Is there anything better than spending the summer in Europe? Some people want beaches and historical towns, while others prefer hiking or biking in spectacular nature. Many are looking for the best food and wine, and some want a party or shopping. No matter what you want – Europe has it all. We have talked with 7 other travel bloggers and now they reveal their favourite summer destinations in Europe. Read on to get the best insider tips for your next summer holiday in Europe.
Please read all updated information and follow the official travel advice if you plan to spend this summer in Europe.
Picking the best European destination in summer can be a challenge. It all depends on what you want and like, and maybe also on your budget. The good thing with such a compact continent is that you often can get it all. Many countries may have everything you want for the summer in Europe, and if not, the distances between the different countries are often short. This way you might be able to combine more destinations for your holiday.
In this post, you can read both about traditional places to visit in Europe in summer, and also some not so common places that we hope will inspire you to explore new destinations in Europe. The travel bloggers we have talked with have given us a great list of their best places to visit in Europe, and hopefully, you will find your favourite European destination as well.
1.Summer in Europe: Münsterland – Germany
Christine from chriscrossinggermany loves summer in Germany and here she shares her best tips:
Summer is not synonymous with a beach for everyone. For me, summer means bike trips. That’s why Münsterland, Germany is my favourite European summer destination, a must for any castle-lover.
Last summer, I spent 3 weeks there cycling the 100 Schlösser Route, a 1000 km long bike trail that passes by a ton of amazing castles. Many of them are surrounded by romantic water-filled moats and expansive flowering gardens. Long ago the moats were not constructed for their beauty, but for protection since there were no mountains around (say hello to easy biking!).
Some of my favorite castles include Schloss Nordkirchen, Burg Vischering, Burg Ludigstein, Wasserschloss Burgsteinfurt, Haus Bisping, Haus Steinfurt, and Burg Hülshoff. It is possible to visit several castles along the way, though many are privately owned. The trail consists of 4 loops with the city of Münster at the centre, itself the heart of Münsterland with a plethora of sites: the charming Altstadt, the famous Friedensaal in the Rathaus, a multitude of impressive churches, several art museums, a twice-weekly market, the great Aasee lake, and more!
Other regional highlights include the many horse farms, picturesque towns, and old monasteries. If you’re looking for an active European summer destination, you can’t go wrong with Münsterland!
TIP: Read our post from Rugen Island for more nature and beaches in Germany
2.South of France holidays
Marguerite from berlinandaround has South of France as her favourite for summer in Europe and here she shares why:
My favourite summer destination in Europe is by far the South of France. From the glistening shores of the Mediterranean to the lavender fields of Provence, you won’t fall short of things to see and do.
I was fortunate enough to spend part of my childhood in the village of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a tiny peninsula jetting out into the sea between Nice and Monaco. As many of my relatives still live in Provence, I’ve also visited this region many times. In fact, I jump at any occasion to return to the French Riviera or Provence, especially in the summer!
While the South of France is gorgeous no matter the season, everything truly comes alive from June through August, when locals and tourists mingle to soak up the sun or party late into the night.
If you’re a fan of seaside escapes, make sure to choose a lovely harbour town like Villefranche-sur-Mer or St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat as your base. For city vibes where tradition meets modern luxury, opt for a stay close to Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais. Or perhaps farmers’ markets, Roman ruins and rosé are more your thing? In this case, head straight to Nimes or Avignon.
The beauty of the South of France is that there truly is something for every taste.
3.Summer in Switzerland
Mike from wanderlustmike shares why he loves summer holiday in Switzerland:
Switzerland is our favourite place in Europe! We have friends who live near Zurich and enjoy staying with them. Switzerland is so clean and the alpine villages are breathtaking!
We enjoy punting down the Rhine, brunching at Schloss Laufen castle adjacent to Rhine Falls, strolling through historic Stein am Rhein, the old village of Marthalen, beautiful views of the Rhine from Munot Fortress, a cogwheel train ride up Mount Pilatus, scenic ferry ride through lush Lake Luzern with a visit to the historic Kapellbrücke bridge, Zytglogge clock tower in Bern, and the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt.
Unless you ski, summer is the warmest and driest season, with wildflowers dotting the alps.
TIP: Read our post Milan City Break if you want to combine Switzerland and Italy
4.Summer in Europe – Mallorca holiday
Tatiana from thehappyjetlagger is an expert on Mallorca and here’s she’s sharing some of her best tips:
While Mallorca might not be the best choice, if you are looking for partying on your summer vacation (clubs might remain closed during summer due to the pandemic, and the infamous beaches of Playa de Palma and Magaluf are much more quiet than usual), the island has still a lot to offer!
To me, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Mallorca. Whether you’re up for a beach holiday, some relaxing time in the mountains, hiking on the many trails across the island or enjoying a city trip in the capital Palma de Mallorca – the diversity of Mallorca is impressive.
Fornalutx, for example, is a tiny village in the Serra Tramuntana. In 2010, the Tramuntana Mountains have been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and Fornalutx is officially a member of „Los pueblos más bonitos de Espana“ (The most beautiful villages of Spain“). On a road trip through the mountains, this is one of my favourite places! You can stroll in the tiny alleys for hours and enjoy the spectacular landscape around. I bet you haven’t imagined such a place on Mallorca!
