Where to travel in Europe?
Spain has long been a favourite of British holidaymakers, and it remains their number one holiday destination. In particular, the Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza are big-hitters, along with Canary Islands such as Tenerife and La Palma. Other great beach destinations include the Costa de la Luz and Catalonia.
But there’s a lot more to Spain than beaches. There are great walking holidays in Northern Spain and cycling in Catalonia. The rise of low-cost airlines has benefited city breaks in places like Palma and Seville – both of which are rich in culture. Meanwhile, lesser-known islands such as La Palma in the Canaries are well worth a visit.
You can also explore Spain on a luxury rail holiday using the superb state-run trains such as the Transcantábrico and La Robla.
The relationship between the British and French may have had its ups and downs over the years, but our love of all things French shows no signs of disappearing. From the Channel ports to the islands of the Mediterranean, Francophiles are never short of new destinations to discover.
Among our favourite holidays are the beaches of the Atlantic coast, Corsica and the Ile de Ré. You can visit Monet’s Garden in Giverny, take a cycling holiday, a walking break or a battlefield tour.
In the French Alps you can ski on a budget, or with a family, plus they make a great destination in summer. Other highlights include Normandy, Lille and boating on the Canal du Midi.
3. Great Britain
No list of holiday destinations would be complete without mentioning this great country: not just England, but Wales, Scotland, Northern Island and some of the lesser known islands such as the Scilly Isles, Lundy Island (in the Bristol Channel) and the Isle of Wight.
The UK’s most popular tourist destinations include Devon and Cornwall, the Lake District, the Cotswolds, Dorset and Scotland (where you can take a foodie break or go dolphin spotting).
Britain offers many interesting holiday experiences. You can rent a lighthouse keeper’s cottage or stay in a tipi in Cornwall, go boating on the Norfolk Broads or sleep on a luxury yacht in a harbour in Devon.
Holidays in Greece are all about simplicity. Despite a recent opening of some five-star hotels, it is the whitewashed villas, the friendly tavernas, the hot sun and blue seas that keep us coming back year after year. Even Greek food is a masterpiece of simplicity, both traditional and healthy.
It is the islands that attract the most visitors. Corfu’s villas never lose their appeal. If you’re looking for a small Greek island, we recommend Paxos, which has no airport and is a great place for lazy days, boat trips and lovely villas.
If you fancy being slightly more active, the Lakitira Beach resort on Kos, just off the Turkish coast, offers a wide array of watersports. Or learn to sail in Greece.
Crete is the largest and the most interesting of the islands. Stay at one of the boutique hotels or stylish houses for rent.
Mainland Greece offers a wonderfully diverse range of holiday options. Relax by the pool at the beautiful Sani Asterias Suites or soak up the culture in Athens and the stunning new Acropolis Museum.
Ancient culture, great beaches, fantastic food and beautiful weather – it’s no surprise that so many of us decide to holiday in Italy. For a taste of la dolce vita, head to the wonderful cities of Rome, Florence and Venice – for an extra old-school glamour, travel there on the Orient Express.
Umbria is a beautiful area of Italy, boasting medieval market towns, wonderful vineyards and great works of the Renaissance – and largely untouched by tourists. Beach lovers will be blown away by the 500 miles of coastline in stunning Puglia, not to mention the traditional architecture and terrific food and wine.
The Italian Lakes attracted some of the first package tourists from the UK and they continue to be popular for their beautiful setting, mountain views and great transport links for visiting local sights.
The lesser-known area of Le Marche offers everything you would expect from Italy – great beaches, historic palaces and galleries stuffed with masterpieces. The island of Sicily combines historical sites with a gorgeous coastline, while Sardinia has the country’s best beaches, and the Amalfi coast is a fantastic base from which to visit Sorrento, Capri, Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.
So, where would you go???