Whether or not you manage to sneak away this summer or are just looking for future inspiration, there’s nothing quite like a trip to Europe when the sun is shining. From beautiful cities with beaches to stunning coastlines that you’ll never want to leave, a European summer holiday really does have it all.
They’re convenient, too, as we don’t have far to travel to visit our European neighbours. But where should you go to make it a summer to remember? We’ve put this handy list together, covering some of the best European destinations during the summer.
So get your sunscreen and beach towels out and discover five European places to visit in the summer. 🌞
1) Dubrovnik, Croatia 🇭🇷
Dubrovnik gets so popular during the summertime that avoiding the crowds can be tricky. However, if you plan to go right at the start or at the very end of the summer, a peaceful holiday awaits in Dubrovnik, a city famous for being the filming location of TV series Games of Thrones.
A trip to Dubrovnik is one of culture and beaches. The many beautiful buildings are preserved from the 16th century, and The Old Town is a great place to visit for restaurants, boutiques and Game of Throne Tours if it takes your fancy.
When it comes to beaches, you might not have the soft, sandy delights found elsewhere in Europe. But Dubrovnik is a great place to dip your toes in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Copacabana Beach is one of the best in the city with its luxury white lounges, deckchairs, watersports and beachside restaurants.
2) Mykonos, Greece 🇬🇷
Choosing an island to visit in Greece is never easy. They’re all filled with sandy beaches, warm waters and fabulous Greek taverners. However, if we were forced to choose, we’d opt for Mykonos, the Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea.
Mykonos features the best of both worlds, with all-night parties on one side of the island and striking architecture on the other. Visit the windmills or the Paraportiani Church, which is one of the most photographed Greek churches. Then there’s the Archeological Museum, with its ancient artefacts, to discover.
Of course, beaches and parties are very much a part of a trip to Mykonos. Head to Paradise and Super Paradise for warm water to enjoy a dip, as well as thumping music from world-class DJs and beachside bars to grab a cocktail or two.
3) Sainte-Maxime, France 🇫🇷
A luxury destination between the Provence and French Riviera, Sainte-Maxime is your five-star getaway to Mediterranean shores and local traditions. Known as Saint Tropez’s little sister, Sainte-Maxime doesn’t receive the same attention which means you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful holiday.
Wander the beaches and make a splash in the bright blue sea before stopping at local restaurants to enjoy some delectable French cuisine. The colourful fishing boats will make for a great Instagram snap, and the laid-back vibe during the day is perfect for lazing about in the sun.
Pay a visit to Tour Carrée, Sainte-Maxime’s only historical monument. It’s a fortified blockhouse built in 1520 and was used to defend the coast against Saracen pirates. There’s also the odd nightclub here, but you’ll find more bakers and butchers than places to dance in this lowkey destination.
4) Barcelona, Spain 🇪🇸
Combine a city break with lush beaches in Barcelona, a Catalan destination with some serious style. Choose from a selection of beaches that set the scene with their golden sands and clear waters. Sip back on a cocktail while catching some rays at spots like Bogatell Beach, Mar Bella Beach and Barceloneta Beach.
When you’re not soaking up the sun, put your tourist hat on and explore Barcelona’s architectural delights. Gaudi’s footprint is all over the city, seen at landmarks like the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and Park Guell.
Then spend the evening dining at Barcelona’s world-class restaurants before heading off for a night of partying. The party doesn’t really get started until midnight, so make sure you’re ready to dance until the sun comes up. Barcelona is a city that has everything.
5) Reykjavik, Iceland 🇮🇸
Even though Reykjavik is more associated with the winter months, it really shines during the summer. This left-field option offers endless sunshine, with mid-April to mid-August providing no dark nights due to Reykjavik’s geographical location.
Don’t worry, though, because the hotels have blackout curtains so you can still get some sleep if you so wish. And when you’re not tucked up in bed, you’ll be enjoying colourful fields of greens and flowers, blue skies sitting over the Blue Lagoon’s healing waters and temperatures in the twenties.
After visiting the Blue Lagoon, go for a stroll around the city centre and stop off at the many cafes for some refreshing juice. Have lunch at one of the charming restaurants and try the Perlan dome, a revolving glass-domed fine-dining restaurant set in a park with its own cocktail bar.
The summer of Europe
There are so many amazing places to visit in Europe during the summer, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. With the options on our list, you can enjoy a memorable getaway with beach adventures and fantastic city breaks as you soak up the European sunshine.