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Travellers on sailing boat in Croatia

The 12 Best Summer Destinations in Europe

Traveller sat at Park Guell, Barcelona

By Sarah Hemsley

Last updated: 22nd April 2024

Want a summer you’ll look back on and say “I did that!”? Then, look no further. Your euro-summer could look like this:

Marvel at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, watch fiery Greek sunsets or indulge in freshly made Italian pasta. Relax on the stunning French Riviera, dive into the Adriatic Sea and make lifelong friends in Mykonos’ renowned bars and clubs. Tick off bucket-list cities, as you tour Europe by rail or sail paradise islands.

Here are the 12 best summer destinations you should visit for a memorable summer you won’t forget in a hurry.

1. Split, Croatia

Group of travellers in front of Split Bell Tower, Croatia

Average Summer Temperature: High 31º / Low 20º

From personal experience, I can say this gorgeous city in Croatia is the ultimate summer destination. It’s one of my favourite destinations in Europe! Spend a day wandering the ancient cobbled streets, swimming in the turquoise waters and hopping from bar to bar down its lively promenade. You’ll soon see why this much-loved destination tops our list! Oh, and foodies, don’t forget to try Croatia's speciality - black squid-ink risotto. On Ultimate Croatia, start your adventure here before you set off (on a premium boat!) island-hopping the stunning Adriatic Sea with your new crew mates.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Sailing & Island Hopping ⛵️

2. Lagos, Portugal

Two travellers walking along coast in Lagos

Average Summer Temperature: High 26º / Low 16º

Of course, you’ve heard of Portugal's stunning Algarve, but have you heard of Lagos? It’s the most beautiful coastal town in Southern Portugal, boasting endless dazzling beaches, hiking routes and every imaginable watersport. On our Spain, Portugal & Morocco group trip, spend a full day here to top up your tan, wander through the colourful picturesque streets or kayak to the iconic Benagil cave  - the day is yours. You’ll definitely need your suncream, swimmers and beach towel for this dreamy summer destination.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Caves & Beaches 🏖️

3. Mykonos, Greece

Travellers down cobbled street at Mykonos

Average Summer Temperature: High 28º / Low 20º

Imagine it's the peak of summer and you're in Greece... what better excuse for a party? Channel your inner dancing queen (or king) and party till sunrise at the iconic Paradise Beach Club. This world-famous club is one of the best party destinations in Europe so you simply can’t miss it. Don’t let the FOMO get you down! Party from island to island on our 9-day Greece Summer Explorer. Wander Roman ruins in Athens, party at beach clubs in Mykonos, relax on sandy beaches in Ios and get boujee in Santorini with a ready-made group of friends, who are all there for the same reason as you, to have the best euro-summer yet!

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Beach Bars & Clubs 🍹

4. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast cliffs

Average Summer Temperature: High 30º / Low 22º

Ah… Italy's charming Amalfi Coast. If you haven’t yet fallen in love with Italy you definitely will after travelling here. Think sheer cliffs, sun-kissed golden beaches and quaint fishing villages with vibrant lemon trees dotted around. Not to mention the breathtaking turquoise waters. This Italian gem is pure bliss. Plus, the gelatos is mouth-wateringly good! On our 6-day and 15-day Italian Escape group trip, hop on a boat and cruise along the rugged Amalfi Coast to Capri’s iconic blue grotto. 

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Sea Caves & Gelato 🍦

5. Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell in Barcelona

Average Summer Temperature: High 29º / Low 20º

This summer destination has it all: dazzling sunshine, stunning beaches, gothic architecture, therapeutic shopping, chirping parakeets, mouth-watering tapas, and electric nightlife! It’s the perfect destination in Spain for sipping on a chilled glass of sangria while hanging out with new mates. Spend a day discovering all things Gaudi, from Park Guell, Casa Ballito and the iconic Sagrada Familia, before tasting authentic Spanish tapas in a cooking class. Potatas bravas and croquettes, anyone? Tick all this off your bucket list on Europe on the Rails. 

