Somewhere in the world its always summer an easy fact to forget when all you see outside are grey clouds and frost. But sunny shores and warm weather arent gone forever. While we cant all up-and-escape over the Christmas holidays, you can definitely get a head start on planning your next holiday. Thats enough to get anyone through the winter.
Tropical beach holidays always feature at the top of holiday wish lists. The beaming sunshine, days spent amidst turquoise waters and long mild nights appeal to almost everybody. But some of the most waterside holidays dont always require an ocean.
Keep away from the popular edges and head inland in search of water deep in the heart of Europe.
One of the most stunning and dramatic locations for the summer holidays is on the banks of Lake Garda. Resting in Italys north, this breath-taking backdrop was formed by a glacier gouging its way down from the Brenta Dolomites at the end of the last ice age, 1.5 million years ago. On sight of this spectacular landscape youll realise the grand scale of this mammoth event.
With the Dolimites mountain range to the north and vineyards to the south, the Lakes location puts you right in the very best of Italy. The area is immersed in rich culture and history and delicious Italian cuisine, where local wines are always on offer.
As Italys largest lake, the shore is encircled with lively towns and resorts brimming with accommodation and activity options. Each has a slightly different flavour and speciality, so take time to consider which area of the winding banks would best suit you. But wherever you choose to stay, Lake Garda holidays are ideal for families, friends and couples to relax by the calm waters edge.
Oozing Mediterranean ambience, this energetic and popular resort is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves on the lakes eastern shore. Spend your days strolling between surrounding towns, tasting local produce at the Cisano Olive Oil Museum, or delve into history with a visit to the San Severo chuch, or the medieval wonders in Lazise.
At sundown, the town becomes a thriving centre of socialising and entertainment. Feast on the huge array of Italian cuisine on offer, but make sure you leave room for desert the ice cream is not to be missed.
This southern spot is built on Roman ruins dating back to the 1 st century and is ideal for family summer holidays . The towns quaint streets and relaxing atmosphere are matched by the thrill and excitement of rollercoasters and waterslides.
Nature lovers should grab the chance to hire bicycles and ride down the Mincio River or walk along the old town walls, complemented by beautiful panoramic views. Those searching for thrills can spend the day at Gardaland, Europes third biggest theme park, or Aquaparadise for a thrilling waterpark equivalent.
The most relaxing lakeside setting has to be Sirmione. In 1889, therapeutic thermal pools were discovered in the area and now the town has become a spa haven where every visitor can be pampered.
If you can drag yourself away from the massage table, head to the Scaligero castle where youll be confronted with awe-inspiring views of Lake Garda. Only a short walk away youll find the Roman Grotto of Catullus, one of the best examples of a Roman private society discovered in Italy.
Whichever spot you choose to stop at along the banks, Lake Garda holidays are guaranteed to provide you with something beautiful and unique.