Euro 2012: Holiday Edition
Football fans are eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s Euro 2012 first kick-off, marking nearly a month of matches ahead. We could make predictions, we could back England, we could write off Spain or say France will be a walkover – but we decided to stick to what we know. And that’s holiday destinations!
Group A – Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Russia
Red Square, Moscow, Russia
All have their strengths and weaknesses – Poland and Russia are largely unexplored by UK travellers, but Moscow and St Petersburg have a myriad of astonishing buildings, and Poland has some stunning scenery as well as the beautiful Krakow. In the Czech Republic, Prague is the shining star, but it’s Greece that really packs a holiday punch. Choose from hundreds of islands, amazing ruins and more beaches than you could ever explore.
Group B – Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal
This group is all about the cities, Copenhagen is the jewel in Denmark’s crown and if you go, don’t miss Tivoli Gardens. Amsterdam stands out in the Netherlands, but don’t overlook Delft or even The Hague. Portugal has a mix of beautiful beaches in the Algarve and the capital of Lisbon is packed with attractions, but it’s Germany that win this one (sorry to say). There are so many historical cities – explore Berlin, take a trip down the Rhine from Heidelberg, or get drinking in Munich.
Group C – Croatia, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Spain
Blarney Castle View, Blarney, Republic of Ireland
Italy and Spain are two heavyweights when it comes to holidays – they are both known for delicious food, cultural cities and beautiful landscapes. But maybe it’s time to look a little further afield, branch out a little. Ireland is so often overlooked by UK travellers, but there’s so many stunning parks, ancient monuments and more to visit. Croatia is just coming into her own as well. From the popular cities of Split and Dubrovnik to the multi-coloured Plitvice Lakes, and the numerous islands off the shore, I can’t help but think that Croatia has to be the victor.
Group D – England, France, Sweden, Ukraine
Livadia Palace, Ukraine
A real mixed bag here – such different holiday destinations! England we all know and love, and there’s lots to be said for holidaying at home, but let’s venture further afield. France is just a hop across the Channel, and is jam-packed with all types of holiday – chic city stays, country retreats, glamorous beach destinations, amazing watersports, she really is an all-rounder. Sweden’s charms are highlighted in Gothenburg, whilst the Ukraine is little known to UK travellers – seek out the National Dendrological Park of Ukraine and Livadia Palace. I don’t think for all-round holiday prowess in this group they can beat France though.