The countries of Western Europe are prosperous and stable and first in mind for family holidays, while some of the Central and Eastern European states are luring budget-minded travellers keen to enjoy the sun outside the pricey Eurozone.
Europe's capitals are jewel-like, each one more spectacular than the next. Paris is the City of Lights, the most beautiful and romantic capital; stately Vienna was the centre of the Habsburg Empire for more than 600 years; red-roofed Prague the city of a hundred spires and medieval Krakow, once royal capital of Poland.
The continent offers a wealth of holiday ideas: touring the Burren in Ireland, viewing the Northern Lights in Norway or Sweden, skiing in France or Switzerland or lying on the beach in Spain or Portugal.
Airlines offering cheap flights to Europe have opened up countries and revealed little-known tourist gems.
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