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Europe contains more countries than Asia, a continent five times its size. This is both a testament to Europe’s extraordinary cultural diversity…and to the inhabitants’ unerring ability to have a punch up and then redraw the boundaries every few years.
Italy, we believe, is the perfect all round destination, with so much to see and do and food that is tantalisingly close to perfection.
Stockholm must rate as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, but there's so much more to Sweden than the capital...
Istanbul is one of the most magical cities on the planet, but Cappadocia and the beautiful Aegean coastline are both well worth exploration as well.
Portugal is a little place with a lot to do.
A tiny country with big appeal; over 100 beaches, pristine countryside, and a destination that's definitely one to watch.
One of the great summer destinations, with everything from historic ruins to some of Europe’s hottest nightclubs, our luxury holidays in Greece offer a combination of hedonism and culture that is hard to beat.
One of Europe's final frontiers awaits.
Welcome to the top of the world, and a perfect winter wonderland.
The youngest country on earth, and one of the most fun.
Sometimes overshadowed by the charms of France and Italy, and weighed down by a persistent package holiday image problem, Spain remains an all time Original Travel favourite.
A country that until the early 20th Century formed half (albeit as a very junior partner) of one of the greatest ever European empires, Hungary has had a profound influence on the continent’s history, and yet this, the beating heart of Middle Europe, is a place apart.
Dubrovnik, Dalmatia and the foodie haven of Istria make Croatia one alluring destination.
France is essentially the perfect destination for a luxury holiday – a fact born out by the statistics that the country is the most visited on earth year after year.
Georgia is like New Zealand meets the Pyrenees with a smattering of Pembrokeshire thrown in for good measure.
Home to the dramatic Carpathian mountains, historic Transylvania and the extraordinary wetlands and migrating birdlife of the Danube Delta, Romania is a nation full of pleasant surprises.
The miniscule, mountainous and land-locked country of Armenia punches well above its weight.
We know there’s more to this Middle European gem than skiing, but when the resorts on offer are of the quality of St Anton, Kitzbuhel and Lech, it’s hard not to focus on them
Sandy beaches, sparkling blue sea, excellent hotels for couples and families, and delicious food - we love Cyprus.
So far we only know Copenhagen well, but if the capital is anything to go by...
We think Estonia is the best of the bunch of the Baltic States, thanks to its capital Tallinn, a medieval marvel, and the wonderful, laid back Muhu Island, one of the most original retreats around.
Malta's shy little sister, Gozo is a real favourite of ours because of its laid-back atmosphere, great beaches, and relative anonymity.
Above and beyond the obvious cultural attractions there are other pleasant surprises awaiting open minded visitors - excellent food, seriously under-rated wines and some of Europe's most beautiful woodland and mountains.
Most clichés are only clichés because they’re true, and Ireland is a case in point.
Who needs Canada when you've got big country and polar bears on your European doorstep?
Great Britain. While some countries spend a fortune coming up with fancy marketing campaigns, ours is right there in the name.
Despite what Harry Lime had to say, somewhat dismissively, in The Third Man, we at Original Travel think there’s a good deal more to Switzerland than cuckoo clocks.
One of the most evocative destinations in the world, Russia is represented in all its contrary ways by the two cities we love - St. Petersburg and the capital Moscow. St. Petersburg is simply one of the world’s most beautiful cities, built in defiance of nature and logic – and at great human cost - on marshy islands at the mouth of the River Neva on Russia’s Baltic coastline. In contrast, but no less fascinating, Moscow is a more eastern-focused city than it’s long-term rival.
Devotees of the Alps, your attention, please. Yes, the respective resorts of Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy represent a pretty attractive snowy smorgasbord, but don’t rule out the spiritual home of the smorgasbord itself – Sweden.
The stunning and unspoilt coastline of Montenegro is so much more than just a place to swim and sunbathe. Granted, we do love a spot of R n R, but the activities on offer are endless and a reason for why up and coming Montenegro just keeps on going up.
Iceland is quite unlike anywhere else. Isolated in the far North Atlantic, the country feels incredibly remote, yet is barely three hours flying time from London.
The Golden Circle tour allows visitors to get in touch with some of Iceland’s most famous and exciting natural phenomena.
There’s a not-so-old adage that Montenegro is best explored on land, and Croatia (aside from Dubrovnik) by sea, and we know the best available boats to help put that into practice.
