4 sure-fire ways to have your best summer in Europe yet
Europe is a sprawling mecca of beautiful scenery, fascinating culture, mouth-watering food and, perhaps most importantly, sun-strewn skies. There's probably no place on earth that offers such a diverse range of good times to be had. And with Cannes Film Festival taking place over the next week, what better time to take a look at what else Europe has to offer? From idyllic beaches to ancient history, to vibrant cities and buzzing night-life, there's something to suit every taste.
Below are four sure-fire ways to have your best summer yet in Europe.
1. See its sights: they're like a long, cool drink for your eyes.
From the Renaissance architecture of Florence to the weird and wonderful Gaudi buildings and Sagrada Familia of Barcelona, Europe offers a feast for your eyes. Hit Paris to see the majestic Eiffel Tower and then head up top to view the twinkling lights of the French capital from a height. And don't forget to visit Rome to witness the rugged and imposing Colosseum, the largest ancient amphitheatre of its kind.
And then there's the enchanting Old Town of Prague, with its gothic castle and fairy-tale-streets, which are lined with luring absinthe bars and quirky shops. There are more sights in Europe than you can shake a tourist map at, but that's the beauty of it; you never have to travel far to be amazed by yet another epic, bucket-list destination.
2. Lay on its beaches. Because life, after all, is a beach. Especially in Europe.
If there's one thing you're spoilt for choice for in Europe, it's beaches. Make your way around the Greek Islands to witness azure blue shores and white sands. From the tiny but cosmopolitan Skiathos; to the larger Corfu, which is adorned with gorgeous cove after gorgeous cove; you could spend an entire summer just going from beach to beach in Greece alone.
Those who seek lively nights dancing in the shallows should head to Ibiza, Mykonos or Croatia, where people congregate to experience some of the best beach parties in the world. If, on the other hand, you're travelling with children, the quieter shores of Majorca in Spain, the Algarve in Portugal, Puglia in Italy and the South coast of France are all ideal locations for family holidays.
3. Dance at its festivals like nobody's watching. Except the other happy festival-folk, of course.
If you thought you had the best time of your life at a muddy festival in the UK, wait 'til you see your favourite band perform as the sun sets over a sparkling Mediterranean Sea. For those who love their bands, but like to dabble in dance and electro too, Benicassim in Spain is a great festival to start off your summer in Europe. Acts who've played here include: Radiohead, The Stone Roses, Basement Jaxx, Kasabian, The Streets and Calvin Harris.
For the slightly more alternative taste, there's Primavera Sound in Barcelona, which has been played by the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The Cure and Bon Iver. If dubstep, reggae and drum & bass are more your scene, head to Outlook festival in Croatia. And if you want a truly other-worldly experience, Tomorrowland in Belgium is the perfect choice (although not for the faint-hearted). Of course, that's not to downplay the joys of the British festival. With the likes of Glastonbury, Leeds Festival, Secret Garden Party, Bestival and many more, we've got a lot to be proud of.
4. Eat your heart out: because if nothing else, Europe is one epic trip for your taste-buds.
One of the main reasons people travel is to try delicious food, and Europe provides the perfect place to do so. From the succulent grilled meats of Greece to Spain's famous Paella, to the freshly made pasta of Italy, there's an abundance of things to try. And that's not even scratching the surface. To really get your teeth stuck into different cuisines, head to food markets such as Kauppatori in Helsinki, Berlin Village Market, Naschmarkt in Vienna, Le Marche Raspail in Paris and Borough Market in London.
If fresh seafood is your thing, you must visit Brussels in Belgium for the best muscles you'll ever try. Or alternatively, head to any one of the Greek Islands, the Italian coast or the shores of Croatia for seafood fresh from the ocean. For meaty dishes with a Middle Eastern vibe, head to Turkey, and for traditional tapas head to Barcelona in Spain.
So there you have it. All that's left to do is plan an itinerary that takes you to see awesome sights, sunbathe on beautiful beaches, dance at amazing festivals and taste some of the best food on the planet. If it were any else in the world, you might have trouble finding a place that hits all the spots… but in Europe, you'll be able to do all of this and more.
If you're holidaying in Europe this summer and are looking for Gatwick Airport hotels to make your journey a little easier, we offer two fantastic options that are conveniently located next to the airport.