Surrounded by fjords and woodland, Oslo is a great getaway for those who love hiking, biking or any pursuit that involves being outside and expending some energy. But Oslo also has enough cafes, clubs and chic boutiques to entice even urban dwellers to its pristine shores. The perfect size for exploring on foot, make your first stop the National Gallery to gaze at Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, ‘The Scream’, then onward to the Ski Museum, Viking Ship or Folk Museum.
Quite frankly, we love Slovenia and think more people should go there. If you’ve never spent time with this petite beauty of a country – then capital Ljubljana is the perfect first date. Divided by the green Ljubljanica River and overlooked by a medieval castle, the atmosphere is one of style and sophistication. A day trip to the incredibly picturesque Lake Bled is easily doable, then return to the city’s riverside bars or visit Metelko Street, an ‘alternative’ area full of art galleries, studios and live music, known for its interesting after-dark activities.
With 300 days of sunshine a year and an average annual temperature of 19ºC, the weather in this Spanish gem won’t disappoint. Meander through beautiful old streets, lush open parks and awe-inspiring buildings then stroll to the coast where first-class beaches and pretty seafront promenades await. If that wasn’t enough, foodies will be in their element with an enticing mix of fine cuisine including Michelin star restaurants and traditional Mediterranean dishes such as paella, orxata and ‘agua de Valencia’.
With the chance of a Eurozone exit now much less likely, Greece is luring back the tourists with great value holidays this summer. Though its politics may have been in doubt, Greece’s sun, sea and history were never in question. Thessaloniki has beautiful beaches, fine hotels and what have been deemed the best restaurants in northern Greece. It is also the jumping-off point for the Kassandra peninsula, with its pine forests and white beaches, and great resorts such as family-friendly Polichron, disco-tastic Kalithea, and the more low-key Kriopigi.
Those who are in on Zagreb’s secrets enjoy the fact that it is often overlooked by tourists. The faded grandeur of Austro-Hungarian architecture adds to the charm of a city; stroll down sophisticated boulevards popping in and out of boutiques, art galleries and museums. Enjoy the outdoor life as Croatians do, running, walking, playing and picnicking in the verdant green parks or along stretches of sublime coastline just outside the city.
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