At the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Georgia is a bewildering array of influences and surprises that never disappoints. This holiday to Georgia with Tony Anderson will showcase the stunning countryside in Autumn in a blaze of colour and some snow starting to creep into the Svaneti region.
The Elaphiti Islands, forming part of the Dalmatian Coast, run in a chain parallel to the mainland and form the perfect aquatic playground for exploration by sea kayak.
Seville is a showcase of the era of Muslim domination in Spain, with La Giralda - the tower of the stunning cathedral - the best-known of the remaining Islamic monuments.
The feria in Seville is a Spanish fiesta at its best, giving the gentry of Andalucia an opportunity to see and to be seen, and us a chance to experience all things Andalusian - sherry, Sevillanas, toros, flamenco dresses and horses.
Whether you want to learn the history of this most Spanish of dances, or indulge in a little yourself, we can arrange it.
One of the more bonkers events you will ever go to, but an excellent weekend away.
Closer to Africa than Europe, Tenerife is dominated by the Teide volcano, Spain’s highest mountain, whose lunar landscapes are fascinating to explore.
Want a relaxing holiday and to learn a skill while you're at it? We can't think of many better combos than a stay at one of our all time favourites - Hacienda San Rafael in Andalucia - with a superb photography course thrown in to boot.
'Riding in the hills of Andalucia’ has a rather nice ring to it, and with good reason.
While nothing beats a traditional passagiatta or wandering around the streets at sunset marvelling at the sites of Capri or Anacapri, a boat trip gives a sense of the dramatic nature of the island and allows visits to parts of the island not accessible by land.
A natural phenomenon and major attraction on the island of Capri, the Blue Grotto definitely lives up to its billing.
Rent an inflatable rib and head over to the beautiful Maddalena Islands Marine Park where the uninhabited islands have pink sand beaches and the water is as clear as any in the world.
‘Running’ and ‘mountains’ might not be two words you want featured in the same sentence, but the island of Mallorca has some of the finest mountain scenery, and trails on which to explore them, anywhere in the Mediterranean region.
Stockholm is one of the most attractive cities in Europe, but to visit here without taking in the nearby Archipelago would be to miss out on a major part of Stockholmers’ lives.
In a country renowned for it’s extraordinary festivals, Las Fallas is the most unusual of the lot, and fortunately there’s not a goat or a bell tower in sight.
There’s something innately sophisticated about surfing on a beach slap bang in the centre of a city.
It was a tough job, but someone had to trawl all the pintxos (Basque for tapas) bars in San Sebastian to let you know which were the best.
The most striking symbol of Bilbao’s transformation from decaying industrial backwater to hip international metropolis is the Guggenheim Museum.
The winter season in Lapland is brimming with endless opportunities, and the frozen archipelago begs for adventure.
There is a general misconception that Lapland is a lot better in the winter months. We however have proved this not to be true, and have selected a few of our favourite activities that make the most of the stunning landscape.
Swedish Lapland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, the extraordinary natural light show that occurs in the depths of winter.
Experience the thrill of dog-sledding in Lapland through the snow-covered forests and mountains, and stay a night at the world-famous Ice Hotel, with a visit to the Swedish capital Stockholm to top or tail your trip.
Not your average school holiday, dog-sledding through the snowbound forests and mountains of Swedish Lapland will leave an indelible memory and provides a good opportunity for a bit of family bonding.
Kite-surfing? In the Italian Lakes? Surely not? Actually, it’s one of the best spots in Europe to try this, the fastest growing watersport in the world.
To many people the Dolomites are something of a secret anyway, but word is getting out about this staggeringly beautiful region, and its skiing (and eating) potential.
Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) is a unique hotel-village located on the Budvanska Riviera in Montenegro, one of the most attractive parts of the Adriatic coast.
Forza Mare is a new contemporary boutique hotel located in Dobrota, two miles from the UNESCO heritage medieval town of Kotor.
Built in 1934, Villa Milocer was the former summer residence of Queen Marija Karadordevic, and later of Josip Broz Tito, the former leader of Yugoslavia.
Experience Arctic Finland like a real Eskimo – in an igloo.
Hotel Kakslauttanen is the perfect place to enjoy an arctic Big Short Break. Located in quintessential Finnish woodland near the Urho Kekkonen National Park, the hotel is just half an hour’s transfer from Ivalo Airport, the gateway to Finnish Lapland
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi is the first project of Rooms Hotel Chain, high up in the glorious breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus. This part of Georgia is famous throughout the world for its dramatic mountainous range and the second highest peak.
