Bilbao, known as the capital of the Basque Country, is a port city located on Spain's northern coast. Surrounded by rolling green hills, Bilbao is located in a valley on the banks of the River Nervión, and is the 5th largest urbanisation in Spain. Bilbao city centre is a mix of modern skyscrapers as well as many traditional buildings in the old town. Some say Bilbao is the home of authentic Spanish cuisine, and this was something that I wanted to find out for myself on my recent Bilbao city break.
Poland has always been somewhere I have wanted to visit, and after my failed attempt in getting to Wroclaw last year I've been longing to book another trip. Earlier this year I saw a great deal on flights to Gdansk with Wizz Air and I just could not resist booking a Gdansk city break.
I try and visit at least one Christmas market each year, and this year along with a group of friends we decided to visit Luxembourg. This was my first trip to Luxembourg, so as well as enjoying the various Christmas markets, I also discovered some of this picturesque continental city. Luxembourg is completely land-locked between France, Belgium and Germany and has subtle influences from all its neighbours.
I first sampled the bohemian splendour of Budapest a couple of years ago on a birthday getaway with friends. This grand bohemian city has a strange but unique feel to it. I don't quite know how to explain it but there was something drawing me in. I have visited many cities since my first trip to Budapest, but I have not experienced this feeling again. I knew that before long I would return to sample more of the bohemian capital.
Copenhagen has long been on my city break to do list, so one evening when I stumbled across some cheap flights I decided to book a Copenhagen city break. I booked my flights with Norwegian, who fly between London Gatwick and Copenhagen 5 times a day. The return flight cost just under £50pp. Norwegian is a low cost airline which is rapidly expanding their services from London Gatwick, and have the added advantage of free wifi onboard.
While I was deciding on destinations for my Autumn 2016 city breaks I came across flights to Eindhoven with prices starting at £24 per person return. When you think of city breaks to the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam usually spring to mind, but not Eindhoven. So I thought I would book an Eindhoven city break so that I could discover what Eindhoven has to offer as a city break destination.
For my main Christmas market break this year I chose to visit the Brussels Christmas Market. I chose Brussels this year because when I first visited Brussels a couple of years ago I thought that the architecture in the city centre was absolutely stunning, and that it would make the perfect setting for a Christmas market.
Lisbon, the city of seven hills, has a unique character and charm, different from most European capital cities. One afternoon a few weeks ago I stumbled across a deal to a top hotel in central Lisbon, that really was too good to miss. It did not take much persuasion for me to quickly book some flights. I had long yearned to visit Lisbon and here was an ideal opportunity.
When driving from northern to southern Spain the most direct route is from San Sebastian to Madrid then on to the Costa del Sol via Granada, which is the route that I have taken on all my previous trips. However, on my must recent trip with my father to southern Spain we decided to take the Autovia Ruta de la Plata, in English this means the Silver Route.
The last stop on this years trip to Spain was to spend a few days at the family home, near Marbella in Andalusia. Most people who visit Andalusia head for the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol, but I wanted to spend my time here exploring some of the less touristy places.
A while ago I read about a great Sunday night deal offered by Hotel du Vin, so I thought I'd give it a try. The deal allows you to book a room for the night for as little as £30, with the condition that you spend a minimum of £75 on Sunday evening in their bistro. For this trip I decided to book a stay at the Hotel du Vin Cambridge as this was the ideal location for a place that I wanted to visit in the vicinity.
I have visited Granada briefly on a couple of occasions in the past, but these visits were flying visits, maybe for a meal, or just a passing visit on the way to or from the ski resort in the Sierra Nevada. When I booked my Spanish trip for this summer, I decided that as I would be passing through Granada I would stop here for a mini Granada city break on my way to southern Spain.
The typical British weather, especially during the long winter months, is enough to make anyone want to escape to warmer climates. Last winter I decided to book an impromptu weekend break to Barcelona to get away from the rain and cold. I had been to Barcelona many years before, but as this was such a long time ago I felt it was time to refresh my memories and review what this beautiful Catalan city has to offer.
One of my local wine stores, Hennings Wine Merchants of Chichester often holds wine tastings on Friday evenings. Each evening is usually themed on a specific wine region or wine. A couple of weeks ago they held a Croatian wine evening, and after having been to Croatia a few times and enjoyed the local wines, I decided to book to go with some friends and experience more of what Croatia has to offer the wine world.