When it comes to planning ahead, these 12 summer destinations in Europe are ones to book now.
If you are considering Europe this summer, I would suggest getting in early, like the last week of May or early June. Alternatively, the later months like end of August and early September are also great times to visit to beat the crowds. As I am doing my summer planning now, these are a few places that I am considering to book for this year:
12 Summer Destinations in Europe to Book Now
1. Hvar, Croatia
Though Hvar port itself may be busy, I would head to the other side of the island. Quieter resorts like Little Green Bay make for idyllic retreats along turquoise waters. Paired with fresh seafood and days out on the water, it’s a perfect spot to escape this summer. For those looking for something more adventurous, consider sailing down the Dalmatian Coast.
2. Lisbon, Portugal
Something about the breeze picking up off the Atlantic paired with beautiful streets and buildings, always makes Lisbon one of my favorite places. It’s close to places likes Sitges where there are plenty of beaches to relax, making it a great spot to be based for a week or so.
3. Costa Brava, Spain
Barcelona may be packed in the summer but hidden coves and beaches along the northern coast is where you’ll want to be. Costa Brava is a great seaside escape for those looking for that Catalonian culture paired with great cuisine. This is a destination you’ll definitely want to go to in the early or late summer.
4. Cassis, France
Two years ago I spent some time in Southern France, with a few days in the Cassis area. It was stunning. There is plenty to do nearby and if you decide to base yourself in the town of Cassis, you really don’t have to leave if you don’t want to do. The outdoor adventure here in the Calanques is beautiful and you can even sail for the day.
5. Naxos, Greece
Though it’s alway tempting to go to Mykonos or Santorini (they’re well worth a visit or two), I loved the island of Naxos. A bit quieter and relaxed, it had everything you could have wanted for an island vacation.
6. Aberaeron, Wales
If you are considering the UK, take a peak at Wales. They have a wonderful road trip route called the Coastal Way, that starts in the north and works south. One of the towns I stopped in was Aberaeron. It felt like a postcard, with boats bobbing up and down, with colorful houses in the background.
7. Dolomites, Italy
One of my favorite places to date, the Dolomites in Italy is the perfect summer road trip. With milder temperatures, it’s a perfect spot that is not near the ocean for the summer. It can get crowded during the peak of it, so shoulder summer season is best. This is one you’ll want to book in advance.
8. Gozo, Malta
If you’re looking to island hop in Europe, consider going to Malta. Famed for its scenery, its island Gozo is a great spot to hideout for a few days of relaxation. Malta is one of those gems that is a must visit.
9. Helsinki, Finland
Finland’s major city, Helsinki, comes to live in the summer. Right on the water, there is so much to do from incredible museums, swimming, and great food.
10. Stockholm, Sweden
Oh how beautiful Stockholm is. I loved visiting this city in Sweden and in the summer, the warmer temperatures is perfect for a long weekend. The design and being surrounded by nature here captured it all for me.
11. Languedoc, France
Known as the more laid back sister region to Provence, the Languedoc is a great spot for road trip in France. Not far from the ocean and with major cities and hilltop villages, the Languedoc is perfect for a couple days of exploring.
12. Mallorca, Spain
Though this island may get jam packed in the middle of the summer, its blue waters can do no wrong. With beautiful scenery and a diverse landscape, Mallorca is one of my favorites to visit. I would come early in June or later in August to avoid the peak crowds.
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: