European Holiday Destinations That Have It All

With 196 countries on the planet, there are so many captivating destinations to visit, the only hard part is finding those perfect places!  The ideal holiday destination has to have it all; beautiful beaches, some nightlife to keep you entertained, great food, good hotels, sun and a wide range of activities for those that like to keep active.  Keeping this in mind we have picked our top 4 European holiday destinations, all from personal experience, so these are all tried and tested!….

pamukkale, Turkey holiday

Marmaris, Turkey

Lush green mountains surround idyllic sandy beaches with crystal clear water (the image at the very top of this post is Marmaris). The views are seriously breath taking and you can enjoy them from the beach, from up high on a hike or from a lazy sailing trip.  Marmaris is jam-packed with activities; quad bike safari’s, pirate boat parties, ancient tombs carved into rocks, hot springs, impressive ruins, bubbling mud baths, a waterpark and you can even get a boat over to visit the Greek Island of Rhodes.  By night, if you have any energy left, you can enjoy some amazing Turkish food in a huge choice of restaurants – check out one of the Turkish nights for belly dancing, fun and games.  There are bars galore if you are up for drinking and dancing the night away.

Top thing not to miss: Take day trip to the natural wonder of Pamukkale where you will find a huge calcium hill with a cascade of calcium pools that turn pink when the sunsets (check out the photo above) as our description doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  There is also some ancient ruins and an amphitheatre you can explore, then you can cool down in Cleopatra’s pool’ where you can swim amongst ruins.

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  Madeira Island, Portugal Holiday

Funchal, Madeira

Madeira is a lush green, mountainous island off the coast of Portugal.  Food and wine lovers, this is your paradise; it’s famous for Madeira cake and for Madeira wine for a reason.  There so many superb restaurants you will be spoilt for choice; if you have the chance splurge on a food and wine pairing restaurant do it as it may well be the best food you have ever eaten!  Animal lovers can spend a day dolphin watching (wild of course) where you might also see several varieties of whale depending on the time of year you are visiting.  Adventurists can climb to the highest peak (more of a walk than a climb) and sample some fantastic hikes with breath taking scenery, waterfalls and interesting landscapes.  There are a few small beaches on Madeira but for a serious beach experience you can hop on the ferry over to the nearby island of Porto Santo.  Here you can experience 9km of beautiful beaches.

Top thing not to miss: For a bit of fun we would highly recommend ‘sofa tobogganing’ – Madeira is a very hilly place with some seriously steep verticals, one of which you can ‘toboggan’ down (its less of a toboggan and more of a sofa on a sleigh, pushed by two men), it’s a tradition and a very unique experience!  Just by the sofa tobogganing is the cable car which is perfect for marvelling at the epic views.

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Benagil Cave, Algarve, Portugal holiday

Algarve, Portugal

With miles of stunning golden sand beaches that have lots of interesting caves and rock formations to explore you can do as much or as little as you like.  The Algarve is well known for its superior golf courses with some of the best golf courses in Europe.  It’s also home to the Via Algarviana trail which is 186 mile long hiking route – we are not suggesting that you do the whole thing, but walking a short part of it will enable you to see some of Portugal’s beautiful landscapes and coastlines.  Benagil Cave which sits on the beach and has a hole in the roof is a pretty awesome sight – it’s actually voted in the top ten coolest caves in the world.

Top thing not to miss: A kayak cave tour!  You can explore sea caves, underwater tunnels, secret beaches and do some snorkelling.

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Kos Island, Greece holiday

Kos, Greece

Stunning beaches, plenty to do and loads of night life – what more do you need on holiday?   We haven’t even got started on the delicious Greek food yet!  Kos is a fairly small island so hiring a car is the perfect way to get to see it all.  You can visit many beautiful beaches, an impressive medieval castle and ruins which include an old amphitheatre.  The best time to visit is between May and October.

Top thing not to miss: A tour to Zia village that leaves late in the afternoon and lasts the whole evening – you can explore the night market, have an out of this world meal, see traditional Greek dancing and best of all see the most amazing sunset over the mountains. Don’t forget your camera!  You can also dance the night away after dinner.

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