20 Best Summer Holidays in Europe to Take in 2024

European summer hot spots alert! Looking for the best summer holidays in Europe in 2024?

If you said yes, and you want to know the best summer destinations in Europe, hang tight. You won’t find any of the usual suspects on this list – you know the ones I’m referring to – Paris, Rome, London, or Barcelona. No way, this inspiring list of the best summer holiday destinations in Europe has some new ideas for you.

As an expert European traveller, I don’t go on Europe summer holidays. Instead, I am there in the spring, autumn and winter. That’s why I asked some top bloggers to reveal their best summer holidays in Europe.

If you’re looking to spend your next summer vacation in Europe look no further I’ve got some inspiration for you!

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20 Best Summer Holidays in Europe

This European summer destinations list is a mix of smaller, “second” cities (ok, with one exception, Dublin!) that aren’t always the first destination you think of when you say “let’s go to Europe this summer!” Small towns, under-the-radar pretty places and some rural gems are what you’ll find on this list.

That also means that your Europe summer vacation won’t break the bank. Saving money on visiting lesser-known destinations that are equally, if not more, charming and picturesque is the way to go!

It also means that these places will be a little less crowded too. With everyone travelling again, European summer holidays are in high demand. And, that means crowds! And I know you don’t want that!

So let’s dive in, with thanks to these 20 travel bloggers for sharing their favourite summer vacations in Europe!

Hallstatt, Austria

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Hallstatt
Experienced (and photo) by Jess of Uprooted Traveler

Imagine colourful houses like gingerbread cookies nestled in the Austrian Alps. Summer brings warm weather and endless adventures, making Hallstatt a top European getaway.

Explore the best things to do in Hallstatt:

  • Charming Old Town: wander streets lined with alpine buildings beside the sparkling lake.
  • Scenic Paddle: rent a canoe, picnic on the water, and soak up the adorable town and majestic mountains.
  • Mountain Thrills: visit Dachstein Krippenstein (2,000-3,000m). Relax with alpine views from a gondola or get adventurous on a climbing route.
  • Ancient Salt Mine: explore Salzwelten, the oldest salt mine in the world. Whiz down the longest underground wooden slide in Europe!
  • Don’t miss the quirky salt mine with its fascinating history and unique features
  • Nearby day trips: Salzburg (1 hour), Berchtesgaden, Germany (1 hour), Linz (90 mins), Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic (2.5 hours), Innsbruck (3 hours)

European Summer Holiday Tips for Hallstatt

  • Hallstatt: fairytale charm, summer adventures, and unforgettable memories! It’s known best for its picturesque Old Town that has UNESCO status.
  • Weather: Temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Hallstatt: A scenic 2-hour walking tour with a professional photographer who brings you to the best locations to snap that perfect photo

Places to Stay in Hallstatt

Summer Break in Europe: Croatia

Makarska Riviera, Croatia

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Riviera Croatia
Experienced (and photo) by PlacesofJuma

Dream of turquoise waters, charming towns, and mountain hikes. The Makarska Riviera in Croatia offers all this for your summer escape!

Explore

  • Makarska: a vibrant city with stunning beaches, a bustling harbour, and exciting nightlife.
  • Best towns to visit in Makarska Riviera: charming village of Podgora, the pretty beach town of Brela, and Baska Voda a small town with a pretty harbour and long beach
  • Biokovo Mountains: hike scenic trails, visit the amazing skywalk, and soak up breathtaking views.
  • Crystal-clear coastline: kayak, swim, or hike along the stunning coast with its turquoise waters.
  • Punta Rata Beach: relax on this iconic beach, known as one of the most beautiful in Croatia, and admire the famous Brela stone.
  • Don’t miss Punta Rata Beach, a must-see for its beauty and iconic status.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Makarska Riviera

  • Makarska Riviera is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning scenery
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves
  • Top-rated experience in Makarska Riviera: Admire the waterfalls in Krka National Park on a 10-hour tour from Makarska. Explore the park and enjoy a walk along the waterfall, book this amazing tour here!

