Summer Getaways in Europe
Summer is a great time to visit Europe, and there is plenty to see and do. Europe boasts fantastic beaches, islands and mountain hiking trails ideal for a summer adventure. Whether you prefer a quiet, relaxing holiday soaking up the local culture, or heading out on an exciting drive on winding mountain roads, VroomVroomVroom has put together a list of different destinations to visit this summer.
For a relaxing beach holiday
There is no better time of the year to visit the beach and enjoy the sunshine. For your summer beach holiday, consider Sardinia, a destination with thousands of kilometres of stunning coastline.
The region has some of Italy's most beautiful beaches. In southern Sardinia a popular beach is Chia, which can get quite busy over the summer months. The beach is easily accessible by road and features stunning coastline and great snorkeling opportunities.
If you are interested in visiting Sardinia's southern beaches, you can fly to Cagliari Elmas, the region's largest airport. Many beaches are within easy reach of the airport, as well as a number of fascinating historical sites.
For the north of Sardinia, a great gateway is Olbia. Located just an hour north from the city is the spectacular clear waters of Spiaggia Rena Bianca. Also close by is Spiaggo di Sos Aranzos, a great beach for families. Take a walk on some of the coastal trails and try some delicious Italian food at local restaurants.
Sardinia is easily accessible and provides some remarkable beaches. For your summer beach holiday, visit the famed Emerald Coast.
For summer alpine hiking
Many alpine destinations in Europe experience their peak seasons in winter when skiers and snow sports enthusiasts flock to villages in the Alps to test their skills on the icy slopes. Avoid the freezing winter temperatures and visit in summer when you can take full advantage of the many miles of hiking trails with views of the Alps.
Chamonix in southern France is a great place to start your alpine hiking adventure. Located at the base of Mont Blanc, the Alps' tallest mountain, the town has plenty of facilities and a great range of accommodation options.
A popular thing to do in Chamonix is take the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi and enjoy an up-close view of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. Stop on your way back down at the Plan d'Aiguille and explore some of the hiking trails.
Follow the trails along the mountainside with great views down to the Chamonix Valley below. You can follow the trail back down to Chamonix, which should take an estimated three hours.
Visitors can also head to the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve to enjoy great views of the French Alps. There are picturesque lakes in the area and fantastic native fauna and flora.
For an unforgettable cultural experience
Head to Lisbon for an unforgettable cultural experience. The city is showing no signs of slowing down as the Portuguese capital's tourist numbers keep rising. If you are looking for a summer holiday that involves culture, history and great food, don't miss the colourful city of Lisbon.
Immerse yourself in the city riding the iconic city trams and travelling up Lisbon's steep hills. To experience the history of the city, visit Lisbon Castle in the Alfama district. As one of the oldest districts in the region, you can see a number of significant historical sights, while enjoying some great food at local restaurants and cafes.
Take in some of the unique architecture along Rua Augusta, a street open only to pedestrians. Along with some great dining options, you can also find some souvenirs in the surrounding shops. Head down to the waterfront to enjoy a magnificent view of the harbour and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. In the distance you can also catch a glimpse of the towering Cristo Rei.
Portugal is also home to many beautiful beaches. Hire a car and head to the popular Cascais region. The drive from Lisbon will take you past many family-friendly beaches. The warm summer temperatures make Portugal an ideal spot to hit the beach. Another day trip is the busy Pena Palace in Sintra. Not only can you see colourful, unique architecture in the palace, but its position provides fantastic views over the coast.
For an exciting road trip
If you'd rather an adventure through mountains, lakes and winding back highways than relaxing on the beach, a trip to Scotland is a must. Take advantage of the milder summer weather and explore miles of accessible road in the north of the country.
Base yourself in Inverness and explore some of the town attractions like the Inverness Castle. The city is also not far from the world-famous Loch Ness.
The west coast of Scotland is home to some incredible islands along the wild Atlantic Ocean. The scenic highway to the Isle of Skye takes you past huge mountains, valleys and castles. Stop in at the small village of Portree before beginning your road trip through Skye. There are also plenty of accommodation options here if you would like to stay longer. Travel around the narrow highways and visit attractions like Neist Point and Dunvegan Castle.
There is no shortage of natural wonders to see in Scotland, and the best way to explore the country in summer is with a hire car.
For a memorable island vacation
The small island of Malta has a lot to offer. Fly into the capital city of Valletta, where you can hire a car and begin exploring the island at your own pace.
Valletta is an exciting destination to explore. The city is home to a number of cathedrals, museums and gardens. There is plenty to discover in the historic capital, as well as modern cafes and restaurants lining the streets.
The island boasts some stunning coastal scenery, as well as hiking trails along dramatic clifftops. Take a cruise off the coast and visit the fantastic Blue Lagoon. There are many other beaches and bays around the island, providing a great opportunity to swim, snorkel or just relax on the sands.
What is your favourite summer holiday destination in Europe? Let us know in the comment section below.