With spring bank holiday approaching, and without another for some time, make the most of the long weekend and jet off for a last-minute European getaway.
Not much beats Paris in the spring, and with the weather fine and the boulevards calling, a romantic stroll through the city, either by day or by night, is something that never tires.
Paris in Spring
Sip Sancerre in a myriad of street-side cafés in the Marais or on the right bank, find a quiet corner in the secluded courtyard of Delacroix’s studio in the 6th, or indulge in some of the world’s finest dining institutions including Alain Passard’s Arpège.
Pigeon roasted with almonds and honey flavored mead from Arpège
However if you worry too many people will have thought to do the same, head south instead to Avignon, Provence’s capital on the banks of the Rhône.
Be sure to visit the Pont d’Avignon
In what was once the capital of all Christendom the pace is a little slower than in the country’s capital, and an excellent retreat right in the middle of the walled city is La Mirande on Place de l’Amirande. Once a cardinal’s palace this small hotel is simply exquisite, with traditional, elegant furnishings, beautiful antiques and hand-printed wallpaper, all housed in grand 14th century walls.
The decor at La Mirande
There is an excellent fine dining restaurant serving Provençal fare by Florent Pietravalle and a walled garden perfect for enjoying the sun in, with a glass of champagne in hand. Book your flights to Paris Orly, Paris Charles-De-Gaulle, or la Guardia Airport with the Stratajet App instantly.
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If the family are in tow, head to Dubrovnik and Sun Gardens. This Croatian luxury resort set on the exquisite Adriatic coast hosts a range of sporty programmes to keep the family happy, with football, tennis, basketball, swimming and water polo academies, plus a kids club and sports camp.
The stunning city Dubrovnik
Adults need not feel left out. Apart from the wine academy, gourmet cooking classes and mixology classes, the resort’s dining options are spectacular, from buffets to fine dining, in poolside venues, bars and boutique eateries offering both local and international flavours.
Relax by the pool at Sun Gardens
When not indulging in gastronomic delights, watch the sun go down at the Sunset Pool or head to the adults-only Marina pool. The kids have the family-friendly Lemonia pool and there is also the lovely pebble beach which offers VIP services. If you can break yourself away from all Sun Gardens has to offer and have time, take a moment to explore Dubrovnik itself.
The bustling main street of Dubrovnik, Stradun
Stroll along the city’s main street Stradun, stop at one of its bars or restaurants, and walk the almost 2km long ancient walls in this beautiful city. Book your jet to Dubrovnik Airport, just 30 minutes from the city centre.
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Another excellent option for a bank holiday break is Amsterdam. With its small size the city can be taken in on foot – or by bike – to enjoy a Dutch take on more sedate urban living (unless you want to seek out the buzzing nightlife, of which there is much).
Springtime in Amsterdam
There are of course the canals to explore by boat, the chance to go and see a working windmill, and the fantastic selection of museums and galleries, including the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House.
Visit Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum
For shopping try The Nine Streets for quirky shopping and wonderful eating options set amongst the canals. There are some great places to stay too with The Dylan and its Michelin-starred Vinkeles restaurant or the Pulitzer, which boasts very comfortable split-level family suites with canal views. Book your private jet charter into Amsterdam Schipol airport for hassle-free travel.
Sample the beautiful cuisine at Vinkeles – Image courtesy of Vinkeles
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Whether it’s a romantic weekend in Paris or the leafy banks of the Rhône, a trip to hone the family’s sporting or culinary skills, or a city break in one of Europe’s most laid back cities, this spring bank holiday there are a host of European destinations offering the perfect short spring break.