Let’s accept for a moment that most holidays are taken in the summertime, and involve going somewhere hot. That’s the cliche and, for many people, the reality. And do you know what? For some people it’s the perfect way to travel and enjoy a holiday- but for others, not so much. Let’s face it: for some of us, the hotter it gets, the less we want to do. That’s a shame, given that a truly great holiday should always be about experiencing something new – not lounging around daydreaming of outdoor air-conditioning.
So instead of talking about sun, sand, and sea, let’s take a different tack. Let’s look at options where the mercury isn’t going to be nudged higher than the mid-60s. You’ll still get plenty of sun, but you won’t feel like you have to mainline ice water just to feel comfortable. As for sea, well, there’s some of that, too – although you might not want to swim in it too much!
Many people will tell you that Europe’s most beautiful capital in either Prague or Vienna. Both are beautiful, but it would be a shame to leave Tallinn out of the conversation. Like something out of a storybook, this sumptuous city of stony streets and Medieval architecture sits in the valley below Toompea Hill. In winter – when snow falls – the city becomes even more picturesque.
It’s almost too beautiful to be real – but it’s also spectacularly modern. For example, the Estonian government has declared internet access to be a human right, and all public services are readily accessible online.
If you fancy an expedition, travel south to Tartu. It’s home to the fascinating AHHAA Science Center, as well as Estonia’s National Museum. And don’t worry, Tartu is just as pretty as Tallinn itself.
Some people may see Canada as Donald O’Connor to America’s Gene Kelly – but lest we forget, Donald O’Connor was pretty amazing himself. Canada has got plenty to be proud of that sets it apart from its southern cousin.
Some people barely think of Canada for holidays at all, which is a shame. Not only is Canada a country of tremendous beauty, it’s also a land of incredible variety. Whether you take a city tour of Toronto or Montreal, or go further out to the quaintly stunning Prince Edward Island, a good time is all but guaranteed.
If you’re a fan of winter sports, or just of impossibly picturesque ski resorts, then get yourself to Quebec. Pick out a beautiful hotel in Mont-Tremblant and experience one of Canada’s untapped gems. High in the Laurentian Mountains, it’s a luxury vacation that will have you singing its praises for years to come.
Much like the other countries mentioned, Norway sometimes suffers from being simply too pleasant. It doesn’t have the high-octane or haute couture that many of its European neighbors can boast. But look deeper and there’s some real gems in this stunning country.
The scenery for the movie Frozen was based on Naeroyfjord in the Aurland Municipality, on the western side of the country. So if you liked the film, it might be worth a trip. The whole fjord system is a major attraction in and of itself, while the capital Oslo is home to a museum featuring the preserved ships of 9th century Vikings. Norway is a country rich in history and culture, so it’s well worth considering.