2 unusual ideas for a European break

sunny-beachside

Europe is littered with incredible places to visit on your next trip overseas. Researching the must-visit places can be time consuming though, especially when you’re also tasked with organising your travel documents, your holiday insurance, the cat sitter and your European health card, the little card giving you state-funded healthcare in Europe. We’ve made it easy by giving you our top two destinations for an extraordinary and unusual break in Europe.

Ischia Island, Italy

Lying around 30 kilometres from the city of Naples, this volcanic island is the largest of the Phlegraean Islands. It is a petite island, measuring just four miles north to south and six miles east to west, but it is almost entirely mountainous, with the highest peak being Mount Epomeo which stands at 788 metres.

Ischia is one of the most densely populated islands in the Bay of Naples and offers a spectacular sprawling web of picturesque towns, forests, volcanic mud, hot springs and vineyards. Yet, despite its beauty and its beaches, Ischia attracts only a tiny fraction of visitors, with the masses heading to Capri instead.

Head for the south coast of the island, which is notably quieter than the north coast, and bask in its car-free tranquillity. Feast on exceptionally fresh seafood and Ischia’s local speciality of rabbit, bred on the island’s inland farms.

Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland

This mesmerising lake is hidden deep in the heart of Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park and is beautiful from both above and below water. Sitting on the tectonic boundary between North America and Europe, Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest lake, allows divers and underwater enthusiasts to explore the rift between two continents.

For those more comfortable on dry land, Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is teeming with Icelandic history. It was here that the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled, way back in 930 AD. Explore the old parliament site before heading over to take a look at the deserted farms in the lava field. Easy to follow hiking routes connect all the major attractions in the park and make for a fantastic day outdoors. The new visitor centre is also well worth a visit, bringing the history of this fascinating site to life.

Photo: Sant'Angelo #25 by Chiara Marra licensed under Creative commons 2
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