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Welcome to Europe

Europe

Europe - a little bit of the lot!

The real secret to having a blast on your holidays to Europe is choosing what kind of holiday you want. Is it a quick city break - cruising in to the likes of Paris or Rome, Berlin or Barcelona, or is it a week in the sun in the Med? Maybe some shopping is the plan? That being the case you'll want the inside running on Milanese fashion houses and the wondrous malls that house them. Have you seen Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II? It is utterly stunning and an extraordinary place to roam through just staring up at four stories of glass-vaulted extravagance!

Could it be some cultural inspiration you're after? Then Paris and the Louvre beckons. Our tip here is to arrive very early on a weekday if possible. Don't bother with the free first Sunday of each month. The Louvre is in sections and if you want to see the Mona Lisa you'll need to buy a ticket for the permanent collections. Head straight for the 13th-15th century Italian paintings section (on the first floor).

The great museums of Amsterdam are where you'll find Van Gogh's and Rembrandt. Not only is Amsterdam an outstanding city architecturally and culturally, it's a wonderful city to just roam from scenic highlight to hotspot. The food and cafe scene is superb and on a sunny day there's nothing like lunch in an outdoor cafe overlooking one of the canals.

Europe holidays from Holiday Supermarket are easy to organise and we're just a phone call away if you need help! Because the big issue is choosing - there's so much to see in this vast and wondrous continent - grab help where you can.

Do you love good food? Then the Nordic hotspots of Copenhagen and Stockholm will take your breath away with the truly exquisite spin on new food that chef's such as René Redzepi at Noma are unleashing on the world. A visit to these northern cities is vastly rewarding in the many attractions and sights. The water plays a big part in the scenery - think Fjords and intimate, intricate waterways around the cities. There are ferries everywhere and outdoor life centres around the water in summer.

Perhaps base your exploration theme on history - but, oh, where to start! The great galleries of Rome and the most famous church of them all - St Peter's Basilica - is probably as good a reason as any to visit Italy and the Vatican City. You can spend days soaking up the life and times of the early Romans in the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the art of Michelangelo and more.

Or if you just need to soak up the sun for a 'head space break', then the Greek islands are still considered one of the best holidays in Europe, even if the beaches are a little rocky! For something a little further afield try the beaches of Croatia - Hvar and Dubrovnik are spectacular.  The French Riviera beaches are more scenically stunning than ideal for sand lovers, while the beaches of the Spanish hotspots are always good. If you want nightlife mixed with sun worship, Ibiza is still No 1.

For many, it's the festivals of Europe that are the big drawcard. It's hard to beat a genuine St Patrick's Day celebration in Dublin - where you can party hard for three full days before wandering the Irish countryside to take in the monumental beauty of Galway or the stunning Ring of Kerry tourist drive (179kms of bliss).

What about a trip to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona? You can get in amongst it; risking life, limb, sanity and your mother's undying horror, or you can watch from a quiet balcony, sipping sangria and deciding which cut of meat you'd like for the evening meal... It's held for a week in early July.

If you've a musical bent, try the Montreux Jazz Festival in one of the prettiest lakeside destinations in Europe. Running over a fortnight in early July, it hosts the biggest names in music - and not necessarily Jazz. For more music, check out the Sziget Music Festival on the island of Obuda in Budapest - a week-long indulgence in one of 'old' Europe's finest cities, usually in late July.

Choices! Choices! Maybe you just need to do a whole lot of quick city breaks throughout the year! Ideal weekend hotspots? Paris is fantastic, a bejewelled city with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Montmartre, the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame. Amsterdam has the Van Gogh and Rembrandt collections and great food. Berlin is a 24 hour a day party town. Forget sleep, just do it. Barcelona is an architectural delight and has one of the best people-watching venues in all of Europe in Las Ramblas.

All in all, holidays in Europe can be all you want and more. From wondrous history to scenic vistas the envy of the world; from beaches to die for to festivals to die at, Europe can indulge your every whim!

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