Places to Stay in Makarksa

  • Biokovo Beauty – a 2-bedroom stone villa set against the backdrop of the Biokovo mountains, includes a plunge pool jacuzzi, home gym and outdoor dining
  • Boutique Hotel Ani – hotel steps from a beach offers modern rooms, and pool and wellness amenities
  • Blue Stargazer – a 3-bedroom modern contemporary home set in the mountains with a short drive to Makarska, includes a pool, impressive views of the sea, and fun, funky interiors
  • Hotel Park Makarska – located right next to a beach, this hotel offers full amenities with sea-facing rooms

Pula, Croatia

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Pula
Experienced (and photo) by Natali from She’s Abroad Again

Seeking sun-kissed beaches, charming streets, and ancient wonders? Pula on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula awaits!

Why Pula? It’s undiscovered charm and far less crowded than other Croatian coasts, Pula offers a unique experience. It’s the perfect size – big enough for variety, small enough to explore easily.

Explore:

  • Beaches in Pula: Relax on pristine beaches, each with its own charm
  • Hidden caves: Take a kayak tour to secret coves and explore the rugged coastline.
  • Nature’s haven: Discover Brijuni National Park’s wildlife or hike in Kamenjak Natural Park.
  • Roman Arena: Witness one of the best-preserved arenas in Europe, hosting events and even film festivals under the stars!
  • Nearby day trips: Vodnjan (12km), Rovinj (40 km), Porec (59 km), Motovun (70 km), Grožnjan (86 km)

European Summer Holiday Tips for Pula

  • Pula is known for its stunning coastline and beaches and a lively nightlife
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves
  • Top-rated experience in Pula: Visit Venice for the day with this round-trip boat shuttle

Best Places to Stay in Pula

  • Hotel Milan – a 4-star modern hotel with a restaurant, and terrace located in Old Town steps from the beach
  • Collins Apartment Center – 4-star self-catering apartments with modern decor and a terrace with views of Old Town and a kitchenette
  • San Martino – an affordable, clean and newly refurbished room in the centre of Old Town

Normandy, France

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Normandy Beaches
Experienced by Stephanie Craig of History Fangirl

Experience history firsthand in Normandy, France, especially during D-Day commemorations in the first week of June.

Explore with these popular things to do in Normandy:

  • Witness reenactors dressed in WWII uniforms and driving vintage vehicles.
  • Immerse yourself in historical demonstrations and exhibits.
  • Pay respects at Normandy American Cemetery and Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
  • Walk the shores of the five D-Day beaches, especially Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and Gold Beach

Beyond D-Day:

  • Unravel the story of the Bayeux Tapestry.
  • Marvel at the stunning Mont Saint-Michel.
  • Be awed by the stained glass of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Normandy

  • Normandy is known for its beaches as being the site of the Allied landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as well as its cuisine, specifically, camembert cheese originated in Normandy
  • Weather: Temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Normandy: Embark on a WWII Normandy full-day visit to the key American beaches and sites linked to D-Day

Best Places to Stay in Normandy

  • Deauville Darling – a 2-bedroom modern apartment with a balcony decorated in soft muted tones is located in the quaint town of Deauville with a few minutes walk to the beach
  • Merry Maritime – a cute 3-bedroom triplex apartment styled in Scand-inspired design is located in the picturesque port town of Honfleur
  • Hotel Saint-Delis, La Maison du Peintre – a luxury 5-star Relais Chateau property in Honfleur
  • La Maison De Lucie – a 3-star cozy hotel with a homey and nostalgic feel located in Honfleur
  • Coastal Wandering – a 3-bedroom stone cottage in the coastal village of Langrune-sur-Mer is the perfect vacation home for families

Munich, Germany

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Munich
Experienced (and photo) by Paul D’Souza of Paulmarina

Unassuming Munich in Germany hides a warm welcome, delicious food, and exciting summer events. Stroll the charming Old Town, find a lively beer garden and savour a hearty Bavarian meal.

Don’t miss these attractions in Munich:

European Summer Holiday Tips for Munich

  • Munich is known for its beer culture, especially the annual Oktoberfest, the largest folks fest in the world
  • Weather: Temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Munich: A 3-hour guided bike tour through Munich allows you to actively explore the vibrant city and the English Garden

Places to Stay in Munich

  • Cherry Kirsch – super stylish studio apartment with balcony steps from Old Town
  • BEYOND by Geisel – a 5-star adults-only hotel with a gorgeous interior that sits on the main square with views of the iconic town hall
  • Ruby Rosi Hotel – a highly stylized 4-star hotel with a restaurant, bar and modern rooms with a terrace

Mykonos, Greece

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Mykonos
Experienced (and photo) by Dymphe of Dymabroad

Escape to Mykonos, a dazzling Greek island offering something for everyone making it one of the best summer destinations in Europe.

