“We’re all going on a summer holiday”…
From a quick Easter city break to family meet-ups, there’s probably plenty already on your travel schedule this year. However, in this blog post, we’re looking at what’s usually the main event of the year – the summer holidays.
So, here you’ll find some of the best summer holiday destinations in Europe, complete with our experts insights on what you can expect there, what kind of holiday you might want to take and of course, where to stay.
1. Marbella, Spain
Best for: Escaping to the summer sun for a chic seaside-city break
What’s Marbella like?
One of the shining gems on the Costa Del Sol, Marbella is the epitome of summer holidays and coastal city vibes – making it one of the ultimate summer sun destinations in Europe. With plenty of sunshine to go around, a beautiful collection of sandy beaches and beach clubs, plus a brilliant music festival with top performers in the July heat – there’s no shortage of things to keep you entertained in Marbella.
It’s also one of the best destinations for couple’s retreats and holidays with friends; with temperatures in the summer of around 28°C, you’ll be able to soak up some of that well-earned sun on the beach as the Andalusian landscape envelopes you.
Must see in Marbella?
- Check out the Starlite festival held every year across the summer months for fantastic music performances, DJ sets and gourmet menus at the restaurants and gastro-spaces.
- A summer holiday is never complete without relaxation time on the beach. Marbella has plenty to choose from, with golden sands, lapping Mediterranean waters and sand dunes.
Food fans – be sure to check out Marbella’s mention in our top hotel restaurants in Spain!
Where to stay in Marbella?
One of the top hotels in the region is the ultra-all inclusive Ikos Andalusia, located about halfway between Marbella and Estepona.
This beachfront resort has beautifully maintained grounds, a host of mouth-watering restaurants and a friendly team of staff who are happy to help with anything you might want. And, if you’re looking to travel with your family, the resort has an array of entertainment and activities to help your kids blow off some steam and enjoy the summer their way.
2. Limassol, Cyprus
Best pick for: Exploring all that the island of Cyprus offers, including history, natural beauty, and fun for the kids.
What is Limassol like?
Cyprus is the kind of destination that people head back to, year after year.
This could be down to the ample sunshine and the 30°C average temperature in the summer; it could be the mixture of landscapes, from the sprawling Troodos Mountains to the beautiful beaches; or, it could be the smiling faces of the Cypriot people who welcome them to the island.
Limassol is a port town, so you can expect to find all the amenities and facilities that you might need here, as well as some fantastic areas to visit and activities to take part in. Dotted around the island are small insights into some of the island’s ancient history, including the Kourion archaeological area and the Troodos Mountains, which give the coastal town a unique feel.
Must see in Limassol?
- Located to the west side of Limassol is the Kourion Archaeological Area. Kourion is a well-preserved area with a history dating back to the ancient Greeks. The remains in this area are now predominantly from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Well worth the trip if you’re a history buff!
- In the summer months, Cyprus can get very hot. One of the best ways to cool down with the kids is at the Fasouri Watermania Water Park. Kids and adults can enjoy the thrill of the giant water slide, splash about in the pools and relax as you float down the lazy river.
Where to stay in the Limassol area?
As you head a little way east of Limassol, you’ll find a hotel that really packs a punch. Amara is a five-star luxury resort that sits on the beachfront of the south coast of Cyprus. Here, you can expect total relaxation with beautiful views of the sunset over the warm evening waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Each room in the resort offers 180° ocean views, and there’s a fantastic spa where you can take part in multiple therapies and wellness activities after a long day of exploring the island.
“AMARA is a fabulous hotel for foodies and spa lovers. You can indulge in an exclusive culinary concept by world renowned chefs or take some time to relax in the huge spa, set amongst ancient ruins for the ultimate relaxation.” – Elyse, Travel Specialist
3. Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Best pick for: Something a little different – cruising, luxurious surroundings and total relaxation.
What is the Bay of Kotor like?
Our next pick for your upcoming summer holiday would be Montenegro, in the UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor. You’re probably more used to hearing people discuss Croatia when thinking about the summer holidays. Still, if you head further down the coast from Dubrovnik, you’ll arrive at the entrance to this enchanting region.