The Almyra is a contemporary beach resort situated in Paphos, on the west coast of Cyprus. Owned by the same group as the renowned Anassa, just along the coast, the Almyra offers stylish accommodation and a full range of facilities.
The Anassa is a luxurious resort located on a wide, secluded bay on the west coast of Cyprus, between the fishing village of Latchi and the mountains of the Akamas Peninsula.
Situated on a sandy beach in one of the quieter areas of Kato Paphos, Asimina Suites is still within walking distance of local bars and restaurants.
Columbia Beach Resort is a five star hotel located in an enviable position - in the sheltered bay of Pissouri on Cyprus’s south coast.
The hotel’s air-conditioned rooms come with en-suite bathrooms, internet connection and satellite TV, and most have views over Xlendi Bay.
Built of pale yellow Maltese limestone, the resort is surrounded by large subtropical gardens, overlooking the Mediterranean.
After a recent €2.5 million refurbishment, Ta’ Cenc may now regain its rightful position as the top hotel in Gozo.
From the owners of the Masserias San Domenico and Cimono respectively comes Borgo Egnazia, the single smartest place to stay on the Puglian coast, with private villas for families and a boutique hotel for couples.
Located on the Adriatic coast of Puglia, the Masseria San Domenico is one of the finest hotels in south east Italy.
Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 16th-century watchtower just outside the ancient fishing village of Savelletri di Fasano near Brindisi.
The more elegant and sophisticated sister property of Masseria Torre Coccaro, is about five minutes’ walk across an olive grove and located on a nine hole golf course.
Hotel Indijan is a family run 4* hotel sitting right on the (pebble) beach in Orebic at the foot of Mount Ilija.
Whilst on paper the glass façade and garden terraces of Hotel Adriana might seem incongruous with its setting on Hvar’s waterfront, this stylish hotel’s rooftop bar offers stunning views of the old city centre and blend rather nicely with its neoclassical architecture.
Marmont Hotel is situated right in the heart of the vibrant old town of Split, inside the walls of the Diocletian Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Hvar may be new on the trend radar, but the two Italianate villas that house Hotel Riva have been around for over one hundred years.
The hotel sits on a horseshoe shaped bay, next to a medieval Franciscan monastery.
The Lesic Dimitri occupies a recently restored 18th-century bishop's palace next door to the house Marco Polo lived in.
If there was a 'hotel with the best location in the world' award, the Grand Hotel Timeo would be a serious contender... Set high in the rocky hills on the east coast of Sicily, Grand Hotel Timeo has long been known as one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats, and has now had a serious - and arguably much needed - overhaul by the Orient-Express group.
Set amidst a working vineyard producing Malvasia wine, Capofaro is arguably the best boutique hotel on Salina Island.
Hotel Raya is one of the most beautiful hotels in the Mediterranean, an immaculate, whitewashed property of elegant simplicity on the tiny Aeolian island of Panarea.
Located on the South coast of Sicily, this luxury Rocco Forte property caters for all, with extensive grounds, a sea front location, and fantastic facilities including a world class championship golf course.
Built by the Bambara-Pécaut family at the end of the 19th Century, Villa Belvedere is still owned by the same family today.
Built in the 19th Century for Sicilian aristocracy, this luxury boutique hotel in Taormina perfectly balances its historic roots with modern life.
The Villa Sant’Andrea is located right on the sea just below the historic Sicilian town of Taormina, close to Mt. Etna.
We in the UK are extremely lucky to be perched on the edge of a continent with such extraordinarily rich heritage in what is a relatively small area. That the region in question also incorporates towering mountain ranges, beautiful beaches and pretty much everything in between makes it all the more fortunate. Culture vultures and adrenaline junkies alike will find plenty to keep them interested, and there's not an overnight flight in sight.
This is the perfect region for taking one of our trademark and award-winning Big Short Breaks - be that an adventure, ski or city break or just a last minute long weekend of R&R. All our Big Short Breaks are designed around the concept of 'Minimum Time, Maximum Experience' and only the trips that are truly accessible and original make the grade.
The Original Travel team have lived, worked and travelled in the vast majority of European nations, and we have spent the last few years sampling the Continent's finest hotels, landscapes, cities and restaurants so we can point you in the right direction when you're there.
Our thoughtful experts are ready with ideas, inspiration and advice for your next journey.
Working with you we’ll craft an unforgettable trip and tailored itinerary.
We're here to help with everything while your away from the smallest to the biggest request.
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