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Favourite spots of Europe(44 Posts)
For the past few years out holidays have been to fly somewhere for a week, enjoy the sun and then fly back. But next year (maybe the next few years!) we want to try something different and tour around Europe for a few weeks in the summer holidays.
At the moment we're flexible about where we cross into Europe, but we'll be looking mainly at Western/Southern Europe - so France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland etc. Not necessarily all next year!
The DCs will be aged 12, 9 and 5. And we're looking for a variety of places - e.g. places which are historically/geographically interesting, fun places and some relaxing chill-out spots!
so, what places do you think we should put on our list?
This isn't in the right area, but Tromsø in Northern Norway, Stockholm, Copenhagen and San Sebastián is where I recommend.
Other places to visit:
- Roman ruins (Orange, Glanum, Arles, Nimes)
- Historic villages (Les Baux de Provence)
Rome, a million times over.
Also love Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Nice, Krakow, Berlin, Paris.
peschiera del Garda,
Innsbruck (ski jump there is great if there is training going on and there is a fab outdoor pool in the centre. There is also a knight show every Thursday near the golden roof.),
Bavaria (great for castles),
Have fun! We did Italy and Austria last summer, was a great adventure.
Bled in Slovenia is nice but Bohinj is even nicer - less developed. You can play tennis in the hotel Agatha Christie used to stay in, and go on a mountain walk to an Alpine Cheese museum where they will feed you cheese and you will feel like Heidi. Ljubljana is also fantastic. The Slovenian coast is less fab, (except Piran) but you could combine with a bit of Istria in Croatia or even Venice.
These suggestions are all making me drool!
I love Barcelona and Rome.
But I'd really love to go here. Facteur Cheval's amazing Palais Ideal in Hauterives in SE France. He built it himself with stones, day by day, while working his whole life as a postman.
Asheth , there are loads of places and ways of going abroad in school holidays to Europe and doing it very cheaply.
We have had dozens of exciting trips over the years. Be creative and have some fab adventures.
My 14 year old DS still talks about stuff he did when he was 6!
Sorry - just come back to this thread and seen all these amazing places and have been googling them all! They look stunning. Got to work out how to fit them in and find some cheapish places to stay - school holidays so probably nowhere will be really cheap.
That area around Santillana del Mar sound amazing? Can I ask you what the hotels are like please? And could I drive to the cable car, caves, etc using that as a base?
Lake Bled - prettiest place I've ever seen.
Cordoba - patio festival in May - stunning and free.
Son currently living in the beautiful French Basque region and would recommend Bayonne, Biarritz, Bordeaux, and the Spanish Basque region just over the border.
I love Europe
I often head to Poland, try Masuria, the land of the thousand lakes or Zakapane with the beautiful Tatra mountains.
Iceland is amazing, especially if you go north.
Chamonix is bloody fantastic as well, mountain biking, walking, ice climbing, rock climbing, white water rafting, paragliding and sunbathing were all done on the same week..
sorry this is the hotel
we just did; 2 nights Porto , 10 nights Azores, 2 nights Lisbon.
Flights Gatwick to Porto, Porto to Ponta Delgada, Ponta Delgara to Lisbon, Lisbon to Gatwick total cost £299 each. flights are no longer then 2 hours each.
We loved Porto and could have stayed there longer.
Azores are beautiful we hired a car 10 days £210 really easy to drive around the island. We went Whale watching and swam in natural hot springs which are all over the island,some in forests. Lisbon we liked but would have loved it more if the weather was better (we had rain both days)
we stayed here for 3 nights http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g189123-d554492-Reviews-Terra_Nostra_Gardens-Azores.html
Kids would love it, hotel guest can swim in the natural hot swimming pool in the gardens before and after tourists come and go. You can even have a chef cook breakfast at the pool for you.
What about Granada? We went to the Alhambra last week - stunning. And the nearby Alpujurras (sp?) mountains are beautiful.
