Revealed: The best holiday destinations in Europe 2021

The Dolomites, where the Hotel Leitlhof resides.
The Dolomites, where the Hotel Leitlhof resides. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Jonny Walfisz
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The World Travel Awards has crowned these locations the best in Europe 2021. We pick some of our highlights.


The World Travel Awards has announced the winners for this year’s best travel options in Europe.

The categories include best adventure destination, best beach resort, and best city break.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards pinpoint the very best tourism experiences on offer, guaranteeing some great tips for your next big trip.

We take a look through some of the most exciting winners in this year’s European categories.

Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination: Azores Islands

An archipelago far off the coast of Portugal, the Azores Islands have won the award for best adventure tourism destination two years in a row.

Not only that, the Azores Islands were also nominated for a whole host of other exciting awards, including: Leading Dive Destination, Responsible Tourism Award, and Leading Island Destination.

Sao Miguel Island, part of the Azores.Canva

It’s not hard to see why. There’s something for every kind of adventurer in the Azores.

Whether you want to spend a day out whale watching in a boat, hiking to find caves and waterfalls or just lying back and relaxing in a naturally heated rock pool; the volcanic islands will inspire your inner daredevil.

A sperm whale starts a deep dive off the coast of the Lajes do Pico in the AzoresCanva

Europe's Leading Beach Resort: Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas, Greece

Also the winner for Leading Luxury Villa Resort, the Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas in Crete, Greece is the ideal getaway for those with a taste for the good life.

With two private sandy beaches, a huge sea-facing pool, five restaurants, four bars, nine sports courts and a luxury spa, you’ll be bathing in luxury 24/7.

The old town of Elounda, CreteCanva

Perched on the coast of Crete, when not in the 5-star hotel, guests are just 7km from the historic town of Agios Nikolaos, where Hellenic legend claims Athens and Artemis bathed.

Europe's Leading City Break Destination: St Petersburg, Russia

Russia’s second city, St Petersburg is the perfect place to bite into a slice of Soviet history with a tasty portion of beef stroganoff on the side.

Church of the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg.Canva

No visit to St Petersburg is complete without taking in the Hermitage. The Winter Palace collection is world renowned for its trove of fine art and Roman and Greek antiquities.

Other top sites include the Church of the Spilled Blood and a trip to Pushkinskaya 10, a squat for the city’s independent artists.

Europe's Leading Cultural Destination: Azerbaijan

Fancy something a little different? A trip to Baku might be in order.

Old meets new in Baku.Canva

Bordering the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is a melting pot of the two continents it straddles; Europe and Asia.

An ex-Soviet and Muslim country, you will find a blend of Islamic culture and the remnants of the country’s time under USSR rule. That means delicious tea and a shot of vodka on the side.

The capital, Baku, now even hosts an annual Formula 1 race for any adrenaline junkies wanting a front seat for the fastest cars on earth.


Europe's Leading Green Hotel: Naturhotel Leitlhof, Italy

Looking for an environmentally conscious place to stay? Look no further than the Leitlhof Nature Hotel in the Northern Dolomite mountains of Italy.

The spa pool at Hotel LeitlhofSMStudio

While taking in the panoramic mountain view, you can enjoy the natural surroundings, safe in the knowledge that the hotel is fully sustainable and climate neutral.

Not only do they generate their own power through a combined heat and power plant fed from their sustainable forest, all their food is locally sourced too. Including their very own cattle ranch, with delicious meals prepared by crack chef de cuisine Markus Auer.

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