Relax on iconic beaches like Paradise and Paraga, bask in the sun, and soak up the turquoise waters. Imagine sinking your toes into soft sand, feeling the warm sun on your skin, and swimming in crystal-clear waters.

Explore:

  • Mykonos Town: Wander charming, whitewashed streets lined with Cycladic architecture. Picture yourself strolling through narrow alleys, admiring the unique architecture, and discovering hidden gems.
  • Insta-Worthy Moments: Capture iconic photos in Little Venice, a picturesque labyrinth of colourful houses and one of the most Instagrammable places in Mykonos. Imagine yourself snapping the perfect photo in this charming and colourful neighbourhood.
  • Nightlife & Fun: Unwind at lively beach clubs and experience Mykonos’ vibrant nightlife scene. Let loose at lively beach clubs, dancing under the stars and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
  • Find a Hidden Gem: Catch a movie under the stars at Cine Manto Mykonos, a unique open-air cinema. Imagine enjoying a movie under the Aegean sky, surrounded by the beauty of Mykonos.
  • Nearby islands worth seeking out: Delos Island, an ancient Greek archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage site. Tinos Island features beautiful architecture and stunning landscapes

European Summer Holiday Tips for Mykonos

  • Mykonos is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and the picturesque Cycladic architecture
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves
  • Top-rated experience in Mykonos: Go on board the traditional boats and take a tour through the Agora, the Sacred Way and the Temple of Apollo.

Places to Stay in Mykonos

  • Midsummer Mirage – a 2-bedroom villa with views of panoramic views of the Aegean Sea on the terrace and from the infinity pool
  • Aegean Waltz – a 1-bedroom suite with a living area and kitchen within a small modern villa with a communal pool and outdoor lounging space
  • AK Mykonos – stylish hotel located within a 5-minute walk of Agios Charalabos Beach
  • Paolas Town Boutique Hotel – located in the Drafaki area, this hotel is traditionally built in Cycladic style and a short walk to the beach

Westfjords, Iceland

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Iceland
Experienced By Jina Lee

Iceland in summer is magical, offering endless daylight and stunning landscapes. While most travellers stick to the Ring Road, venture beyond to the Westfjords as part of your Ring Road road trip. It’s a hidden gem of rugged beauty and abundant wildlife.

Explore

  • Látrabjarg Cliffs: Observe puffins up close in their natural habitat, unfazed by human presence. Capture breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs and vast ocean stretching as far as the eye can see. Enjoy the serenity of this remote location, perfect for nature lovers and photographers.
  • Hike scenic trails, kayak through tranquil fjords, and check out the Dynjandi waterfall, a 100 m cascading down a mountain.
  • Visit charming fishing villages likeÍsafjörður and Reykjafjarðarlaug. Savour fresh seafood and local delicacies while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere.
  • Soak in geothermal pools and explore hidden waterfalls for a truly unique experience. Visit the red sand beach of Raudasandur Beach.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Westfjords

  • Iceland is known for its stunning natural landscapes which include hot springs, geysers and volcanos, as well as northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer
  • Weather: Temperature 10-15°C (50-59°F)

Places to stay in Westfjords

Dublin, Ireland

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Dublin 1
Experienced (and photo) by Janelle of Make the Trip Matter

Dublin is a fantastic European summer holiday destination. From museums, cultural events, and monuments to street performers, galleries, and shops – the city truly has something for everyone.

Explore

  • Explore iconic sites like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle, witnesses to Ireland’s past.
  • Festivals: Immerse yourself in summer events, from lively Pride celebrations in June to traditional Gaelic games in July.
  • Nature Lovers: Soak up the sunshine on rooftop bars or escape to nearby beaches like Dollymount Strand.
  • Hike the stunning Dublin Mountains for breathtaking views and outdoor adventures.
  • Take a nearby day trip: Belfast (2 hours), Cork (3 hours), Galway (2.5 hours)

European Summer Holiday Tips for Dublin

  • Dublin is known for being a vibrant capital full of character, history and charm with friendly locals that are described as the “heart and soul” of the city
  • Weather: Temperature 15-20°C (59-68°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Dublin: A visit to the home of Guinness – take a self-guided tour of the Guinness Storehouse, and enjoy a complimentary pint. Or learn the secrets of making Irish whiskey on a fully guided tour of the historic Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Then, enjoy a comparative whiskey tasting!

