Wowcher’s Guide to Mini Breaks

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Guide-to-Mini-Breaks

With the New Year well and truly settled in, but long hot summer days still a distant prospect, it’s fair to say that we’re all looking for an opportunity to escape the winter blues and discover ourselves in 2017. Here at Wowcher, we understand that it can also often be difficult to find time off that coincides with our partner’s schedule, the kids’ holidays or our annual leave, which brings us to today’s post; European destinations to visit in a long weekend!

Reykjavik, Iceland

We’ve fallen in love with the prospect of exploring this beautiful country, and with flights leaving from London three times a day, travelling can work around you. Begin your retreat by unwinding in the Blue Lagoon, located just 20 minutes from Keflavik International Airport. Set amid the surreal surroundings of an ancient lava field, this geothermal spa features saunas as well as the warm mineral-enriched waters of the lagoon. It wouldn’t be a trip to Iceland, though, without embarking on the Golden Circle tour. Jump on board a pre-booked bus or DIY (drive it yourself) vehicle and witness erupting geysers, take in the Gullfoss waterfall and get up close to friendly and fuzzy Icelandic horses. Other ‘must-dos’ in Reykjavik include whale watching, visiting its amazing museums and of course the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights as we Londoners call it!

Rome, Italy

Saint Peter's Square in Vatican and aerial view of Rome

You can never go wrong with a visit to the Eternal City! Whether you’re visiting with family or as a couple, there’s so much to see and do. Enjoy the world’s best gelato whilst overlooking the Roman Forum, toss a lucky coin into the Trevi Fountain in true Lizzie McGuire style and lose yourself in the iconic ancient gladiatorial arena, the Colosseum. With every stone and brick filled to the cracks with history, plus pasta galore and pizza a la nonna like you’ve never tasted before, you’re sure to fall in love with Rome’s ancient wonders.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Boasting endless canals, idyllic bike trails and fascinating history, Amsterdam is heaven for retreaters looking for a relaxed European getaway. Get cosy in a canalside café, sipping Dutch coffee al fresco while watching passers-by, or experience some of the city’s unique culture (the Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum mustn’t be missed). For a different kind of tourist, or those curious about the city’s crown jewels, take a stroll down to the Red Light District and get lost in all of its atmosphere. Amsterdam is truly a holiday destination that is whatever you make it.

Barcelona, Spain

What better way to get excited for summer than a pre-beach escape? Pack your flip-flops and fly down to Barcelona from April to enjoy highs of 21 degrees! Do as the Brits do and dip your toes in the sea or venture to La Rambla, a street in the heart of the city, popular with tourists and buzzing with bars. Art lovers can also enjoy Park Güell, UNESCO public gardens designed by Antoni Gaudí. Looking for culture? Put La Sagrada Familia, also designed by Gaudí, on your list of stops. Nothing says summer more than tapas and sangria on a Barcelonan café terrace!

Paris, France

Ideal if you’re looking for a passionate getaway, Paris has been nicknamed the city of love for more reasons than one. Apart from the obvious venture up the Eiffel Tower, visiting Notre Dame and the Moulin Rouge, and enjoying long romantic strolls to the city’s popular restaurants, we suggest an excursion to Disneyland Paris. This magical land is easy to get to by train if you’re staying in the capital, and provides yet another beautiful backdrop to your romantic getaway.

Wowcher’s Top Tips!

  1. Pre-book tours: This can save you a lot of money in the long run, as well as take the pressure off on the day.
  2. Money exchange: Do your research on where’s the best place to get your dollar – airports rarely give you the best rates.
  3. Only take a carry-on: Not only does this save you money, but is much easier to transport between taxis.
  4. Hop on, hop off bus tours: If you’re running short on time and are longing to make the most out of your trip, bus tours can be the most practical and cost-effective form of transport. Plus, who doesn’t love a good complimentary tour guide?