Unusual European Summer Holidays
As the London 2012 Olympics collide with the annual mass exodus of the school summer holidays, millions of Brits will want to escape the chaos. The regular holiday haunts around Spain and France are likely to bare the brunt of this. For the rest of us, not wanting to travel too far, but to have a proper holiday and try something new, here are a few slightly less conventional holiday suggestions.
Camp along the Oslo fjord
Late spring time through to late summer is a fantastic time to visit Norway. The landscapes are so spectacular here that visiting at a time when the weather is at its best and you can fully make the most of spending time outdoors is recommended. Escape the capital – Oslo – by car, train, or bus, and head south on the E18.
You will soon leave Oslo behind you as the road runs fjord-side with beautiful views from rocky coves with sandy beaches out over the clear water and its islands. Along the road are signs every so often to campsites making the most of the sandy beaches, grassy meadows, and pine forests.
This is a great way to experience the real side of Norway, and if you’re not keen on ‘roughing it’ most sites also offer wooden cabin accommodation too. Enjoy walks, bike rides, fjord swimming and BBQs on the beach watching the infamous midnight sun.
Party on the Dalmatian Coast
If you like Mediterranean style breaks, but want to escape the crowds, then Croatia is a superb spot. Thanks to its long coastline, Croatia has a wealth of beaches and islands to enjoy, earning its name of the ‘land of a thousand islands’.
Small traditional fishing villages cling to the edge of steep hills and overlook the sparkling sea are spotted along the coast. Smart marinas attracting wealthy visitors have led to the development of upmarket restaurants and bars. Local food is a fusion of Mediterranean and central European, and always makes the most of the fresh local produce.
Croatia is also earning a reputation for its party atmosphere and nightlife. Every summer music festivals take place on some of the islands (such as Hideout festival on the island of Pag), and many of the mainland beaches host beach parties and open-air clubs.
Feast at the Pierogi festival in Krakow
Poland is a great place to experience something new; particularly during August. From active holidays taking in the jaw-dropping scenery and traditional log cabins of the Tatras Mountains to Polish cuisine and culture of Krakow, Poland has something for everyone.
If you feel like getting active, the national park that surrounds Zakopane is a great place to start. Small traditional villages with superb accommodation make a great base from which to explore on foot with a guide, or on mountain bikes. The pine forested mountains hide crystal clear water lakes and a network of trails to follow.
If you feel like getting to know the country’s culture, you can’t beat the Capital – Krakow. The Pierogi festival takes place in Krakow in mid-August; several days of celebration of the delicious Polish dumplings that takes part in the pretty old town. This is also a great chance to experience some Polish culture as the food-fest is accompanied by live local music, storytelling and street theatre performances.
Crystal Summer offer summer holidays to top beach and lake destinations across Europe.
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