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Visiting the best summer destinations in Europe has long been considered as a great decision for travelers. Outdoor lovers will truly appreciate the memorable wilderness and significant natural greens for great European summertime. Culture vultures also visit these cities to explore the grand cultural history in Europe.
There is no better city break in Europe than visiting its opulent palaces, magnificent museums, brooding castles, and its significant artistic legacy. If you are up to enjoy the best summer in Europe, it’s time to plunge in the vivid festival vibes, vibrant nightlife, and heaving live concerts.
We have listed some of the best places to visit in summer to add in your bucket list where you can revive your culinary desires with Europe’s food, fine dining, cheeky bars, and chic cafes. Here are some of the best destinations you should visit for great summer holidays in Europe.
Why visit Europe in the summer?
If you leave the high temperatures and crowds aside, summer is an excellent time to visit Europe. Long days, sunny weather and exuberant nightlife of Europe turn it into an absolute magnet. Families who have school-going children will prefer traveling Europe in peak season, i.e., summer.
When is the best time to visit Europe in the summer?
If you are heading to the busy destinations in Europe, plan your trip early or late during summers. For example, you can plan your trip from June 1 to see famous attractions in Austria and Italy, and part visiting Scotland. Later on, you can spend a great time with family during the mid-summer when Florence welcomes tourists.
Visit the busy places as of late or early in peak season as possible. There are some places which you can best experience in peak season, such as Britain and Scandinavia, where you can find the longest days and ideal weather. You may visit Scandinavia from mid-June to late August, which is quite short.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Summer in Europe: Top 14 Best Summer Destinations in Europe
- 2 Are you on Pinterest? Pin this for later read!
Summer in Europe: Top 14 Best Summer Destinations in Europe
Malta is a small island, but you will not believe how well packed this island is with culture, tradition, exotic scenery, history, shopping, and the best of all, life. You can always find a zest for life, buzz in the air, as you walk along the busy streets.
For great summer holidays in Europe, there are so many events going on in summer months, i.e., from activities at the beach (rocky or sandy) to wild nightlife and the typical Maltese feasts. If you have never experienced those attractions before, visiting Malta Island is a treat for a great summer in Europe.
There is something for everyone in Malta. This island offers the difference to make your stay memorable where you can get to know the locals and explore the secret destinations.
With over 262 beaches across the island, Mallorca is such a paradise for the sand, sun and sea lovers. Here, you can explore everything from exotic beaches with all the facilities for a fun family treat to the coves where you can share sands with few people.
You can take the sunbathing and relax with loved ones at the beach clubs of Mallorca. Expect cozy loungers, authentic treats at bars and restaurants, and serene surroundings at Mallorca.
Some of them offer massages, pools, and other treatments for the residents. There are several international festivals of jazz, classical, rock, and pop music. You can expect all these and more by visiting one of the several cultural events in Mallorca.
Enjoy the best theater performances and music concerts here. It is one of the best places to visit in the summer in Europe.
Dreamily lying on the banks of the river Rio Douro, Porto is a compact city to visit in just 48 hours. The city is very rewarding to have a memorable European summertime for visitors who want to explore its languidly labyrinthine medieval soul with its golf-leaf-bejeweled cathedrals and churches. Get indulged in contemporary architecture and linger over a seductive tipple and an excellent meal.
It is one of the best summer destinations in Europe because you can visit the wine caves for a tasting port. Matosinhos for great restaurants, Sao Nicolau for its medieval buildings, Boavista for its modern architecture, Foz do the Douro and Ribeira to explore the rich history of Porto. The best time to get here is from May to September when it is sunny, but you can stay cool with sea breezes.
If you can’t resist the sublime and romantic sunsets, Santorini is one of the best summer holiday destinations. Located in the serene Greek Islands, Santorini has a great combination of relaxing sea breezes, sun, sea and picturesque whitewashed buildings.
At Oia, the sunsets are overlooking the crater giving the most beautiful views in the world from infinity pools over the caldera.
If you are wondering where to go, start your trip from Fira to Oia, where you can explore the monastery and Ancient Thira.
While hiking, enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming at Red Beach and Black Beach, hot springs and volcano hiking at Nea Kameni, and historical sightseeing at Vothonas village.
All in all, you can get to see the cave houses, serene sunsets, and caldera bay at Santorini. For hiking, May is the best time to get there and, for swimming, June to September are the best months to visit.
Interlaken is one of the best places to go in the summer for a sun seeker. Enjoy the great range of cool activities here in and around and plunge in the world of great experiences. Interlaken is the destination for nature lovers and summer travelers.
Take a dip in the calm waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, soak up the sunshine on a lake cruise, or savor in the mouthwatering barbecue by the river banks.
If you are an adventure lover, expect the endless options of thrilling activities here. It has so many Alpine summits in close proximity to hikers of all ages. It is a great paradise for them.
Interlaken is among the best places to travel in the summer for all outdoor sports lovers and nature enthusiasts. With crystal clear water lakes covered by exotic mountains, it is the best destination for adventure lovers.
Read also: Places to visit in Switzerland and Castles in Switzerland
If you don’t fall in love with this Adriatic gem, there’s something wrong with you. It houses one of the best-preserved historic cities in the world, the baroque buildings, ancient walls, and labyrinthine streets in Dubrovnik are enchanting. You can find the delightful seaside charm meeting a civilized retreat.
