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Best European country in Winter

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1. Posted by MaxineK (Budding Member 45 posts) 8y

Hey,

Just thought I would see what people think was the best European country they have visited in Winter?

-Maxine

2. Posted by Sunbaked (Budding Member 10 posts) 8y

Doubtless: Spain. Whatever the french, (who charge for their winter sun at Montecarlo prices), and italians (who pretend they've invented ice cream) tell you, they're only after your body, whereas in Spain everything is much nicer and they give you tapas in the bares and as well as it's sunny for free, and tend to renew their buildings, not as in Greece that they still have to refurbish the Parthenon after more than 2000 years! Let me call that a not very effective housing policy. Parts of the cities are totally in ruins. Emerging winter sun countries will be available in the next coming years thanks to the climatic change, but so far, Spain is Spain, best place in the whole planet to be a "middle-low and upwards range regardless of size and skin tone" foreigner on holidays, as amounts to whole populations that live there.
Some argue that Proven├že in France is chic and you can paint some fine watercolours overlooking the hills while munching bread and pate de foie, even if you can't draw a circle, but that's because they have seen it on tv. The locals look friendly enough at first, but then don't waste time in getting involved gorging on frogs legs and snails, turning your retreat into a potential trauma. At 125 euros for a croissant and espresso in most bars, France is not getting very popular with idle non-millionaires.
You could think that a beach winter in Corsica is the answer to the world troubles, but let me tell you, don't try to get anywhere near Laetitia Casta as the whole island double up as bodyguards of this famed young lady. If you're not taking your yacht there, get a proper job.
Now Spain again, they've got it all, and then a bit. Two thirds of the country are surrounded by beaches, the scenery's not only awesome, but available too, no big restrictions into where you wander compared to the rest of Europe, then Portugal next to it, it takes a while to spot the difference in people both sides of the imaginary border. France is on the top east, but there are a big range of mountains to mark the limit. Still, in several parts of Spain you can really feel like in a different country, with different language and all, making up excuses for not learning the language becomes much easier. Herds of english speaking communities hung around the Costas, and the bit extra i was telling before is that there are also the Balearics and the Canaries to suit particular winter sun tastes. Portugal has Madeira too, but you'll end up bored a whole winter talking about Cristiano Ronaldo.
Not exotic enough? Forget bloody Europe and head for Morocco. It's the same, but without the adverts.

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

Half of the above answer is about negative aspects of other countries. I really feel sorry for you Sunbaked that you have such negative views about other countries. You seem to be full of hate.
The thing is, that those countries you mention have nice coastlines if you like to be bored at beaches all winter long anyway.

Anyway, I wouldn't advice any place in southern Europe in winter, as temperatures certainly are not that high to enjoy a beach holiday (except the Canary Islands), so I would say Switzerland to enjoy great scenery, skiing etc. Or maybe go up north and enjoy the Aurora Borealis in the north of Norway for example. Just some thoughts.

4. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

I agree with Utrecht about heading north as the south is no way near hot enough for a beach holiday if that is what you want. I suggest anywhere with a good bar culture, like the UK or the Netherlands or Ireland, or any country in the north of europe really as that is what most people do in the winter...go to the pub!!!

5. Posted by Sunbaked (Budding Member 10 posts) 8y

Oh well, Utretch, thanks for your concern and for being sorry, but don't waste too many kleenex over my rant, as it was irony and perhaps being spanish makes the point of view a bit biased, let's say. You could also have looked at the positive aspects or even grasp a little joke, but i guess a sense of humour is against your religion, so, my apologies for the offence to all those countries and the severe impact it made on you. On second thoughts, your views over the whole south of Europe don't seem praising much love either. Also yes, i go often to the beach in winter, nice fish restaurants without the usual crowds, streets full of life and regular nonsense celebrations in the midst of cyclical economic crisis. You have to beat the road long miles to find a similar place in winter, and definitely no towards the north.

6. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 8y

I'm on your side Sunbaked.

It's quite sad really if a person can't grasp the subtleties of ironic humour, living their travelling life as a literal pursuit, ticking countries they've visited on a map and missing the whole point of actually not defending every bloody nuisance and enjoying the crap things too - in an ironic way.

I say boo hoo for them and to you also Utrecht.... Think of all the fun you're missing.

Well done Sunbaked and keep the powder of your cynisism dry at all times.

Zaksame

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Now, now, children... Posts aren't the same as hearing someone in person--so we all miss a joke or two and it's easy to misinterpret. Everyone here's contributed something useful--which is what we're here for!

So--I've never visited Europe in winter (just Normandy in early November, when it was still a bit warm). But I just saw that James Bond movie filmed around Interlaken and my praise for the city has tripled. That's my 2 cents' worth!

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 8y

That's strange, I was being ironic as well...and you both didn't see it
But now that you mention it, I'll try to see your humor in the future, you are both very funny I must admit. I'll try to adjust my future behaviour to your standards, I think that's best for all of us.
Enjoy your lifes

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 15, 2008, at 6:13 AM by Utrecht ]

9. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y

I'm going to be chauvinist here, and say the Netherlands. We rock in winter (even though our winters really suck BIG time), coziness all around :)

10. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 8y

Well done Utrecht!

Zaksame