Why one goes on a holiday? The commonest of the answers is “for a change” but how does that change is experienced if one has to be precise? The answer becomes a question and piles upon the other but surely with an end. Holidays are best way to celebrate the two most cherished senses of human beings- vision and taste, and place on earth is better than Europe. Yes, you are beginning to get the point that is being made here. On luxury family holidays in this continent, there will be a lot of things to savour. Start from eyes and tongue followed by the rest of the sensory organs, until it touches and fills the soul seeking respite from routine.
1. Fun in France
Starting with France sounds and feels auspicious as the country is world famous for its tourism, iced with different flavours. Dive in the typical French wines or humongous range of cheese (that are produced here and exported in whole world) but not before enjoying places like Louvre, Eiffel, Notre Dame De Paris, Mont St Michel, Pantheon, Grand Palais and more.
If we are going to talk about one of the most popular French dishes, it has to be Crepes with its endless flavours in fillings, varying according to the place and chef you come across. Flour, milk, egg, vegetable oil, and pinch of salt are all it takes to start.
2. Solace in Spain
As for its Puree la Tomatina(Tomato Festival), Loro Parque, Park Guell, Gran Canaria, Tibidabo, Teida, El Encierro (Bull racing), etc, Spain is also celebrated for its cheese, desserts, Tapas, ham and other types of flavours. However, if there is one Spanish recipe that you should be aware of, it is Valencian Paella.
Major ingredients (they might vary a little as per region) that contributes in its preparation are chicken or duck, pork, rabbit, green beans, red pepper (sweet), rice (long grain), tomato, broth (chicken), garlic, red pepper flakes, oils and salt.
3. Mirth in Malta
A gem of Europe, Malta is known as a Mediterranean diving heaven but there are other things for a tourist. Megalithic temples, Gozo, Mdina, Skorba Temples, Valletta, Citadella, Ggantija, Tarxien Temples, Messina Palace and Palazzo Capua are some of the must see places here.
And, when you are done, it is time for a Maltese recipe named Aljotta. Made from tomato, fish along with garlic and some other herbs, this soup is taken with steamed rice and loved like that.
4. Amusement in Austria
Popular for its winter sports, especially ski, Austria is a well-chosen tourism place with lures like Vienna State Opera, Prater, Kitzsteinhorn, Belvedere, Schonbrunn Palace, Melk Abbey, MUMOK, Millennium Tower, Lentos Art Museum and many more.
Wherever you will go in Austria, Wiener Schnitzel is found to be one of the most popular dishes. It is made from meat slices of veal dipped in a paste of flour, eggs and bread crumbs and fried deep. Nowadays, turkey and pork are also seen to be used instead of veal. Potato Salad and Lemon tradition accompany this recipe.
5. Gaiety in Germany
Germany is one of the major commercial hubs of the world economy and tourism contributes to this in its own way. If you plan to enjoy your luxury European holidays here, do not forget to be captivated by Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Heide Park, Reichstag, Nuburgring, Europa-Park, Zugspitze Mountain, Pergamon Museum, Zoologischer Garten Berlin, Fernsehturm, Semperoper, and the list goes on.
Among many German delicacies, the three cheers are for Rouladen or Beef Olives, as known in some places. Put in plain words, pickles, bacon, mustard, onion and other vegetables are wrapped in thin beef slices and then cooked in beef broth. You might find some variations to this classic version but none without taste.
6. Ecstasy in Estonia
Estonia is among those countries that was invaded numerous times but has still maintained its identity as a typical Balkan state. Do not miss marvellous travel seductions like by Toompea, Soomma National Park, Valaste Waterfall, Lahemaa National Park, Jagala Waterfall, Suur Munamägi Peak, Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve and many other baits of nature.
Of course, the other aspect of tourism of any place is its regional cuisine and Estonia is no exception. Try Potato Garlic Gratin along with others. Traditionally a baked and grilled dish, Potato, onion, garlic, sour cream, cheese and chives are its standard ingredients. A vegetarian’s love for sure!