We spent one holiday with our kids (about the same age!) travelling round Spain staying in Parador hotels - absolutely fantastic - the kids loved staying in huge castles! They're all around Spain from the coast to inland and the really famous cities like Santiago, Cordoba, Granada etc. Also very child-friendly as the Spanish love kids!
If you're doing a Channel crossing and heading up to spain.
Normandy. D day museum. The town of Honfleur is nice for a coffee on the harbour, an expensive coffee!
Loire, drink wine.
Theme parks, you pass Puy du Fou and Futurescope.
Bordeaux. Just south of Bordeaux isn't my favourite place for beaches but the Dune du Pyla is impressive and provides a very good work out for your legs.
The Basque towns just before you get to Spain are lovely. Bayonne and Biarritz are nice for a visit and a shop.
St Jean and Hendaye. There's a train up a mountain La Rhune, that's nice but get there early in August.
Santillana del mar, near Santander. Great medieval town for a stroll, glass of cidre and lunch.
Cable car at Fuenta De in the Picos De Europe. You pass through Potes and you should stop off there.
The road from Potes to the lake at Riano is beautiful.
Spend some time at the beach in Noja and Isla. Just to the east of Santander.
Basque region beautiful, and it's interesting to see the difference between the French and Spanish parts. Pampalona?
We're going west along the coast next time, stopping off in various towns, then ending up here for a couple of nights
Then back for a weeks beach holiday near Santander.
One thing to watch when touring that part of Spain, especially with young kids, is the meal times. The do eat very late and even places that look like simple pizza, burger places don't open until 8.30 and you're not likely to be served until 9.30. We were often the only people in a restaurant at 9.30. But then they're all having lunch at 3 in the afternoon.
We dint find it a problem when we were at a holiday park, getting up late and on the beach mot of the day. When we were touring, up early and doing lots of sight seeing, we got caught out several times. We'd make sandwiches for lunch and be ravenous by the later afternoon, expecting to find something open at 7.30 Next year when we're touring I think we'll do things the opposite way pound and eat out at Spanish lunchtime, then have picnic stuff for the hotel. Then tapas, drinks if we go out in the evening.
Naples. Hardly any tourists, amazing food, great art, creepy catacomby things, and just the best atmosphere. The area around the station is dodgy, but once you're clear of that you're fine.
Thank you - planning is definitly part of the fun! I think it's likely we'll do one of the crossings into/out of Santander so we wont miss Northern Spain. San Sebastian looks stunning - maybe a possible start or end place as it's not far from Santander.
Our map is filling up nicely. It's been great finding out about places I've never heard of like the Padirac caves.
Thank you to everyone for all their great suggestions!
This year we took a ferry to Bilbao/back from Santander and did Sw France and N spain. The Gascony region of France is lovely, Biarritz is amazing. N Spain is wonderful and we loved San Sebastian (a must see place I think) and also some fab basque villages, so different to the rest of spain.
Sounds like you have some fabulous planning ahead, how exciting
We've done variations of Porto's first outlined trip a few times and would recommend it.
Some have mentioned Barcelona but don't ignore the northern coast and mountains, it's stunning.
Thank you - so many places to google! I love the fact that I'm getting suggestions of places I've never heard off and then when I see the pictures I just think wow and wonder why I've never heard of them!
If you're doing Spain/Portugal stay in paradors/pousadas which are state owned converted castles/monasteries. DCs would love them.
The Dordogne as above - amazing castles, caves (Padirac being one of the best) and cave paintings, markets...the river is great for canoeing.
The Loire for the castles too. Can sneak in a bit of history too with both places - hundred years way, Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades etc.
Italy would be fab for sightseeing - Rome, Venice, Pompeii. But NB scorchio in the summer.
Salamanca. Can be done along with Madrid and north-western Portugal.
T'is where I shall have my ashes scattered. (In a very long time I hasten to add)
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