Looking for an excuse to get over to Europe? Well check out these 10 reasons why you should be booking your flight right now…
If you’re looking for beautiful beaches and delicious seafood at a reasonable price, head to Croatia. Croatia has some of the best beaches I have ever seen. I stayed south and would highly recommend Bol, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. The food was amazing and I was a big fan of the meat and seafood dishes (being right on the coast many Croatian cities offer fresh seafood). You would be forgiven if you can’t finish your starter (typically a kilo of mussels) and even more-so if you don’t get through your main (Croatian specialties include meat and seafood platters), where even the bigger eaters will struggle! Don’t forget a few shots of the local delicacy (Pelinkovac) to wash it all down! Whilst Croatia is about to join the European Union, it still uses it’s own currency; the Croatian Kuna. Croatia should make the transition in the next couple of years, but for now Croatia remains a relatively cheap destination vs other European countries like Greece or Italy.
My personal favourite. Plenty of history, beautiful beaches, great food and thousands of islands to explore. Nothing like starting your day with a bit of a stroll and some sightseeing. Whether it’s the Acropolis in Athens or the Old Town in Rhodes, there are plenty of amazing places to see. Greece has thousands of beaches and white sandy or shell-covered beaches where the cool blue water is a welcomed change from the red hot sun. The Greeks have mastered the beach cafe scene and whether you’re on Ios, Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos or Santorini (just to name a few islands), they’ll have you covered. Grab a cabana or table at a local beach cafe and order some lunch (souvlaki & greek salad) and a few drinks (champagne or try the local beers – Alpha / Mythos). After lunch you should sneak in a cheeky nanna-nap before heading out to a long night of eating & drinking (ouzo!).
Spain – San Sebastian
From big cities to beautiful beach spots, Spain has it all. Barcelona is one of the greatest cities in Europe. The street markets and busy streets of La Rambla are a must-see for any tourist. You can spend days walking around the city taking in beautiful gardens and fascinating Gothic architecture inspired by Gaudi. Amazing restaurants, tasty food (including my favourite; the seafood paella) and tapas at the local bar will prepare you for the party-town until early hours of the morning! Spain has many cities worth checking out including party towns like Marbella (in the south) / Ibiza to the Basque-influenced San Sebastian in the north (again, just to name a few).
France is one of the most popular European countries and for good reason! France has such a rich history and is the host to one of the World’s most amazing and beautiful cities; Paris. A tourist can accomplish so much in Paris in just one day. From amazing wonders including the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triumph, the Louvre and Notre Dame (just to name a few) to some of the worlds most renowned restaurants and night spots, Paris really does have it all. After you’ve let Paris blow you away, there remains plenty to see. You’re not done until you’ve checked out Versailles, the wine regions in the south and also the southern coastal regions encompassing Nice, Cannes and Antibes (why not check out Monaco / Monte Carlo whilst you’re there). I could write about France all day, but I better move on…
Whilst Germany is a true global powerhouse and is currently tasked with keeping Europe afloat, it is also a fantastic place for a tourist. Germany has both beautiful country towns and big powerful cities. In the big cities there are plenty of sights and of course, the world famous beer-halls. One of the biggest draw-cards is obviously Oktoberfest, where you try to cram as much food and beer into yourself as you can! After that, you’ll be in need of a relaxing break! Perhaps a leisurely drive through the country will help. If not, the high-speed local autobahn’s will satisfy your adrenaline needs! After a long day on the road there are plenty of small towns which you can pull into to enjoy a feast and a local brew.
Italy is another European powerhouse worthy of your attention. Whether it be the cosmopolitan cities of Rome, Milan or Naples or the beautiful landscapes of Venice, Tuscany or Florence, Italy has something for everyone. After a few days in Rome, you will never want to leave. It is amazing to think that so many world-class attractions (The Colosseum, Panthenon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Vatican City) are in just one city! If you can drag yourself away from Rome, other amazing destinations include Cinque Terre and Florence where the sights, food and wine is also to die for.
England remains one of the global superpowers. However, that does not stop the country from putting on a good show! London is a must see destination for anyone heading to Europe. From amazing sights (National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bride, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Pallace) to great sporting events, shopping, restaurants, pubs and clubs, London literally has it all. Once you’ve seen London and are all shopped out, there are plenty of other English destinations worthy of your attention. Why not check out Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Birmingham (again, just to name a few).
It’s cold at home!
With temperatures falling beneath 10 degrees, why not escape the heat and head north? At this time of the year you can catch the warm summer temperatures of Europe and find countries which meet your thermostat hurdle. Whether it be the 40 degree temperatures of Greece or Croatia, or the high 20 to 30 degree temperatures of Spain or France, you will definitely find something that doesn’t require a sweater!
It’s cheap now!
Whilst the Aussie dollar has taken a pretty tough hit lately, it is still buying over 0.70 euros. This is still quite good if you look back over the ten year history. Flights are also quite reasonable with Qantas still offering flights to Europe return for ~$2,500.
Duty Free Shopping
As you are probably aware,Australia is not always the cheapest country to shop. So, if you’re going overseas check out the Duty Free Addict website to help you shop on your holiday! If you like this article and are interested in receiving a free monthly newsletter sign up here.