This post is brought to you by one of our guest bloggers. Sally writes over at Life Loving, which is a lifestyle blog, specialising in travel and cuisine. Her blog wants to inspire people to get out and about more, exploring and living life to the fullest. She’s here today to share her thoughts on where you should be heading on your 2019 European Holiday.
The Cote d’Azur
Iconic towns like Cannes, St Tropez and Nice make up part of the Cote d’Azur. It’s an area which is famous for being ‘old-school glamour’ and as such has a tourist make up like no other. Old and young holiday here happily together. The super-rich mingle amongst us mere mortals, retiring to their yachts at the end of the day.
The French Riviera towns are only a stones throw away from glitzy Monaco with its designer shops and harbour-front eateries. Might not be the best bet to head to this area in May, as this is when the world-famous Grand Prix takes place and accommodation gets even more pricey. You’ll also struggle to park your yacht during that weekend.
If you are heading for your 2019 European holiday outside of the racing weekend, you can hire yourself a traditional villa with a pool. Perfect for lounging with a book, before popping into the town to get a well-earned ice cream and a cool drink. The Promenade des Anglaise stretches for miles. The honey-coloured sands are a dream for those looking for long, lazy days on the beach.
The Canary Islands
This group of islands is a year-round destination – perfect for an any-time European holiday in 2019. Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands and there’s something for every holiday-maker on this or any of the other islands. The coastlines are dotted with well-placed beaches, although the islands are volcanic, so some of the sands are dark and no-so picturesque. There are a number of yellow sand beaches in the more popular areas – these have had the sand imported. You won’t have to head far from the beach to find a plethora of eateries and bars – the nightlife in Tenerife and Lanzarote, in particular, is plentiful, as are the alfresco dining options. The Canary Islands are famed for their high volumes of festivals, known as fiestas. Many of these revolve around costume, dancing, fireworks, street processions, food and drink.
Barcelona is one of my most favourite city breaks. Mainly because it’s a city, right on the beach. You get all the benefits of being in a vibrant city, mingled with the laid back coolness of that can only be found on a beach break. There’s so much to see and do in Barcelona, including taking in all the architecture of famed artist Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia is not to be missed. The stained-glass windows held within the cathedral are an absolute delight with the sun shining through them. At the end of a long day on the beach or exploring the city’s hidden gems, you must tuck into a steaming dish of paella and a glass of sangria - it would be criminal not to do so. You can either choose to dine on the famous Las Ramblas or head off the beaten track a bit and explore the less touristy areas. Barcelona is super-easy to navigate around using the Metro system and so perfect for a 2019 European break.
Often an area of Portugal which is overlooked. Thought to be a bit old-fashioned perhaps? But I highly rate The Algarve. There are frequent flights from all UK airports into Faro and the accommodation options are varied, of a very high standard and extremely good value-for-money. The rugged coastline of The Algarve is the perfect setting for beach hopping. You may even find that some hidden coves you may have all to yourself. There are a plethora of beachside bars and restaurants, all serving locally-caught fish. The Algarve is easy to navigate around and there’s lots to see and do here. Being right on the coast, the Algarve can be a much more manageable climate in the height of the summer, with refreshing breezes coming off the sea. I love how friendly the local area and how welcome we are made to feel every time we visited.
The Ionian Islands, Greece
The main Ionian Islands of Corfu, Lefkas, Zakynthos and Paxos are a beach-lovers dream. You only have to drive for a matter of minutes between the beautiful beaches. The sands are clean and the waters clear blue – almost paradise-like. All of the islands offer boat excursions, so you can hop on and explore crystal caves and hidden coves. For those of you looking for an active adventure on holiday, some of the coastlines are perfect for water sports enthusiasts. But there are plenty more designed for lounging, accompanied by a beach bar or ice cream stall – ideal for those who are looking for a more leisurely break. The islands are rocky affairs, often quite steep up to the main urbanisations, but this is what gives the Ionian Island the views. You won’t be far from a spot that’s totally Instagrammable if you visit one of these islands. If you are looking for a quieter break, head to the islands outside of the main school holidays. You’ll still be enjoying the beautiful sunshine, but you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday at a more leisurely pace.
Where in Europe will you be holidaying in 2019? Do any of my suggestions above take your fancy? It’s a great time now to start planning your European holiday 2019!