The following are the best places to enjoy a great sunshine holiday in Europe. From the beaches of Portugal and Spain, to charming medieval cities of Krakow, Prague or Dubrovnik, passing by classic French and Italian Riviera vacation destinations, we compiled the list so it will suit everyone’s taste. Will that be the love of the mountains , excitement of the cities or just chill out in a sand and sea resort, you will find a European destination that will suit you. You may also view Europe’s top holiday destinations on a map.
Top 10 European holiday places
Portugal offers some of the best weather in Europe along with thousands of kilometres of beautiful coastlines blessed with sandy beaches. The heart of the country is worth visiting as well with many picture perfect towns, ideal to get away from it all. Portugal is also an excellent choice for golf lovers with plenty of excellent course to choose from, some even with impressive views over the Atlantic.
If you are looking to spent a wonderful time with friends or family, enjoying great food and succulent local wines then Portugal is definitely the place to choose for your relax sunny holiday.
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Top holiday destinations in Portugal listed by the most popular:
Algarve is the southern coastal region of Portugal and perhaps the best known and most popular beach resort destination of the country. It is a naturally blessed region with amazing sandy beaches surrounded with impressive cliffs and rocky coves, guaranteeing you a memorable beach holiday. It is the perfect place if you are looking for a care-free all inclusive family or romantic holiday, with a variety of resorts and hotels to choose from.
The region also offer some of the best golf courses in the whole of Europe with no less than 14 out of the top 100.
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Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and one of the most impressive place in Europe. It offers the perfect combination of vibrant city life combined with a chilled beach holiday. Indeed there are numerous places to relax in an around Lisbon , enjoying the sandy beaches or trying some water sports such as kite surfing. As for the city itself it offers a variety of museums, castles and churches where you will be immersed in the county’s culture and history.
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The northern city of Porto sits on the Douro River and is steeped in history. It is an ideal place to start discovering Portugal unique architecture and try fantastic Portuguese cuisine. Porto is also home to the famous strong wine bearing its name, and it’s a must when visiting the city.
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Spain is an all time favourite of the best holiday destinations list. It is not a surprise, with one of Europe’s longest and most beautiful coastline, a fascinating culture and an emphasis on good life, with delicious food and great local wines. Not to forget the Spain is renown to be the party capital of Europe, especially on the Southern islands of Ibiza. With a great weather all year round, Spain has become a favourite destination amongst European, and especially British.
Some of the top holidays places in Spain include:
- Balearic Islands holidays
- Barcelona holidays
- Spanish Costs holidays
The Balearic Islands which are a set of island in the Mediterranean sea, just South of mainland Spain offer some of the most beautiful beaches of the region as well as some of the most exciting parties in Europe. It is no wonder that numerous youngsters flock in each year to enjoy some cold sangria, a warm sea and hot sandy beaches.
Some of the top holidays places on the Spanish Balearic Islands include:
Barcelona is by far one of Europe’s more exciting cities. Located on the northern eastern part of Spain and capital of Catalonia it has a lot to offer its guest, from the best-preserved Gothic quarters and fascinating Gaudi architecture to the beautiful beaches served by multiple underground stations. Barcelona is also Spain’s most cosmopolitan City offering a variety of world cuisine including a succulent Catalan Cuisine. The nightlife and music scene is also one of the most brilliant, known around the world and so is their football team. In short, Barcelona is perhaps the most equipped of all European city will it be for the art , culture, sport or lifestyle.
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The Spanish Coast is one of the world’s longest and most famous, offering kilometres of long sandy beaches from Costa Brava to the North near Barcelona to the famous Costa del Sol and Costa de La Luz in the south on each side of the strait of Gibraltar.
