Travel to Europe has gotten much easier since the peak of the pandemic. So European holidays are now an option – hurray! The best thing is that you can reach the majority by rail, water, air – or even throughout an air and rail trip. All you need to do is follow the safety measures in place and take your COVID passport/certificate, to travel with confidence.
If you’re considering where to book a long or short European break, in summertime, winter, or fall we have some inspiration for you. Pick from our favourite European holiday destinations below…
Euro city breaks in autumn
In a survey by Which?, their members rated the top city breaks in Europe, which they had visited in the last year. Some of the best-rated European city breaks involved a combination of top accommodation and how easy the public transport made it to get around. Other factors included each city’s historical charm, top places to eat and drink, as well as how good value for money it was. Here are the top European weekend breaks from the list…
What are the best Euro city breaks?
Cheap European city breaks
Kraków, Poland is said to be Europe’s best city because it has a pretty palace on every street! In contrast, if you’re a fan of dark tourism or want to pay your respects to Poland’s past, visit Auschwitz, which is an hour outside Kraków. If shopping is more your scene, scout around vintage shops while sipping speciality coffees in Warsaw.
Throughout both cities, you’ll observe innovative chefs who’ve been revolutionising the country’s cuisine. In 2019, Krakow gained the grand title of Capital of Gastronomic Culture. So, if you’re a foodie, it’s well worth a visit.
For a spa break in Europe visit Budapest, Hungary.Home to 100 hot springs that bubble and bellow beneath Budapest, with many super spa complexes to slip into you’ll be spoilt for choice! This is one way to live like a local, as people young and old embrace a time-honoured bathing ritual, which has many health benefits. To stretch your legs, walk along the elegant Danube River that runs between Buda and Pest. Charming castles are found over the Chain Bridge in Buda.
Attractive European city breaks
Proud homeowner? Go on the lookout for some interior design inspiration in Copenhagen, Denmark. Its urban planners have designed the city to be not just attractive but sustainable, with a focus on sustainable mobility. During your stay, cycle comfortably around the city, down cycle lanes, streets, and bridges. Cross the harbour bridge stop for lunch in buzzing Jaegersborggade. You’ll find a range of restaurants and 40 art galleries to escape the odd shower.
If art galleries are your thing, a break in attractive Amsterdam may be for you! Explore one of the world’s finest art museums – the Rijksmuseum. Over four floors you’ll see paintings by Van Gogh, Delftware (blue-and-white pottery), and Asian artworks in a pavilion. Plus, intricately detailed dollhouses.
Whichever city you visit, capture holiday moments on camera, and don’t forget that gadget cover is standard with every Free Spirit policy. To view our top 10 European destinations to visit in autumn view our previous blog on the subject. Whichever you choose, you can reach most European cities by train…
European holidays in winter
At Free Spirit, we strongly recommend that you book a European holiday package because you will benefit from legal protection when you book.
European train holidays
Book a train holiday from London St Pancras to Belgium on the Orient Express, which will include a break and a stunning suite. Go for a Christmas break and you can discover the finest Belgian Christmas markets in Brussels and Bruges during an escorted rail tour of Belgium. The largest Christmas market can be found in Liège. Throughout your trip, you’ll notice that Belgium’s winter weather is surprisingly mild. So, while you’re confronted with the range of seasonal gifts to choose from, you’ll feel a little warmer than if you were at home. After a long weekend of shopping, rest with warm waffles or artisan chocolates on the way back to London.
Fancy another European holiday by train? View our train holidays blog for more inspiration.
Luxury European holidays for winter
Try an all-inclusive holiday that’s been tailor-made for an epic winter adventure in Scandinavia. With all flights, transport, excursions, and accommodation included and organised for you. You’ll have nothing to think about – apart from whether to visit Norway, Finland or Sweden! You could stay in the iconic Icehotel in Sweden, a cosy cabin, a glass igloo in the middle of Lapland, or even a tree hotel. Either way, the sights of the Northern Lights will be all around you. Admire them while dining in a five-star restaurant, peering out from your heated dome, or when relaxing inside a hot tub. Spend your days getting to know the huskies on a winter safari tour of the archipelago. Sit back and immerse yourself in this unique wilderness.
Whichever winter destination you visit, when summer appears again, you’ll want a sunnier location to top up your vitamin D, such as a villa holiday beside a sandy beach…
European beach holidays
Some of the best European beach holidays are at locations based away from the crowds. Find your own hidden cove during a European break from late April…
Where are the best European beach holidays?
Visit one of the nine Azores Islands in Portugal, the only archipelago in the world to be certified as a sustainable touristic destination. The ideal idyllic destination to support ecotourism. A place of traditions that embraces modernity, the Azores Islands has unique gastronomy and natural scenery for you to relax in. Stay on the volcanic island of São Miguel where you can find 12 beaches including Populo Beach, Ponta Delgada, which have great facilities for families and small children.
Ibiza, Spain; has a history of hedonism and its party scene. However, it also has a quiet side. Just 2km from its buzzing club scene paddle peacefully within the calm area of Playa d’en Bossa. A fashionable yet relaxed district, with a picturesque backdrop and views of the Mediterranean Sea. WIf you want something a little more high-octane on the other hand, Ibiza is a great destination for boat trips and water sports. You can learn how to scuba dive or jet ski around Margarita Island.
Also, if you’re holidaying with younger and more adventurous family members they’ll be covered on your policy. View over 100 activities that you’ll all be covered for here. Find more Spanish holiday destination inspiration and why Spain it’s one of our most favourite European holiday destinations here.
Not far from the Spanish border, is Biarritz, in South West France. Labelled a ‘not to be missed destination’, this flamboyant fishing harbour is one of the most welcoming towns in France. Since the 1800’s it’s also been seen as a luxury European beach holiday. It’s Grande Plage, broad sandy beach is one of the best in the country. While the Cote de Basques is known as the birthplace of surf. If you give surfing a go, or any other activity for that matter, just ensure you and your family follow the safety guidelines and use the appropriate and recommended safety equipment.
The best European family holidays
Where are the best European family activity holidays?
- In winter, Norway becomes a winter wonderland, complete with snowy mountain tops, colourful villages, and the whisperings of ancient Viking stories. Spend a day in the snow and go snowshoe walking or learn how to ski. Our winter sports insurance will be of benefit here. In May, reach the Norwegian Fjords during a cruise holiday when the weather is warmer.
- If you want a little more heat, set off to Spain and stay in the Pyrenees. The Sierra Nevada Mountains is a fertile, lush location for different activities, such as hiking, horse-riding and mountain biking. To chill out from the heat take a dip beneath a waterfall or glide across the water in a canoe.
- Around the corner in Portugal, you can find more sports on the water. Book into a family surf school in Porto and take in the views of the Atlantic Coast for a week. You could also just spend at the beach for games of volleyball, frisbee and football – after tiring them out, let the kids go off to the land of nod while you share a bottle of local wine.
Free Spirit Travel Insurance for European holidays
If you were wondering how Brexit has affected European holidays refer to our recent Brexit Travel blog and guide. Planning to drive across to the EU for a self-drive holiday? Contact us for information about a European breakdown insurance policy called Euro Plus.