The continent covers almost 4 million square miles, with the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the southeast. The Gulf Stream carries warm water to the coasts, and warms up the westerly winds, resulting in
BEST EUROPE TRAVEL : BEACH HOLIDAYS/PACKAGE DEALS
The most visited country in Europe. Excellent food and wine, and an endless choice of outdoor activities. Great beach holidays on the French Riviera and Saint Tropez, and for sightseeing and romance, there is of course, Paris.
Very hot summers in Greece means lots of beach activity, and in particular, watersports. There are lots of islands to explore, and cruises are popular. The capital, Athens, has a good mix of modern buildings and archaeological sites.
The Mediterranean climate makes Italy ideal for beach holidays, and the cities of Rome, Venice and Florence for sightseeing and history. Also very popular for outdoor activities, and the food is known the world over.
If all you want is a beach, then Spain is the jewel in the crown of best Europe travel. Millions return year after year, to relax and sunbathe by day, or take part in a multitude of watersports, and to enjoy the party atmosphere at night.
Visitors flock to the Algarve every year for the sun, sea and sand, luxury villas and pristine golf courses. Lisbon is great for shopping and nightlife, and the fresh seafood in this great wine region is up there with the best in Europe.
BEST EUROPE TRAVEL : CITY BREAKS/OUTDOOR/ADVENTURE
Not a beach holiday but ideal for skiing with breathtaking mountain scenery. Paradise for music and opera lovers, and a great choice of outdoor activities in summer, good history and sightseeing. Best places to visit : Vienna and Salzburg.
Prague, the capital, is most popular with visitors. Stunning architecture, castles and great nightlife. The Brno region is much quieter, and ideal for those seeking natural beauty and a good selection of museums and theatres.
Across the Irish Sea from Great Britain, Ireland has lots of Celtic history and tradition. Famous for gorgeous scenery, golf courses, and of course, Guinness. Plenty of outdoor activities and attractions to keep you occupied.
The home of golf, romantic history and Scotch Whisky, has some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe. 3,000 castles steeped in history, and a haven for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, cycling, fishing and skiing.
Very popular with skiers, although Switzerland makes for a great holiday destination in summer. There are many good beaches to be found around the lakes, and Lake Geneva has some wonderful mountain scenery. Great for cycling.
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BEST EUROPE TRAVEL : INFORMATION
Get all the information you need for your Europe vacations. Passport & visa requirements, what currency, Europe 10 day weather forecasts, airport and airline links. See the Europe Travel Information page.
Accommodation only or package deal? There are package deals available in all of the selected countries, but if you prefer doing your own thing, it may be worth combining a Vacation Rental with a cheap flight. Europe offers a great range of excellent properties for something a little more private.
Read about My Favourite Vacations for more information on the best cities to see in Europe, and my personal experience of the best Europe travel.