Cannes and Nice

On the southeast coast of France boldly stands Cannes & Nice with their unmatched prominence and allure. About just 30 kilometers apart tourists and film festival attendees frequent both popular resorts. On the one hand, Nice is well known for it’s stunning coastline and famous promenade, where as Cannes is a magnet for the rich and famous all year round and especially during its film festival. It also offers beautiful beaches and fine dining a plenty.

Climate

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, has a desired climate that attracts many visitors during winter time and the most gorgeous beaches that give the Caribbean a run for its money.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Nice has its own international airport with hundreds of flights arriving from Europe and the United States every day.

Skiing in the Alps

Skiing and accommmodation near the Alps

Skiing in the Alpes from every angle and era
Rising up to well over 4,000 metres the Alps Mountain range is spread throughout Austria, France, Germany, Italy Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland. Covering an area of 298,128 km² the Alps are home to thousands of Ski resorts all with a unique personality that represents their nation’s character food and traits. Modern man first strapped wooden boards to his feet as a way to transverse snowy terrain hundreds of years ago a trait which later developed into the sport of Nordic skiing (cross-country skiing).Not content with skiing as a way to get from A to B the need for speed took off with, Telemarker’s launching themselves off of Alpine mountains in seek of an adrenaline rush. Now with Alpine skiing firmly established as a sport, it was encompassed into the Winter Olympic Games making its debut Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 1936. That very same year the chairlift was invented in America revolutionising skiing as a recreational sport. The 1950’s saw metal skis replace wood with plastic boots taking the place of leather in the 1960’s which has now led to the high-tech carbon gear and Gore-Tex clothing we see on the slopes today. Rather than get into where the best skiing can be found in Europe, which of course has as much to do with the amount of snowfall and conditions as it has to do with location we decided to stick with the top four countries Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland and list our favourite resort in each of them that would give you the best Alpine skiing experience for the money.

Alpbach, Austria
Having regularly won the prize for being the prettiest village in Austria, family-friendly Alpbach just oozes Tyrolean charm and is a relative bargain compared to all the better-known resorts of Kitzbühel and St. Anton am Arlberg. Located just a 40-minute drive from Innsbruck Airport, Alpbach skiing is spread over two valleys with 47 lifts and offers 127 kilometres of pistes.Ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers who are ready to challenge themselves, Alpbach is not the place for those seeking black diamond runs or raucous après ski nightlife but is perfect for families and those looking for a relaxing vacation in a picture postcard setting.

Serre Chevalier, France
Located approximately two hours from both Grenoble and Turin airports the Serre Chevalier ski area combines the villages of Briançon, Villeneuve, Chantemerle and Monetier les Bains. Containing 250km pistes with 109 runs to suit all abilities the skiing at this French resort is never hit or miss thanks to its artificial snow making ability. With north facing slopes and an Alpine/Mediterranean climate, plenty of sun is guaranteed, making Serre Chevalier a popular French resort.  Look out for the hidden local villages, a wonderful treasure awaits you.  With lovely family run hotels, quaint old stone buildings, fine restaurants and an excellent  friendly atmosphere to match, you'll be in a great location for your skiing holiday in France.

 Spa in the Alps

Livigno, Italy
Livigno is one of the Alps most inaccessible resorts requiring a three-hour drive from Innsbruck but more than makes up for the inconvenience when it comes to price. With a special tax status dating back to Napoleonic times, Livigno has no value added tax on goods making it one of the cheapest places in Europe to party. Nicknamed “Little Tibet” due to its remoteness near the Swiss border, Livigno is ideal for beginners and intermediates looking for uncrowded slopes where the ski season runs from November through May. A side perk you get with a Ski Livigno Pass is a half-priced half-day skiing at the upmarket resort of St Moritz in Switzerland.

Saas-Fee, Switzerland
The words Switzerland and cheap almost never appear together in the same sentence, yet it is possible to find inexpensive accommodation and reasonably priced lift passes by becoming a member of the Swiss Youth Hostels Association.Forget any preconceived notions you may have of Youth Hotels as these Swiss affairs are as good as any grand hotel. The new wellnessHostel4000 is a state of the art self-sustainable complex with free Wi-Fi that would not be out of place in a James Bond movie. Saas-Fee is a typical Swiss glacial, car-free Village, a kind of mini Zermatt with super reliable snow surrounded by majestic 4,000-metre peaks. Perfect for intermediates and those seeking a relaxing geothermic spa vacation, Saas-Fee may be just the kind of off the radar place you have been searching for.

 

Travel to Europe

Living in Europe it is easy to take for granted what a wonderfully diverse continent we live in, an area of the world that owes much to the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome.

Stretching from the Baltic States and Scandinavia in the north to the warm waters of the Mediterranean in the south and from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the gates of Constantinople in the east, Europe is home to 11% of the world’s population.
Geographically speaking, Europe is overlooked by the Austrian, French, Italian and Swiss Alps while being dissected by the Rhine, Elbe, Loire and Danube rivers. Add in Norway’s fabulous fjord’s the ruggedness of the Scottish Highlands the density of Germanys Black Forest and you have a kaleidoscope of natural wonders.

History & Art

acropolis athens
From Neolithic stone circles in England to the Acropolis in Athens, nearly everywhere you go in Europe you will be treated to a daily dose of History. There is a proverb that says “all roads lead to Rome” which was certainly true during the 1,500 years long Roman Empire and a good place to start any European tour.
From Rome head north to Florence for its Renaissance art before being charmed by the beauty of Venice, the Dolomites and the Italian lakes of Garda, Como and Maggiore.
Travel on through Switzerland and France to the Napoleonic splendour of Paris before crossing the channel to London where you can get lost in Britain’s glorious past. Untouched by the war Prague is arguably the prettiest city in Europe and can easily be combined with a trip to Vienna and Budapest. With its sun-drenched beaches and a rich cultural history that includes 800 years of Moorish rule, Spain is today a tourist hotspot that attracts visitors from around the globe.

Historically Europe cannot be beaten when it comes to museums and monuments with London’s British Museum considering itself to be the self-appointed protector of the world’s antiquities.

For art lovers the Louvre in Paris is the Holy Grail followed closely by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and Madrid’s neoclassical Museo del Prado.

Food & Drink

italian food
Food lovers will be in heaven with styles and tastes running the full gauntlet of culinary delights.
From eating pickled herrings during Sweden’s midnight sun to feasting on souvlaki and tzatziki at an Aegean Island Taverna, your taste buds are only held in check by your own imagination.
Britain and Ireland get a bad rap when it comes to food but get full marks at breakfast time with a meal that sets you up for the entire day.
Hungary stands out as a bit of an outsider when it comes to food, with its nomadic Magyar people bringing their traditional northern meat dishes south where they were they were inspired by the Ottoman Turks and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire into the mouth-watering delights we find in Budapest today.

wine
France and Italy immediately come to mind as the leaders of classic European food with the humble baguette never tasting better than it does fresh from the oven at a Parisian boulangerie or a bowl of spaghetti alle vongole by a Venetian canal.
With the exception of Napa Valley in California, the best wine in the world comes from France with both Italy and Spain coming in second with their Tuscan and Rioja offerings.
If it is a beer you are after you cannot go wrong with a trip to Belgium where you will find around 1150 different varieties. Munich meanwhile throws the biggest beer themed party with their Oktoberfest and no matter how much the Germans may tout their purity law their beer is no match for the Czech Republic where you can sample the original Pilsner.

Visit Eiffel Tower Paris