Remember that old travel guide image of Spain as a country of only bullfighting, flamenco dancing and mile after mile of sun-drenched beaches?
They're all still here of course, but anyone travelling to Spain will discover a world far beyond these stereotypical images. From the world's party capital Ibiza. to the overflowing art gallery that is Madrid. Spain satisfies all tastes, whether they are for egg and chips, or for jamon serrano. Busy beach resorts of the Costa Blanca. Mallorca and Tenerife keep the crowds happy with the three S's, Sun, Sea and Sangria, while some of Spain's best cities to visit like Valencia and Barcelona attract others with their culture, amazing architecture and world-class museums.
Of course if you get off the beaten track you'll find another world completely. Medieval cities like Murcia with their World Heritage sites, fairytale castles perched on hilltops and beautiful towns littered with Islamic architecture are waiting to be discovered. Even the countryside is in on the act. Believe it or not Spain has one of Europe's most varied landscapes, from impossibly lush pastures in the northern region of Asturias. to the stunning deserts of Andalucia in the south.
But for whatever reason you chose to come to Spain you're sure to have a good time while you're here. One thing that the Spanish have in common is a shared sense of fun. Well, what other country has festivals that include throwing millions of rotten tomatoes at each other or being chased around a city by a bull? Let's just say the Spanish know how to throw a party, so the best piece of travel advice is to jump right in and join them.
Spain's weather is its biggest selling point. Its south, east and central regions experience hot summers, with average temperatures in the late 20s and early 30s. If you've already started build up a sweat reading this you can always escape to the north, which sees the Atlantic Ocean keep temperatures lower.
The winter climate in Spain is generally mild; although in the central plains like Madrid average temperatures can drop quite low, so wrap up warm. And if you are still in doubt as to the best time to go then head to the Canary Islands where you can be assured of summer weather all year round.
#image.jpgSo you’re looking for a touch of the exotic, somewhere different from the norm, but a holiday destination where you can still experience sand beneath your feet, crystal clear waters and perfect weather come summer or winter? It sounds to us like your next holiday destination should be Morocco.
This North African country is a melting pot of cultures that will take you back in time to a world of bustling souks, medieval medinas, and squares full of fire eaters, snake charmers and sweet smelling spices. Cities like Marrakech provide the perfect setting for those looking for a break with a difference. Where you’ll spend mornings getting lost amongst ancient markets, wile away the afternoons relaxing in hammams and enjoy evenings full of bellydancing, acrobats and that famous Moroccan cuisine. While the financial powerhouse that is Casablanca offers tourists the other side of the country, one of modern shopping centres, beach bars and western-style nightclubs. All a long way from the images conjured up by the 1940s film of the same name.
And the beach? Well, this is where Morocco comes into its own. Think pristine golden sands, resorts like Agadir full of every amenity under the sun and great year-round weather and you have the perfect recipe for that beach holiday you’ve been longing for. It sounds almost too good to be true; bustling culture-filled cities, large and modern metropolises and relaxing beach resorts to boot! Oh, and let’s not forget those prices which have the competition well and truly beaten. And, with a natural beauty that includes snow-capped mountains, forests of cedar trees, fertile green valleys and all those traditional Berber villages where life carries on as it has done for centuries, Morocco is a holiday destination that satisfies all tastes. Quick city break, a relaxing week at the beach or a longer tour of one of the most exotic countries in the world, Morocco and all its different faces will definitely not disappoint. The only question is choosing the holiday that is right for you!
You’ll find the weather in Morocco differs depending on where in the country you are. The coastal areas enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate while further, temperatures are hotter and the climate is much dryer. Further south things get even hotter and rain becomes a rare occurrence. Summer or winter you are likely to experience good weather with average annual temperatures in cities like Marrakech of 22 degrees.
The centre of Europe for centuries, Rome is the perfect destination for lovers of history, sophistication and good food. If it’s culture, history and a healthy dose of style that you are after, then look no further than Italy’s capital Rome. The centre of the once mighty Roman Empire and the home of Roman Catholicism has more than enough impressive sights to feast your eyes on for days.
Whether it’s art and history, Italian designer shops, or some mouthwatering cuisine that takes your fancy, Rome has more than enough on offer. Known as the ‘Eternal City’, Rome has to be the world’s biggest open-air museum. This is a place where awe-inspiring Roman remains battle with Renaissance churches and opulent fountains for your attention. The architecture here is mind-blowing, with a kaleidoscope of Baroque, Renaissance and Neoclassical buildings sprinkled throughout the city centre. How about starting with the Colosseum, the Pantheon or the Roman Forum? Or perhaps the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps?
An up and coming tourist retreat, Egypt is full of bustling beachside resorts, 5,000 years of history and diving sites that will take your breath away.
We all think we know Egypt, right? This is the land of the Pharaohs, pyramids, underground tombs and desert-roaming camels after all. But Egypt is much more than just ancient wonders and grains of sand. With its Red Sea Riviera of bustling resorts, turquoise seas and imposing mountain backdrops, Egypt is fast becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. And what’s more, you’ll find that holidays to the desert are far less painful on your bank balance.
While you might get more for your money in Egypt, your holiday experience will still be priceless. There are few places in the world that offer historical marvels on the scale of this place, and you’ll need a good few weeks to see them all. From the mighty Pyramids of Giza and the soaring temples of Abu Simbel to the Valley of the Kings and the massive temple complex of Karnak, Egypt is overflowing with historical goodies at every turn. Its cities are big, brash and full of character. Cairo is a medieval treat of ancient bazaars and winding back streets in addition to its surprisingly lively and modern nightlife. Whether you’re seeing the country from a different perspective as you sail down the Nile on a felucca, or watching the sun rise from the top of spiritual Mount Sinai, Egypt is full of magical moments that will last a lifetime.
And when it’s not bombarding you with 5,000 years of history or enchanting you with its desert landscapes, it’ll have you relaxing on its beaches, diving in its seas and partying in its busy Red Sea resorts. Egypt has some of the best beaches in the world and arguably its best dive sites too – trust us, you won’t have seen anything like the underwater life here. Holiday hot spots like Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada pull in the crowds with swathes of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a wealth of activities. Whether you’re coming with your family in tow, as an independent traveller or you’re looking for a party, Egypt will do more than just meet your expectations. For an all round holiday adventure, it’s got to be the land of the Pharaohs.
With most of Egypt being covered in desert, the country is covered in almost perpetual sunshine from January to December. Summers can get very hot with average temperature often peaking in the late 30s during July and August. That said, you can expect cooler temperatures in the country’s coastal resorts, such as Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada. thanks to the prevailing sea breeze. Winters are also warm with average temperatures in the low 20s. And because this is the desert, you shouldn’t worry about bringing a brolly.