7. Pleasure in Portugal
Just like many other European countries, Portugal has also a long history that takes one back to the era of Colonies. Today, the country is seen as developed, globalised and peaceful nation. Here, the obvious tourist magnets are Tavira Island, Lisbon Oceanarium, Douro, Castle of Sao Jorge, Queluz National Palace, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Conímbriga, Ourém Castle, Palácio da Bolsa, etc.
Now it’s time to feed the other senses (oh yes, I mean tongue) as well. Prepared in olive oil, the main ingredients include clams (small), garlic, white wine (dry), bread crumbs (dry), cilantro and parsley. Enjoy it as an appetizer or a beach picnic food.
8. Veneration in Vatican City
The world’s smallest country has a great history associated with religion. Whoever wasn’t aware, got to know about it by the Tom Hanks starrer “Angel and Demons” based on the Dan Brown’s fiction by the same name.
Touring Vatican City is a completely different experience from other place due to its religious historical roots. Start the tour with St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Library, Apostolic Palace, Raphael Rooms and end it with a mouth watering recipe.
Vatican City Panini is one of those dishes that you would love to try. Major ingredients are Bread for Panini, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Pesto, Mexican Sauce, Thai Peanut Sauce, Marinara, Cajun Chicken, Onion, Salsa, bacon, mushrooms, jalapeno, pepper, basil, ham and horseradish Sour Cream. Dressing could exclude or include few ingredients as per choice.
9. Tantalize in Turkey
A Eurasian Country, Turkey enjoys the mixed culture that also gets reflected in the culinary as well, but that will come after the travel fervour ensuring visit to Pamukkale, Temple of Artemis, Mount Nemrut, Chora Church, Maiden’s Tower, House of the Virgin Mary, Selimiye Mosque, Ishak Pasha Palace, Kaunos, Celsus Library, Miniaturk, Kadifekale, Yamanlar, Babadag, Eyup Sultan Mosque and maybe more if time allows.
And, when your stomach starts rumbling, go for Sogan Dolmasi or simply put, Stuffed Onions. With major ingredients as onions, rice, tomato (both chopped and puree), salt, sugar and typical Turkish spices, the dish is easily cooked and heavenly enjoyed.
10. Luxury in Luxembourg
A landlocked country, Luxembourg is highly developed economy boasting many places and dishes worth visiting and trying. So, the journey begins with travel temptations like Bourscheid Castle, Esch-sur-Sûre, Mullerthal, The Bock, Les Thermes, Wasserbillig, Remich, The Basilica, Castle of Vianden, Alzette River, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc.
And, it ends with palate titillations like Quetschentaart, the major ingredients of which are flour, milk, butter along with yeast for base and egg, sugar, plums (halved). There is no doubt that you won’t fall in love with this sweetness.
11. Camaraderie in Cyprus
Heavily influenced by neighbouring cultures and countries, Cyprus is known for a cuisine inspired from them. Still, as the human nature varies, so does the food, even after the influential impacts. When you have your share of tourism of Cyprus with Paralimni, Troodos Mountains, Limassole, Lefkara, Nicosia, etc, do not forget to enjoy the original cheese called Halloumi (cheese made from milk of goat and sheep) and the recipes made it.
The cheese is just one speciality but if it is recipe, try Baklava-a pastry made from Phyllo dough and nuts like pistachio and walnuts. A sugary delight!
12. Nirvana in Netherlands
The Netherlands is quite a popular name, whether you look through the pages of history, read a travel enthusiast’s blog or ask a Dutch food indulgent. Make acquaintance with the place it is, appreciating The Hague, Madurodam, Rotterdam, Maastricht, Keukenhof flower gardens, Efteling, Duinrell, The Annexe, Hoge Veluwe National Park, The National Maritie Museum, Het Loo, Amterdam, etc.
After that you are free to reach on the ninth cloud with recipe Stamppot. Typically a vegetable mash, the recipe is served and enjoyed most with pork gravy and sausage (smoked).
Europe is an endless experience with so many countries and unique cultures. Even with loads of time, travel and gastronomical experience will never seem to exhaust. So, get started before the time runs out of hand!
The author of this post is ‘Willsmith, a professional travel blogger who has written many articles on luxury family travel, adventure vacations and many more. His write-ups are informative and instilled with great details that awaken readers about European holidays.