Some of the top holidays places on the Spanish coasts include from North to South:
- Costa Brava
- Costa Dorada
- Costa Blanca
- Costa Calida
- Costa de Almeria
- Costa Tropical
- Costa del Sol
- Costa de La Luz
The Croatian coast is well less know then the Spanish, French or Italian Riviera, but has nothing to envy its neighbours and is becoming more and more an ideal place to spend a summer holiday. Indeed the Makarska Riviera is the picture perfect place to enjoy a relaxing holiday, succumbing to the warm and crystal clear waters of the amazing Mediterranean sea, or going on excursions to admire the stunning scenery of hidden coves and hillside greenery. Croatia is also the perfect place to enjoy a more cultural experience, with numerous UNESCO listed treasures including the most famous places of Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Split.
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Holidays in Greece
Greece is another of Europe top holiday destination, famous for a multitude of paradise islands such as the breathtaking Santorini. It is known to be the cradle of Western civilisation and home to some of the world’s most splendid and famous architecture including many classical area monuments such as the Parthenon in Athens. Apart of its culturally rich heritage, Greece is the land of good food, olive oil and wines. Indeed the Greek cuisine blends local and foreign influences from Italy and Turkey, often serving freshly-caught seafood and garden vegetables.
Some of the top holidays destinations in Greece include:
- Athens holidays
- Greek islands
Athens is the capital of Greece and mostly know to be the birthplace of democracy some two thousand years ago. The city perhaps doesn’t have the natural charms of the southern islands, but is definitely the place to be for sightseeing with plenty of monuments, outstanding museums such as the newly refurbished Acropolis Museum and sport facilities left from the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is also home to the country’s best restaurants and most exciting nightlife, which will guarantee an excellent night out.
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Greece is perhaps the European best known destination when it come to islands. Indeed it has more than 1,400 islands in the Mediterranean sea offering something for every taste and budget. Perhaps the most known is Crete, Rhodes and Zante, each with a wide selection of resorts to guarantee you a laid back and stress free vacation. Other less known islands but definitely worth visiting to catch a glimpse of paradise include Mykonos, renowned for its nightlife, Santorini known for its white and blue architecture, and Kafalonia and Amorgos ideal for a peaceful retreats. Sunbathing is of course the activity of choice, but for those more adventurous there is also excellent diving and sailing spots across the various islands.
Some of the top holidays Greek islands destinations include:
- Corfu holidays
- Crete holidays
- Halkidiki holidays
- Kos holidays
- Mykonos holidays
- Rhodes holidays
- Santorini holidays
- Skiathos holidays
- Zante holidays
Holidays in Italy
They aren’t many places in Europe that offers so much as Italy. From the fabulous mountains and lakes to the north to the beautiful beaches of Sicily, passing by the charming cities of Venice, Naples or Rome. Whatever you dream holiday looks like, from discovering ancient architecture or relaxing by a lake, the charming country of Italy has it all.
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Each Italian city has its speciality, will that be the canals and gondolas of Venice, the coliseum in Rome symbol of it grandiose past, or the intriguing leaning tower of Pisa, sunny islands of Sicily or Sardinia or finally the breathtaking charm Tuscany. Not to forget that Italian cuisine with its varieties of pizza, pastas and delicious wines are some of the most praised products in the world.
Some of the top Italian Holiday destinations include:
France is one of the best choices of holiday in Europe, being only a short flight or train from Britain or other continental destinations. Paris, the capital is obviously one of the most beautiful as well as the most visited in France. However if you are looking to spend some time near the sea, then the French Riviera in the south is the place to be.
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It is said that the Cote D’Azur, the French Riviera is one of the world’s most beautiful coasts. It is composed of over a hundred kilometres of coastline, stretching from the famous rich people hangout of St Tropez until the border with Italy, passing by some of the world’s most sought after cities such as Nice, Cannes and Monaco. The French Riviera covers some of France most beautiful region , including Provence known for its picture perfect small villages and the Southern Alps region known for its breathtaking mountains. Both regions offers an abundance of local products, including delicious cheese, various sweets and some of the world’s best wines.
