SUNNY BREAKS IN EUROPE: 3 places to visit this summer

I’m mostly done with my summer holiday planning, but there’s still one weekend in August to go somewhere. Here are three ideas for summer breaks:

1. The beach holiday: Sicily, Italy

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Sicily is one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Deep blue seas and sunny days make it the perfect summer scape. Plus there are lots of historical sites to visit, from Erice to Taormina, where you can see old walled cities and Roman ruins.

Go: Fly into Palermo and explore the region by car, bus or ferry.

The perfect beach holiday without the crowds!

2. The city break: Stockholm, Sweden

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Stockholm is amazing in the summer. Walk around the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and take a ferry around the many islands. There’s lots to explore on foot and the temperatures are mild – perfect for walking around.

Go: Get a cheap flight with Norwegian and book a flat around the city centre.

The perfect time to discover a great city!

3. The hidden gems: Ljubljana and Bled, Slovenia

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Ideally located by the Julian Alps, Ljubljana is not very touristic and is really pretty. Nearby is the amazing Bled, a scenic town with a famous church in an island in the middle of a lake.

Go: Flights from the UK take around 2.5 hours and are cheapest with Wizzair. Book in advance for the summer months to get the best prices. Buses between Bled and Ljubljana are frequent and take around 1.5 hours.

A sunny break in a new place!

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TRAVELLING IN THE WINTER: Don’t wait for the weather to be good!

It’s very easy to find places to go in the summer. But who wants to wait this long to go somewhere? Here are a few ideas of places to visit this winter:

1. Go to a big city

The big European capitals have a lot to offer, so it’s easy to find something to do indoors. Berlin is a good option, as you can spend a lot of time in museums and cafes, but there are also good Christmas markets around.

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2. Escape the cold

You don’t need to travel halfway across the globe to find somewhere warmer. Morocco and Egypt are quite warm during the winter, and can be reached within 3-4 hours.

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3. Discover somewhere new

Last December we went to Ljubljana just because we wanted to go somewhere – it was great! Very cold, but a great little trip.

There’s still time to go somewhere this winter!

DECEMBER: 2 DAYS IN LJUBLJANA

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, and we decided to go ‘because it’s there‘. We didn’t know much about it, so it was a very pleasant surprise to discover how nice it was!

You get the most amazing view of the Julian Alps from the plane:
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The city is small, and everything is within walking distance.
The city centre is very pretty, and in December there is a nice Christmas market which keeps the town busy despite the cold.

CHRISTMAS MARKET:

The Christmas Market is not a large as its counterparts in Germany, but it was still very nice. You get a glass of mulled wine for about €2, and the same for roasted chestnuts.The city is also nicely decorated with Christmas lights.

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LJUBLJANA CASTLE:

The castle has nice views of the city, which is the main reason to visit. It also has a ‘virtual tour’ which tells the story of the castle, and other activities.Entrance at €8, including funicular transfer.

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TIPS

  • Drinking: Union lager, a local beer, was okay but nothing exceptional.
  • EatingFoculus Pizza is a nice pizzeria with lots of options, and the menu is helpfully split to show veggie options. Dinner for two with a drink costs around €25.
  • Nightlife: Tabor is an up-and-coming area, where you will find Metelkova Mesto, a squat with six clubs. The area is also full of nice graffiti.
  • Stay: We stayed at the nice Sax Hostel, which we found through Hostelworld. The hostess was very nice and helpful, and the accommodation was good and close to the city centre. There is also a Pub downstairs.
  • Money: The currency is the euro, which makes things easy. Prices are cheaper than London, but comparable to other European countries.
  • Taxis: are easily available, but booking in advance is a good option as you get significant discounts.
  • Airport transfer: buses to the city centre a few and far in between (once every one or two hours), so if you have the option the best thing would be to book a taxi in advance.
  • Language: English and Italian are widely spoken.
  • Weather: it’s very cold in the winter, so it’s probably a good idea to visit when it’s warmer (although summer can be too hot). This would also be the best time to visit other cities in Slovenia, such as Bled.
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