Places to Stay in Dublin

  • Clementine Divine – a one-bedroom suite self-catering apartment in the up-and-coming hub of Docklands – building includes communal spaces of a cocktail bar, working space and all-day restaurant
  • The Alex – a 4-star hotel with a cool, chic design and vibe
  • The Dean – is a hip hotel with a rooftop bar and lively lobby bar making this a great choice for travellers who enjoy the nightlife
  • Number 31 – a boutique hotel in a Georgian townhouse with a guest lounge space with an open fire

Best Holidays in Europe Found in Italy

Dolomites, Italy

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Dolomites
Experienced (and photo) by Candice Criscione of Mom in Italy

Escape the ordinary to the Dolomites, Italy’s stunning mountain paradise. Immerse yourself in a unique blend of Italian, Austrian, and Ladin cultures, reflected in food, language, traditions, and even the road signs with all three languages.

Explore

  • Summertime shines: Hike, bike, climb, or unwind at spas amidst breathtaking scenery. Find peace and tranquillity compared to other European destinations.
  • Local secrets: Skip the Instagram-famous Lago di Braies and discover the locals’ favourite, Laghetto di Fiè. Enjoy its pristine waters, easy hikes, and refreshing aperitivos at the charming bar with a view at Fiè allo Sciliar’s Romantik Hotel Turm.    
  • Must-see places and hidden gems: the charming town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Europe’s largest high-altitude Alpine meadow of Alpe di Siusi, Seceda – a scenic viewpoint only accessible by cable car.

European Summer Holiday Tips for the Dolomites

  • Dolomites is known for its breathtaking landscape, including dramatic peaks, rocky crags, and verdant valleys. The unique type of rock called Dolomite gives the mountain range a distinct appearance and as such makes it a UNESCO World Heritage site. It will also be the host of the 2026 Winter Olympics.
  • Weather: Temperature 15-25°C (59-77°F)

Places to Stay in the Dolomites

  • Fairytale Weekend – perched above Lake Garda, this 2-bedroom apartment is in a romantic spot and has a dreamy pastel colour palette that’s almost whimsical
  • Lake Garda’s Embrace – a 1-bedroom apartment with a gorgeous vintage aesthetic with original rafters and marble fireplace – views from the balcony are of Lake Garda and mountains in the distance
  • Alpine Meadow Flower – a 2-bedroom traditional chalet-style building with a wooden roof and pretty wooden balcony in the Italian Alps
  • Romantik Hotel Turm – a luxury hotel featuring towers from the 13th century offers full amenities like a wellness centre and fine dining restaurant

Puglia, Italy

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Puglia
Experienced (and photo) by Merryl of Merryl’s Travel and Tricks

Soak up the Italian sunshine in Puglia, a hidden gem in southeastern Italy. Picture whitewashed towns, crystal-clear waters, and charming streets waiting to be explored.

Explore

  • Beach Paradise: Dive into turquoise waters at Salento’s stunning beaches or discover unique swimming spots like Grota della Poesia.
  • Fairytale Towns: Wander the prettiest places to visit in Puglia like Alberobello, a UNESCO site with unique Trulli houses, and explore Lecce’s charming Baroque architecture.
  • Hike: Through the Bauxite Caves near Otranto, a surreal landscape with deep green waters.
  • Foodie Paradise: Savour Puglia’s delicious cuisine, featuring fresh local ingredients like burrata cheese, orecchiette pasta, and seafood.
  • Hidden gems in Puglia: Grotte di Castellana, a network of underground caves located near the town of Castellana, a 13th-century castle called Castel del Monte, and the charming town of Locorotondo
  • Day trip to: Matera- is known for its Sassi, or cave dwellings and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world

European Summer Holiday Tips for Puglia

  • Puglia is known for its pristine beaches, charming towns, and unique architecture of the distinctive cone-shaped buildings called Trulli.
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves
  • Top-rated experience in Puglia: Explore the UNESCO-status Alberobello with a local guide and learn more about its unique history while admiring the famous Trulli buildings

