could travel out to the coast and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world all to yourself in low season.
If you’re looking for a city break, you can’t go wrong with Copenhagen – Denmark’s capital city. Although the country is often overlooked for neighbouring Scandinavian giants Norway and Sweden, Denmark has a lot to offer. The capital city boasts Viking history, modern art and medieval castles, as well as the famous two-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma, run by chef René Redzepi.
Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, lives up to its reputation. It’s a place with cobblestone streets and pubs flowing with beer. A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is almost a given.
But, as the Huffington Post say, there’s more to the city than booze, pointing to its interesting history. They suggest embracing the culture in places like Christ Church Cathedral and National Gallery of Ireland, or indulgingyour inner nerd by visiting the National Library. We won’t tell anyone if you spend all your time in the bars, but try and head out into the amazing countryside to blow away the cobwebs.
Iceland is a beautiful country. Glaciers, waterfalls, lava fields, streams and mountain ranges – you name it, and it probably won’t be far away when you’re in Iceland. It’s also the place to go if you want to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), one of the world’s most amazing natural displays.As The Telegraph says, 9pm to 2am tends to be prime viewing time, so make sure you check into a hotel that offers an free aurora alarm service. The last thing you’d want is to sleep through the wonder.
With glistening blue coastal waters, historic sites and cities, as well as a vibrant culture, it’s no surprise Croatia is increasingly popular with tourists from all over. Amongst all of the stunning scenery, Krka National Park stands out as one of the most beautiful spots. With seemingly endless natural cascading waterfalls, the park can be easily reach from Split and is a must visit. However, if you want to swim in the waterfalls, head to Plitvice National Park instead.