Best Hidden Gems in Europe

I’m sure you’ll agree that Europe is home to some of the most beautiful and most famous cities in the world.  Think Amsterdam, Paris the City of Light and Rome the City of Love.  You may be surprised to hear that Europe is also home to thousands of hidden treasures.  

Are you ready to discover a selection of some of the best hidden gems Europe has to offer?  From Hvar in Croatia to Piran in Slovenia, sit back and get ready to learn all about what Europe has to offer if you’re not afraid of venturing off the beaten path. 

Piran, Slovenia 

Piran is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe and has an elegant and understate charm that will likely appeal to any traveller.  Get to know its culture and history and listen to the compelling stories of its people.    

In Piran, you will easily feel as though you have stepped into a wonderful picture-perfect postcard.  You’re bound to be charmed by its winding, narrow streets.  On the pier, you will feel like you have stepped back in time to when you catch sight of fishermen unravelling their net.    

Hvar, Croatia 

If you choose to plan a getaway to Hvar, you will likely love the city’s unique fusion of historical heritage, rich culture and luxurious Mediterranean nature.  With spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, Hvar represents adventure, beauty and a treasury of scenery.   

Its name is derived from the Greek name for island and the town first gained glory during the middle ages as an important port within the Venetian empire.  Today, it is now a popular tourist spot and a favoured destination within the Dalmatian Riviera.  

Portofino, Italy 

Portofino is a tiny sea village on the Italian Riviera.  This spectacular sea resort boasts a lux Mediterranean personality and the town is rooted in ancient marine culture.  The port is the most famous viewpoint of the town, with its brightly-coloured houses.  This iconic image is definitely worth experiencing in person! 

Mellieha, Malta 

Mellieha can be found north-west of Malta.  This small town is perched on a series of hills and is surrounded on three sides by the picturesque Blue Mediterranean Sea, promising magnificent views!  If you’re on the hunt for a new spot by the sea, this little town could be calling your name! 

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro  

Sveti Stefan is a small town in Montenegro.  This town was previously a finishing village, but was converted into the old town in the 1960’s.  Its narrow streets, memorable tower and small churches remain untouched today.  If you’re looking for a change of, pace, this town could be just what the doctor ordered.  With roofs red like rubies, this town sits on the cliff of a rocky island with an unusual sand isthmus connecting it to the land.   

 

Dublin Stag Do Guide for 2019 

Currently planning your Dublin stag do and looking for some much-needed inspiration?  Check out our ultimate guide to the booziest stag do destination in Europe. 

The Emerald Isle, the Fair City, or perhaps Europe’s booziest capital – Dublin has been winning hearts since the 9th century.  The birthplace of Bono, Jameson, Guinness and the famous Temple Bar drinking district, is steeped in culture and famed for its might craic, making it the perfect stag do destination! 

Top Stag Friendly Destinations in Dublin 

With whiskey and Guinness flowing through the streets, Dublin regularly tops lists or the pubs, clubs and bars throughout Europe.  We’re sure you’ll agree that there isn’t a local or tourist that hasn’t found themselves swept up in the hedonistic atmosphere that Temple Bar is notorious for.  With a mix of traditional venues and massive crowds, you’re bound to have an unforgettable stag weekend here. 

Camden Street/Harcourt/Wexford 

All along Wexford Street you’re heading into an alternative nightlife scene, with bars like Whelan’s attracting the likes of Ed Sheeran.  If you opt to snake your way down to Harcourt Street, you’ll feel like you’re back in the vibrant Temple Bar atmosphere.  Offering a plethora of huge club venues, this area is lively, loud and also open ‘til late, making it an ideal spot for a stag party.  

From Baggot Street to George Street 

You’ll be happy to hear that the fantastic Dublin nightlife is not narrowed to one popular ‘strip’.  Instead, you’ll find friendly establishments and boozy venues to visit right across the city.  Baggot Street is home to one of the oldest pubs in Dublin, whereas George Street plays host to a glamorous A-list club.  You’ll also be in the thick of Dublin’s shopping district, where you can pick up some souvenirs and trinkets including a stereotypical leprechaun fridge magnet or bottles of Guinness. 

 North of Ha’penny Bridge 

If you head north of Ha’penny Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Philsboro, which is home to McGowans.  Established in 1860, this bar/restaurant/club offers an electric atmosphere, lively locals and stag and hen groups letting their hair down in the Rock & Roll area.  With music till late every night, live sports and entertainment, and a plethora of drink promotions to pick and choose from, you’ll easily find your tipple of choice here.  

Temple Bar District 

The famed Temple Bar is Dublin personified.  This district is one of the main reasons this city is beloved by drinkers and revellers.  This lively drinking zone is lined with a bars and pubs.  Each of these venues is crammed into one busy street. It’s easy to see why this is the biggest drinking attraction in the city.   

If you’re on the hunt for an iconic landmark, look no further than Temple Bar.  This iconic red corner building is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike and offers some of the best live music in the city.   With a buzzing atmosphere and one of the busiest beer gardens in the whole city, you can easily soak up some rays and enjoy the Irish craic this city is renowned for. 

 

 

The Best Ski Resort to Visit on your First Ski Trip

If like some members of the Ideal Short Breaks team, you haven’t been on a ski holiday, or even tried skiing before, then this list is specifically designed for yourself. Luckily we are experts at everything to do with holidays and that includes those of the skiing variety.
Through experience our team have come together to pinpoint the best skiing destinations to jet off to if you happen to be looking for what’s the perfect choice for you.

 

Myrkdalen, Norway

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In no particular order, we start off with Myrkdalen in Norway. This makes the list not only due to how compact it is, but due to the facilities which are on hand for helping out beginners find their feet on the slopes. Although Norway isn’t exactly the cheapest destination to get yourself to, the all-inclusive resort lifestyle is great once you arrive. This resort has one thing which the others don’t which makes it a sure-fire for this list, a great nightly view of the northern lights, which is truly one of the most beautiful sights on earth to behold.

 

Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria

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With a very young average age, it’s safe to say that Saalbach is one of the perfect places in the ski world to begin to get a grasp of how to ski by day and have a great time socially at night. Due to the resort providing very reasdonable ski lessons packages, people from all over Europe end up at the resort in Austria for their first ever time skiing. At night you can find yourself in some great nightclubs and outdoor bars, and if you think destinations such as Magaluf are wild, wait ‘til you see this place at night!

 

Val d’Isère, France

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Our favourite on the list has to be this beauty. We rank Val d’Isère so highly because it genuinely offers everything which would make a first skiing trip an exciting and memorable experience. With ski lessons available for beginners or intermediate level, you’ll always be in good hand when trying to get control of your skis. The great thing about this resort is that the beautiful little village it is located in has lots to offer from restaurants, lounges, bars, pubs, nightclubs which offer live music and DJs until the small hours of the night. With chalets available in all sizes depending on if you are going with a partner, friends or family, this place does really have it all. If you are looking for more information on all Val d’Isère can offer all first-time skiers, check out the Mark Warner website.

Aviemore, UK

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Sometimes you don’t have to go on abroad to learn to ski. Did you know that there is a ski resort which is located in Scotland? Although, you’ll miss out on a proper après ski experience, you will be able to get the support you need to learn to ski from one of the knowledgeable instructors which are on hand. One of the best things about choosing Aviemore is the views, the Scottish Highlands are one of the most beautiful places on earth and skiing down a mountain is the perfect way to view the stunning scenery.