As our days start to get shorter and colder and all the signs of winter start staring us in the face, it’s time to escape to the grand boulevards and cute cobblestone streets of Europe.

May to September are the perfect months to experience all of the rich and diverse history, culture and northern hemisphere summer that Europe has to offer. With long days of luscious sunlight and plenty of hot days to play with, it’s the great escape we all pine for.

Picture yourself swimming in the sun-kissed waters of the Mediterranean sea, drinking champagne in the south of France or having strawberries and cream at Wimbledon.

With the Aussie dollar so strong against both the pound and euro right now, there hasn’t been a better time to go and spend your hard-earned cash on living la dolce vita.

June through July is a great time if you want to join in the many European Pride festivals.

With so many street parades and circuit parties, your dance card will be full every night.

Barcelona and its smaller southern coastal town of Sitges are fabulous summer cities, both blessed with stunning beaches, weather and, of course, people.

If you can only do a short escape then a cruise ship or a river cruise represent a quick and easy way to see lots of different European cities and from May to September is when most departures and the best itineraries run.

For those with more time on their hands, there are so many different ways to see Europe — enjoy its famous museums and art galleries, stay in a castle, chateau, farm or villa, and take the time to get to know the locals.

And when you think of Europe, the divine and diverse food, coffee and wines, from so many regions and varieties, are not far from mind.

Rather than bringing out your winter woollies and reconnecting the electric blanket, why not focus on planning your winter escape to Europe?

Bon voyage!

By MARIO PAEZ – [email protected]

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