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Europe holidays destinations London Paris Provence Venice Rome Cinque Terre Florence

Holiday Planning Guide

As these tours are self-guided and for independent travellers you can start your holiday at any time of the year.

Prior to your departure we will provide you with your tickets, reservations and other travel documents as well as give you detailed information for each location, itineray, timetables, maps, directions, opening times for specific historic sightes etc.

When making your decision regarding the time of year for your European holiday you might like to keep the following in mind:

Other things to consider when planning your holiday

Climate

The temperatures are pleasant between end of April and end of June and then again from end of August to the beginning of October. July and most of August can be pretty hot in Italy. If you want to experience snow then your best chances are from mid December to early March in the European Alps.

European school holidays

The European summer holidays are mostly in July and August. If possible do not travel during those 2 months as everything – roads, trains, hotels, historic sights and beaches are terribly crowded.

Start planning now!  - contact us with your enquiry.

Festivals and Other Events

You might like to coincide your holiday in Europe with some of the festivals or other events or make efforts to not be in those places if you want to avoid large crowds. Below is a list of some events that might be of interest to you. It is by no means exhaustive. We do not take any responsibility for the correctness of this information so make sure you double check. Please let us know if you know of or chance upon a local festivity or event so that we can add it here.

London

Paris

  • Bastille Day. 14th of July. Military procession, fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, fly-past along the Champs-Elysees.
  • New Year Day parade
  • Fete de la Musique. 21st of June. Jazz, reggae etc all over the city to welcome summer.
  • Gay Pride March. Colourful parade. Late June. www.gaypride.fr
  • Jazz festival. Free jazz concerts every Saturday and Sunday in June/July.
  • Tour de France. Finishing on the Champs Elysees. End July
  • Jazz a La Villette. 10 day Jazz festival. Early September.
  • White Night in Paris. Early October.
  • Marche Bastille. The best of Paris’ many open air markets. Every Tuesday and Sunday 7am – 2pm. (Metro station Bastille)
  • Flea Market Marche aux Puces de Montreuil (Metro station Porte de Montreuil). 500 stalls selling quality second-hand designer clothes and accessories.
  • Versailles Palace. Closed on Mondays. Spectacular Fountain displays on Saturdays and Sunday only from early May to late September.

Avignon        

  • Festival d’Avignon. World famous music, drama, dance festival. Early July to early August. Performed in the Pope’s palace.
  • Provence lavender fields in bloom from mid June to mid August.

Nice

  • Carnival de Nice. Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday). Colourful floats and music.
  • Nearby Monaco: Grand Prix Formula 1 race. 23 – 26 May 2013 and Cannes Film Festival. 15 – 26 May 2013.

Cinque Terre

  • Festival of St. Giuseppe. 19th of March. Big folk fair.
  • Palio del Golfo- sea festival. First Sunday in August. Canoe race, folk parade, fireworks.

Venice

  • Carnevale. Held during the 10 days before Ash Wednesday.
  •  Festa del Redentor. 3rd weekend in July. Fireworks and procession.
  •  International Film Festival. End August to Mid September.

Florence

  • The Feast of John the Baptist, 24th of June.
  • Calcio Storico – football played in 16th century costumes ending with firework display. June.

Como:

  • Antique market in the centre of the city. Every last Saturday of the month.

Rome

  • Papal audience (Wednesdays)
  • Festival de la Musica. Early June.
  • Festa di San Giovanni. Dancing and eating in the streets. 23/24 June.
  • Spring festival. The Spanish Steps are a sea of flowers. April
  • Procession of the cross between the Colosseum and the Palatino. Good Friday.
  • The Pope’s blessing in the Piazza San Pietro on Easter Sunday.

Salzburg

  • Easter and Summer festival. Easter and end July to end August. Famous international performers. Classical music to Jazz. 
  • Eisriesenwelt (World of the ice giants), the world’s largest accessible ice caves in Werfen near Salzburg: June to 26th September.

Bad Hofgastein/Austrian Alps

  • ‘Almrausch’ – alpine meadows covered in pink and red in an iridescent sea of colour. June.
  • Harvest festival. End August. Food, Music, celebrations and festivities, traditional folk costumes.

Vienna

  • Vienna Boys Choir: Every Sunday (except July/August) at 9:15am in the Chapel of the Hofburg.  For reservations, write to ‘Verwaltung der Hofmusikkapelle, Hofburg, A-1010 Vienna’. Or just show up on the day for free standing room only tickets.
  • Vienna Art festival: Mid-May to Mid-June
  • Vienna’s Summer of Music from Mid-July to Mid-September.
  • Spanish Hofreitschule. (Spanish Riding School) Usually April – October and December at 11am. Book online months in advance at www.srs.at/en/
  • Vienna Film Festival. October. www.viennale.at
  • Wiener Festwochen (Vienna festive weeks). Arts program with international acts. May to Mid-June.
  • Rainbow parade. Gay and lesbian parade in the city centre and lots of other festivities. End June.

Munich

  • Octoberfest. Mid September to early October.  (ends on the first Sunday in October and starts 15 days prior to that.)
  • Nearby King Ludwig’s fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein closed on public holidays.  www.neuschwanstein.net

Prague

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