Whether you are strolling along with the botanical greens, sightseeing, or just lazing on a beach or watching people, Dubrovnik is one of the best summer destinations with its charm.
You can do sightseeing at the Old Town, jumping Buza 1 and two cliffs, swim on the Adriatic coast and explore and snorkel at Lokrum Island. There is also so much to see, including the Bell Tower, Ronald’s Column, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, City Walls, Franciscan Monastery, and Pile Gate.
London, the UK
“If someone is tired of London, he is tired of his life.” This saying by Samuel Johnson, the famous English writer in the 18th century, is true. It is because there is something for everyone in London, whether you are a foodie, budget traveler, honeymooner, or even a solo traveler.
You can rest assured to find a lot to see and do in summer Europe trips. Summer is the best time to get here. The city evokes life by offering dinner al fresco, summer events, and drinks on the rooftop bar.
Walkthrough, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, enjoy the picnic in a royal park or visit one of the best garden shows like Hampton Court or Chelsea to get the most of London’s greenery. Take a boat ride on the River Thames to explore this European city from a different angle.
Though you can visit Budapest at any season, summer is the best time because it comes alive in its full flair from mid-May to mid-September. The extensive garden bar view is in full bloom in this Hungary’s breathtaking capital. Here, locals flock to Margaret Island and City Park to relax and unwind and explore the best sunsets of the year each night.
Budapest is one of the best European cities in summer where you can enjoy the fantastic Danube River cruise by taking the ferry across the river from Pest to Buda via the serene Hungarian Parliament.
If you feel thirsty, ferries also have a bar on board. Szimpla Kert, the most famous ruin bar of the city, hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday morning between 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
No matter what you want to do in your holidays, it is sure that you will find a lot of activities in Nice, France for the best summer vacations in Europe. There is something for every visitor from relaxing to full-on adventures. With some serene beaches on the coastline, you can find a lot of things to do at the shore in Nice.
Explore the exotic coast on a boat. There is something to serve every visitor from beach clubs to sailing, water sports, and boat trips, to enjoy the scenery and sunbathing.
The crystal clear Mediterranean waters also have spots for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Enjoy the horse rides through the nature gorges, reserves, mountain towns, vineyards, and the exotic French Riviera coastline.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast has been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site for all good reasons. It is located in the south of Salerno Gulf, Italy. So, it attracts both adventure lovers and sun-seekers.
As the Mediterranean waves roll on and the sun shines, you can soak up the rays and hit the waves in style on a private cruise to the Capri and Amalfi Coast.
It is a well-known tourist destination that attracts a lot of tourists all year round, especially in summer. Reach the busier beaches early in the morning to claim your spot on the sand.
Or you may visit some of the remote beaches like Laurito or Fornillo. You can also visit nearby cities like Naples, Pompeii, Capri, and Mt. Vesuvius.
Read also: Beautiful castles in Italy
Amalfi coast is like a gem in the serene setting of Italy. It looks peacefully down on the Mediterranean stretch which has been the center of attraction for the literary figures and artists for generations.
Positano remains a Sleeping Beauty all the year round but awakes from a deep sleep in summer. With the arrival of the summer season, the population of tourists increases.
The sea sparkles well here, and the citrus trees bloom in lots of scents and colors. While strolling around several small shops lined in the tortuous, narrow streets, visitors may shop bikinis and sarongs, sandals made while you wait, as well as the beautiful pottery.
These all are made in Positano by the skilled and proud craftsmen in the town. They also have workrooms behind the shops so customers can see how their items are being made if they wish.
Krk Island, Croatia
Krk Island is full of diversity offering different experiences and attractions, whether you are up for culture, upbeat tourist destinations, or nature tourism.
It is full of rural villages, centuries-old towns, secluded bays for swimming, well-equipped beaches, quiet and small cafe bars, and restaurants, and lively clubs and bars.
Krk Island is the best place to learn about Croatian heritage. It is recommended to visit the towns of Krk Island, such as Baska, Punat, Njivice, Malinska, Silo, Krk City, etc. or enjoy the seclusion and peace in the rural areas like Brzac Village. Krk Island is located in the northernmost area of the Adriatic Sea.
So, it is the closest and first island for visitors who are here from continental Europe looking for Mediterranean vibes.
Bonifacio is an ancient town located in the south of Corsica. It was built in 833AD, but it has nothing which seems to be classical in commercialization and tourist trapping in this buzzing haven. It is attractive for vast crowds of tourists when it comes to Europe summer travel.
The visitors get here on holiday for a great setting, and this ancient town is located on a steep limestone peninsula. The best and most attractive way to get here is boating through the channel which protects the beautiful natural harbor of the town. So, this busy marina is appealing to yachts from different parts of the world.
Crete is the largest island in Greece, which represents this small country more than an island itself. Its exotic scenery and fascinating culture add the perfect backdrop to get closer and more personal with the laidback lifestyle and historical tales of the island.
Also, the diversity of the island makes it more idyllic for beach bums, intrepid explorers, and history seekers. The sandy beaches here stretch till your eyes can reach, split by olive groves and hidden coves.
Also visit Elafonisi Beach, which is well known for its unique pink sands in the southwest.
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Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.