Places to Stay in Puglia

  • The Trulli Maze – a 1-bedroom in the heart of the iconic town of Alberobello in a converted Trullo with a large stone terrace
  • Albergo Alberobello – a 3-bedroom Trullo converted home set amongst 7 acres with a pool near Alberobello
  • Candelabra Cactus – a 1-bedroom apartment with a large rooftop terrace with city and sea views in the heart of Ostuni
  • White Water Rest – 2-bedroom home with original features of vaulted ceilings and thick brick walls – with streamlined furnishings and a soft colour palette in the pretty town of Ostuni

Sicily, Italy

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Sicily
Experienced (and photo) by Wanderlust Storytellers

Escape to Sicily, a dazzling Italian island perfect for your summer getaway. Create unforgettable memories filled with sun, sea, charm, and volcanic wonders!

Explore:

  • Turquoise paradise: Dive into crystal-clear waters and relax on stunning beaches.
  • Charming towns: Explore Cefalu’s dramatic cliffs, vibrant culture, and delicious food. Also, the city of Taormina, the Baroque architecture of Noto and Ragusa, the beautiful beaches of San Vito Lo Capo, and the UNESCO-status Old Town of Catania.
  • Volcanic wonders: Hike Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano, for otherworldly landscapes.
  • Road trip adventure: Discover the best places in Sicily through its diverse towns, history, and stunning scenery on a Sicilian road trip.
  • Discover the famous archaeological site: At Agrigento in Sicily, the imposing Doric temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the top-rated experiences.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Sicily

  • Sicily is known for its beautiful coastlines, ancient Greek ruins, delicious cuisine, and famous landmarks like Mount Etna and the Valley of the Temples
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves

Places to Stay in Sicily

  • The Art Museum – located in Palermo in a historic medieval building renovated with contemporary art and modern furniture, while still retaining the charm of the past with the beautiful stone feature walls throughout this beautiful 1-bedroom apartment
  • The Old Pomodoro Factory – a former tomato sauce factory in Palermo has been converted into a stylish 2-bedroom apartment with its own garden terrace
  • Taormina’s Tower – a converted former watchtower, in the city of Taormina, has sweeping vistas across the bay towards Isola Bella is now a 2-bedroom three-storey home, and it’s gorgeous!
  • Fire on the Mountain – admire the stunning views of Mount Etna from this 1-bedroom apartment’s roof terrace located in the town of Catalina.

Kotor, Montenegro

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Kotor
Experienced (and photo) by Kami of My Wanderlust

Step back in time and soak up stunning scenery in Kotor, Montenegro, a charming town with a rich history and laid-back summer vibe.

Explore these best things to do in Kotor:

  • Wander through history: Explore the Old Town’s maze of winding lanes, discover ancient palaces, and feel the cool touch of ancient stone walls.
  • See breathtaking views: Hike up the fortress for panoramic vistas of Kotor Bay’s dramatic landscape, a scene that will leave you breathless.
  • Relax on the beach: Enjoy the small city beach, just a short walk away, or explore more secluded spots along the Kotor Bay for a dip in the refreshing waters.
  • Other cute towns to visit: the charming town of Perast is known for its beautiful Baroque architecture and historic churches, and the coastal town of Budva features beautiful beaches and historic landmarks.
  • Nearby day trips: Skadar Lake – known as the largest lake in the Balkans, famous for its crystal clear waters and Lovcen National Park – a nature reserve with stunning mountain landscapes and hiking trails.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Kotor

  • Kotor is known for its beautiful natural scenery and well-preserved medieval architecture like the 14th-century city walls that surround the historic Old Town and the Castle of San Giovanni.
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F), with higher temperatures due to heat waves
  • Top-rated experience in Kotor: See Montenegro’s most popular attractions, including Our Lady of the Rocks, on a boat tour. Swim in the Blue Cave, known for its iridescent colour.

Places to Stay in Kotor

  • Wave As I Swim By – a 3-bedroom stone hilltop villa with views of the Bay of Kotor with a pool, sauna and a gorgeous interior
  • Mountain Bay Breeze – a 4-bedroom sea-facing villa with a pool that sits on a secluded on the Bay of Kotor
  • Hotel Monte Cristo – a 4-star in a 13th-century building in the heart of Old Town

Groningen, Netherlands

canal with boats trees and houses on summer vacation in europe
Experienced by Kayla Ihrig of Writing From Nowhere

Escape the crowds and high prices in Amsterdam and discover Groningen, a vibrant Dutch city with a youthful vibe.