This area along the Adriatic Sea regularly reaches an average temperature of 28°C and is a perfect summer destination. In fact, Montenegro is fast becoming one of the best European destinations for a holiday.
Must see in the Bay of Kotor?
- For adrenaline junkies who are willing to go a little further out of the Bay of Kotor area, there are fantastic rafting adventures to be had around four hour’s drive away. The Tara River Canyon is the perfect spot to enjoy a thrilling ride and take in the inescapable natural beauty of Montenegro.
- If you’re planning on staying closer to your home away from home, why not take a boat trip out into the Bay of Kotor? The team at Portonovi Village can plan this, and it will take you out to explore part of the Adriatic Coast or Kotor, the capital city of Montenegro.
Where to stay in the Bay of Kotor?
Relax on the ‘Montenegro Riviera’ at Portonovi Village; this is one of the most picturesque areas for some rejuvinating summer sun. Watch the waves of the Adriatic bump against the stone walls of the marina, spend an afternoon on the stunning private beaches from the beach club and eat, drink and relax in the range of restaurants.
The exclusive One&Only Portonovi is a superb hotel in Portonovi Village. You won’t want for anything, and staff will go above and beyond to make each stay memorable.
One&Only’s resorts are always in top locations, and their first European property is no exception! Perched on the edge of the stunning Boka Bay, this resort is also near the picturesque town of Perast with its Venetian stone palaces and upmarket waterfront. It’s also a stone’s throw from UNESCO-listed Durmitor National Park, home to Europe’s deepest gorges as well as bears, wolves and the largest variety of butterflies.
4. French Riviera, France
Best pick for: A classic and elegant summer holiday in Europe, perfect for yachting and beach clubs.
What is the French Riviera like?
When you think of European cities for a summer break, St. Tropez on the French Riviera should be on your list. Between Marseille and Nice on the southern coast of France sits this small yet luxurious town. Walk the narrow cobbled streets, visiting beautiful boutique stores and glimpsing the blue water as you stroll in the comfortable 23°C sunshine.
If you want to explore the south of France a little more, you could take a road trip to Nice for the day. For the ultimate all-relaxing holiday with a touch of glamour, spend time in the charming town of St. Tropez and sun yourself on the stunning beaches in the area.
Must see in the French Riviera?
- Once upon a time, St. Tropez was a fishing town. Now, its transformed into a sleek marina and a popular spot for people-watching, sipping on a coffee in a café or visiting the herb fish markets.
- One of the famed activities that St. Tropez is known for, we couldn’t leave out yachting. To see the best of the Mediterranean, you’ll want to cruise out onto the water on one of the luxury yachts that are moored in St. Tropez. Spend family time on the water, take in the sights and savour the delicious delicacies of France as you go!
Where to stay in the French Riviera?
Re-opening at the start of 2022, Lily of the Valley is a perfect destination to call your home on holiday. The wellness resort is located just a few minutes drive from the heart of St. Tropez. Lily of the Valley promotes healthy living and wellness at its core, with food and activities that will leave you feeling renewed and ready to face the world back home.
5. Halkidiki, Greece
Best pick for: Families that love to explore and relax together in a sunny Grecian paradise.
What is Halkidiki like?
We wanted to do something a little different in Greece for our list of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer. Usually, we’d opt for one of the beautiful Greek islands, but this time we want to take you to sunny Halkidiki. If you’re going to spend your summer holiday enjoying time on the beach with your family, this will be the perfect destination for you.
Greece is famous for its turquoise water, and Halkidiki doesn’t let us down on this front. The craggy outcrops of land are topped by verdant green foliage, which leads down to the calm waters and beloved sandy beaches of this family favourite.
More inspiration: The 5 Best Greek Islands for Families
Must see in Halkidiki?
- Toroni Beach is a long stretch of quiet natural beauty. The coarse golden sands and calm waters make this a perfect trip for you and your family.
- Petralona Caves is a haven for fossil lovers; you can take a guided tour through the cave system and marvel at the stalagmites and stalactites that litter the area. Kids will absolutely adore this trip out, so keep this place in mind if you intend to travel to Europe this summer.
Where to stay in the Halkidiki area?
