04 June 2017

NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NETHERLANDS

Why You Should Never Say Never to The Netherlands

The Netherlands are an often overlooked European holiday destination, generally dismissed in favour of showier beach destinations such as Italy, Spain, and France. To dismiss the Netherlands as a vacation destination, however would be a huge mistake. Holland has so much to offer to every different kind of travellers: young singles and couples will love the vibrancy and excitement of Amsterdam, whilst families will delight in the miles of cycle paths, pristine beaches, and the old-world charm of world-renowned theme park, Efteling. Here are just some of the many benefits of choosing to travel to the Netherlands for your next holiday, no matter what the season:

City Breaks in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a world-wide reputation for being a sin city that is simply not suitable for families. Whilst there certainly are areas of the city it is advisable not to venture into with children after dark, this is no different from any other major European city and the reality is these areas of the city are self-contained and easy to avoid. With a wealth of cultural offers, Amsterdam is the perfect city break destination. Amsterdam is a city built on canals, meaning that a canal tour is a great way to explore the architectural highlights that the city has to offer whilst relaxing in the sunshine: with dozens of tour boats departing from right next to central station every hour, be sure to choose one which offers their commentary in English, in order to make the most of your experience. Once your journey is completed, there is a host of other cultural opportunities to enjoy: from visiting the house of Ann Frank to appreciating the artistic works of the Netherland’s most famous painters. Don’t forget to take time out from your busy schedule to enjoy a glass of beer and a potato pancake: this simple but delicious dish is a national delicacy.

Lazy Summers By the Beach

If you’re visiting Holland during the summer months then a trip to the coast is essential. Most people wouldn’t think about the Netherlands as the home to some of Europe’s best beaches, but when the sun is shining people flock to Holland’s beaches in their thousands to take advantage of the soft sandy, miles of restaurant-lined promenades and water sports. Scheveningen close the The Hague is considered to be one of the best beaches if you’re looking for somewhere that Is easily accessible from Amsterdam, whilst Wassenaar boasts an 8km long stretch of beach that tends to be much quieter and is known to be one of the Hollands most affluent towns. Wassenaar is also home to Duinrell: an amusement park and swimming pool complex with twelve incredible water slides that was recently named as one of the top ten water parks in the world. Visiting the beach in Holland means so much more than simply building sandcastles: you can also try your hand at kite surfing, wind surfing, horseback riding, and even cycling along the beach front.

The Practical Benefits of Choosing the Netherlands

From a practical point of view, there are many benefits of choosing to take a holiday in the Netherlands: As a member of the European Union, currency exchange is easy and straightforward both in Amsterdam and the rest of the country. The use of English is widespread across the country, meaning that communication is rarely lost in translation, and making it much easier to get around. Public transport links are exceptional, and with bike hire available in even the smallest town, and miles of expertly managed cycle lanes covering the entire country, you can hire a bike once you reach your destination and easily travel from A to B. Finally, Holland is easy to get to, particularly if you are travelling from the UK. You can choose to take advantage of the daily budget airline routes into Amsterdam from all of the UK’s major airports, alternatively, there are several affordable ferry links between Holland and the UK making travelling between the two countries easier than it has ever been before.

If you’re looking for to experience a new holiday destination without any hassle, then a trip to the Netherlands is well worth exploration: visit once and you’ll want to go back again and again!

24 June 2016

The Best Road Trips In Europe

Now the misguided electorate have decide that the UK should no longer enjoy being part of the EU its time to think about future travel.

Taking a road trip in Europe gives you the opportunity to see the sights under your own steam, to immerse yourself in a culture like never before (nothing teaches you more about a national character than behaviour on a motorway!), and to travel with all mod cons over some of the oldest human routes in the world. The enticing idea of a European road trip is surpassed only by the reality of it - but you have to choose the right road. Nobody, for example, would want to take a British road trip around the M25. Here, therefore, are a few suggestions for a spectacular road trip through Europe.




Before You Start…

Before you head off, make sure you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. This is particularly relevant when it comes to driving laws. It may seem simpler to drive yourself through Europe rather than to take public transport - and in many ways it is. But it does demand that you take a certain amount of responsibility for your own passage. That includes familiarizing yourself with the driving laws and customs in the nations through which you will be heading. It also means making sure that your car is adequately prepared, and meets all of the regulations and stipulations you may encounter along the way. Map out your route thoroughly, get to know the road signs you’ll encounter, and perhaps acquire a smattering of basic language skills if you’re heading somewhere where English is not widely spoken. Make sure you’ve got everything you need, and (most importantly of all) make sure that you’re psyched but sensible about what’s ahead! Now you’re ready to take on one of these great trips…

Paris To Berlin

The drive from Paris to Berlin will take you through some of Europe’s most historical, culturally significant, and beautiful areas. After taking in the unsurpassable delights of Paris, you’ll soar through the beautiful regions of Champagne and Reims before hitting oft-overlooked but nonetheless rather wonderful Luxembourg. Heading into Germany you’ll meander through the Riesling wine region and through the mediaeval city of Heidelberg. Nuremberg is the next significant stop - an historic city with plenty to see and think about - followed by Leipzig (famed for its classical music and cakes). Then Dresden looms large, a stark reminder of our recent history. Finally, Berlin - a city with more atmosphere and history than anyone could wish for! They say that the journey is more important than the destination, but this destination may put the lie to that saying (depending on the traffic you encountered along the way, of course…).

Bergen To Trondheim

If you’re less of a wine, art, and music person and more of a wilderness, solitude, and fjords type then try the drive from Bergen to Trondheim. Beginning from Bergen, on the southern coast of Norway, drive through a heavily fjorded region towards Voss (where you’ll find an incredible waterfall). Those who like tunnels will be thrilled to learn that Europe’s longest road tunnel then takes you under the mountains (for those who are less keen on such things, hold on, there are better things coming up!). Emerging from the tunnel, you can get a ferry across the lovely Sognefjord and head for the glaciers and valleys of Fjaland. Little waterside and mountainside towns and villages abound, all of which have much to offer the eager sightseer. Heading north, you’ll take the exhilarating mountain turns of the ‘Troll Pass’ (Trollstigen) down to the Eresfjord ferry. After crossing, it’s a quick drive along Norway’s stunning Atlantic Road to the beautiful city of Trondheim.

Athens Loop

For sun, sea, and ancient culture, you can’t do better than a road trip around Greece. Looping from Athens back to Athens gives you the opportunity to take in the best that Greece has to offer from the comfort of your own car. Leaving Athens, try taking the coastal roads south through the Athenian Riviera. Heading down towards the end of the Attic Peninsula, you will encounter the Temple of Poseidon near Souinon. Turning back towards the north, you will pass through the myth-drenched settlements of Korinthos and Mycaenae. For a little sun-splashed luxury after all of that exhausting culture, take yourself off to the resort of Nafpolio. Alternatively, carry on towards Mystra - another historically significant city. Continuing, you can take yourself to Delphi - once considered the ‘navel of the world’, a site of ancient worship and prophecy which still holds considerable power and atmosphere today. Or visit Olympia, where the first Olympics were held. Turning south, you can then head back to Athens and look at the ancient (and modern) capital of Greece with new eyes after all that you have experienced!