Serbia and Montenegro still suffer an ignominious reputation as Balkan bullyboy cultivated by former leader, Slobodan Milosevic, but this does coutry a great injustice. The heart of former Yugoslavia has another history, an alter ego that reveals a widespread passion for the virtues of high culture, recreation and having a damn good time. Montenegro is […]


A country whose national anthem is ‘Ukraine Has Not Yet Died’ may no seem the most uplifting destination, but Ukraine rewards travelers with hospitable people, magnificent architecture and miles of gently rolling steppes. Nearly every city and town has a centuries-old cathedral, exquisite mosaics, and many have open-air museums of folk architecture. Kyiv is the […]


Europe’s ‘wild west,’ Norway has a ruggedly beautiful frontier character, with easy access to wild outdoor country and forested green belts circling even the largest cities. lts mountains, fjords and glaciers are highly prized, along with its cultured cities, unspoiled fishing villages and rich historic sites, from Viking ships to medieval churches. North of the […]


Latvia may be sandwiched between Estonia and Lithuania, but its capital, Riga, is the biggest and most vibrant city in the Baltics. Great day-trip destinations surrounding Riga include the coastal resort Jurmala, the Sigulda castles overlooking the scenic Gauja River Valley, and the Rastrelli Palace at Rundale. Latvia’s less-travelled roads are equally rewarding, form the […]


Slovakia, the Czech Republic’s less glamorous partner, emerged dishevelled and sleepy after the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1989. Although it’s now holding its own in a rebuilding Eastern bloc, there’s a refreshing absence of Prague-style glitz glamour. lt is a land of real spirit, where folk traditions have survived the domination of foreign rulers and where […]


Poland is a country of striking contrasts: contemporary city slickers fill the capital, Warsaw, while in the countryside horse-drawn carts negotiate peaceful lanes where the new millennium is just a rumour. Nestled in the heartland of Europe, Poland has been both a bridge and a front line between eastern and western Europe. Today the country […]


Reunion is so sheer and lush, it looks as if it has risen dripping wet from the deep blue sea-which it effectively has, being he tip of a massive submerged prehistoric volcano. The island is run as an overseas department of France, making it one of the last colonial possessions in the world. French culture […]


Although it’s more a pre-breakfast stroll than a country, Monaco packs a lot of living into a little land. Most of the people who dwell here come from somewhere else, drawn by the sun, glamorous lifestyle and-most importantly-tax-free income. This is the playground of Europe’s elite, a country where Lady Luck might clean you out […]


lt’s not much of a problem finding scenes of devastating beauty in Switzerland. The clichés are all here: soaring peaks, tumbling waterfalls, sparkling lakes, quaint rural houses and, of course, cows grazing contentedly in their verdant Alpine meadown. Towns and cities offer picture-perfect medieval centres and colourful parades and festivals. Trains wind through the mountains […]


lt’s said that lreland, once visited, is never forgotten, and for once the blanrney rings true. The lrish landscape has a mythic resonance, the country’s history is almost tangible, and a sustained period of investment and economic growth has injected a heady dose of confidence and energy. Thankfully, lreland hasn’t paid the ultimate price for […]