What makes Groningen one of the best European summer destinations is the impressive list of summer festivals.

  • Bevrijdingsfestival or Liberation Festival – falls around the national bank holiday in early May
  • Stadspark Live – a weekend in June that brings together musical guests worldwide
  • Noorderzon – an 11-day in August, with performances by artists from around the world, including theatre, music, and visual arts

Explore

  • Grote Markt square: Order a drink on a sunny terrace and soak up the youthful atmosphere. Or have a picnic and pop open a bottle of wine in the Noorderplantsoen park.
  • Hidden gem: Wadden Islands is a group of five islands off the northern coast of the Netherlands, known for their sandy beaches, dunes, and quaint villages.
  • Day trip to these Dutch cities: Amsterdam (2 hours), Utrecht (2 hours), Edam (2 hours), Leeuwarden (1 hour), Giethoorn (1 hour)

Come explore for a few days or stay for a month-long working vacation. Groningen won’t run out of charm, good food or cold drinks!

European Summer Holiday Tips for Groningen

  • Groningen is known for its one of the oldest and top 100 universities in the world and its year-round festivals.
  • Weather: Temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Groningen: Get an introduction to Groningen from a local guide and learn about the city’s tips and best-kept secrets on a customized walking tour.

Places to Stay in Groningen

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Norway
Experienced (and photo) by Angela of Where Angie Wanders

Forget the usual European summer spots! Lofoten Islands in Norway offer something unique:

  • Midnight sun: Experience 24 hours of sunlight in the summer months.
  • Off-the-beaten-path: Hike, bike, and explore stunning scenery without the crowds.
  • Dramatic landscapes: Witness mighty mountains, glacial lakes, and charming fishing villages.
  • Unexpected beaches: Enjoy a beautiful coastline, rivalling even the Caribbean.
  • Fresh seafood: Savour delicious local dishes like lamb, fish, potatoes, and berries.
  • Unique experience: Enjoy the taste of the Arctic waters at Anita’s Sjømat, with stunning ocean views.
  • Cute Fishing Villages worth seeking out: Reine and Hamnøy located on Moskenesøya Island, Kabelvåg features the Lofoten Islands Museum, the UNESCSO-status village of Nusfjord, and the colourful village of Henningsvær

European Summer Holiday Tips for Lofoten Islands

  • Lofoten Islands is known for its dramatic scenery famous for its rugged mountain peaks, crystal-clear fjords, and picturesque fishing villages, as well as the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun in the summer and northern lights during the winter
  • Weather: Temperature 10-15°C (50-59°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Lofoten Islands: experience Lofoten’s epic Trollfjord onboard a catamaran cruise

Places to Stay in Lofoten Islands

Madeira, Portugal

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Portugal
Experienced (and photo) by Jenifer of The Evolista

Escape to Madeira, a unique European summer destination filled with adventure and tropical vibes.

Explore

  • Tropical charm: Lush landscapes, volcanic wonders, and beautiful beaches. Try sunbathing on the black sand at Seixal Beach, swimming at the Porto Moniz natural pools or visiting the Madeira Botanical Garden.
  • Hiking paradise: Trek Levada trails for stunning waterfalls and scenic vistas.
  • Sunrise magic: Witness breathtaking sunrises at the top of Pico Arieiro.
  • Charming city: Discover Funchal’s colonial charm and enjoy delicious local cuisine like Poncha punch.

European Summer Holiday Tips for Madeira

  • Madeira is known for its beauty! The island has a dramatic coastline and is referred to as the “Island of Flowers” because of the many gardens, and its unique Madeira wine
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Madeira: Experience this: swim in the natural volcanic pools at Porto Moniz, visit one of Portugal’s 7 Wonders – the Fanal Laurisilva forest to see beautiful waterfalls, enjoy the biggest plateau at Paul da Serra, the highest Sea Cliff in Europe and swim in the volcanic pool.

