BEST COUNTRIES TO VISIT IN WESTERN EUROPE
Austria is famed for its pastoral landscapes, which attract many holidaymakers each year. One of the huge advantages of the mountainous country is the opportunity to become immersed in the mesmerising surroundings through various activities. Those with a fecund sense of adventure will never be at a loose end when it comes to things to do on your Austria holidays.
The surroundings also nurture romance, with the city lights illuminating the graphic scenery during the evenings, and live music taking centre stage in many of Vienna’s hip bars and clubs throughout the night.
Adventure is appeased by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay in an igloo close to Innsbruck. The snow covered Austrian Alps provide the surrounding scenery, a back garden to be adored during your holidays in Austria. Hot food and drink is highly recommended when visiting the igloos, which come complete with dining rooms, ice bars and custom made ice sculptures.
Something slightly more traditional can be found in the birth place of Mozart, Salzburg. The city is filled with historic sites, particularly in the Old Town, ideal for visiting families and culture vultures.
If somewhere slightly sedate is what you prefer, Austria’s second largest city Graz is ideal. Medieval and renaissance architecture is heavily prevalent, along with modern builds that add character and diversity to the city. Take the Schlossberg rock staircase up to the clock tower to appreciate memorable views and ancient buildings. If the walk has built up an appetite, be sure to indulge in some apricot-filled pancakes, a native dish of Austria.
For daytime endeavours, head to Carinthia, situated in the Eastern Alps, brimming with medieval towns, mountains and lakes. Friesach and Gmünd hold many of the monuments, including monasteries, churches and cathedrals. When you’ve seen enough sites, head to one the beautiful bathing lakes in Carinthia. Lake Faak, Millstätter See and Lake Ossiach are idyllic lake destinations coupled with green hills and vegetated mountains, a more than memorable surrounding on your Austria holidays.
Of course a huge attraction for visitors during their holidays to Austria is the Austrian Alps. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, the collection of ski resorts are sure to meet your needs. Resorts such as Saalbach and Sölden are ideal for extensive slopes and adventurous pistes, both coming laced with restaurants and shops for much needed breaks. Obergurgl is ideal for families hoping for snow during the winter months, as the high altitude guarantees snowfall between December and April.
For evening entertainment Vienna is superb. For culture and tradition Jazzland and the Kolar bars where flatbreads and local beers are served will provide an authentic experience. For incredible views and tasty cocktails head to Le Loft Bar and Lounge, where you can admire the alpine through the glass walls with drink in hand.
Arguably one of the most underrated destinations in Europe, Belgium holidays will transport you to a land of UNESCO sites, stunning old towns and contagious cultural heritage – oh, and some of the best beer and chocolate in the world! The country is full of history, something discovered through countless medieval old towns, World War sites and striking landmarks – Belgium is certainly a culture vulture’s dream.
But you don’t necessarily have be a history buff to enjoy holidays to Belgium; the country also boasts golden sands, lively nightlife and a wonderful culinary scene. You can spend the day lounging on the beach before tucking into a steaming pot of mussels and a glass or two of Belgian beer, or swap the beach for museums and art galleries, whichever you prefer – just keep the mussels and beer involved. Whether you’re hitting the coastal beauty of Ostend, exploring the battlegrounds around Ypres or indulging in the capital Brussels through our city breaks deals – you’ll quickly discover Belgium’s secretive appeal.
The most enthralling destinations that await you during your Belgium holidays are the stunning medieval cities that adorn the country. The UNESCO old towns are hypnotic smatterings of aged architecture, grand cathedrals and churches that are dotted among the charm of winding canals. The capital Brussels is the natural starting point for tourists – bilingual and one of the most multicultural cities in the whole of Europe. The beautiful historic centre is dominated by the stunning Grand Place, while the culinary and beer scene is at its peak within the countless pubs, bars and restaurants found throughout the city. Just north of the capital lies Bruges, the country’s most popular tourist destination. This engrossing old town is one of the world’s greatest romantic destinations, boasting winding canals, cobbled streets, towering churches and beautiful squares – not to mention an array of wonderful chocolate shops.
A cosy medieval centre and winding canals ooze a unique charm in the wonderful city of Ghent – a city that experiences a vibrant nightlife with its student population, balanced by the cultural significance of its imposing cathedral, home to striking works of Flemish art. Antwerp is another great city that is well worth a visit during your holidays in Belgium. The country’s second-largest city has a grittier façade to it, but is still in possession of some wonderful medieval sites and a delectable beer scene. Hunt down the enormous cathedral, wander the captivating Grote Markt and duck into the city’s collection of wonderful museums.