After almost a year of rules and restrictions, planning in advance has become essential in ensuring we make the most of the little time we have outdoors. When restrictions ease and travelling abroad becomes part of normality again, the need to plan effectively will remain unchanged.
Fortunately, we have rounded up the top destinations in Europe, including useful tips to help you experience the holiday you’ve been anticipating for 2021 – from relaxing beach holidays to action-packed adventures, you’ve come to the right place!
Paphos is one of the most beautiful cities in Cyprus. With crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, this is the perfect destination for couples or families looking to relax and absorb the city’s culture.
Explore ancient ruins, churches, and some of the 27 world-class beaches that Paphos has to offer. Discover the unlimited selection of beautiful sights of Faros Lighthouse Beach, St. George Beach, the Blue Lagoon, and the Kritou Terra Waterfalls which will take your breath away.
Leave the mainland to experience fun activities like scuba-diving, boat trips to the sea caves nearby, and the Paphos Aphrodite Waterpark for all ages.
It takes 4-5 hours to fly from the UK to Paphos International Airport, which is a 30-minute drive from Paphos. Transport options around the city include car hire, taxis, and buses.
A difficult choice between all of the gorgeous Greek Islands but one that stands out for its spectacular landscapes is Santorini. Soak up the Greek sunshine and vibrant resorts in what used to be a volcanic island, which has now been labelled one of the most beautiful and warmest holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.
Santorini is the perfect destination for relaxing on black sand beaches and trying the local cuisine while watching the sunset, but there are also plenty of activities to get involved in! Head down to the water sports centre or explore the island’s historical museums and beautiful churches if you’re keen to stay active and educated during your stay.
Taking only four hours from London to Santorini, you will feel the contrast from the cold UK temperatures to the humid Greek climate as soon as you step off the plane, where you will be only a five minute drive from the centre.
There is nothing more disappointing than going on holiday to a warm and sunny destination only to discover the beaches don’t meet your expectations. Algarve in southern Portugal is guaranteed to impress you as it is home to some of the most beautiful coastline and breath-taking landscapes in Europe, with 150 beaches to choose from!
There are countless things to keep you busy in Algarve, including a boat trip to Algar Seco’s stunning rock formations, discovering sea life at the underwater park and relaxing on the golden sand of Praia de Marinha. What’s more, you can indulge yourself in a 2-hour dolphin watching tour or take a jeep safari of the Algarve. This is also the prime destination for the devoted golfer as it is famous for its great golf courses, specifically at the resort of Carvoeiro.
Jet off to Algarve and arrive at Faro Airport in just 3 hours, hopping from the plane straight into the buzzing town and popular resorts.
To avoid the mayhem of busy holiday resorts when everyone decides to fly to a warm country at once, Zadar in Croatia is one of the country’s quieter destinations, so is the perfect option for avoiding large crowds. It is also less expensive than its neighbouring cities, Split and Dubrovnik, giving you the freedom to fully enjoy your experience.
Despite its lower tourism status, the city’s sunsets have been recognised by the famous film director, Alfred Hitchcock who dreamed of creating a film here and described it as “the most beautiful sunset in the world”.
The waterfront boasts exquisite art installations including the “Monument to the Sun”, which is the perfect spot to watch the stunning sunset yourself. This monument is made up of solar panels which glows with vibrant light patterns, lighting up the waterfront when the sunlight fades.
Another impressive artistic attraction is the “Sea Organ”, which is effectively the sea’s very own harmonica. Sit on the man-made steps of the Sea Organ as the waves gently hit them and fill the constructed underwater pipes, creating musical notes like a harmonica.
Fly to Zadar in 4 hours and discover more of its countless hidden gems, such as the white sand Saharun Beach and the remarkable Plitvice Lakes National Park a short drive away.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
When deciding to travel to Europe, Italy is a destination that lives up to the expectations from what we see in movies, with its stunning monuments and unique culture. The Amalfi Coast is an iconic destination with the town of Amalfi being perched on a cliff, providing flawless views of the sparkling water and clear blue skies.
Calling all shoppers, hikers, and food lovers – this is your ideal holiday. Shop in the stylish boutiques and family-run stalls lining the cobbled streets, then hike to the waterfalls of Valle Delle Ferriere, before tucking into a delicious Italian pizza at one of the city’s finest restaurants. One of the most popular attractions that tourists love is as simple as hiring a car and driving along the coast to take in the incredible views!
Spots you must be sure not to miss include the Emerald Grotto, which is just a boat trip away, and Marina di Furore, the only fjord in the country.
Being only a two-and-a-half hour flight away, there are very little reasons not to escape to experience the true bliss of the Amalfi Coast.
Paris is a classic holiday destination you could travel to numerous times and never get tired of, you’ll just fall more in love with it! Known as the city of love and lights, it is the perfect romantic getaway for couples as well as a fun city break for the family.
You’ll need a map and a method of transport, such as the metro or electric scooters available to the public (which are always fun), to travel to all the famous landmarks which are dotted around the city.
Take a stroll to the Eiffel Tower and if heights aren’t your thing, stay grounded with a picnic of wine and pastries with a close-up view of the city’s most stunning monument. Alternatively, bite the bullet and head up to the second or third floor for spectacular panoramic views of the beautiful city. When heading back from your dinner reservation in the evenings, look out for the glow of the tower as its sparkles light up the night sky.
Visit the epic Arc de Triomphe, located at one end of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees which is lined with the city’s most luxurious stores. Book a tour of the Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum featuring the Mona Lisa, and a relaxing cruise down the River Seine to capture all the beauty the city has to offer.
If you haven’t visited already, Paris should be close to the top of your bucket list as it truly is a dream like no other – and is only a 2-hour flight from becoming your reality!
By Layla Maguire