Where to Go for Your Summer Holidays in Europe
Looking for your summer European getaway? You have so many options to choose from.
If you don’t spend your summer holidays in Europe, can you consider yourself to be the cream of the crop? Well, we at Plum Guide think that anyone who’s wise enough to trust us to find them a luxurious holiday house to be the best of the best, but truly, what is summer without a trip to Europe? As bona fide travel experts, we’ve pulled together a list of the absolute best places in Europe to spend some time next summer. With so many fabulous options to choose from, you might just have to try them all instead of picking just one.
The French capital is stunning at any time of year, but we think Paris is particularly beautiful in the summer months. The always-romantic city feels even more so when it’s hot outside and cafe tables spill haphazardly onto the pavements, crowded with Parisians drinking cold white wine, smoking and gossiping loudly in French. We recommend that you join them.
When you’ve had your fill of strolling hand-in-hand with your loved one down tree-lined avenues, pausing dramatically on bridges and eating baguettes by the Seine, head to one of the city’s many glorious parks for an afternoon nap on some pleasantly shady grass. The Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin de Tuileries are both great options for classic Parisian outdoor elegance. One thing to bear in mind is that much of Paris shuts in August, when the restaurant and shop owners take their annual holiday. This is beneficial, however, if you’d like to see the city when it’s less crowded.
If your heyday was in the 90s (and trust us when we say you’re not alone if that’s the case), the thought of summering in Ibiza still comes off as the height of delicious decadence to you. And while there’s still a thriving party scene here, the Spanish island has evolved past the days of solely being known for 24 hour parties and bronzed beach gods and goddesses.
Nowadays, Ibiza has a wealth of types of holiday to offer, so no matter the kind of summer holiday in Europe you’re looking for, it will deliver. You can’t visit the White Isle without spending at least one day on the beach, so we recommend heading to Cala Carbo, an inlet on the south-west coast blessed with translucent water and pebbles in shades of greige and fawn. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from lounging on one of the sunbeds for a while, sit down to a leisurely lunch of paella and local rose. For parties, Pacha, opened in 1973, is one of the original and the best spots. And for an insight into Ibiza’s new age side spend a few hours browsing among the 500 stalls run by local artisans at Punta Arabi, the biggest hippy market on the island.
There’s nowhere quite like Italy in the summer months, and the island of Sicily is one of the country’s crown jewels. The slow, sensual days unfurl in the languid heat and everything moves slowly – until the time comes to snag a table at the best restaurant in town for a long lunch, that is.
Sicily is all the best parts of Italy combined. The weather is hot, the people are exceptionally friendly and the architecture and vibe of the place has a slightly decrepit glamour that only adds to the sumptuous feel of the island. Imagine a luscious peach that’s ever-so-slightly too ripe, and that’s Sicily.
Palermo, the capital, is a beautiful place to spend some time. Although it’s very much a city, with winding alleyways, laundry hanging from slightly crumbling palatial windows and a granita shop on every street corner, it has the advantage of being on the ocean, which is perfect for spending summer days at the beach. Fall into the rhythms of the city with an afternoon nap in the hottest part of the day and then enjoy a late night dinner when the air has finally cooled enough to feel refreshing on your hot, sticky skin.
If you’ve been hoping to visit Croatia, now’s your chance. Dubrovnik has every element you could want from a summer holiday in Europe – a stunning Mediterranean backdrop, incredible beaches and an aura of fame thanks to being one of the main filming locations for hit TV show Game of Thrones. This is one holiday where you won’t have to drag your teenage kids out of bed in the morning – promise them a spot on a Game of Thrones themed city tour and they’ll be putty in your hands.
The city of Dubrovnik is located at the southern tip of Croatia, looking out over the Adriatic sea, so every time you turn the corner of one of the cobbled streets you get a glimpse of blue in the distance. There’s a lot of history within the centuries-old architecture and the old defensive city walls.
If you’re more of a beach babe than a history nerd (no judgement from us either way), we recommend heading to the nearby Banje and Lapad beaches. The white sand and blue sea there will be the cherry on top of your European summer holiday.
As long as you’re prepared for the odd grey and rainy day (England will never stop being England, after all), Cornwall is a truly charming place to while some time away in this summer. Tiny towns perched on the cliff edges, seagulls loudly squawking over returning fishing boats and a flake 99 ice cream combine to make this the kind of holiday you always wanted to have as a child but never did.
The scenery here is surprisingly dramatic if you’ve never visited before and the pale, golden sand and deep blue oceans means that you won’t miss sunnier climes. Spend your days exploring Cornwall’s many caves, rock pools and cliff top walks before heading home for a fish and chip supper.