Best European Summer Breaks 2013

After one of the longest winters in living memory, 2013 is not the year for a staycation. Indeed, it’s not just the prospect of some guaranteed sunshine that makes heading overseas for a summer break extra enticing.

Thanks to the sheer number of package holiday deals out there, there’s arguably never been a better time to see what Europe has to offer. In fact, the biggest dilemma many people will face is choosing where to go. Here are just a few suggestions of affordable and exciting destinations that will make your 2013 holidays a break to remember – click here to book yours today.

Canary Islands
The Canary Islands have long been popular with sun-seekers, and it’s not hard to see why. The main islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote boast dozens of spectacular beaches between them, ranging from quiet and secluded coves to large, bustling stretches of sand served by lively bars, restaurants and clubs. However, the Canary Islands offer more than just year-round sunshine. Not only are they an affordable package holiday destination, they’re also a top spot for nature lovers. Above all, it is the islands’ volcanoes that draw the crowds; on Tenerife, El Teide is the highest point in the whole of Spain and the third-highest volcano in the world, with the National Park surrounding it offering world-class walking and wildlife-watching opportunities.

tenerife beach

Croatia
While Croatia’s beautiful Mediterranean beaches may no longer be such a secret, the historic centre and the bustling harbour of Split have yet to be taken over by the tourist masses. The largest of all Croatia’s coastal cities, Split’s history dates back more than 1,700 years, as even the briefest of stroll through its heart reveals. Highlights include Diocletian’s Palace, originally built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century and now the city’s most popular monument.

Aside from a wealth of other notable buildings, visitors can also join locals in taking in the view from the top of Marjan Hill or head down to the harbourside to people-watch from one of the many waterfront cafes and bars. With other pluses including the fact that Croatia remains one of Europe’s most affordable travel destinations, plus the fact that Split serves as an ideal base from which to explore the stunning Dalmatian coastline, it’s easy to see why the country will be top of many people’s must-see lists.

Portugal
When it comes to world-class beaches, Portugal has more than its fair share. Most sunseekers, however, know little of the country’s coastline outside of the Algarve, despite the fact that the Estoril coast also offers warm waters, clean sandy beaches and affordable resorts, along with the added bonus of being ideally placed for exploring the fascinating city of Lisbon.

That said, if you’d prefer to top up your tan while out on a golf course rather than just by lazing on a beach, then it’s all about the Algarve. Most major package holiday resorts are within easy distance of professional-standard 18-hole courses that will challenge even Tiger Woods. Also well worth checking out is the Roca Cape, the most westerly point in mainland Europe and a source of inspiration for countless poets, artists and philosophers over the centuries.

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