The Schengen area comprises of 26 beautiful countries and each of them offers an array of unique and awesome destinations for the travelers looking for a wonderful holiday. There are the popular places like Paris in France and Santorini in Greece and some hidden gems like Cuenca in Spain and Pena National Park in Portugal. If you happen to have a Schengen visa and planning for a vacation in the Schengen countries, be prepared for an unforgettable experience. Here is a detailed guide to help you in curating the best of a hassle-free fun-filled holiday.
Get acquainted with the new visa waiver programme
ETIAS, the European travel waiver for the Schengen Area. is the latest visa waiver programme which is scheduled to start from January 2021 to make travelling to the Schengen area safer and easier. The entire process is online and completely user-friendly. On this platform, you can apply just 5 days before the trip as well but it is advisable to do it as soon as you have finalised the itinerary. The application form will take about 25 minutes to complete and you will get a response immediately after submission. You can travel to any Schengen country through ETIAS for a maximum of 90 days within a span of a period of 180 days.
Go off the beaten path
Apart from the famous and vibrant capital cities like Rome, Paris, Madrid and Vienna, the area is also blessed with some unknown and uncharted terrains and towns which do not fall into the category of the usual tourist spots. Some noteworthy places worth including in the list are the quaint town of Mijas in Spain, Bruges in Belgium, splendid beaches of Croatia and the old world charm of Bulgaria.
Booking flights and taking care of other modes of transport
Travelling by air is the ideal choice when travelling to one country from another, especially when both the destinations are situated far from one another, like Spain to Bulgaria. There are quite a few budget airlines available like Wizz Air, Ryanair and Easyjet. If you are not short on time, then a train journey can be a delightful travel experience in itself. Buses are a good and reasonable mode of transport for covering in-country destinations.
Choosing accommodation options
After you have decided on the destinations and booked the flight tickets, the next step would be to get done with arranging your accommodation during the trip. It could include luxurious hotels, small and cosy bed and breakfast options, hostels and shared accommodations, depending on your budget and preference. You could even try camping if you are up for some adventures.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit depends on whether you are going to a beach destination or skiing holiday. June to September is the ideal time for visiting the coasts and November to the middle of April are perfect for heading to those famous ski resorts. To make the most of your trip to the countries in the North like Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, plan a trip in the months of July and August when the days are the longest. If you want to experience the magical Northern Lights, then winter is the best season. The weather is pleasant from April to September in continental Europe.