The summer vacations are almost upon us and with a predicted 20% of Brits looking to escape the upcoming Olympics, now is a great time to start research late booking deals. Whether you’re looking for a sports and adventure break, a destination that will keep the whole family happy, a location brimming with history or looking ahead to a ski trip, we have a few suggestions for you;
Best location in Europe for history buffs; Bosnia and Herzegovina
Travellers to Bosnia and Herzegovina will be enthralled by the nation’s wealth of history, not just by visiting museums but also from sightseeing around the lively cities, pretty towns and quaint villages. Municipal buildings, places of worship of multiple faiths and landmark bridges left behind more than a tale to tell. Make a trip to the Latin Bridge and discover how the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked off World War I. While on a bridge tour, visit two bridges that made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List – Old Bridge in Mostar (in the image above) and the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad.
The excitement does not stop there. Like many southern European countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina boast picturesque mountains, rivers, lush flora and fauna. You may go mountain biking, kayaking, chase waterfalls or follow one of numerous trails through forests to go birding. Savour some of the world’s most multi-cultural cuisines with a mixture of Turkish, Jewish, Austrian and Hungarian influences.
Ideal destination for families with children; Slovenia
Slovenia has a long-standing history of struggling for independence but history aside, the country has much to offer families travelling with children. Kids skipping along the cobblestoned paths of 18th century historic towns, visiting Predjama and other medieval castles, ride horseback in Lipica or along Soca River, or explore limestone caves in Postojna or Skocjan.
Many rivers flow through Slovenia so you can take your adventurous kids white water rafting down Savinja River, kayak along Sava Bohinjka, or go canoeing in the Kolpa River. When night falls, watch ballet or opera together, Slovenia has quite a developed arts and entertainment industry.
Perfect location in Europe for outdoor enthusiasts; Andorra
Sandwiched between France and Spain, the little country of Andorra is set high up in the magnificent Pyrenees Mountains. Its capital city, Andorra la Vella, is Europe’s highest. If you are a mountaineer, Andorra will thrill you with its lofty peaks and breathtaking views of meandering valleys and numerous sparkling lakes from the summit. You don’t even have to be a professional to enjoy Andorra. The Alpine country offers beaten trails through the mountains and the countryside for amateurs to relish as much of the beautiful scenery as professionals. If you mountain bike, you may want to challenge yourself up steep slopes and different terrains. Amateurs can still be satisfied with easier routes around lakes and through the country.
When the day is done, be sure to soak your tired muscles in one of Andorra’s spas located mainly in Les Escaldes, many are built around natural hot springs. Be sure to take a relaxing day off fishing by the lakes, you may be lucky enough to haul exotic species of trout.
Cheapest European destination for ski trips; Macedonia
For a cheap winter holiday, there is no better place to be than on the beautiful slopes of Macedonia with stunning views below. Not yet an international hotspot for skiing and sledding, Macedonia’s annual overseas visitors tend to come from surrounding European nations. Although the country may be a little laid back, and public transportation may not be as convenient as its more developed neighbors, some planning in advance and tour booking will certainly allay the fears of roaming around in a foreign country in the coldest of winters.
Compared to other Southern European Alpine nations, Macedonia is constantly upgrading its ski resorts. Most offer modern amenities for the fussiest of travellers today and there are numerous ski terrains categorized by difficulty level. Whether you are a novice and trying to ski for the first time or a professional, you certainly will be spoiled for choice.
By Julie Bowman