Despite its complement of 50 countries, Europe is a relatively small continent, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in variety. Each country has its own culture and language, and within each country regional dialects abound and cultural variations differ still. It’s hard to imagine a single common denominator that links each of the countries that make up European holiday destinations. Is it the grand architecture? The fantastically diverse food? The scenery, from arid lunar landscapes to rolling alpine fields? There’s so much diversity that it’s impossible to pinpoint one collective thread. The architecture is such that you can explore Moorish buildings next to Baroque churches, Islamic windows peering onto Renaissance gems that act as a living museum. The food offers up a flavour for any palate, with each country’s national dishes more different than the next: tapas in Spain, smorgasbord in Denmark and souvlaki in Greece to name but a few. But who knew that you could find some of the most pioneering nouvelle cuisine in Scandinavia or the birthplace of the pizza, not in the undulating fields of Tuscany, but in humble, gritty Naples? Here you can go from skiing to the beach in a single day, and discover some of the best cultural experiences (on your doorstep!) from weekend city breaks to longer trips of exploration or just laying back on the beach.