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The Netherland makes for an ideal short holiday. Indeed it has some of Europe’s friendliest and welcoming people, famous for knowing how to have a great time. The country is extremely flat making it an ideal place for cycling or walking. Amsterdam, the capital, known for being the Venice of the north with its network of canals, offers a rich cultural, architectural and artistic heritage. Van Gogh one of the greatest painters of all time even has its own dedicated museum. The city is also known across the world for the variety of its adult entertainments found in the red light district or inside the famous coffee shops. If you are looking for a perfect mix of culture and entertainment, then Amsterdam is the place to spend your next holiday break.
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Poland is one of the less known holiday destination in Europe. However it is gaining some popularity, especially by those that want to experience something a bit different. From the charming cities of Gdansk on the Baltic coast to the breathtaking natural beauty of the Carpathian mountains in the South , passing by the unique wilderness of the Bialowieza National Park or the Great Malsurian Lakes to the East, the country has something for everyone. Most of the Polish cities where destroyed during the Second War, but miraculously the city of Krakow remained untouched. It is therefore not a surprise that it is today the most visited place in Poland offering much in cultural attractions as well as numerous places for party lovers.
Poland is perhaps also known around the world for its legendary moviemakers such as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieslowski or through other great personalities such as Solidarity politician Lech Walesa, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, pianist Frederick Chopin or scientist Marie Curie.
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Krakow is by far Poland’s most visited city and a great starting point for a romantic holiday. It is not only one of the country’s oldest cities, but also known to be Poland King’s capital as well as one of the first places to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage site. It is not a surprise that the “Stare Miasto”, the Old city has one of Europe’s most well-preserved medieval architecture. The most important sights include the “Rynek” the main market Square, one of the biggest of its kind and the Wawel Castle, which was home to Poland’s kings, situated on a small hill with amazing view on the Wisla river. The rest of the historic old town of Krakow is also worth discovering with a perfect blend of authentic Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Wieliczka Salt mine, can be found just on the outskirt of Krakow and is definitely worth a visit in order to discover the various masterpieces that can be sculpted from salt.
Finally the beautiful Carpathian chain of mountains are situated only a hundred kilometres south of Krakow and should definitely be part of your trip in order to discover the welcoming “Gorale” the people from the mountain.
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Czech Republic holidays
The Czech Republic is a charming little country in eastern Europe. It has the capital, Prague at its heart surrounded with a variety of picture perfect towns and castles set in an amazing landscape. Some of the best known places includes the Spa towns of Brno and Janske Lazne, Ceský Krumlov, known for its fabulous medieval architecture and other towns such as Karlstejn and Konopiste known for their grand medieval castles
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Prague is by far one of the most amazing cities in Easter Europe offering a wonderful architecture and various sites to be discovered within the historic centre part of UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Some of the top attractions the city has to offers include the narrow streets of the old town with at its heart the Old Town Square, the famous Karol bridge and the magnificent Prague castle based on a hill.
Prague is not short of entertainment as well, offering various Opera and Ballet spectacles, a variety of restaurants and bars, where guest can enjoy a delicious meal tasting local specialities and enjoying a variety of Czech beers.
Since the fall of Communism, Prague has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations, offering a wide array of culture sights as well as numerous entertainment and is definitely worth a visit.
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The Republic of Hungary is a beautiful country set in the heart of Eastern Europe which is slowly becoming one of the most popular destinations. It is a wonderful place with great people, mixing various influences and cultures over the years. Hungary is home to some of the most amazing natural wonders the region has to offers including Europe’s biggest lake the Lake Balaton, ideal for a variety of water sports.
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Budapest, the capital of Hungary is one of the world’s top cities one must visit at least once in their lifetime. It was historically two cities on both side of the river Danube. On one side the Pest District and on the other the Buda district notorious for its palace complex. Budapest has a lot to offer for both art and culture lovers with a variety of museums, galleries and historic monuments, as well as many places to go out with a vibrant nightlife.
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