Seeing the seasonal beauty in Europe is certainly an experience not to be missed. Think vibrant fall colours of the trees, magical winter wonderlands and the prettiest spring blooms in sight.

The year-end period in particular is a fantastic time to soak up plenty of novel experiences in the continent. Connect with the locals during the festive holidays and shop for handcrafted gifts at some of Europe’s most famous Christmas markets.

Travel company Insight Vacations has curated three amazing holiday experiences in Europe.

Embrace colourful culture in Spain and Portugal

Go far beyond the surface and revel in signature cuisines, cultures and histories of Spain and Portugal. In Toledo, meet a master craftsperson in a Damascene workshop for a personal
insight into the ancient craft that has been handed down through centuries. There are also many must-see sights on this trip: Granada’s Alhambra Palace, Lisbon’s Jerónimos Monastery and Fátima, the world-renowned pilgrimage site.

Epicurean adventures on this trip include a visit to Jabugo, a small Spanish village that serves the most prized cured Iberian ham, and the chance to taste the famous Portuguese delicacy Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon’s most famous pastry shop.

Visit the Christmas markets of Austria and Bavaria

The festive period gives travellers a chance to see Europe’s traditional Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. From local handicrafts and delicious, yummy treats like Glühwein, Christmas stollen and home-made gingerbread, enjoy the festive atmosphere set against the winter wonderland backdrop.

Experience a magical moment in Innsburuck while riding a horse-drawn carriage through Tyrol’s picturesque countryside. Admire the beautiful scenery of the German Alps with its snow-capped
mountains, visit musical Salzburg, the magical castle in Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau, home of the Passion Play, and on to heart-warming Munich.

See the northern lights in Iceland

Start your journey off in Reykjavik where you will have the chance to see the northern lights. Other highlights include a visit to Gullfoss to see the glorious two-tiered waterfall (the Icelandic equivalent of Niagara) with a drop of 32m, along with the chance to see the magnificent Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes up close, and a visit to Hellisheiðavirkjun, the country’s newest geothermal heat and electric power station.

Get warmed up when visiting the renowned spouting Geysir, a famous hot spring in the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley. Visit a geothermal bakery to sample rye bread that is baked in the ground and don’t forget to try homegrown tomatoes in Friðheimaron on a family-run farm.

For more information, visit www.cit.travel ; e-mail insight@cit.travel or contact 03-2091 9966.