Make your pounds go further in Europe this summer
Those looking for some much-needed sunshine will be keenly watching the economic news in light of the Pound currently giving British holidaymakers an average of €2 extra spending money for every £10 they exchange on the continent. With the economic turmoil in the European Union set to continue, a silver lining is appearing for those looking to bag themselves a bargain break.
Rather than taking holidays to Florida and other far-flung destinations that in times of growth and economic stability would be de rigueur, it seems that the shrewd are opting to stay within the Eurozone, and the shrewder are planning to enjoy ‘staycations’.
With Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in June, the Olympics coming to London in July and the Euro football tournament taking place in Ukraine and Poland in June, Europe is the only place to be this summer.
If you’re looking to avoid the sport loving crowds, there are a few destinations that will offer you a fantastic break with great discounts – just ensure you purchase comprehensive travel insurance and where possible book your holiday on a credit card to benefit from the added purchase protection.
As the Government fails to win over the nation with its austerity measures, Greece is calling out for tourists to boost the local economy. Boasting delicious cuisine, ancient ruins and glorious sunshine, there are many more reasons to visit than not.
Comprised of thousands of small islands, different spots offer a variety of treats for holidaymakers: there are more than 150 inhabited Greek islands and these are arranged in six island groups: Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, Ionian, North Aegean and Argo Saronic.
Travelling between islands is relatively easy and cheap; book boats and organise your own little tour of your hit-list islands once you get to Greece, as paying in Euros will preserve your much-needed spending money.
Brimming with ruins and artefacts, Crete is where you can view the remains of one of the world’s oldest advanced civilisations, the Minoans. Visiting historical sites such as Gournia and Pheistos will reveal the wonders of the Minoan empire, preserved for 5,000 years.
For those who are interested in both Greek history and the Roman Empire, Thrace is a region that must be explored. Perfectly demonstrating Greece’s position on the border of Eastern and Western culture, here you’ll find mostly Muslim communities where you’ll hear Turkish and Arabic.
Beach lovers will find no paradise better than the pristine shores of Skiathos, with Syros in the Cyclades coming a close second.
As the most popular overseas destination for British tourists, there is a reason why Spain holidays attract visitors in their millions each year. Brimming with cultural identity this Mediterranean nation is famed for its world-class cuisine, architecture and art. And let’s not forget the warm climate and never-ending beaches.
In a nation that holds 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll find many things of interest. Culture vultures will enjoy strolling around the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and Montserrat Shrines, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Basque Country, and the Picasso Museum.
If architecture is your passion, Spain won’t disappoint. Visit Córdoba to view fine examples of Arabic inspired architecture, whilst Gaudi’s modern architecture in Barcelona is a must see: visit his most famous work, the Sagrada Família.
When the unique blend of culture gets too much, relax on the vast expanses of sandy beaches or head to West Andalusía for a master class in the art of flamenco.
If mainland Spain doesn’t quite set your heart on fire, consider a visit to the Canary or Balearic Islands where you’ll experience similarly balmy temperatures and quaint, sleepy villages, not to mention world-class Mediterranean cuisine.
Widely known as one of the most picturesque countries in Europe, Portugal is internationally renowned for its delicious seafood, rugged landscape and wide availability of secluded villas.
Those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life will love the array of secluded accommodation options in Portugal, with several luxury villas currently available for groups and families, a retreat could be just what you need. With villas you can explore and dine at your own pace without being restricted by rigid meal-times and entertainment schedules.
By choosing a self-catering holiday you’ll get to sample some of the best cuisine Portugal has to offer, whilst saving money on lunches; why dine out in expensive restaurants every day when a packed lunch will suffice.
A Popular destination for a variety of attractions such as white sandy cliffs, pristine beaches, snorkelling, and quad bike treks, the Algarve region of Portugal cannot be beaten. An ideal location for those seeking a party atmosphere shed your inhibitions and head to the many all-night clubs situated along the Algarve in Faro and Lagos.
In central Portugal you’ll find some of Portugal’s 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourists will love the Batalha Monastery and the Convento de Christo attractions. Albufeira is another great location for holiday-makers: explore the Old Town filled with classic white-washed houses, and narrow cobbled streets, where alfresco dining experiences with picturesque views of the sea are just waiting to be enjoyed.
Wherever you travel in Europe this summer you’re guaranteed to find your Euros go further, enabling you to spend more money on keepsakes and leisure activities to ensure you trip is one to remember.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr