Alternative May Bank Holiday Destinations
Flightgiftcard provides inspiration for those looking for something a bit different this spring.
Over-priced Paris and over-crowded Rome are two of the most popular short break European destinations in spring.
If you’re looking for something a bit less obvious for the upcoming May bank holidays and want to claim bragging rights on your travel and on your originality, Flightgiftcard, the world’s only cross-airline gift card brand, suggests some exciting alternatives.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a cultural trip, or an active holiday, Jorik Schröder, co-founder of Flightgiftcard provides his insider tips in a handy themed guide to help all types of travellers choose their ideal bank holiday break.
|Most popular European breaks for May:
|Flightgiftcard’s alternative destinations:
1. Best for romance – Riga, Latvia
Forget Paris and head to Riga; Latvia’s capital city instead. Far less crowded than traditional ‘cities of romance’, Riga is set on the Baltic Sea and is known for its classic wooden buildings, art nouveau architecture and pedestrian-only medieval Old Town. Wander ‘round the cultural centre with your love, visiting the many museums and restaurants along the way, and make sure you experience the bustling Livu Square for bars and nightclubs in the evenings.
2. Best for Instagram – Zagreb, Croatia
Dubrovnik is a coveted spot for Game of Thrones fans, with the walled city garnering 1.4m #dubrovnik on Instagram and drawing 1.6m tourists every year. Far less popular (and busy) is the Zagorje region in northern Croatia. Take a drive through the rolling hills and take in the castles that evoke the country’s Austrian-Hungarian heritage. The city Zagreb in the north is virtually unknown to tourists. Stop at Trakoscan Castle, a 13th century, hill-top fortress with turrets and drawbridges, for guaranteed likes on Instagram. There’s even a Neanderthal Museum with the first Neanderthal remains on display!
3. Best for Food & Wine – Sienna, Italy
Sienna in Tuscany is a haven of pure, simple and delicious cuisine. The region is famous for olive oil, and some of the best red wines in Italy (Brunello and Chianti are must-try varieties). In spring especially, there are fewer crowds and a pleasant temperature.
4. Best for history – Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a small city seeped in history, with a plethora of old buildings and charming canals. Its port, Zeebrugge, was an important centre for fishing and European trade in the Middle Ages, while the city’s Burg Square and Stadhuis (city hall), with its ornate carved ceilings, date back to the 14th century. Nearby Markt Square features a 13th century belfry, complete with a 47-bell carillon and tower with panoramic views of the city. A visit to Belgium wouldn’t be complete with chocolates, so be sure to stock up!
5. Best for beaches – Ibiza, Balearic Islands
Away from the main resorts in Ibiza Town and crowds of clubbers in Sant Antoni, Ibiza has many secluded hidden coves and pretty fishing villages. Platja d’en Bossa is home to quieter spots, including yoga retreats and beautiful beaches. Walk, swim or kayak to unearth the best of the hidden gems, with many sandy coves protected by the tree-clad hills dotted all around the coast.
6. Best city break – Bologna, Italy
Bologna is the lively, historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. Although popular in summer, the city is much quieter in spring with far fewer tourists, making it the best time to explore the arched colonnades, cafes and Renaissance structures. Visit the City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio. Among the city’s many medieval towers are the famous Two Towers; leaning Asinelli and Garisenda. It’s a small city that’s best-explored on foot and boasts some of the best food in Italy (especially pasta) and wines from the region.
7. Best for adventure – Interlaken, Switzerland
A beautiful location for hiking and climbing, Interlaken is nestled between two lakes and surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the Alps. Thrill seekers can enjoy an array of activities in the mountains and glaciers, including cycling, rock climbing and walking.
8. Best for culture – Fes, Morocco
Marrakech is often seen as a cultural capital, but Fes in the north east of Morocco fuses Islamic and Arab influences for an old-world atmosphere and vibrancy to rival the more well-trodden of the Moroccan cities. The Fes El Bali walled medina is a labyrinth of streets selling local delicacies, spices and handmade goods; easily explored on foot but hard to navigate without a local guide. Characteristic medieval architecture, known as Marinid, can be found throughout the city.Visit the 14th century Bou Inania and Al Attarine; both decorated with elaborate cedar carvings and ornate tile work.
9. Best for wandering – Kotor, Montenegro
Nestled between the mountains and a spectacular bay on the Montenegro Adriatic coast, Kotor is the perfect, atmospheric town. Less glitzy than Dubrovnik (and infinitely less crowded), its home to Romanesque churches, including Kotor Cathedral, and has winding streets and squares to rival Venice without hordes of tourists. Spend hours wandering around the medieval Old Town, taking in the maze of museums, churches, café-dotted squares and pillories, and enjoy spectacular night-time views thanks to Kotor’s brilliantly lit walkways, along with live music for the perfect late-night stroll.
10. Best for Luxury – Olbia, Sardinia
For luxury hotels and the best beaches in Europe, a visit to the coastal city of Olbia in Sardinia is a must. Spring is the perfect time to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery without it being too hot or too crowded. Visit the San Simplicio basilica and enjoy a cold drink in a central square such as Piazza Matteotti, before heading to the palm-lined waterfront for a stroll. For a dose of history, the Museo Archeologico di Olbia has exhibits ranging from Nuragic artefacts to Roman warships, while the hilltop Nuraghe Riu Mulinu is an archaeological site with views of the Gulf of Olbia below.
11. Best for wellness – Malta
Malta has well and truly established itself as a wellness hotspot. The Islands are ideal for walking and cycling, with unrivalled swimming opportunities in the clear waters of the Mediterranean. Spring is the ideal time to visit Malta thanks to the comfortable temperatures, with many five-star hotels offering pools, beauty, body and spa treatments, as well as specialist programmes to suit individual needs. A visit to Malta ensures you’ll return refreshed and relaxed.
12. Best for solo travel – Seville, Spain
The capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, Seville, is a great spot for the solo traveller as there is so much to keep you occupied and the southern Spaniards are so friendly and hospitable. Major landmarks include the ornate Alcazar Castle built during the Moorish Almohad dynasty and the Plaza de Toros bullring. The Gothic Seville Cathedral is also the site of Christopher Columbus’ tomb and home to the Giralda, the Cathedral’s turreted bell tower – one of the most important symbols of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a book and enjoy a glass of Spanish wine (swap north Spanish Rioja for Jerez Sherry, Andalusia’s most famous wine) and some delicious tapas.
For more information or to purchase your Flightgiftcard, visit www.flightgiftcard.com.
Notes to Editors:
Flightgiftcard co-founders, Jorik Schröder and Loes Daniels, is available for interview or comment upon request.
For further press information contact:
Jo Kendall/Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0) 20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]
Flightgiftcard is the world’s only flight gift card brand.
With no catch and no limitations, Flightgiftcard’s monetary value provides giftees complete freedom to book wherever and whenever they want.
The Flightgiftcard can be redeemed, via the Flightgiftcard website, for flights with over 300 airlines worldwide.
With short and long-haul flights to 980 destinations across the globe, recipients of a Flightgiftcard will find flights to suit all budgets and requirements.
Flightgiftcard offers a choice of three simple options to deliver the delight:
- A customisable, digital gift card that can be emailed to the recipient, or printed for hand delivery.
- A luxury printed gift card with a handwritten message (shipping takes 2-4 working days).
- A recorded video greeting that can be sent alongside the ecard.
Dutch brand, Flightgiftcard launches in the UK this month (February 2018) following the success of sister brand, Hotelgift.
Set up in the Netherlands in 2014 and operating in the UK from July 2016, Hotelgift launched officially in the UK on 21 November 2017.