Summer is finally here and what better way to spend it than trekking the cobbled streets of Europe for a fun-filled adventure? Try to go off the beaten track and visit different cities other than the usual destination spots you always hear about. Many European cities offer rich culture, ancient history, a chance to go on an adventure like hiking or skiing, and an array of summer activities that are bound to entertain you and your family.
Below are some recommendations to get you started on your ideal summer destination plan.
It’s very hard to go wrong in Italy, no matter where you go, you’re guaranteed to enjoy delicious food, rich culture, beautiful scenery, and insightful history. The coast of Cinque Terre rivals Almafi coast as one of Europe’s best vacation destinations. The picturesque set of five UNESCO World Heritage Site houses gorgeous villages and stunning coastal scenery.
There is a ton of activities you can do to soak up the local atmosphere; you can swim along the coastline, hike through winding paths that cut through imposing cliffs, and you can sample the best seafood delicacies around. Take a walk through their streets with colorful houses and local markets or watch the sunset from the coast. Beware, it’s only accessible by train or boat, but that shouldn’t be a problem because of the magnificent scenery you see on the way.
Bugibba, along with the other seaside cluster of towns in St. Paul’s Bay, has now transformed to become one of the leading tourist sites in Europe. You can entertain yourself and your family with an array of adventurous activities to do. Take a hike along the Seafront Promenade; according to Choice Holidays, Bugibba boasts one of the longest seafront walks where you can witness the best sunset as you make your way among rocky beaches. The beaches are ideal if you’re looking to lounge under the sun or take a scuba-diving class for a little excitement.
Visit the Malta National Aquarium, which combines aquatic life with the country’s history or check out the wildlife at the Bird Park. You can also have a fun-filled family adventure at Salina Park and Salt Pans. This town is also famous for its booming nightlife, where you can dance the night away.
Forget about the overly crowded Barcelona and Madrid, Malaga is THE place to be this summer. Popular, chic, and cosmopolitan, Malaga has transformed itself into a cultural and artistic destination. You can visit a myriad of art galleries, including one specifically for Picasso, lounge around at one of their beaches and piers, or shop on the marina.
Enjoy the flourishing Spanish nightlife along with eating delicious delicacies that span from 5-star restaurants to fish shacks. To get a panoramic view of the city, you can hop on the Ferris wheel, Mirador Princess, or climb up the Gibralfaro Castle. But for a truly thrilling experience, hike along the most dangerous but beautiful path, Caminito Del Rey. Its walkway is pinned along steep walls of a narrow gorge and stretches for 8 kilometers.
If you’re looking for an icy adventure this summer, then Reykjavik should be your top choice. This vibrant city is rich with a rising art scene, colorful buildings, icy wilderness with wildlife, and a truly one of a kind backdrop offering the best natural views.
You can go exploring some of the most majestic landscapes for one of the best hikes you’ll go on or enjoy ancient history at endless museums. Visit the Grotta Lighthouse or take a stroll along the Tjornin Lake. You can also take a dip in one of their many steaming, natural hot springs or go coastal rowing. This trip will be complete when you go on a whale-watching tour as well.
These two cities are only an hour away and are filled with so many activities to do even if you’re there for a couple of days. Start off visiting Braga for its charming lifestyle; visit gothic cathedrals, shop at local markets or high-end shopping streets, take a break at Santa Barbara Gardens, or walk up the 116-meter climb to the baroque sanctuary, Bom Jesus do Monte.
Be sure to not miss one of the biggest White Nights that Europe has to offer and attend one of the many street concerts. Move onto Porto, Portugal for a culinary experience as you can drink the finest wines at one of their wine caves, or enjoy a delicacy or two at Matosinhos. You can also swim in their tidal pools or surf at its biggest and sandiest beach.
Considered one of the best places for summer skiing and snowboarding, Brasov is the ideal mix of summer and winter, it’s also the perfect city to go on a skydiving adventure. This quaint city is surrounded by Carpathian Mountains that are ideal for hikes and treks as well as its prime location in the region of Transylvania.
Visit world-class gothic castles like Bran Castle or take a cable-car ride at Tampa. You can cool off at one of their aqua parks, soak up history and architecture at one of their ancient churches, or take a cultural stroll through the council square of Piata Sfatului and its baroque buildings and markets.
Summer is a time to truly relax and unwind, but it’s also a time to go on a thrill-seeking adventure. Visit one of the above-mentioned summer destinations or explore a different one of your choice. Wherever you decide to go, be sure to have fun exploring and make lifelong memories!