Best Places to Stay in Madeira

  • Uma Bela Arte – a light, stylish studio apartment in the heart of bustling Funchal with a city rooftop view
  • Sun, Sea & Solitude – a secluded, quiet retreat on the beach with outdoor al fresco dining and BBQ in this quaint 2-bedroom cottage
  • Albatroz Beach and Yacht Club – 5-star resort property offers rooms with views of the Atlantic and Deserted Islands with 3 pools and all the amenities you could ever want
  • Next – by Savoy Signature – a 4-stary property located in the centre of Funchal with a restaurant, pool and wellness centre
  • Or, from this list of the best Funchal boutique hotels.

Europe Summer Holidays in Switzerland

Italian Ticino Region, Switzerland

Tips Summer Holidays in Europe Riveria Swiz
Experienced (and photo) by Jan of Janadventures

For a delightful summer vacation in Europe, make sure to visit the Ticino region of Switzerland!

Explore its highlights:

  • In Ticino’s Locarno, explore Madonna del Sasso, a centuries-old pilgrimage church and the most important religious site in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Legend says the Virgin Mary appeared here in 1480!
  • Cruise through Verzasca Valley, admiring the iconic Ponte dei Salti bridge and the crystal-clear emerald waters perfect for swimming!
  • Marvel at the 108-meter Foroglio Waterfall after a short scenic walk.
  • Take a day trip from Locarno: Lake Lugano – a beautiful lake with pretty villages (48 km), Belliinzona – a historic town famous for its castles (23 km)

European Summer Holiday Tips for the Locarno

  • Italian Ticino Region is known for its beautiful scenery, with clear lakes, majestic mountains and incredible valleys as well as the blend of Swiss and Italian cuisine.
  • Weather: Temperature 25-30°C (77-86°F)

Best Places to Stay in the Italian Ticino Region

  • Alpine Gateway – a 1-bedroom modern apartment with a balcony in the Italian-speaking town of Locarno
  • The Valley Below – a 2-bedroom apartment with a walkout to a pretty private garden is flanked on all sides by the Swiss Alps, at the bottom of a picturesque valley in the pretty village of Maggia
  • Hotel Lago Maggiore – a modern hotel located on the lake promenade of Locarno

Zermatt, Switzerland

mountain in behind lake in summer vaction in europe
Experienced (and photo) by Martha of May Cause Wanderlust

Escape to Zermatt, a car-free haven in the Swiss Alps, where summer unveils a paradise of wooden chalets, stunning vistas, and endless activities.

Craving a summer snow adventure? Zermatt offers two options:

  • Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: Ascend to 3,883m for panoramic views across France, Italy and Switzerland, including iconic peaks like the Eiger and Mont Blanc. The best views of Matterhorn are from the Gornera River and the nearby Riffelsee Lake offers a magical view of the mountain reflected in the water.
  • Gornergrat: Experience breathtaking 360° alpine views and the Gorner glacier at a slightly lower yet stunning 3,135m.

Explore the adventures:

  • Hike & bike scenic trails amidst snow-capped peaks.
  • Take a nearby day trip: Geneva (2.5 hours), Bern (2 hours), Milan, Italy (3 hours), Turin, Italy (3 hours)
  • Take a scenic train journey, like the Glacier Express, for an unforgettable experience

European Summer Holiday Tips for Zermatt

  • Zermatt is known for being a world-class winter ski destination with its high-end ski resorts, find out how to get to Zermatt
  • Weather: Temperature 15-20°C (59-68°F)

Best Places to Stay in Zermatt

  • Goggle Lines – a 2-bedroom contemporary condo with views of Matterhorn Mountain from a balcony
  • Schweizerhof – a small luxury boutique with views of Matterhorn Mountain with a pool, wellness centre and restaurant
  • Hotel Ambassador – a typical Swiss-alpine style chalet where every room features a balcony with views of Matterhorn mountain, includes breakfast, an indoor pool and a sauna

Andalucia, Spain

white sand with blue sea on best holidays in europe
Experienced (and photo) by Linn Haglund of Amused by Andalucia

Discover the best of Andalucia’s summer paradise with over 320 sunny days!

