Do you fancy going away before the official summer holidays, to beat the crowds? Make a note of these ideas.
The summer holidays are just around the corner, and this is the best time of year to beat the crowds, before the summer madness begins.
We have lots of good reasons to have picked these 7 destinations which will get you ready for summer: they are very affordable in terms of flights, travel, accommodation, visits and consumption. These are also destinations for bon vivants as they offer delicious food, good vibes and amazing weather.
So don’t think twice: travel around Europe without spending a fortune and enjoy the dolce vita.
1. Algarve (Portugal)
Wonderful weather all year round, delicious Portuguese food, a peaceful environment and picturesque white villages are the main attractions of the Algarve, in the south of Portugal. Anyone who goes there always returns. So don’t think twice and book your flights to enjoy a luxurious stay and recharge your batteries without breaking the bank. Relax on beautiful beaches, discover amazing cliffs and savour delicious fresh fish dishes that will blow you away.
Croatia is, without a doubt, one of the hotspots in Europe. It’s a destination not only with great beaches (both on the mainland and on its 698 islands) and incredibly Instagrammable spots; but also with places full of charm and history. While Dubrovnik and Split, cosmopolitan, bustling and full of monuments, are the “coolest” cities, Pula, Zadar and Trogir take you on a journey to discover the country’s history and traditions. And if nature is more your thing, no problem: the huge waterfalls of the Plitvice National Park or Krka National Park will take your breath away.
3. Prague (Czech Republic)
You don’t need to spend a fortune to go on holiday. Why suffer when you go to pay for a cup of coffee, for example? There’s no point. You should be able to treat yourself without breaking the bank. And that’s where Prague comes in. A city steeped in culture, historic spots, cool cafés and places full of charm. In its historic quarter, where you can discover its monumental Austro-Hungarian past, you can go back in time and then end the day at one of its many hipster restaurants or designer clothing stores. Sounds like a plan!
4. Athens (Greece)
Greece is a great plan, and amazing through and through. But you won’t find anywhere quite like Athens, where you can see the contrasts between the old continent and 21st century Europe. The Greek capital is a monumental city full of historic relics, but also one of the trendiest and most Mediterranean European capitals, where you can enjoy the most delicious food. What could be better than walking among the ruins of the Parthenon in the morning and ending the day by reflecting on who we are, where we came from and where we’re going over a signature cocktail? All this is possible in Athens!
5. Sardinia (Italy)
If you fly to Cagliari airport, on the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia, you’ll come across beaches with crystal-clear water, forests, cliffs and small port cities like Alghero, with colourful façades, fairy-tale fortresses and restaurants that you’re sure to love (don’t forget to try seadas, which are moreish honey pastries). Make sure you plan your route well, because the island is quite big and you won’t have time to see it all, but remember: any corner of Sardinia is always worth a visit.
6. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain)
Tenerife has it all! Are you looking for beautiful beaches with loads of facilities, offering affordable and convenient places to eat? There are many places in the south, from Adeje to Los Cristianos (don’t miss one of the best pizzerias in Europe according to Top Pizza magazine: Oro di Napoli). What about a big city, where can you enjoy tapas, shopping and designer fashion? Santa Cruz and La Laguna especially, with its colourful houses, are waiting to be discovered. Charming villages? From Icod de los Ríos to Candelaria or La Orotava, with its fresh fish dishes and “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes), which definitely taste much better by the ocean.
7. Manchester (UK)
Many people dream of travelling to London, the capital of the UK, to discover the culture, the iconic landmarks and its very special atmosphere. Well, we’ve got good news: you can also find all that in Manchester! It’s the second largest city in England and much more affordable than London. In Manchester, don’t miss the old town, with its Gothic cathedral, as well as the Science and Industry Museum and the Manchester Art Gallery. In the evening, make sure you go to see a musical at one of the theatres, such as the Manchester Opera House or the Royal Exchange Theatre, and end your outing in style: at a pub!
Come on, what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags right now!