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Architecture & Beaches ⛱️

6. Nice, French Riveria, France

View of beach and city in Nice

Average Summer Temperature: High 29º / Low 15º

You really will be saying “Oh la la!” as you fall in love with this glamorous city! It’s the best destination to soak up the blissful Mediterranean sunshine. Relax with a book on the sandy beaches or hire a bike and take on your own version of the Tour De France around the city. Wander down the Promenade de Anglais along the seafront, or go for a refreshing glass of local Shiraz in one of its many bars. If you’re learning French, then it’s the perfect place to brush up on your French speaking skills too. Stop by Nice on our 7-day Mediterranean Express.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Beaches & Cycling 🚴

7. Interlaken, Switzerland

Traveller paragliding over Interlaken, Switzerland

Average Summer Temperature: High 24º / Low 12º

Summer is the perfect time of year to visit this adventurer's playground. As you arrive in Interlaken, your jaw will drop as you marvel at the mountainous scenery. With snow-capped peaks, rushing waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes, from every direction the Swiss Alps are picture-perfect. It’s completely surreal. Visit the Swiss Alps on our 23-day European Getaway. Opt to go mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, paragliding, or if you dare, skydive from 14,500ft (4300m)! The list of activities here is endless. You can even hop on the highest alpine railway to the Jungfraujoch, aka the ‘Top of Europe’ - all aboard!

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Scenery & Adventure Activities 🪂

8. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Group of travellers on beach with kayaks in Dubrovnik

Average Summer Temperature: High 30º / Low 21º

Another gem in Croatia is Dubrovnik. This iconic city (you may also know as Kings Landing from Game of Thrones) is dripping with amazing history. When you walk through its impressive city gates it’s like stepping centuries into the past. With cobbled alleys, limestone buildings and its 13th-century city wall, Dubrovnik is an ancient gem often called the Pearl of the Adriatic. There’s no better time to visit than the peak of summer. With the sun bouncing off the walls and shining off the surrounding waters, it’s the best time to jump in a kayak, head out to sea and marvel at all its history. Discover Dubrovnik on our 7-day Croatia Adventure group trip.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: History & Film Locations 🎬

9. Venice, Italy

Two travellers on gondola in Venice

Average Summer Temperature: High 28º / Low 17º

A summer trip to Venice is always a good idea! Experiencing its unique canals from a gondola is a big-bucket list moment you can’t miss, but there’s another big reason to go - Italy's delicious food! On our 27-day Europe Explorer, enjoy eating al fresco as you tuck into classic dishes. Whether your favourite is risotto, cicchetti, lasagna, gnocchi, carbonara, or classic Margherita pizza, trust us your taste buds will be drooling especially when freshy made! Afterwards, head to I Tre Mercanti for the best tiramisu in all of Italy! They even have pistachio flavour. Yum!

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Canals & Food 🍝

10. Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana in Seville

Average Summer Temperature: High 36º / Low 19º

Love the Spanish sun? Seville is the best summer destination for it. Explore the traditional Maestranza Bullring, Real Alcázar and Plaza de España by day and taste authentic orange wine (made from Seville's fruitful orange trees) by night. Spend the cooler evening watching an awe-inspiring flamenco show before you fiesta till dawn - there’s no better place for it. Our Spain, Portugal & Morocco tour is the perfect 16-day getaway for some hot and sunny weather. Soak up the sun and tick all the hottest summer destinations in mainland Spain off your list, including Madrid, Granada & Seville.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Culture & Weather ☀️

11. Lake Bled, Slovenia

View of Lake Bled in Slovenia

Average Summer Temperature: High 29º / Low 15º

A picture really says a thousand words… look at this place! This is the stunning Lake Bled in northern Slovenia. A tad cooler than your typical summer destination but perfect for all things adventure. Stop by Lake Bled on our 20-day Europe by Train group tour to hike up to the impressive Castle Bled, cycle around the lake and kayak on the crystal clear waters. You’ll be pinching yourself as you adventure through its natural beauty and fall in love with its mountainous views. It’s definitely an underrated gem in our eyes.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Hiking & Nature ⛰️

12. Majorca, Spain

Aerial view of Majorca island in Spain

Average Summer Temperature: High 30º / Low 18º

Spain's Balearic islands are always a good choice for a summer getaway! Why not challenge yourself on our Majorca Fitness Holiday for all things fitness and fun in the sun? Across 1 or 4 weeks, take part in daily sunrise yoga, beach volleyball, cycling, stand-up paddle-boarding and high-intensity training sessions. Plus, with loads of optional adventure activities, you’ll really get the most out of your trip to gorgeous Majorca and make lifelong friends along the way. It’s the perfect island getaway.

Best Summer Destination in Europe for: Watersports & Sports 🤽

So, which destination will you choose for your unforgettable euro-summer? Take a look at our Europe group tours to discover the best adventure group trip for you.

If you really can’t decide, then hop on The Great European Journey and you’ll visit 15 mind-blowing European countries over 45 days. Start your adventure in London and stop by Barcelona, the French Riveria, Venice, Athens, Budapest, Berlin, Amsterdam and so much more along the way! 

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