Explore:

  • Beach Bliss in Cadiz: Explore stunning, white-sanded beaches in Cadiz like Bolonia Beach and Valdevaqueros, or party on Costa del Sol where the luxury beach clubs of Marbella will blow you away.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Gem: Almeria’s Cabo de Gata provides a crowd-free haven.
  • Charming Coastal Villages: Immerse yourself in the unique charm of white villages like Casares, Mijas, Pueblo, and Frigiliana for picture-perfect sunsets.
  • Adventure on the Atlantic Coast: Surf, kitesurf, and dive along the vibrant Atlantic coast. Or, go whale and dolphin watching when in July-August offers the best views during Orcas’ migration.
  • High-Altitude Hiking in Sierra Nevada National Park: Conquer peaks, including Mulhacén, the Iberian Peninsula’s highest at 3479 meters.
  • Day trip to Portugal: Visit the historic, pretty town of Tavira (3-hour drive)

European Summer Holiday Tips for Andalucia

  • Andalucia is known for being the birthplace of flamenco, as well as its beautiful beaches, Moorish architecture and pretty white villages
  • Weather: Temperature 30-35°C (86-95°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Andalucia: Explore one of the most-visited sites, the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, on a 3-hour tour with a local guide

Best Places to Stay in Andalucia

  • Catalonia Ronda – a stylish hotel with an infinity pool, hot tub, and a rooftop terrace with views of the square and Tajo de Ronda
  • Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina – this ultra-lux hotel from 1932 features gardens and sweeping views over Málaga Bay
  • Cabogata Beach Hotel – this luxury 5-star beachfront resort has all the amenities you could ask for along with stylish rooms

Antalya, Turkey

sea with white village on edge on summer break in europe
Experienced (and photo) by Haley of Haley Blackall Travel

Antalya, situated on the Turquoise Coast in Southern Turkey, is a premier European summer destination.

Explore what makes it a must-visit:

  • Charming Old Town and Pebbled Beach: Antalya features a vibrant old town on its eastern edge.
  • Summer Delights at Konyaalti Beach: The expansive Konyaalti Beach, stretching 13km, is adorned with small pebbles, ideal for strolls. It offers calm waves and opportunities for parasailing. Visit the Kaleici Panoramic Elevator for breathtaking views over the marina and coastline, passing landmarks like Saat Kulesi and Hadrian’s Gate.
  • Culinary Delights and Nightlife: Indulge in a seafood dinner and drinks at Alma Restaurant in the marina.
  • Day Trips for Adventure: Consider day trips to ancient ruins like Perge and Aspendos. Don’t miss the stunning Kursunlu Waterfalls during your explorations.
  • Take a day trip: Add to your Turkey itinerary exploring the ancient ruins of Perge and Aspendos a stop at the stunning Kursunlu Waterfalls is the top ticket!

European Summer Holiday Tips for Antalya

  • Antalya is known for its beaches, and historic sites making this a popular destination for tourists
  • Weather: Temperature 30-35°C (86-95°F)
  • Top-rated experience in Antalya: Visit the “Cotton Palace” of Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis, on a full-day guided tour. It includes sites of the Apollo temple, the Roman baths, the agora and a swim in the thermal waters.

Best Places to Stay in Antalya

Totnes, Devon, UK

castle with green lawn and yellow flowers on best summer holidays in europe
Experienced (and photo) by Heather and Peter Cole of Conversant Traveller

Devon offers an idyllic summer retreat with flower-filled lanes, sunny beaches, and captivating moors. Less crowded than Cornwall, it’s a peaceful haven during peak season.

  • Totnes: A Charming Base with plenty of things to do in Totnes like the Totnes Castle with stunning valley views and the haunted 15th-century Berry Pomeroy Castle.
  • Culinary Delights at Sharpham Vineyard:
    • Explore England’s lesser-known wine scene at Sharpham Vineyard, where lush vines adorn the riverside hillside.
    • Enjoy tours to delve into the wine-making process and savour cheese and wine tastings on the scenic terrace during the summer.
  • Nearby day trips: Plymouth (30 minutes), Exeter (45 minutes), Dorchester (2 hours)

European Summer Holiday Tips for Totnes

  • Totnes is known for its rich history dating back to Saxon times and being a cultural hub with a bohemian vibe
  • Weather: Temperature 15-20°C (59-68°F)

Best Places to Stay in Totnes

  • The Old Forge – stay in a 600-year-old stone building with pretty gardens, breakfast is included and is a short walk to the town centre
  • The Steam Packet Inn – is located on the banks of the River Dart and is a short walk to the historic town centre

As a Holidaymaker

Now that you’ve seen the inspiring list, where will your summer holiday in Europe 2024 take you?