Five Sizzling Summer Destinations in Europe

in City Guides, Sightseeing

Check out St. Basil's Cathedral on your summer vacation in Russia

With the European summer upon us, we can happily bid those long, dark nights of winter and rainy days of spring farewell and once again bask in the warm sunshine. This year, instead of heading to the tropics for a scorching summer holiday, why not explore these great European destinations for your dose of fun in the sun? Here are five choices from all across the continent to help you decide what country to choose for your European summer getaway.

1. Cascais, Portugal

This beautiful coastal town is only 30 kilometres from Lisbon and boasts a friendly, relaxed, and beachy atmosphere. Cascais began as a humble fishing village, which makes it a great destination for seafood lovers, with delectable dishes on offer from garlic and coriander clams to sea bream cooked in a sea salt crust. After you’ve enjoyed the smells and tastes of the local cuisine, head to the quaint, cobblestone city centre for beautiful architecture and a nice selection of charming boutiques. For beach bunnies, head to Praia da Rainha to enjoy sunbathing, crystal blue water, and a range of activities like surfing, sailing, and kite surfing.

2. Moscow, Russia

Perhaps an unconventional choice, Russia is better known for its cold weather, rather than being a summer destination. Don’t let images of freezing Siberian winters and fur coats lead you astray however, the Russian capital of Moscow comes to life in the hot sun, making summer a great time to visit. Any Muscovite will tell you that the city is completely different and comes out of its shell once the temperature starts to rise, and it’s true. Saunter down Tverskaya street for great shopping, then head to Gorky Park for some family fun, and of course don’t miss the vivid colours of St. Basil’s on Red Square and the glowing golden domes of the Kremlin Cathedrals.

3. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Often considered one of the most idyllic sights of the Mediterranean, the Costiera Amalfitana is a breathtakingly beautiful destination, featuring turquoise ocean meandering below towns and houses built into the coastal cliffs. If you’re a fan of resorts and tourist spots, stay in Amalfi or Salerno, but if you enjoy charming B&Bs and experiencing the local life, Atrani is the town for you. Be sure to spend a day swimming in the sea along the pristine beaches and explore the enchanting grottos and coves that Amalfi has to offer.

4. Masurian Lakeland, Poland

Also known as the ‘land of a thousand lakes’, the Polish lake district is a spectacular summer spot. This area is great for camping, fishing, and water sports, with thousands of tourists visiting every year. If you prefer nature over beaches and camping over staying in a resort, head to the tranquil forests and lakes of Masuria. Love nature but enjoy restful nights in a comfortable bed rather than sleeping in a tent? There are plenty of guesthouses in the surrounding villages that can be easily reached by boat or bike.

5. Grasse, France

The fragrant aromas of the perfume capital of the world bring olfactory enthusiasts and flower fans from around the world to Grasse in Southern France. Made famous by the book and subsequent movie ‘Perfume’, this sweet-smelling town is a great place to visit in the summer during the Fête du Jasmin at the beginning of August. During this festival, you will see incredible flower floats, fireworks, street parties, and be soaked in natural flower perfume in the ‘flower battle’. Attractions that are available year-round include the majestic Notre Dame du Puy Cathedral, and of course the Molinard and Fragonard perfumeries, each with a museum and tours (although be prepared to spend a considerable amount on the exquisite perfumes on offer in the gift store!).

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Chrissy

If you stick to Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Croatia you are going to be one happy sun loving traveler… bring on the SUNSHINE 🙂

Mattcredible

Loved it! I think so much of Eastern Europe has gotten a bad reputation from history, but Poland and Russia are most definitely on my ‘To See’ lists! They look like such epic countries, PLUS I hear the women are stunning over there! Hahaha!

Gabby

my favourite european destination is definitely almafi coast. stayed in salerno some years back. glad to see it on the list. nice article!

Artur

Excellent choices – I have actually done all of them and fully agree on ‘must see’!. Well written.

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