Every summer, millions of tourists pour into Europe to spend summer holidays. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a visit to some of the Parisian museums or monuments, or a peaceful vacation on some of the many Greek islands – Europe has a lot to offer for anyone.
In this list, we will combine some of the more exotic destinations for more demanding tourists, with affordable ones for those on a budget.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to spend your summer holidays in Europe.
Azores Islands – Portugal
The Azores Islands archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, some 800 miles off the coast of Portugal. This remote groups of volcanic islands are, perhaps, one of the undiscovered secrets of Portugal and Europe.
If you are searching for an active holiday and like to discover new and exotic things, the Azores may be a perfect place for you.
These remote island are well-known for their temperate forests and lush and green vegetation. The climate in the Azores stay warm all year round.
A good starting point for your summer island adventure in the Azores is the largest island in the archipelago – Sao Miguel and its capital and largest city, Ponta Delgada. Nearby is the famous hot spring town of Furnas, located in an volcanic valley of striking beauty.
The authentic Portuguese architecture, local cuisine and stunning natural scenery will surely make you want to return to this Atlantic paradise.
Lefkada – Greece
One of the three major Ionian Islands, Lefkada is located in Western Greece. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway so you can accesses it by car, without having to use a ferry.
Lefkada has a rugged interior, but its western coast has some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Some of the most famous include Porto Katsiki, Egremni and Kathisma, and they are distinguished by amazing natural scenery, with their white cliffs rising above the azure sea.
Some of the beaches can only be accessed by a boat, but you can reach most by a car or a bike.
The island has a multitude of small taverns and restaurants with an authentic Greek atmosphere.
You can find accommodation in some of the many hotels scattered across the island. The small town of Vasiliki in the south of the island is one of the more ideal locations if you want to visit the beaches on the west coast.
Prague – Czech Republic
If you want to escape the crowds or famous European tourist hot spots like Paris or London, Prague is a perfect place to visit. Prague is a sprawling city in the heart of Europe with a fascinating history.
The number of tourists in Prague is rising rapidly, but it is still one of the more affordable European cities.
One thing is certain: Prague won’t leave you disappointed. When in Prague, be sure to visit The Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and the famous Prague Castle, a baroque castle complex overlooking the Vltava river.
Dubrovnik – Croatia
Easily one of the most scenic cities on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is famous for being the seat of a medieval maritime Republic that rivaled Venice. It is also one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. The trademark of the city are its imposing medieval walls protecting the old town.
The city’s many villas and gardens will make your stay there an unforgettable experience.
Rome – Italy
One of the world’s most famous cities, Rome remains a favorite tourist destination for millions of people every year. It is also surprisingly affordable. You can always find some very cheap hotels in the city.
Keep in mind that Rome is scorching hot during July and August in particular, and if you want to avoid the summer heat, it’s best you visit between April and June or September to October when the weather is much milder.
Bruges – Belgium
This is a good place if you want to spent your summer holidays in a more cooler (but somewhat damp) climate of Northwestern Europe. But don’t think that this is the main reason for including Bruges in this list.
Bruges is a town in Flanders, known for its preserved medieval buildings, canals and many museums. The historic center or Bruge is included in UNESCO World Heritage sites list, so be sure to visit some of its many Gothic buildings.
Some of the sights to see include Groeninge Museum, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Brewery De Halve Maan and The Hospital of St. John.
Bruges is a cycling-friendly city, you can rent a bike in some of the towns many rental shops.
Salzburg – Austria
This Austrian city is best known for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. With its amazing baroque architecture, churches, palaces and castles, Salzburg can rival many other European cities.
One of the biggest tourists attractions in the city if, of course, Mozart’s Geburtshaus, the house where the composer was born in the 18th century.
The imposing Salzburg Fortress and the baroque Princely Residence are also a must-visit. You will also want to experience one of many Salzburg restaurants, famous for traditional Austrian dishes.