Spain has long been a favourite of British holidaymakers, and it remains our number one holiday destination. In particular, the Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza are perennial big-hitters (not forgetting Menorca), along with Canary Islands such as Tenerife, La Palma and the beautiful lesser-known La Gomera. Other great beach destinations include the Costa de la Luz andCatalonia.
Northern Spain is overlooked by most tourists, even though it combines magnificent empty beaches with rolling countryside, mountains, medieval towns and buzzing cities. It’s authentic, great value and the food is superb.
There’s a lot more to Spain than beaches. There are great walking holidays in the north andcycling in Catalonia. The rise of low-cost airlines has benefited city breaks in places like Palma andSeville – both of which are rich in culture. Meanwhile, lesser-known islands such as La Palma in the Canaries are well worth a visit.
For sporting holidays you can’t beat La Manga Club which has world-class tennis facilities and three championship golf courses. You can also explore Spain on a luxury rail holidays using the superb state-run trains such as the Transcantábrico and La Robla.
The relationship between the British and French may have had its ups and downs over the years, but our love of all things French shows no signs of abating. From the Channel ports to the islands of the Mediterranean, Francophiles are never short of new destinations to discover.
Among our favourite holidays in France are the beaches of Corsica and Ile de Ré. You can visitMonet’s Garden in Giverny, take a cycling holiday, a golfing holiday or a battlefield tour.
If you’re looking for an excuse to crack open a few bottles, take a wine tour or a champagne weekend. Or relax and watch the countryside roll by on a luxury hotel barge with gourmet meals, fine wines and excursions all included. Destinations include Burgundy, the Canal du Midi, Provenceand Gascony.
In the French Alps you can ski on a budget, or with a family, plus they make a great destination insummer.
You can visit Disneyland Paris with the kids or rent a French chateau.
Even in winter you’ll find long days of sunshine on the Cote d’Azur. Take a short break in Nice.
3. Great Britain
No list of holiday destinations for UK travellers would be complete without mentioning our own great country: not just England, but Wales, Scotland, Northern Island and some of our lesser known islands such as the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Wight.
The UK’s most popular tourist destinations include Devon and Cornwall, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, Dorset, East Anglia and Scotland.
Britain offers many interesting holiday experiences. You can rent a lighthouse keeper’s cottage or sleep in a log cabin in a secluded forest or take a boating holiday on one of the UK’s many canals and rivers.
In the Highlands and Islands of Scotland you could take a whisky tour, ride a steam train on theWest Highland Line or take a tour of Mull where you can see minke whales, otters, seals and porpoises. Take a city break in Edinburgh or rent a big house in the countryside. You can even rent a Downton Abbey-style historic house sleeping 6 – 60 people. Perfect for birthdays or anniversaries.
Holidays in Greece are all about simplicity. Despite a recent proliferation of five-star hotels, it is the whitewashed villas, the friendly tavernas, the hot sun and blue seas that keep us coming back year after year. Even Greek food is a masterpiece of simplicity, both traditional and healthy.
It is the islands that attract the most visitors. Corfu’s villas never lose their appeal. If you’re looking the quintessential small Greek island, we recommend Paxos, which has no airport and is a great place for lazy days, boat trips and lovely villas.
If you fancy being slightly more active, the Lakitira Beach resort on Kos, just off the Turkish coast, offers a wide array of watersports. Or learn to sail in Greece.
Crete is the largest and arguably the most interesting of the islands. Steer away from the tacky resorts and stay at one of these stylish houses for rent or family villas.
Mainland Greece offers a wonderfully diverse range of holiday options. Relax by the pool at the beautiful Sani Asterias Suites.
And the recent economic crisis in Greece shows no sign of toppling the country as one of the best European holiday destinations.
Find more holiday ideas in Greece and our pick of the best Mediterranean holidays.