Your perfect family getaway awaits at Sani Dunes in Halkidiki. Service at this beautiful resort is second to none and always personalised. During the summer, the gardens bloom with beautiful flowers and herbs that greet you when you wake. Families can enjoy time together on the sandy beaches, and kids will love finding their own space in the chillout zone. The Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy and Chelsea Football Club will keep the more energetic kids bounding around, having the time of their lives.
6. Ibiza, Spain
Best pick for: A mix of quiet pockets and vibrant nightlife in one of the top summer holiday destinations in Europe.
What is Ibiza like?
The iconic party island of Ibiza should always be on any best European summer holiday list. Whether you’re looking for bustling nightlife spots in Ibiza town or you want to spend time exploring the beautiful scenery on the Balearic Islands, there’ll be something that takes your fancy in here.
For those who want to rest and relax in a serene environment, stay away from the noise of Ibiza Town or San Antonio. Instead, head to some of the beautiful beaches dotted across the island including Pou des Lleo beach for watersports like snorkelling, or head inland for some hiking up to the highest point on the island. In the 26°C heat (on average) there’ll be more than enough sun to soak up as you traverse the island.
Must see in Ibiza?
- Take a day trip across to Formentera to enjoy the white sandy beaches reminiscent of the Caribbean, or hire a moped or e-bike to travel around the smallest of the Balearic Islands. If you like to do walking on your holidays, you can traverse to La Mola for stunning views of the bay.
- Head out to the water for a catamaran cruise. Watching the sunrise or sunsets from the water is a special experience not to be missed.
Where to stay in Ibiza?
Discover the new Six Senses Ibiza and enjoy the bohemian hippy vibe the island is so loved for. With extensive spa treatments and daily yoga it’s the perfect summer escape. Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is located closer to Ibiza Town for those looking to have the chance to experience the island’s nightlife, or just take a short taxi to the old town for mouth-wateringly fresh tapas.
“Six Senses Ibiza is beautiful! The view from reception is simply amazing, with impressive floor-to-ceiling doors which open-up to panoramic vistas of the sea. I loved the rooftop morning yoga and sipping a cocktail on the pool terrace for the most amazing sunset experience.” – Gabrielle, Product Manager
For more ideas, see our experts’ guide to where to stay in Ibiza.
7. Bodrum, Turkey
Best pick for: Couples looking to spend time together whilst enjoying a little Turkish escape.
What is Bodrum like?
Bodrum is a coastal town on the southern coast of Turkey. It looks out to the glittering Aegean Sea and has some fabulous sunsets that glow a beautiful pink on the horizon. Bodrum is a town with a bit of a buzz; it has ample amounts of nightlife, fantastic Turkish food (try Manti, similar to mini tortellini, or Börek, thin filo pastry with delicious cheese) and brilliant hammams for total relaxation.
With an average summer temperature of 30°C, you’ll want to spend a lot of time soaking up the warmth of the sun and taking dips in the sea to cool off. Another great way to spend the day is taking a boat trip out to explore the Aegean, and you could also hop across to the Greek islands of Kos or Rhodes from Bodrum.
Must see in Bodrum?
- A fun way to visit the Turkish coastline and waters is by Gulet. These sailing vessels tend to have a small number of cabins and are brilliant for private romantic moments on the water. There are plenty of vessels that offer five-star cuisine, and you’ll have the opportunity to make unforgettable memories as you glide through the sea.
- Being by the water means that watersports are common, and there are some great locations close to Bodrum for scuba diving and windsailing in particular. For diving, you’ll be able to see through the turquoise waters to the marine wildlife, including the coral beds.
Where to stay in Bodrum?
For couples, head to Amanruya near Bodrum for a relaxing summer break. Away from the major hustle and bustle, this serene resort is enclosed by a stunning pine forest reserve on one side and the Aegean Sea on the other side. Relax on the deck, taste a wonderful blend of cuisines and take a breather at the Turkish Spa.
Whatever your preference for a summer we hope that these six fantastic European summer sun destinations whet your appetite for your 2022 holidays.
Our Travel Specialist would be more than happy to tailor your own holiday to your exact requirements so get in touch to start planning your next summer holiday.