On the other hand, if you are more into beach life and swimming in the sea, Mallorca won’t disappoint you either! This island has so many fantastic beaches and secluded bays, it’s hard to get to know them all during one visit. One of my favourite ones is the Cala Mondragó in the southeast of Mallorca. It’s located in a natural reserve, the Parc Natural de Mondragó, and is known for its pristine waters and powdery sands! If you want to know more about Mallorca, visit Tatiana’s blog The Happy Jetlagger: https://thehappyjetlagger.com/en/mallorca-travel/
TIP: Read our post from Huelva Spain if you want more of the rural and secret Spain
5.Visit Ireland in the summer
Sonja from jointhesunnyside recommends to visit Ireland in the summer, and here she shares why:
Ireland may not be the most typical destination you would choose for your European summer travels. But travelling to Ireland during the summer is magnificent. It’s warm, but not too hot and the chance of rain is lower than during other months of the years.
As soon as I arrived in Ireland, I felt an instant relaxation kicking in. In fact, I could hardly believe that I didn’t make it to this beautiful island sooner.
Ireland has a lot to offer: From beautiful castles and their wonderful green scenery to stunning beaches and even more beautiful coastlines. Even though I have only been there once so far, I’ve already got a lot of places on my bucket list that I would like to see the next time.
One of my favourite places in Ireland is situated in the western part of the country: Dingle Peninsula. Although the peninsula is quite small, it’s incredibly scenic. Here, you should drive up to the viewpoint Srón Bhroin (Brandon Point), which is close to a small town called Cloghane. The view from up there is just breathtaking and for that alone the trip to Ireland was worth the visit.
Another highlight you shouldn’t miss is the scenic Slea Head Drive at the western tip of the peninsula with wonderful views on the coastline – always paired with Ireland’s unparalleled green landscape.
6.Albania holidays in the summer
Desirée from desireetravels has Albania as her best European destination in summer and here’s she shares why:
My favourite European summer destination (and ouch, this is a tough one – Europe is magical during summer) would have to be Albania. This is still sort of a hidden gem of a country – although tourism is increasing.
Albania basically has it all! Here you can experience the very interesting history of the former communist country (which was basically sealed off from the rest of the world until 1992), you have the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berat, smaller beach towns down south, the tall mountains of the North and so much more in between.
I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting Albania once so far, during the summer of 2018. However, I instantly knew this was a country I would have to re-visit.
The capital city Tirana is brimming with life and is well worth your time. Make sure you visit some of the many solid bunkers still remaining from the communist era (hot tip: the museums BunkArt 1 and BunkArt 2 are built inside old bunkers) and check out the Pyramid.
Albania is a very cheap country to travel around in. Down south you can catch a ferry over to Korfu, a ride that takes no more than 30 minutes. Albania’s proximity to Greece made my expectations of their food high – and boy was those fulfilled! Loads of delicious food, for a small amount of money. It’s also very worth mentioning that Albanians are extremely hospitable and helpful. All in all – you can’t go wrong with visiting Albania!
TIP: read our post The Balkans where we visited three countries on one journey
7.Summer in the Faroe Islands
Anne Marie and Rasmus from twodanesontour recommends the Faroe Islands in summer, and here they share why:
Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, is very charming. The city centre is cosy with beautiful old
wooden houses with grass roofs, shops with local designs, gourmet restaurants, and a lovely harbour. Everything
within walking distance.
Consisting of 18 green and hilly islands all worth exploring, the Faroe Islands is so much more than just the capital.
Summer is without a doubt the best time to visit as calmer weather makes sailing between the islands possible. Be
aware that the weather can be very unpredictable. Always check with locals before you set out on a hike. The fog can
be thick and dangerous and tourists sometimes get lost.
If you, like us, adore remoteness and wildlife, the island of Mykines is the place to go. You can walk to the puffin colony to see these magnificent birds. There is a tiny village on the island, where you can stay overnight in a local house or in a tent. Visiting the island on a day trip is also an option if weather permitting.
Another reason for visiting the Faroe Islands in the summer is the Ólavsøka. A cultural festival where everyone wears their national costumes and party for days.
A trip to The Faroe Islands is a cosy and very beautiful experience. We highly recommend these magnificent islands in the Atlantic Ocean for a unique summer vacation in Europe.
8.Lake Ohrid – North Macedonia
We, Matthias and Kent, founders of destinationtheworld share why we love Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia:
One of our favourite destinations to spend the summer in Europe is Ohrid in North Macedonia. It’s maybe not the most typical destination, but for us, it is the perfect getaway in European Summer. They just have it all: you can go for a swim in Lake Ohrid and enjoy the sun, but there are historical sights, too.
North Macedonia is a mix of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. And this you can see and feel when you are there. Ohrid has a beautiful old town with cobblestone streets, traditional restaurants, and historical, orthodox churches. On top of the town, you can find a medieval castle. The views from up there are wonderful, both over the lake, the city and the nearby hills and mountains. On the way downhill from the fortress to the charming old town, you will pass an ancient amphitheatre and get some nice views of the town and the fortress.
The ultimate highlight in Ohrid is the Church of Seveti Jovan at Kaneo. This 13th-century church is located on a cliff over Lake Ohrid, and you can get there in about a 15min walk from the centre of the old town. You will see the most beautiful sunsets there.
On a warm summer evening, it is genuinely nice to sit in one of the lakefront restaurants and try the local cuisine. They have trout from the lake which is one of the local specialities.
If you have the time, you can travel by boat and visit Albania for a day trip. This way you can combine two great destinations for summer in Europe.
If you are looking for a European summer destination off the beaten path, we can really recommend a holiday at Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia.
Summer in Europe – the choice is yours
Wherever you choose to send your summer in Europe, you will always find something great to do. Hopefully some of the European summer destinations in this blogpost have given you inspiration to try out a new destination.
A big THANK YOU to all our expert travel bloggers who have participated in this post. We really enjoyed working on it, and also we got some new ideas for a future summer in Europe!