If we could jet off to a life in southern Europe, leaving behind the high-paced life of home and work and enjoying a far more relaxed lifestyle, I am sure we all would. But few people can, due to family and financial pressures, which is why many head to the Mediterranean countries for a well-earned holiday instead. A holiday allows visitors to chill out and enjoy a Southern European way of life for a spell, before heading home with body and mind re-energised. Here we reveal 12 ways to achieve the Southern European lifestyle.
Get up when you wake up
Take a cooling dip in the sea.
The chances are the southern European sun will waken you and while you could lie in bed for a little longer, why not get up like the locals and enjoy some time in the cooler hours of the morning? This is the perfect time for enjoying a walk – take a look at Macs Adventure European walking holidays, especially the easier graded tours. Or you could head to a local market, take a dip in the sea or a pool and generally wake up slowly but enjoyably.
Get the espresso habit
It shouldn't be too harmful to enjoy an espresso or two the way the Europeans do first thing in the morning. As you're on holiday, why not find out what the locals enjoy for breakfast or enjoy a sweet treat of your own choice in a local cafe?
Go with the flow
Walk where you fancy... or when you want.
You might prefer to have every day planned out but if you’re living the European lifestyle, you’ll be a lot more relaxed about your days. Choose a day trip or walk to suit your mood on the day and don’t put yourself under too much pressure to achieve very much. If you feel like sitting in a park and watching the world go by, or lazing on the beach and swimming in the Med then you go for it. It’s the best feeling to do as much or as little as you fancy and to simply see how you feel.
Make a picnic
Simple meals and snacks.
Choose fresh, local ingredients and pack a simple picnic with a bottle of local wine. You could take a walk, a cycle or a drive and hike to a local beauty hotspot and find an area of shade to enjoy your outdoors lunch. When it’s warm outdoors and the sun is shining, the last thing you’ll want to do is stay indoors.
An early afternoon sleep, or siesta, is the idea way to recharge batteries for the rest of the days activities – and it will allow you to feel fresh later into the evening. Most southern Europeans make the most of cooler evenings for eating and drinking with friends. A siesta will also keep you out of the sun at its highest and hottest time of the day.
Dress with ease
Give clothing light and flowing.
Loose clothing and sandals or flip-flops will help to keep you cool. Remember to wear suncream to prevent sunburn. Wearing simple outfits of shorts and a t-shirt can make you feel immeasurably better than putting on your normal northern European attire.
Eat like the locals
Delicious food and wine
You can choose to dine at a local restaurant, remembering that most Europeans eat a lot later than Brits traditionally. Alternatively, shop at the markets and make you own simply meal using fresh ingredients. It’s easy to eat healthily when fruit, vegetables, meat and fish look lush and taste delicious. Add delicious olive oil dressings and don’t forget to enjoy a glass or two of wine.
Do drink, but not too much
Relax and take your time to sip a chilled glass of wine.
Whether it is lunchtime or evening, a glass or two of local wine is the perfect way to relax on holiday. Any more alcohol and you will be left feeling sluggish in the heat. Learn from the sociable drinking style of the southern Europeans.
Eat with family and friends
Eating out is a sociable affair and both families and children are made very welcome at restaurants, usually until the later hours. It’s a wonderful way to kick back and catch up on what you have been doing all day, as well as making a few plans for the rest of your holiday.
Pre or post-dinner stroll
Enjoy the sights and scenes at sunset.
You’ll see lots of people wandering the streets and taking advantage of later opening hours at attractions and shops in southern Europe. Why not do the same?
Visit a winery
Well, this might not be the main occupation of Europeans, but you won’t know the best wines to enjoy with lunch or dinner if you do not try a few. Ask for recommendations of a local vineyard or cellar to visit. Or book a gourmet walking holiday with Macs Adventure.
Sitting at street tables in a cafe or restaurant in southern Europe, while nursing a coffee or a drink, is a must-do. That way, you can enjoy the fascinating activity of people watching. The Europeans seem to do this very well indeed.