Holidays in Europe

GENERAL

Europe is the most diverse continent on the planet, steeped in an extraordinary history that has left a lasting influence upon the world. Stretching from the ice-clad fjords of the north to the golden beaches of the Mediterranean, and the medieval old towns of the east to the golden beaches of the Algarve, incorporating aqua-parks to the Acropolis, and offering ski holidays to cultural city escapes, via fun-packed family beach breaks, there is little Europe holidays don't offer.

For beach holidays, be they relaxing or party-orientated, nowhere quite compares to the azure Mediterranean. The Spanish Costas have long been the destination of choice for British holidaymakers, whilst the sun kissed islands of Greece encompass everything from live clubbing destinations, to serenely beautiful nature spots, via fully-kitted out family mega-resorts. Whereas the 100 golden miles of the Algarve coast with its water parks, world-class golf courses and charming whitewashed buildings have provided countless memorable beach holidays over the decades.

Partygoers are spoilt for choice, but the Balearic beauty Ibiza still fends of all rivals for its clubbing crown. That said nothing beats the excitement of Europe?s top cities. The electrified buzz of Amsterdam, the arty anything-goes edginess of www.thomascook.ie/berlin-city-breaks Berlin and the 1,000 plus pubs of Dublin, provide more nocturnal fun than should probably be allowed!

For a combination of culture and clubbing Prague is hard to beat, whilst cosmopolitan Barcelona has both in bucket loads, plus glorious golden beaches that make it close to the complete city break destination. For culture and proximity, holidays to France are ideal, especially in romantic Paris, which is hardly more than an hour from Gatwick or Heathrow. The south is just as loved however, with gastronomy and beaches of Provence and the vineyards of Bordeaux particular highlights.

Italy is as steeped in culture and history as any country in the world, more so probably. Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is peerless in art and surrounded by the renowned countryside of Tuscany. The crumbling beauty of Venice provides a memorable setting for a once-in-a-lifetime city break, whilst incomparable Rome is home to a roll call of the world?s most illustrious treasures, from the Colosseum to the Vatican.

Both France and Italy both enjoy prime slices of the majestic Alps, whilst Switzerland and Austria home to some of the most famous resorts in the ski-universe. Norway is also a top ski destination, although its slopes pale in insignificance compared to the awe-inspiring magnificence of its fjords.

Just across Adriatic from Italy is beautiful Croatia with its idyllic islands, perfect for yachting, and famous Roman ruins. Farther east is breathtaking Hungary, bisected by the mighty Danube and home to celebrated medieval treasures and stunning scenery. North, on the picturesque Baltic coast, lie some of Europe?s most underrated gems such as Estonia with its pristine beaches and historic, lively capital.