Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday


En-route from northern Wales to the Lakes District, I'd booked an overnight stay in Liverpool. When choosing which hotel to stay at, one in particular seemed the obvious choice - the Hard Days Night Hotel. The hotel promised a real Beatles experience right in the heart of the city and surrounded by iconic Beatles haunts like the Cavern Club.

There are some countries that hold a special place in a traveller's heart and to me, Austria is one of those places. So what better way to get a closer look at a part of the country I hadn't visited before than on a cycling holiday of Austria? I spent nine fantastic days in July doing just that, discovering some wonderful Austrian scenery and getting a real appreciation for ‘slow travel’ along the way.

13 reasons to visit Europe in 2013, Vienna Christmas marketThere are endless reasons why a visit to Europe makes sense but I've come up with 13 reasons to consider making 2013 the year you do it!




StonehengeMy love of Europe started back in 1988 when my boyfriend (now husband), and I took a six week holiday to Europe. After a 14 day Contiki Tour, a Greek Island cruise and visiting some of my husband's relatives, I was in love with the continent. We had to wait another 12 years to return (after adding two new members to our family in the meantime), but we weren't disappointed and my love of travelling in Europe has grown stronger with every subsequent trip.


Monet's Garden, GivernyOne of the gifts I received for Christmas was a copy of Monty Don's Italian Gardens DVD. After watching it over a few nights (there are four one-hour episodes), it has made me even more determined to visit some of Italy's most beautiful gardens. So far I've only ticked one of the gardens that Monty visits in the DVD off my list - that of the quirky but stunning garden at Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore in Italy's north - but there are now plenty more that have been added!




Many Australians and those from the southern hemisphere are keen to experience a European winter vacation but are unsure whether travelling in winter is a good idea.  Don’t let chilly temperatures, possible snowstorms and shorter opening hours of many attractions put you off visiting Europe over winter.  

Cruising is a fantastic, stress-free way to see some of Europe’s most popular destinations. The advantages of taking a cruise holiday include the fact that all meals are included (and there’s no shortage of food!), you only have to unpack once as your 'floating hotel' takes you from port to port, and there is plenty of onboard entertainment to keep you occupied whilst you're sailing.

Families looking to add a little adventure to their European holiday have plenty of options whether that be cycling, walking or boating. UTracks' are one company that offer a huge range of family-friendly soft adventure holidays, and their General Manager (and mother of two), Kate Baker, has put together her list of the top 5 family trips offered by the company.

In May 2012 I spent three nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Zurich in Switzerland. As Zurich is a pretty expensive city, I chose the hotel based on price, knowing that Crowne Plaza Hotels are always of a high standard. Here's my review ...