Our Newmarket Travel Predictions
It’s nearly time for Euros kick-off. Will Austria defeat North Macedonia in their first game of this year’s championship? Is The Netherlands your group favourite too? In our Alternative Euros, we’re politely disregarding the sport (just for a moment) and weighing up which European country we’re most excited to book a plane ticket to.
First, let’s take a look at the countries we have competing in Group C:
Home to classical music and one of the most famous alpine ranges in the world, it’s no wonder Austria has an air of exclusivity to it. In fact, it’s one of the priciest countries to travel to. While you’re forgiven for not having North Macedonia high up on your bucket list, the country actually offers a range of opportunities for lake holidays and ski trips, too. With the North Macedonian government recently deciding to subsidise annual vacations for low-income citizens, it’s clear they not only have plenty to offer to tourists but are also committing to make travel more accessible.
Ukraine is another option for budget travellers, offering a range of comfortable, high-quality accommodation and a glimpse into old-world Europe with Kyiv’s fascinating range of architecture. The Netherlands is wonderful year-round, but it takes the cake for springtime travel. During these months, the Keukenhof - the world’s biggest flower garden - is transformed with blooms. Millions of flowers blanket the ground in an inspiring horticultural display. So we might need to bench the Netherlands at this particular time (but chat to us again in Spring!).
We know, we know. It’s tough competition. But only one country can win!
North Macedonia! Sure, we’re holiday experts, but we like to think we’re travel forecasters, too. So we’ve got to say it: the Balkans are having their moment. In recent years, Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia have drawn international tourists, people craving unique cuisine, mountainous terrain, and historical attractions that aren’t crammed with crowds. In 2021, North Macedonia is our pick of the Balkans.
This summer has us dreaming of a refreshing swim and a carafe of rosé by the waterfront. In the field of European lake holidays, North Macedonia is often overlooked in favour of Italy’s Lake Garda or idyllic Lake Como, or even Austria’s Hallstatt. But let’s turn our attention to Lake Ohrid, a rare gem. Spanning the border of North Macedonia and Eastern Albania, the lake is fringed by an idyllic array of peaks. It’s also one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes. The shores are perfect for swimming, boating, walking, and simply basking in the sun.
The natural beauty continues. Mavrovo National Park, the country’s largest, offers sprawling pine forests, pristine waterfalls, and grassy mountains, making it perfectly suited to intrepid hikers and casual walkers alike. The picturesque Šar Mountain is a highlight, formed of jagged peaks that soar 2,000 metres into the clouds. During the winter, this landscape becomes a winter wonderland, giving you even more reason to skip your usual ski holiday to the Austrian Alps and try something different.
Suggested tour: Jewels of Albania & North Macedonia
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