LONDON, England – Despite the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations being a major UK event this year, many Brits are looking to take advantage of the long weekend by holidaying across Europe. Temperatures in June 2011 were on average the coolest for 11 years in the UK, so perhaps it’s no surprise that holidaymakers are seeking alternatives to catch the summer rays this year, with holidaymakers drawn to the high temperatures that Italy and the Canary Islands are offering up.
The top five locations holidaymakers are heading to over the Jubilee bank holiday, are Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and the Canary Islands.
The lucky sun-seekers are being urged not to leave plans to the last minute for these five locations expected to see a flurry of British tourists this summer, as people are eager to take advantage of the extra bank holiday the Jubilee has provided.
The most popular locations:
1) Rias Altas, Spain
This part of Galicia is often referred to as ‘Green Spain’ because of its rich vegetation and spectacular coastline. Rias Altas extends from the port of Ribadeo to Santa Cruz and also goes by the name ‘A Costa do Marisco’ (The Seafood Coast), as it plays home to several traditional fishing villages spread around this stunning seashore. Touring Rias Altas by car allows holidaymakers to take advantage of the craggy headlines and the sandy beaches that cover this luxurious landscape.
2) Marvao, Portugal
Marvao is said to be one of the most beautiful villages in all of Portugal. It offers 360-degree panorama views and an unspoiled medieval atmosphere with its winding lanes and picturesque white-washed houses. These lead to a striking 13th century castle and church nestled within the hillside, the perfect place to watch the stunning sunsets in the summer evenings. As Marvao has an infrequent bus service and taxi’s can be pricey, car hire starting at the Castelo de Vide would be the most ideal option for exploring this medieval mountain-top village.
3) Cortona, Italy
Beautifully situated on the side of a steep hill within the walled town is Cortona, one of the oldest towns in Tuscany. Another village rich in history, the drive up to Cortona is captivating as you’ll pass Etruscan tombs, olive groves, and the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio. Parking your car at the top of the hill and from the square, you can walk along to Cortona’s center, Piazza Republica. Here you can choose from an array of quaint restaurants serving traditional Tuscan food, some providing great balcony seating overlooking the piazza.
4) Lake Garadice, Ireland
Lake Garadice can be easily accessed on a road called Lakelands Drive, a peaceful route of still waters and surrounded by endearing little grass islands. These islands are scattered with castle ruins and a ring-fort dedicated to a sun god named Crom Cruaich who was believed to have been destroyed by St. Patrick. Also ideal for fishing enthusiasts, the lake is 200 acres in size and is one of Ireland’s premier waters, containing huge shoals of Bream and other species including Perch, Pike and Rudd.
5) Tenerife, Canary Islands
The must-see attraction of Tenerife has to be Mount Teide, an active volcano situated within the Teide National Park, rising a staggering 12,200 feet and with a volcanic crater 30 miles in circumference. Tourists can travel up from the sunny coast, passing through alpine-like scenery with exotic roadside plantation as the road begins its descent. As you travel higher through the fog and above the clouds, the landscape changes dramatically and transforms into an amazing lunar landscape. During the summer, it is common for temperatures to reach over 40 degrees on the mountain so prepare to acquire a tan!