For those who prefer the petrol-free way of life, the land of tulips, cheese markets and perfectly frothed beer might just be paradise. Alongside Denmark, the Netherlands is the most bike-friendly nation in Europe, with 70% of all journeys in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague made on two wheels. Much of the country’s infrastructure has been designed with cyclists specifically in mind, which, combined with famously flat Dutch terrain, makes it the ideal destination for those setting off on their first cycling holiday. What’s more, this year cyclists new and old can be inspired by their heroes at the UCI World Track Championships 2018, which are set to be held in one of Holland’s quaintest locations – Apeldoorn.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, food festivals are the epitome of gastronomic curiosity-quenching, elevating local delicacies to the likes of idols. Here, lemons line the streets in the form of intricate sculptures, oysters are artfully shucked in contests of speed, and onions are celebrated with raucous street parties – as they have been for over 350 years. So if you can’t turn on the TV without switching to Professional Masterchef, or you simply appreciate the beauty of humble ingredients, then these specialty food festivals in Europe are sure to be right up your street.
With the promise of longer days and finer weather on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to start planning a solo holiday in Europe. Whether you’re a people-watcher or an off-the-beaten-track explorer, there’s nothing quite like discovering a new city at exactly the right pace. And with solo travel more popular than ever, you can even choose between surrounding yourself with new people or spending some coveted time alone. Here, we take a look at some of the best solo holidays in Europe – all just a hop, skip, and a jump away from one of our ferry ports.
Opening weekend whet your appetite? Get into the thick of the action by catching a Six Nations match at one of Europe’s liveliest sports venues. England’s 30-point victory against Italy has got the team off to a whirlwind start, and there’s no better way to enjoy the rest of the series than live from the buzz of the stands. Whether you’re looking for a weekend day trip to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium or a long driving holiday to experience the sporting spirit in the south of France, here’s everything you need to know about getting to the Six Nations with P&O Ferries.
Throughout history, the 40 days leading up to Easter have been a religious time for fasting- a tradition that still stands today through giving up various things for Lent. But before this sobering custom took place, Mardi Gras celebrations have long provided a hedonistic revelry of feasting, dancing and outrageous costumes to get observers through the six-week period. Today, the tradition is as strong as ever in France. Between January and March, the country unleashes its wild side in a series of colourful street parties taking place across the nation – and everyone’s invited. From thrilling circus acts to mad carnival parades, find out where to catch the best carnivals in France for all ages.
How about an early morning hike past soaring snow-capped mountains, spending the day cycling along sprawling untamed coastlines, or diving deep below glistening azure waters to discover the local sea life? There are so many incredible locations across the pond just waiting to be explored on foot, ski or scuba – and with P&O Ferries, you can take everything from surfboards to bicycles for free. Now all you have to do is choose one of these stunning destinations for your next active holiday in Europe.
Seeing a city from a new, less crowded perspective is one of the top reasons to visit Europe in February. There’s nothing quite like kicking back in front of a roaring fire after a day of exploring famous landmarks – which you’ll often have all to yourself – with a wonderful, wintry backdrop. So give yourself a relaxing treat to start the year off right – read our guide to some of the best last minute February holiday destinations.
If there’s one thing that Europe is known for, it’s harbouring a rich history of art from all influences. Whether it’s hanging on a wall, painted as a mural or performed on a stage, this continent holds some of the greatest artistic artefacts the world has ever seen. Holding fast in an ever-changing field, European artists are continuously creating works that affect audiences worldwide – pushing boundaries and questioning the norm both in terms of materials and their subject matter. Experience this inspiration for yourself with our guide to some of Europe’s best alternative art festivals.
Situated in northwest Switzerland, near to where the nation meets with France and Germany, Basel’s location has served as a key trading hub for thousands of years. With a variety of diverse and vibrant districts to suit every taste, you’ll have time to explore each one even on a short break – thanks both to its manageable size and its excellent public transport network. The city is perhaps best-known for the world famous Art Basel festival – which sees leading artists from across the world flock to the city every June. But it continues to hold its own as one of Europe’s most influential cities not just in the art scene, but also in its global zoological projects.
Interested? For an unforgettable city break, read our guide to Basel.
One of the best ways to beat the dreaded January blues is to plan your next break. And with countless cities packed full of must-see sights, plus the added benefit of being close enough for a cheap weekend escape, Europe is always a popular choice. To help inspire your own adventure, we’ve carefully selected our favourite destinations for 2018 so you can start planning that dream getaway now.